Bissonnette Gardens ~
This beautiful, public garden display includes more than 30 flower beds, dozens of colorful hanging baskets, and multiple fountains. The Bissonnette Gardens (formerly known as Waddington Gardens) are a re-creation of the many gardens which existed at the summer home of Earl Oglebay in the early 1900s. For public enjoyment, these gardens have been recreated through a variety of floral displays. Visitors are encouraged to take a stroll down the meandering red brick path to enjoy the beauty of the flowerbeds, hanging baskets, and majestic trees. These lovely sites are accented by soft landscape lighting and water features.
From mid-April through early May, guests are invited to admire the breathtaking beauty and vibrant colors of tulips, hyacinths, pansies, and daffodils. Through the month of June, guests will find the gardens filled with a wide array of annuals including park favorites such as canna, salvia, celosia, angelonia, verbena, petunia, and geranium. As fall draws near and the leaves begin to change, so do the flower displays at The Hilltop. From mid-September to late October, guests may enjoy the warm, jewel-toned beauty of fall mums throughout the park.
On The Hilltop, hard work and dedication are the foundation of our beautiful garden displays. From water features to the whimsical floral clock, our staff of 10 works countless hours from early spring through late fall to keep these gardens lush and beautiful. Our skilled staff spends the early summer planting more than 30 flowerbeds featuring a wide variety of colorful vegetation. Maintaining the beauty of The Hilltop is a labor of love, as staff members carefully prune, water, dead-head, re-plant, weed, and fertilize the grounds daily.
This beautiful 16-acre garden 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.
In 2017, Bissonnette Gardens was enhanced with a new attraction – a captivating sculpture titled Miss West Virginia composed by local Wheeling artist Jeff Forster. Don’t miss this powerful work of art, located just outside the herb garden near Oglebay’s greenhouse on The Hilltop.
Festival of Lights Gardens of Light & Nativity
During Festival of Lights, the Gardens of Light and Nativity display at The Hilltop features gleaming brick pathways aglow with holiday cheer. Stroll through The Hilltop in Bissonnette Gardens and enjoy 150 twinkling hanging baskets, thousands of lighted flowers and trees, and a festive Nativity display located outside the Carriage House gift shop.