The 2019 Garden Cruise

The twelfth Garden Cruise was surely one of our best ever. The hot weather broke just in time, the rain was minimal, the gardens looked great, and our after tour reception was a summer delight. The best news was the fact that we raised more for the Greening this cruise around than ever before.  Dave tells my that by his accounting, we raised $37,275.00 via ticket sales and donations.  Every penny of that will go to the Greening to use as they see fit. I am especially proud of the collective effort. There is the garden making. My crew and I do that part. But then there are the clients who agree to permit touring, the last minute maintenance on said gardens, the tickets sales, those gardeners keen to take our tour, and the sprucing up at the shop-all of which culminates in a day for every ticket holder spent viewing gardens, and an early evening reception. It was a perfect moment.

I have had requests to publish pictures of the gardens on the tour, which I am sure I will do eventually. I was at home for the tour-I enjoy talking to gardeners about gardens. I did spend the evening at the reception at the shop, so I spent some time touring our shop gardens. Planting the shop for summer comes in those spaces between the days. This means we design and plant for summer at the shop whenever we have a few moments. That planting is an ongoing process in June.

The planting in the ground comes first. That planting time takes far less time than what it takes to devise a planting scheme based on what plant material is available. I always design for the ground first. I like working from the ground up. All else comes as a result of what is planted at grade. Once the ground is planted, the pots and the boxes on the roof get planted in concert with, and in reaction to what we have growing.

The night of our tour reception, the garden at the shop looked so beautiful.

A color scheme involving pale yellow, lime, and various shades of red violet makes a statement about summer.    The Garden Cruise reception was entirely orchestrated by Rob. He set the stage, and managed to be at the gate welcoming guests. The big idea? Rob shops for Detroit Garden Works. Every year he presents a collection of interest to any gardener. But this day, he put on a party.

To follow are pictures of our Cruise reception. Enjoy them. Next year, think about taking the cruise.

I could not have been more pleased about this tour.


  1. Thank you Deborah for you and your team’s efforts. The cruise was spectacular! I’m the primary gardener in our home so I attend usually with sisters or friends who garden, but this year my husband decided to join and he was WOWED! Next year we are onsidering attending the after cruise party at your shop. You continue to amaze me. And as well, it’s so wonderful to see your clients’ investments in beautifyng their home and be willing to share with others. I think the hardest part of gardening is editing – especially if you do it all yourself. So many beautiful options – so little space LOL!

  2. Mighty generous, Deborah. That Nicotiana bed between the hedges is beautiful. Best wishes.

  3. Sharon Moore-Cleveland says

    Absolutely beautiful. Wished I lived there so I could attend the event,

  4. Leah Camara says

    I love every email you send and always learn something. I also love your summer color scheme of pale yellow, lime, and various shades of red violet. Would you share exactly what flowers you used. I would love these colors for my 2020 containers. I live in Rhode Island and will gladly share your site to everyone I know. And, do you do a cruise every year? We are cruisers and would love to join your group on a future cruise. Thanks

  5. Nella Miller says

    Thanks for everything Deborah! It was lovely to meet
    you, and Sandy and I had a great time at the reception.
    Congratulations on the funds raised! Your store was the
    icing on the cake….will be back again!

  6. Silvia Weber says

    Dear Deborah,

    Best Cruise yet! Your Garden Cruise is ALWAYS the highlight of our growing season and we look forward to seeing what your creative garden design genius has growing! We enjoyed seeing the Palmer Park property, a few years post install. Met the incredibly charming, good-looking and passionate gardeners. Needless to say, they were fun to work with!
    Rob does an extraordinary job with the afterglow party at the shop- which is a PERFECT FINALE to touring gardens! Thank you both for giving us an incredible day of celebrating gardens for a most worthy cause. Bravo!!
    Dear friend Helen LOVED your shell ceiling and is still commenting on your masterpiece!
    With love and appreciation,
    Gerry, Silvia and Helen
    PS: THANK GOODNESS that horrible heatwave moved on in time!

  7. Cathy Peterson says

    How beautiful! The guests look like they are having a great time. $37k. . .the Greening group must be ecstatic!

  8. Thank you for taking us along on your garden cruise every year.
    I look forward so much to this great annual event.
    Looks like it was another great party!

  9. Shelley Page says

    Beautiful!! And congratulations on a successful garden “cruise.”
    How do you overwinter the trees (hydrangea?) in the pots in front of the store?
    Thank you for sharing all you do!

  10. Jane Cruickshank says

    The tour was the best but then I say that every year. Everything was perfect and you named them all. The party was a beautiful way to end the day. Gardeners are so very friendly and kind.

  11. Hi Deborah, gorgeous, I want to drive there so deeply ~ what fun!!! I know this isn’t the post on boxwoods, I read your other post on them. What BOXWOOD name would you recommend for pots and for hedges? I am trimming my pots now as you shared they are about to go dormant in the fall and before August 1 is the best time. I live in Florida! Thank you!

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