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Wenatchee wonder
Ohme Gardens opens for visitors April 15
Whether it's a passion for gardens or natural  1beauty or just an escape from everyday life, visitors find Wenatchee, Washington's Ohme Gardens to be a fascinating experience -- and one they may well repeat many times.

The famous gardens opens for the 2016 season on April 15.

Ohme Gardens has been attracting both tourists and locals since 1939, back when it was just a couple of massive rock outcroppings and Herman Ohme would scavenge one load of rocks at a time to build what turned out to be a legacy for his family. The property was just perfect for a natural attraction such as a garden -- it stands 600 feet above the Valley floor at its highest point and offers a commanding view of the Columbia River.

The garden complex has lots of secret hideaways and meandering native stone trails through lush vegetation and trees. People will come up from Wenatchee just to spend an hour or so in such a natural setting that seems so far from civilization.

Throughout the gardens there are a total of 52 stone benches -- ideal for contemplating those big life decisions, or just letting your mind wander. There are seven pools that have stone benches around them. The attraction is for all ages, but Ohme Gardens is especially popular with kids. "They just go nuts," Mike Short of Ohme Gardens says.

Altogether there are more than 14 acres, with about nine garden acres. The outside loop trail is a little less than a mile long and is a great way to see a variety of views. The views also change by the season -- you can visit Ohme Gardens early in the spring, then come back and see different vegetation later in the year. It changes from year to year, and even month to month.

In summer, it can be one of the coolest places -- as in coolest temperatures -- to be in the Wenatchee Valley. The shady pools and towering trees provide a cooler climate than the Valley floor. A trip to Ohme Gardens is all about rejuvenation and relaxation, Short says. "It's an escape that is moments from downtown."

Tickets to Ohme Garden are $7 for adults, $3.50 for youth ages 6-17, 5 and under free. Phone (509) 662-5785 or visit www.ohmegardens.com.
PHOTOS: Ohme Gardens
PHOTO CREDITS: Photo courtesy of Ohme Gardens
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