When we asked our Bed and Breakfast members to tell us about public gardens worth a visit to their communities, we heard about dozens of every shape and size all across Michigan. Some are well known while others are gems enjoyed mostly by local residents. If you like blossoms, birds and fresh air, consider combining one of these garden getaways with a nearby B&B stay.
Munro House B&B in Jonesville invited us to visit nearby Raker’s Trial Gardens, located on Rainey Road between Litchfield and Jonesville in the southeastern part of the state. Raker is the industry leader in grown-to-order plant plugs in North America. The gardens show off hundreds of varieties and tens of thousand of plants over several acres in a professionally-arranged array of colors and sizes. Check out Mike’s blog for the full story and information on a plant tour and festival, August 1 – 3.
The gardens at Topliff’s Tara B&B (above) near Williamston are worth a visit all on their own. And Topliff’s is located just outside East Lansing, where the horticultural and botanical gardens that flourish on Michigan State University’s sprawling campus are as great an attraction to flower enthusiasts as the Spartans are to sports’ fans. Make it a day, then come spend the night.
Not far away, Dewey Lake Manor B&B in Brooklyn is practically right next door to MSU’s acclaimed Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, while Vitosha Guest Haus in Ann Arbor is just a stone’s throw from the County Farm Park with its wildflower gardens and spectacular springtime array of trillium. Both of these parks are bicycle accessible.
This Wingnut Tree, pictured right, is from the Morton Arboretum and was given to Fernwood Botanical Gardens near Niles as a gift. It bloomed for the first time in June. The unusual long-hanging blossoms are worth a look. After your visit, relax among the dove cotes in the private gardens of Dove Nest B&B in the Lake Michigan harbor town of St. Joseph.
Crane Park (above) was once the jewel of botanical parks in Kalamazoo. When the trees were young, it likely commanded sweeping views of downtown from its aerie on Westnedge Hill. It’s still there, all grown up and leafed out, looking lovely in its ripe old age. This photo from “Sarah’s Blog” is one of few to be found. When you enjoy the attractions of this lively West Michigan city from your home-away-from-home at the Kalamazoo House B&B, stop by Crane Park and surround yourself with the happy ghosts of many a wedding past.
Can you name the two best-known public gardens in Michigan? Praireside Suites B&B and Leonard at Logan House host many guests who come to the Grand Rapids area to tour the Frederik Meijer Gardens. East on the Lake Huron side of the state, Historic Webster House and Chesny’s Keswick Manor in Bay City are magnets for visitors who flock to the Dow Gardens, minutes away in neighboring Midland.
Northern Michigan is known for putting its own twist on things, and that’s certainly true of their “public” gardens. The House on the Hill B&B in Ellsworth encourages guests to visit Stonehenge Gardens…. a private enterprise boasting two acres of flowering gardens open to the public and mixed with fresh breaths of creative art. Innkeeper Marcie Palajec and her husband, Phil, recently visited the Gardens and proclaimed its gift shop “adorable.”
Bridgewalk B&B in nearby Central Lake advises its guests to not miss the Lavender Hills Farm, which specializes in growing all things lavender. Located near Boyne City, it is Michigan’s largest commercial producer of the crop. This video, produced by MyNorth.com, will give you an idea of the scope and the beauty of the operation.
These are only a scattered handful of great gardens and beautiful B&B across and above Michigan’s mitten. Search here for more. Each of the B&B’s you’ll discover on this website is a quality assured, inspected member of the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association.