The Garden Tour

IMG_0820Our garden tour to benefit the Greening of Detroit was a successful event.  We sold 278 tickets, for both the tour, and the tour and reception. We raised close to 13,000.00 for the Greening.  This may not seem like so much, but over the past 8 years, this amounts to 97,000.00. We have been persistent in our support of them, as well we should.  For those of you that are too far away to attend our cruise, there are pictures to follow.  That said, I am so pleased that we had gardeners from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona and Washington DC attend our tour.  I could not be more pleased about the attendance, the tour-and the fabulous afterglow Rob and his group put on after the tour.  To follow are pictures from our tour day.

IMG_0818These clients have shopped at Detroit Garden Works since the first day we went into business 19 years ago.  Their landscape is all their own.  Their love of color is extraordinary. They have children, to whom they have dedicated a child friendly garden.  I so admire their landscape and garden, as they have expressed themselves with great confidence and care. They have a point of view, and they are unabashed about expressing it. Their garden was the subject of much talk-as it should be.





DSC_1996This property belongs to a new client.  We rearranged just about every plant they had. We added lots more. Just this spring. We arranged to have a long wall built in the mid ground of the back yard. My crew did an incredible job, making lots of changes.  I so treasure these clients.  Thy were ready for a change. They studied our ideas, and signed up. A change we did-in short order. The new landscape has great bones.  They will decide where they want to go next.



the landscape in July (14)

July 5 2015 (11)

the landscape in July (6)

July 5 2015 (38)

DSC_1990The relationship with this client dates back 20 years. The landscape features many specimen trees that have grown to great size. Like all of the other gardens on the cruise, the landscape is a mix of formal and informal, and beautifully maintained. Though we have redone a few places recently, it is clear that an older landscape, properly planted, ages well.





DSC_1964This landscape of our design took two seasons to install. Our client is an avid gardener. Her love of the garden drove the design. This landscape featured unusual trees, shrubs, and espaliers. Every square foot of this property is devoted to the plants.  I was interested that all the plants be part of a beautiful design.







DSC_1906This landscape belongs to clients who have shopped Detroit Garden Works for the last 20 years. The landscape is all of their design.  They have the most beautiful collection of fine garden urns we know of in one place-all of which came from our shop. We have consulted on the landscape on occasion. But what you see here is by and large of their own invention.  How they invent is extraordinary.  We are so pleased to be associated with them.






DSC_1898Our garden cruise this year was all I could ask from a garden tour. A diverse group of gardeners who have a passion for the landscape.  Every garden was strikingly different.  But every garden spoke to a love for the landscape.  Oh yes, they did.

Tour Preview

tour3Every gardener on this year’s tour is passionate about their landscape.  How they choose to express it is individual-nothing surprising there.  My lot and one half garden is multi-levels, much to the delight of my corgis.  I have carved openings in the boxwood for them, and installed  bark racetracks; the garden is friendly to them.  My landscape is orderly; my pots are anything but-this is how I like it. So serene, with my favorite plants-and some unexpected surprises and punctuation marks.  The day of the tour, Fred and Jean are my docents.  English born and bred, educated in England in horticulture despite the second World War, they guide guests with their Shitz Tzu’s  Oscar and Beckett in tow-just meeting the two of them is a treat. I plan this year to open my shell grotto/reliquary enclosed porch by popular demand-.

Another garden of size is organized around some large sculptural elements carved into the earth. one comtemplative space features old evergreens, beautifully pruned. A wild flower slope, a rose garden-there is so much to see.



One small urban garden reveals a modernist taste and crisp green and white plant palette. Their old tudor home takes to this surprisingly well.  Every inch is thoughtfully tended to.  A driveway lined with tomatoes and herbs is a happy surprise.  This small property is jam packed with good moves.  tour1
Another garden is as colorful and engaging as its owner in the private spaces, and coolly formal in its public spaces. This gardener tells me she likes to feel like she’s on vacation when walks in her rear yard-you will see why. I have every reason to stay home now-she tells me.


tour14Every garden has water in one form or another-fountains, a pool; two properties are on lakes.  Water-what a great thing in a garden..
One garden on the tour I have a special relationship with.  These two committed gardeners  design and plant on their own. My involvement in their garden has to do with pots, and sculpture, and miscellaneous advice-but the two of them have put it all together in their own very distinctive and lively way. It will enchant you.  tour10
Their taste is eclectic, atypical-but it all works, with its own language and style. Their gestures are big and warm.  I so admire their confidence and their range.  They make it easy to understand the process of taking your voice in hand, and making something of it that is beautiful.  tour12
Each gardener’s  love for the garden and all that represents,   extends to a respect for the work of the Greening of Detroit, and my request that they put their garden on tour.  They are all busy planning for company July 19.  I am amazed, and so pleased how seriously they all take the prospect of like minded visitors.  By Wednesday next, our web site,, should have the descriptions of all the gardens posted for those of you would might want to check out a more thorough description of those gardens on this year’s tour.  We all hope you can make it.