The 2018 Garden Cruise

When one of my dearest friends told me that he did not know we would be sponsoring an 11th garden cruise this year, I took that as a sign that I needed to step up and spread the word that we are indeed sponsoring a cruise this year. I did feel last July that having met my goal of raising over 100,000.00 for the Greening of Detroit, it was time to gracefully bow out. I was surprised by the numbers of people who expressed regret that the tour would not go on. Many people told me that day that they really enjoyed the tour, and would I reconsider?  The Greening of Detroit was not so happy about it either. One of their donors, the Erb Foundation, subsequently offered to match every dollar we raise selling tickets up to 10,000.00, for both 2018 and 2019. A treasured landscape client who owns a manufacturing company known as Argent Tape and Label offered to sponsor our tour dinner and drink reception. Our heartfelt thanks to the both of them. I thought about putting on an 11th tour over the winter, and finally decided to go ahead. I was able to line up some great looking landscapes and gardens which will be available for you to see this coming Sunday, July 15, from 9-4:30.

7 gardens will be available to cruise. This is our first year, including the Greening of Detroit’s Lafayette Greens. This garden, designed by noted landscape architect Ken Weikal, and underwritten by Compuware, grows countless hundreds of pounds of fresh produce and flowers-all of which are donated to local food banks, church pantries, and volunteers. Though the garden is open for visitors every day of the week, we feel a trip there would help every tour person to understand something about the Greening of Detroit, and what they do for our city.

Four of the 6 other gardens are of my design and installation. The fifth landscape was designed by me and installed over a period of time by my clients. The 6th garden is a an extraordinary collection of known and rare plants, beautifully arranged, from a pair of gardeners who regular shop at Detroit Garden Works. This is a very strong tour. No two properties are remotely alike. But every garden reflects a passion for nature, and a love of the landscape.
Should you decide to take the tour, I promise you will be engaged and intrigued. Pictured above, a writers cottage of my client’s own invention, nestled in the landscape I designed for them. If the idea of a writer’s cottage in a landscape intrigues you, I invite you to come and see the rest of their lovely property.

I always put my own garden on tour. The fact that I work to get it ready for visitors helps other gardeners decide to go ahead with putting their gardens on tour.  My pots are always different, and I do make changes on occasion, so most people seem to enjoy coming back for another look. That said, this year’s tour is remarkable for its diversity. People look for very different things from their landscape. Some cultivate a wide variety of plants for the sheer love of plants of all kinds. Others have cultivated a landscape that is friendly to outdoor use and enjoyment, from places to sit, to a terrace that can accommodate friends and family for dinner. My landscape is fairly mature. So my enjoyment has much to do with planting out my pots.

This serene and beautifully maintained property will take a while to tour, but it will be obvious that the gardener in charge has a big love for the natural world.

A small city garden has a client equally passionate about the landscape.

The descriptions of the gardens on tour this year can be found at the tour website.

I am also so pleased that our tour reception will be catered by Toni Sova, who owns and operates a catering company called Nostimo Kitchen.  Her food is terrific.  Check her out for yourself:    And we will have equally terrific live music as usual by Tola Lewis.    If you have never attended our after cruise reception before, I can highly recommend it. The food, drink and company is exceptional. And the 15.00 it cost over the price of a ticket also goes to the Greening of Detroit.  This year’s reception is underwritten by  Argent Tape and Label, a woman owned business.  

I sincerely hope that if you are able to attend, you will.  The Greening of Detroit plants trees, sponsors urban gardens, and teaches respect and stewardship of our environment. This is a cause I support, as I know it has benefited our city. What the landscapes and gardens on tour have to offer is icing on the cake.  To purchase tickets – 35.00 per person for the tour, and 50.00 per person for the tour and reception – call Detroit Garden Works at  248  335  8057. As an added incentive, Rob will open the shop at 8am on Sunday the 15th, should you decide to make a day of it that morning. It is the one gardening day of the year I am home all day-I love seeing my garden full of other gardeners.


  1. Dianne McKinnon says

    Bummer! I will be in New York. Would so love to attend. Best Wishes for a successful day.

  2. Awe, sounds amazing! I wish I had known sooner. I would have booked a trip from Idaho. Looking forward to more pics about it on your next blog??


  3. Jennifer Taylor says

    Hmmmm. It’s so hard to resist, Deborah. I’ll never forget last year’s Cruise. I’m going to check flight schedules from Seattle!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dang, Jennifer. We would be SO happy to have you back. I am keeping my fingers crossed. But if you don’t, I will never forget what a tremendous effort you made to come for this. Thank you! all the best, Deborah

  4. beth Folz says

    I think I have attended at least 8 of the 11 years you have hosted the garden tour, and I have never been disappointed. Even my 16-year-old daughter looks forward to the tours so for you to captivate a teenager speaks volumes. So thanks for sticking with them! I will see you again on Sunday!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Beth, thank you so much! When you come to my house, please introduce yourself-I would like to meet you in person. all the best, Deborah

  5. Anita Cole says

    Wish that I had known about this sooner. It would have the greatest 80th birthday.celebration.

  6. Annette Eberhardt says

    Oh!! I thought you said it was over but I am so glad you are continuing with your tours! I just told someone last weekend how sad I was that you weren’t doing a tour this year. Regretfully, I will not be in Michigan next weekend but will NOT miss this next year!! xoxo from Virginia!

  7. Catherine says

    U are unbelievable. Done this since “76. You inspire me. Wish I could move to Michigan. Love Love.

  8. Elvera Howard says

    This tour is certainly on my bucket list! I only wish I could make it this year. I am located outside of Boston and much of your plantings are so pertinent to our climate as well.
    Much continued success, you are truly an inspiration to gardeners everywhere!

  9. Thanks for bringing The Cruise to all of us around the country who can’t be there.
    Look forward to seeing more photos.
    Always so inspiring!

    • Ditto to what Terry has said! I always enjoy the pics You send to keep those of us living far away and cannot attend the event, involved. Much appreciated! It’s also a reminder to me to renew my subscription to Garden Design magazine! Have a great day! ☀️

  10. Deborah, I have enjoyed your post for years. You never disappoint. Your design work is impeccable and always befitting it’s home, garden space and I’m sure the homeowners. It’s a treat to get a glimpse of them in your blog. How fortunate for gardeners to share in the annual Garden Cruise. Thank you for sharing your talents! I’m particularly taken with the Watermark Garden. Can you tell me what plant is it that’s espaliered on the stone wall?

  11. What kind of redbuds were up by the house at Park Place?

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Barbara, there are no redbuds there. But there are 3 katsuras – cerciphyllum japonicum. best, Deborah

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