An Embarrassment of Riches


I spent the morning cruising all my gardens that are slated for the garden cruise this coming Sunday, to benefit the Greening of Detroit. As I have posted before, the noted architect Michael Willoughby somehow managed to get my attention about supporting the Greening; so I am now on board, and working hard to raise some money from them.  Detroit needs this group more than ever now.  Asking good clients to put their gardens on tour I could do.  But today could best be described as an embarrassment of riches-for me.  Every garden is beautiful, and so lovingly tended.  My clients are genuinely excited to have gardener/visitors. I am having the above pictured exuberant Susie to dinner this Friday night; she wants to be in her garden all day to talk to guests, but she insisted she needed to see my garden.  So fine-lets have dinner.   We have a relationship that is a good and valuable one to me.  Her place is immaculate.  Every pot is representing; its obvious she takes great care of them.  The windows will be washed everywhere tomorrow.  She has gone the distance and then some, as I asked her to. I saw this everywhere on her property today. She called the DNR to clean up the algae in the giant  pond that borders her property;  ” my garden is on tour, and I want this pond presentable for company-when do you think you might come before July 19?”  I am so lucky to have her as a client.


I have posted again and again about the importance of caring for a landscape.  But every garden I visited today was about the reality of that committment.  What needed trimming got trimmed.  What needed weeding got weeded. What was a big deal to get done, got done. Of course there is a chorus of voices about those things that are behind this year.  None of us will have Limelight hydrangeas in bloom-they are two weeks behind at least.  Everyone’s roses are completely out of bloom, and the roses are struggling with black spot, and every other ill those queens of the garden contract. My matched pots are mismatched.  Damn.  Every single gardener on this tour is agonizing over what is not just right. I could not thank them all enough for the effort they have put to this event.   The good part?  Every single true gardener who attends this tour will know in a heartbeat the extent of the effort that has been put to making each and every garden engaging, thought provoking, visually striking-all in all, just plain good.   


One of my oldest clients whom I love dearly has sold their house; they are moving near their adult children, as they are in their eighties.  Ed and Mary both told me today there garden has never been as beautiful as it is right now; the three of us cried buckets.   No one I have ever known my entire career could make begonias grow more beautifully than Ed. This is the last of their stewardship-don’t miss it.  Their garden has gorgeous and beautiful age. Their landscape is quiet, but powerfully compelling.  Our relationship over the landscape I so treasure. I am glad they agreed to be on tour this year, as they will be gone the end of August to a new life. 


This garden I landscaped some 9 years ago, and was not back until a month ago.  I was knocked out by how they took that landscape in hand, looked after it, and moved beyond what I did.  My day today was such a good day.  This insouciant pot of my clients own design and hand is so beautiful.  The overall shape, the textures, the green thing going on-I could not do better.  The embarrassment of riches I felt today is all about doing work for interested clients, who take up on their own when I am done, and make magic.


I hope everyone who tours these gardens, realizes the  great views.  I am so interested in places to be, in a landscape, and places to view.  Revisiting landscapes I did years ago today, I have new views, new impressions-I so have my clients to thank for this.


Should you be so lucky as to live in my area, I would suggest that this garden tour would do your gardening heart and soul good.  I feel confident saying this, as my tour today made eminently clear that I have not just had clients.  I have people with whom relationships have been forged, over a big love for the garden.  No doubt, I am the luckiest girl on the planet.  Thank you, Janet, Arnold, Susie, Kate and Rob, Rob Y, Mary and Ed, Steve and Karen, Michael and Beth ; the weather promises to be good-go on tour if you can, to benefit the Greening of Detroit.  Please come-the weather promises to be fine.  Every dollar of your ticket goes to benefit the programs of the Greening of Detroit.  More information on the tour can be had at  Many thanks, Deborah

We are looking for you too! 



  1. Will be OOT for the tour but wishing you beautiful weather and a fine turn out for this wonderful event, Deborah. Mary & Ed are indeed treasures … surely missed by many.

  2. Last year the Garden Cruise was a tour of beautiful gardens; this year it will be a visit to gardens and gardeners with a history.
    I am so happy to be a “Dirt” blogee! I have learned a lot and enjoyed even more.
    Thank you so much.

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