The Draime Estate Gardens distinguishes the Kent State program from any other in the state and makes it one of the most unique in the country. Started in 1990, the Draime garden reflects the vision and enthusiasm of owners D. Max, '59, and Cecile M. Draime, '58, who gained inspiration for the garden design, plant collection, and sculptures from numerous gardening studies and travels to other gardens worldwide.
Pathways of brick, stone, gravel, turf, and mulch lead from one garden to another, providing contrast throughout the entire property as they set the tone for each garden's level of formality and simplicity.
Mr. and Mrs. Draime's passion for unusual plants and unique sculpture is very evident in each and every garden within the nine acre estate. Three great friends of the Draime's were instrumental in bringing their vision to reality: architect Thomas Schroth designed their home and assisted in developing the general layout of the estate; Jim Gilmore, of J. Gilmore Design, oversaw the development and installation of the gardens; and Dennis Lewis Sr., of Lewis Construction, was the contractor for all of the major construction projects. More recently, Bob Frieden, of Frieden Landscaping, and Bart Gilmore, of J. Gilmore Design, led the design and construction of two new gardens to the estate - the Chapel Garden and Mossy Creek Garden respectively.
Max and Cil Draime partnered with Kent State University in 2003 to form the Draime Estate Gardens as a place to provide hands-on learning experiences for Kent State horticulture students, to inspire visitors to gain knowledge of and appreciation for plants and sculpture, and to serve as a model of excellence in horticulture and landscape management.