8 Stunning Northern Michigan Gardens & Events

If sniffing soil sends your adrenaline pumping, if you find solace in an army of delphinium, if a plump hydrangea makes you weak in the knees and a trellis of roses sets your heart aflutter—this is your season. Wash your hands (scrub under those nails!) and check out these stunning Northern Michigan gardens and 2016 events!

The Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park, Traverse City

Last year was the first season for this incredible new Traverse City landmark located on the grounds of Grand Traverse Commons. We saw gardens with an emphasis on native plants and loads of bulbs being planted. Stop in to see what’s popping this year. 231.935.4077.

Bellaire Bed & Breakfast, Bellaire

Jim Walker, the co-innkeeper of this sunny yellow Victorian bed & breakfast in Bellaire, is also a certified (and extremely talented!) landscape designer. Each Saturday in May he’ll be offering gardening workshops that range from all-season color design to native planting. Workshops are $50 each. 231.533.6077.

Castle Farms Gardens, Charlevoix

This chateau estate, built in 1918 as a model farm, by the acting president of Sears Roebuck has been many things since, including a concert venue. Today it is a premier wedding and event venue known for its immaculate landscaping. The Castle welcomes self-guided tours that include a hedge maze, a reflection pond, and the largest working model railroad in Michigan.

Crystal Mountain Resort Garden Tours, Thompsonville

Once a week through the summer, Crystal Mountain’s master gardeners offer tours through the resort’s grounds, designed by award-winning architects James Van Sweden, Mark Johnson and Sandy Clinton. You’ll visit water features, see 100 varieties of perennials and shrubs, including native plants, and witness the explosion of 5,900 bulbs planted each fall. Thursdays at 10 a.m. Tours are free but by reservations only: 855.995.5146.

Grand Garden Show, Mackinac Island | August 28-30

For the fourth year in a row, the Grand Hotel teams with the plant brand Proven Winners to put on this two-day workshop for novice gardeners and pros alike. This year’s keynote speaker is Keith Kirsten “South Africa’s Favorite Gardner.” PBS gardening and lifestyle expert P. Allen Smith, as well as the Grand’s own garden designer, Jack Barnwell, will also be there. Combine the event with a tour of the Grand’s gardens with its tens of thousands of annuals and perennials. Guests of the Grand can sign up for free guided tours. Non-guests can take self-guided tours for $10.

Friendly Garden Club of Traverse City Garden Walk | July 21

The 34th annual garden walk for this venerable garden club will feature eight gardens in the city’s Historic Slabtown District on the city’s west side. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 the day of.

Charlevoix Area Garden Club Garden Walk | July 13

This walk, themed “Gardens where Magic Happens,” is held in conjunction with a flower show at the Charlevoix Depot Museum. Exhibits include flower designs that depict places and events in Charlevoix. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Elk Rapids Garden Walk | July 26

The Elk Rapids Garden Club takes turns each year with the Torch area’s Juniper Garden Club to organize garden walks. This is Elk Rapids’ year, and the club has organized a tour with six gardens that feature a raised garden, a container garden, a garden for entertaining, a “man-garden,” and more. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 231.264.5337.


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