Bissonnette Gardens

Photo of the gardens at Oglebay

Background Information
The Bissonnette Gardens (formerly known as Waddington Gardens) are a re-creation of many of the gardens that existed in Oglebay in the early 1900s. Visitors are enticed to wander on red brick paths through the ever-changing flower displays, hanging baskets and majestic trees. These lovely sites are made even more memorable by the addition of soft landscape lighting and water displays.

From mid April to early May you'll find tulips, hyacinths, pansies and daffodils. June to September the gardens come alive with a bright array of annuals including begonias, impatiens, petunias, fuchias and geraniums. Then the show comes to a close with the brilliant glow of chrysanthemums from mid September through late October.

This beautiful 16 acre garden area was re-dedicated in September 1999 to Joseph F. Bissonnette who served as director of development for the Wheeling Park Commission from 1975 until 1992.A self-guided audio tour and historical photo tour is available at 10 stations.

All-American Selections Display Gardens
The All-American Selections (AAS) Display Gardens are located in the terrace beds behind the Palm Room and greenhouse at Oglebay. These extraordinary gardens are a joint effort between the WVU Extension Service, Master Gardeners, and Oglebay, and are the only display gardens in West Virginia and one of only 180 in the United States, Japan and Canada.

The display gardens at Oglebay were selected as the 2002 Category II AAS Display Garden Exemplary Education Winner. The display gardens use AAS award winners that include several varieties of flowers and vegetables. The display gardens are open to the public and are tended by master gardeners that donate their time and talents. All-American Selection winners are selected each year by a panel of unpaid experts. These panel members spend their summers evaluating all the entries and then the entries with the highest scores are considered for an AAS Award. The judges look for significantly improved qualities such as earliness to bloom or harvest, disease or pest tolerance, novel colors or flavors, novel flower forms, total yield, length of flowering or harvest and overall performance. The winners generally have at least two or three significantly improved qualities over the closest comparison variety available to home gardeners in North America.

The AAS Display Gardens introduces these exceptional flowers and vegetables to the public and encourages visitors to add a few to their own gardens. Additional information on AAS winners can be found at the All American Selections Website.