Detroit is in bloom! Despite being the biggest city in Michigan, Detroit (and the metro area) is an ideal place to enjoy gardens without heading too far from the urban center. Whether you are looking to walk among gorgeous flowers, or buy some plants for your own garden at home, here are nine of the best places in Detroit to find flowers and plants this spring.
Number one on this list has to be Eastern Market. This farmer’s market is not only much-loved by Detroiters, but is also known nation-wide as the largest outdoor farmer’s market in the country.
Check out Flowers by Rosey in Shed 4 or Canton Floral in Shed 5 for beautiful pre-made bouquets. Then head to Shed 6, which is full of vendors selling live plants, garden décor, and more. Eastern Market also hosts a special Flower Day each year. This year the event is divided into four days to prevent the spread of COVID-19: May 4, 11, 18, and 25.
2. Belle Isle
Belle Isle is a 982-acre island state park, and the perfect day trip within Detroit for any nature-lovers this spring. You could easily spend an afternoon driving, walking the paths, or picnicking, while enjoying the view across the Detroit River.
Gardeners will also want to check out the developing Oudolf Garden Detroit while they are on Belle Isle. This is an ongoing project currently under construction, to build a garden designed by acclaimed Piet Oudolf (who is known for designing the High Line in New York City). The Oudolf Garden is scheduled to open in summer 2021.
There are also some places on Belle Isle that are currently closed due to the pandemic, but are worth keeping your eye on for future visits. This includes the Belle Isle Nature Center, which is currently closed, and Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, which features many rare plants and turn-of-the-century architecture.
The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House is located in metro Detroit, in Grosse Pointe Shores. It is well worth a day trip to explore the beautiful grounds and gardens at the stately home of these former Detroit icons. The grounds were originally designed by famous landscape designer Jens Jenson in the 1920s and 30s. Wander among the rose garden, flower lane, meadow, and more, and enjoy views across Lake St. Clair.
The grounds are open Tuesday through Sunday from 8am to dusk and admission is $5.
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Located in the Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood in Detroit, Detroit Abloom is both a flower farm and urban garden. The garden received a Kresge Grant to demonstrate how cut-flower farming could repurpose vacant land in Detroit, and now is a thriving business and community center.
Visit the sanctuary gardens, purchase fresh-cut flowers, enjoy yoga or meditation in the wellness center, or volunteer your time. There are plenty of ways to enjoy Detroit Abloom this spring and summer.
Any gardener in the market for new plants, pots, or garden furniture or decorations this spring should go straight to Detroit Garden Works. Located in Sylvan Lake, Detroit Garden Works specializes in antique and vintage garden ornaments. Many people order from Detroit Garden Works from all across the country and even abroad, but if you’re in the area it is definitely worth a stop in to visit the garden and shop in person.
Milliken State Park is a great option to view plants and wildlife within downtown Detroit. The state park and harbor is located right along the Detroit river waterfront, interconnected with the Detroit International Riverwalk for easy access by foot. There is also plenty of available parking nearby.
Milliken State Park was the first urban state park in Michigan. It features a dry dock area and a wetlands area, both with informational signs throughout to educate and guide you. Enjoy picnics, fishing, biking, walking, or just enjoy the flora and fauna of the wetlands area.
The Detroit Zoo, located in Royal Oak, is known for its animals such as polar bears, apes, tigers, red pandas, and more. But it is also a great place to visit in metro Detroit for garden and plant lovers.
In particular, you will want to plan a visit to the Detroit Zoo’s butterfly garden, which is part of the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery. The immersive habitat is home to hundreds of butterflies from 25 different species, as well as a beautiful garden.
The Cranbrook Gardens are home to 40 acres of beautiful designed landscaping, located in Bloomfield Hills in
metro Detroit. The house and gardens are an example of the American Arts and Crafts movement. Within the grounds you will find many types of gardens, including a sunken garden, a Japanese garden, gorgeous fountains and pools, and more. Cranbrook also hosts a plant sale each spring, so this is a great option for those who are looking for inspiration for their own gardens at home.
Fair Lane was the estate of Clara and Henry Ford, located in Dearborn. The house is currently undergoing renovations and closed to visitors, however the stunning grounds of the Fair Lane Gardens are now open seven days a week.
The estate comprises 1,300 acres of farmland, and today many of Clara Ford’s original gardens, designed by Jens Jensen, are open to view.
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