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Wits End – A Vincennes, Indiana Garden

It is difficult to choose a favorite part of this eclectic garden...full of must-see areas and plants so that visitors are overwhelmed by the beauty of it all.

Detail of Wits End Garden map.

Photo: Wits End Garden

Portion of a brochure/map of Wits End Garden.

Recently I went to Vincennes in Southern Indiana to visit Frank and Nancy Emert’s garden.  It is called “Wits End Garden” and was established in 1979 and now covers 6 acres in historic old Vincennes, at 2119 Wheeler Road. Group tours are available Tuesday through Thursday and private tours on weekends.

If you go you will be impressed by the scope and variety of the plantings that you will see. Plant collections include azaleas, hostas, perennials, roses, alpines, cacti and many more. I loved the mature shade trees, under-story trees and shrubs, the woodland shade gardens and the cactus island.

The collection of ephemerals that bloom in the spring contains multiple types of trillium and other wildflowers, some of which are rarely seen. I especially enjoyed the Japanese garden and the moss gardens where there were miniature replicas of pandas, and where I expected to encounter goblins at any minute. Like most Japanese gardens this one has the three main elements of rocks, greenery and water. The entry gate to it, the sand pebble areas, Tea House, pond and curved bridge created a lovely ambience and feeling of serenity.

However, it is difficult to choose a favorite part of this eclectic garden. It is full of must-see areas and plants so that visitors are overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. Give yourself plenty of time to enjoy it if you make the trip to see it.

Dallas Foster is a landscaper in Vincennes who has contributed his significant talents to the garden described above. If you visit Vincennes, Foster’s garden is also open to visitors and is truly breathtaking.  (tel. 800-659-0719)

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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