- Amish Country
Located just southeast of Mt. Vernon and south of Gambier, Schnormeier Gardens are a delight for visitors that make the annual trek to see what's new and appreciate the beauty of these gardens. Besides their natural and manicured gardens is the fact that these particular gardens are only open to the public once a year in early June. Admission and parking is free but expect to pay the price the day after visiting with sore muscles.
The Schnormeier Gardens have several distinct characteristics that you'll find throughout. First, is the distinctive Japanese flavor in architecture. This includes the iconic red bridge and several tea houses located throughout the property. The other is the use of stone (large stone mostly quarried from Stillwell, Ohio located about halfway between Mt. Vernon and Millersburg).
Reading the story behind the Schnormeier Gardens it is clear that their story is a love of the land and a desire to preserve a country setting with improvements that reflect a personal vision.
Schnormeier Gardens was created by Ted and Ann Schnormeier. Actual construction of the gardens began in 1994, but the idea of the gardens sort of began soon after Ted and Ann purchased the house just across the road from where the Visitor Center is now located. At that time they owned about 3 acres of land. As they began to settle in to their new home Ann would often mention how nice it would be if the farm across the road would remain a farm instead of being sold off by developers for housing projects. Eventually that is what started to happen and Ann could see that her dreams would soon be lost forever. In 1986 her husband Ted surprised for Christmas when he presented to her the title a 12 acre parcel across the road. Not soon after this they purchased an additional 80 acres including several of the homes that had already been built on the subdivided lots. In time they would own 12 separate parcels including six residences and 125 acres of land. They then began the process of building the gardens and a new residence.