Cruise Day

I was ready for cruise company by 8 am yesterday. My table centerpiece, a nod to my orange and carmine summer. I thought my red onions, cherries, and orange dahlias from the Pontiac farmer’s market looked plenty sassy.
22I never really worried about the weather; gardening people usually like weather. And I plain have faith that when I need to be in the garden, I will be able to.  But this morning promised perfect weather, and delivered partly sunny; the 74 degrees in the afternoon-perfect for touring. 

32All day long there was a steady stream of keenly interested and thoughtful people.  I so enjoyed being there, hearing what people had to say about my place, and the other 7 gardens on tour.  So many questions; what plant is this?  How do you do this? What is your idea here?  It is such a good way to figure out if your design ideas are being translated into the garden you intend.  Listen to what people say; are you being clear?

44I heard not one cross or disparaging word.  All I heard was energetic appreciation-for the gardens and the people behind those gardens.

53My neighbors, Fred and Jean, brought their Oscar and Beckett for the day they spent as docents; they were right at home.  My corgis would have been low little and long wrecks over all the people; I left them at the store.

64The overcast day made all my color look  intense and rich-just as I intended.  I like this color so much I am already fretting over what I will do next year. 

72Adding people to the garden is always the best part. People we had-over 300.  This hefty increase over last year was unexpected-and so welcome.  We had a party going on.

82Landscape clients, customers of the store, new people, old friends-a great mix made the reception afterwards so much fun.  So much talk about gardens-I could not have had a better time.

92Gardening is bloody blasted hard and frustrating work, but this tour made it all seem so worth it.  My favorite comment came from a woman whom I did not know.  “You don’t use unusual or rare plants particularly-its how you use them, the numbers you use, and the shapes you make that is so interesting”-this was music to my ears. 

101A close second, this woman here from Cleveland for the tour.  She was determined she was taking a variegated Moses in the Cradle she saw in my yard home with her.  “Will you please get me one of those plants before you have a cocktail?”-too funny.  We got her the plant.

111Diana and I both dearly love the Baumgartners.  They have sold their house and garden, and are moving out east to be near their kids. We will so miss them.  I was so glad they put their garden on tour; I have worked for them for almost 25 years. From the looks of this picture,, they enjoyed it every bit as much as I did. 

Rob’s gin and vodka tonics were as big a hit this year as last. He was not the least bit perturbed that we ran out of everything-invoices, change, napkins, glasses, food and wine.  This was just what we hoped for.




From all of us, to all of you who supported the Greening of Detroit Garden Cruise, many, many thanks.  And best regards to you, Michael Willoughby, for giving to me a perfect moment.


  1. Congratulations on a successful event! It looks like it was lovely and everyone was having a good time!

  2. Wish we could have been there. Hmmmm. Sudden craving for a G&T now.

  3. What a wonderful day! My non-gardening sister vowed to rip out the hodge-podge of bulky, no-longer-flowering plants in her side yard and replant with just 2 or 3 varieties of plants and repeat them, as you do, Deborah. To have converted an avowed black thumb into a gardener who is planning to re-do her green world is potent proof that the Cruise was a great success. My gardening sister, who timed her visit from St. Louis to include the Cruise, loved it, too.

  4. Looks like a perfect day! Great photo of Ed & Mary and your lovely home/garden.

  5. Mickey Moffat says

    Dear Deborah,

    This is my first attempt at making a comment for any reason but your Garden Tour was spectacular. Truly, I
    was glad that I had seen your Garden a few years ago and your color selections seemed to coincide with my
    favorite colors but my arrangements could never look
    like yours. I commend you on the beauty of everything;
    especially, the dogs looked so cute and happy and that
    you allowed them to come and enjoy the beauty with you.
    Judy and I noticed you in a particular pretty shirt that we think we recognized. You looked so pretty in
    that particular color of green. I will be looking at
    the pictures over and over as they would inspire anyone
    to do so. Hope my comment was not too lengthy.

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