The 2015 Winter/Holiday Preview Party, Part 2

IMG_6420When I wrote yesterday about how Detroit Garden Works only hosts one evening event a year, I had no idea of what was to come.  I had gone home after a long day of tuning up the shop to collect myself, and get dressed for our holiday open house.  It was no problem that I would be a little late.  I have a group I trust and respect who would make sure those opening moments would be perfect. The high winds and rain that were forecast appeared to be skirting us.  But at 5pm I got a call from David that the power had gone out. I was calm.  Maybe I was tired from the weeks long job of transforming the look of our shop. But  mostly I knew my group would figure out how to sort out trouble. We were the only building affected by the outage, so we hoped if we could alert DTE, they would give us a hand. By 5:20,  3 DTE trucks were on the scene.

holiday open house 2015 a (6)The shop is across the street from a DTE (as in Detroit Edison power company) substation.  As Rob was flagging down trucks coming in for the night on our street, and Monica was placing phone calls, our internet and phone sales manager Heather walked across the road, stood at the substation gate, and  pitched our problem to the first person who came to the gate..  We are a business with an evening event scheduled-could they get our power back on?

holiday open house 2015 a (8)Scott and David took to lighting candles. Sonny took the big lead in the dark that descended.  She was teaching guests that did not already know how to use their phones as a flashlight.  By time I got to the shop, there were phone flashlights flickering everywhere. There was shopping going on in the dark. I cannot explain or illustrate how that moment felt. Everyone making their way around in the dark by flashlight was hilarious. No one went home. No one complained. That opening half hour in the dark was a lot more nerve wracking for us than for any of our guests.

holiday open house 2015 a (2)A great friend who had come to our open house from Ann Arbor had much to say about that 30 minutes in the dark. He was convinced that we have gardening friends that value us as much as we value them. I barely had time to think about that before the lights came on. Once we had power, I could see we had a whole house full of people.

holiday open house 2015 a (5)I so enjoy the sight of the shop full of people. All of us work all year round to make the shop a destination. A place like no other. A place for anyone keen for the garden to meet, and experience what we try to represent as a gardener’s life. Nothing feels better than to see people responding to that.     holiday open house 2015 a (7)A gardener life s a big one.  Gardeners plant trees.  They shrub up an awkward spot. They plant containers. They rake the leaves. They plant bulbs.  They compost the leavings. They put flowers on the table. They make room for the dogs and the kids. They travel to other gardens.  They are a great group.

holiday open house 2015 a (10)Our thanks to everyone who made last Thursday evening such a pleasure for all of us.

holiday open house 2015 a (4)Our holiday/winter event runs through Sunday. Stop by if you have a chance.


  1. God is good!!! What a blessing the Open House was a huge success!!!! Wish I could see in person but the pictures are perfectly beautiful!!!!!

  2. Mario Mirelez says

    I’m so glad it turned out to be a lovely evening for DGW. Everyone looks so happy. It’s seems like life’s little innocent hiccups always lighten the mood.

  3. It was the perfect party on so many levels. Wonderful way to start the holidays.

  4. Excellent teamwork and an excellent outcome. Your shop looks beautiful (as always) and your customers look happy. Job done. xx

  5. Angie Gravois says

    Wish I could’ve been there! So glad it was a success

  6. I wish I did not live on Mobile Bay in Fairhope, AL when I see the pictures of your open house. When I think of the weather you have, I am glad I do.
    I love to read about the wonderful work you do. I hope to get to you beautiful shop one day.

  7. No one batted an eye. I loved watching your customers ooooo and aaahh in the dark. You indeed are valued and this was the ultimate testament to the devotion you have earned. Congrats.

  8. Deborah ,Rob and staff : Well you have done it again! We arrived on Saturday..what fun…everything was beautiful…We celebrate a birthday by coming to D.G.W. and lunching at Ellen’ glad for your success…..Diane

  9. The effort and dedication to providing a unique and wonderful selection of holiday items was inspiring…right down to the daffodils which will be enjoyed long after the holiday is over. Can’t wait to get them in the ground.
    Kudos to a delightful evening.

  10. You should know you have succeeded! I have always felt that my annual visit from out of state to DGW is as you described “a destination”. It is as much about the experience each time as it is about the shopping. Well done indeed!!

  11. Deborah –
    I am one who enjoys your posts from afar (New York). Your shop looks wonderful and this post really got it right. Gardeners ARE a great group! We are pretty unflappable, we don’t mind rolling up our sleeves and getting dirty, and we’re not afraid of the dark (how many times have you worked with a flashlight to get that last bulb into the ground?…) I hope to make it to Detroit (and DGW) one day to enjoy your creativity first hand. Happy holidays!

  12. Jill Banfield says

    Deborah I made it to my first open house at your shop and it will not be my last. Everything looked spectacular and it made my heart sing. I love your blog and what you write about gardeners. It makes me smile. You inspire and motivate me and I thank you!!

  13. I came the “day after!” I had seen something on the blog post that I wanted to buy. But since I couldn’t attend the special evening event, I made arrangements to “purchase” my items with a credit card and have them held for me until my arrival the next day. Still, upon arrival, I had to make my way through all the rooms with their well-attended arrangements. Caught the spirit!! And found a few more things I simply “had” to have!! In all, it was a lovely and glowing “day-after” party and the place simply sparkled with holiday pizzaz!!

  14. Ruth Wolery says

    I am so sorry I was not there at your open house. It looks very nice. Note: I did see you in a magazine about nice comments and getting recognizion – I always tell my garden club friends to go on-line to see your wonderful pictures and excellent landscaping.

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