The Dogs At Chase Tower


We were back downtown for our third installation for the Bedrock Realty Company in Detroit.  Today’s venue-the Chase Tower.  The loggia in front of the building has lots of great seating in bright colors, and enormous low white polystyrene planters loaded with King Kong Coleus.   Bedrock Designer Kelly Deines from Rossetti Architects had the idea that these containers needed  an imaginative element that would turn up the heat a little.  Animate the space.  As in, what about a moss dog sculpture for each pot?

Bedrock.jpgEven though I couldn’t quite picture it, I was intrigued.  Once the dogs were delivered to us, Buck devised and built stands for all of them.  They had to be rock solid in the pots.

Chase-Tower-dogs.jpgWe carefully dug up all of the existing plants, and laid them on a tarp.  We had enough buckets that we could sort the good dirt from the sandy drainage material.  The thick 2′ diameter steel plate would rest just above the base of the pot.

setting-the-dogs.jpgOnce the dog was level, and positioned properly, we refilled the pots.

filling-the-pots.jpgI did try to pick dogs that had either a lot of attitude, or a sense of movement.


We replanted the coleus, and added a few more here and there..  The Wasabi coleus front and center made the planting a little more like a party.

replanted-pot.jpgI was thoroughly smitten with the result.  People walking by were either smiling, or snapping pictures.  The pots had a center of interest which made them suddenly seem more personal, and personable.

the-clean-up.jpgThey made me smile too.  Great job Kelly Deines.  And thank you Bedrock for making us a part of something this positively fun.





planted-chairs.jpgThese polystyrene chair planters have new hairdos.  Luckily, there were 5′ diameter drain holes in the bottom, so we could stuff the bases with bricks. This giant loggia was transformed by the addition of the dogs, and the planting of the chairs.  What fun!


  1. Julie Kloeckner says

    You astound and humble me with your talent. Wish I could express in words how much I admire you.
    Julie Kloeckner

    • Deborah Silver says

      Julie, I am not the designer here. I just made an idea from another designer work out. I was happy to have a part in this-this installation seems to embody an idea that Dan Gilbert, owner of Bedrock Realty, has for the city of Detroit. He said, so eloquently, “we are all in” I like any garden or landscape that conveys this message. I would hope every day to be “all in”. And I like being a small part of an all in effort. Thanks for your letter, Deborah

  2. Love these – I work right down the street and pass by the Chase building on my way to Campus Martius. A fabulous and unique addition to the positive energy which is building day by day downtown in the business district!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Laura, the positive energy of it all is compelling. I am truly impressed about what is going on there. There is a whole lot of good going on in my city, at a time when it needs it so much. Thanks for your letter, Deborah

  3. Detroit is such a fortunate city to have the artistry and vision of designers like Bedrock Designer Kelly Deines from Rossetti Architects and Deborah Silver.
    I am gobsmacked (as my English husband would say) by the clever ways you animate and enhance your city.
    The dogs are priceless! Very well done, indeed.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Terry, I find that there are great designers and artisans in every city, and every country. The entire world is fortunate for the work of great designers, artists, and doers. Happy to be a part of that, today. Thanks, Deborah

  4. Susie Duquet says

    So cool – Love it!!!



  6. Silvia Weber says

    Dear Deborah, great job! Moss dogs in bowls of coleus- love this!

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Silvia, Kelly is a great designer with loads of enthusiasm for his work.The finished installation is as animated as he is. Thanks, Deborah

  7. Marie Tulin says

    I love that this Detroit business isn’t wearing shabby clothes despite the city’s financial woes. It strikes me as really classy to dress up and look proud. I hope the workers, residents and visitors in the area keep smiling, snapping pictures and spending money downtown.

    • Deborah Silver says

      Dear Marie, There are people in Detroit putting their best foot forward-I am happy to see this. Deborah

  8. Nancy H. Kraft says


  9. Dogs in the garden – it’s inescapable. They always want to be digging around, chewing sticks, sharing the latest rock they have uncovered with you. Then they want to nap in the midst of the begonias. Dogs in containers? How wonderful!
    It is a bit like Diney World maybe – a lot fun, maybe a little silly, but we all can use a burst of silly fun during the day.
    Container gardens are always welcome, frequently beautiful, but you have actually made these memorable. Great job!

  10. Those look great! The Chase tower is lucky to have such amazing dogs!

  11. Phyllis Marx says

    How do I buy one of these dogs? They are fabulous!

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