Four the fourth season, Griffith Gardens in Hillsboro is selling pumpkins, mums and other fall items, and for the first year a section of the greenhouse called the Big House has been set up as a play area for children.
“We opened this fun section because there’s nothing like it in Hillsboro,” said Griffith Gardens owner Ingrid Griffith. The area has a bounce house, straw maze and a corn pit. The Griffith family also purchased a barrel train in Indiana that is pulled by an antique tractor to give children rides around the property for $5.
“You can also pick a pumpkin down there, and that kind of stuff we just don’t have in Hillsboro,” said Griffith.
For $5, children can play in the Big House as long as they want.
“When we were getting ready to open for our first spring, we hired a consultant and he said, never underestimate how much room you have in this greenhouse, and he said to think outside the box,” said Griffith. “We don’t have enough room for a corn maze because our four and a half acres back there is where we grow all of our pumpkins and gourds,” she said. Griffith’s daughter, Marah, suggested putting a straw maze in the greenhouse.
“Most places that you go are outside, so if it rains on a weekend you can’t go, but you could come in here,” said Griffith. “We’ve had moms that are so happy that we are open every day that will come in here, and they don’t have to worry about it being packed and crowded, and they’ll let their kids just play.”
Griffith said the gardens have six greenhouses in the back, and they grow 3,500 mums. “Back behind these greenhouses we have a pond, and beyond the pond is all pumpkins and gourds,” she said.
Griffith’s husband, Jeff, runs the family farm, and she said they opened Griffith Gardens to give the community something to enjoy. “It seems like we always have to go out of town for everything, and this is so convenient,” she said.
She said she particularly enjoys the fall season. “We’re also farmers, so anything about harvest we love to celebrate, and the colors in fall are fantastic,” she said. “We enjoy being outside, otherwise we wouldn’t do what we do.”
Griffith Gardens recently donated 500 pumpkins to the FFA in Leesburg. “Our goal is to be able to do enough stuff that we can donate to the community,” said Griffith.
Griffith Gardens will be open for the fall season until Oct. 28.
Reach John Hackley at 937-402-2571.