GAMBIER — It’s been 15 years since Ted Schnormeier moved the first of 3,000 tons of rock at his property on Laymon Road. After locating his home in the middle of a bare field, he one day suggested to his wife, Ann, “We need to do a little landscaping.” And so they did.
After eight years of digging, planting, raking, hauling, building and delicate landscaping, the 75-acre Japanese-style gardens were open for public viewing. “I did most of the work myself,” said Schnormeier with a grin, as a friend nearby laughed, “Yes, he did; I watched him.”
When the gardens were open for tours in 2004, an admission fee was charged with proceeds going toward Habitat for Humanity. “We wanted to capitalize on it for a good benefit,” said Schnormeier. But the admission fee has now been dropped, and visitors have five days this week to tour the grounds. “We want people to feel welcome,” he said. “Gardeners are proud people. They like to show off their gardens. We want to make it available for other people to enjoy.”