West Michigan is a gardener’s paradise. As the seasons change, the flowers begin to bloom and the trees spring back to life, creating a beautiful mix of colors and scents. You don’t need to be a garden expert to see and appreciate the beauty in our state. West Michigan’s garden landscapes await you when you visit these lush areas below.
Garden Destinations in Southern West Michigan
The Bailey Museum in South Haven is hosting an Earth Day celebration on Saturday, April 22nd. The day will feature speakers on several topics, and is free to the public with the exception of the evening concert by the Bloomquists, which is $15 at the door. Celebrate nature with this fun and educational evening!
The Leila Arboretum & Children’s Garden in Battle Creek is a one-acre garden, sporting an ever-changing environment where children can explore the world of plants. Using all the senses, children will have the opportunity to investigate plants, vegetables, flowers, and much more!
The Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance is hosting their 27th Annual Welcome to My Garden Tour on July 8th and 9th. Five gardens in the Marshall area will be on display, rain or shine, each with a variety of plants and decorations. Everybody from garden novice to expert will be able to appreciate these distinctive gardens.
Bell’s Brewery and Eccentric Cafe in Kalamazoo is hosting their annual Beer Garden Opener on June 1st through 3rd. There will be a performance by Greensky Bluegrass and plenty of beer to help celebrate!
The Beer Garden at Arcadia Brewing Company in Kalamazoo is officially open! Bike, walk, or drive this spring and grab a pint. You can even kayak up to this riverfront pub if you’re feeling extra adventurous!
Have you always dreamed of having a beautiful garden wedding or an intimate little chapel ceremony? Then Apple Blossom Chapel and Gardens in Fennville is your perfect solution! Their little white chapel is located in a garden overlooking a pond, multiple flower beds, lush grass, and a patio where a reception tent offers a premier location for a garden reception or celebration.
The Kellogg Bird Sanctuary in Augusta has a Pollinator Garden. Their Pollinator Garden has over 30 species of Michigan native plants to attract pollinators. You can find this garden near the start of their Bluebird Trail.
Corey Lake Orchards in Three Rivers welcomes you to visit their “Garden of Eden” and enjoy the small pleasures of a farm experience. Visit when the orchards are in blossom for a truly delightful time on the farm. With an apple in hand, sit under their favorite shade tree or let your children play on the old fashioned swing and giant slide. Here in the rolling countryside full of lakes, rivers, and woods, you’ll find Corey Lake Orchards.
Whether it’s lush garden views and the sound of Gull Lake waves hitting the shore or the snow-swept hills, twinkling lights, and lavish holiday decorations adorning each room, the W.K. Kellogg Manor House in Hickory Corners is truly a visitor’s destination any time of the year. With a self-guided tour, you can enjoy a peaceful stroll through the beautiful gardens and historical grounds before lunch.
Garden Destinations in Central West Michigan
When most people think of Windmill Island Gardens in Holland, tulips come to mind. However, they are proud to feature a wide variety of beautiful gardens all throughout the spring, summer and fall. This year, their horticulture staff designed over 20 garden beds to mimic famous paintings and painters in including Van Gogh, Mondrian, and Matisse. The display will evolve throughout the summer as annuals come into bloom, so returning guests will see a new show with each visit.
On April 5th, the Grand Rapids Downtown Market is hosting its Lil Green Thumbs: Spring Break in the Greenhouse event for kids and families. This free event has families visiting Greenhouse Josh to get the inside scoop on all things related to gardening, plants, and bugs, while enjoying a tropical climate. Your whole family will learn about worm composting, different herb scents in an “Aeromatic Tactile Sensory Bed,” testing soil pH levels, and will even make a fun greenhouse craft with wheatgrass to take home.
The Holland area boasts nearly five million tulips, planted and ready to burst forth in bloom in early spring. Tulips are located in city parks, at public attractions, and along city streets. To celebrate, the city throws what they call Tulip Time. From May 6th to 14th, enjoy national entertainment acts, events, and activities for all ages, and some of the largest parades in Michigan. As a West Michigan fan favorite, the Tulip Time Festival offers world-class fun!
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids integrates the experience of striking gardens with fine art. The emphasis is on horticultural displays showcasing a beautiful array of plants appropriate for the Midwest and specialized plants from regions around the world. Presentation ranges from planned and manicured to natural and native. One of their newest attractions is their Japanese Garden, featuring eight-acres of unique plants, waterfalls, elevation changes, japanese structures, and more.
The JW Marriott’s signature restaurant, six.one.six., takes its cuisine seriously. Dedicated to the concept of buying local, the chef’s pantry is bursting with locally grown ingredients, some of which are picked just a few feet away at the JW Chef’s Garden. They also have the jdek, their outdoor bar, which is green with seasonal plants and trees. The JW Marriott even has a lodging package in conjunction with Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which includes overnight accommodations, a special offer on tickets to the park, tea service, breakfast, and more! This is a great way to experience both the JW Marriott and Frederik Meijer Garden in one special package.
Muskegon has many parks and gardens that are sure to delight any visitor. Visit and find bulbs, annuals, perennials, water flowers, shrubs, and trees, all of which creates an oasis in the city!
Under The Vines in Grand Rapids is celebrating the gardens that help produce some of their favorite wines! On April 22nd, they’re holding a Celebrate Michigan event at their Grand Rapids store. They’re featuring Michigan foods, products, and, of course, wine! This event is in conjunction with other area businesses, and just happens to fall on Earth Day.
Garden Destinations in Northern West Michigan
The gardens at Castle Farms in Charlevoix are stunning works of natural beauty, many based on designs found throughout Europe. Kids enjoy the Alphabet Garden, with its whimsical painted figures and colorful signs depicting flowers ranging from Astilbe through Zinnia. Relax next to the Serenity Garden with its creek views, or visit Norm, the resident castle dragon, in his Dragon’s Lair: a garden full of yucca, sea holly, and prickly pear. In early June, the Knight’s Courtyard displays climbing roses of soft pink hues, while later in the month the deep purple of Black Beauty hollyhocks take center stage. From spring tulips to fall mums, the gardens of Castle Farms invite visitors to stop and smell the flowers.
For the avid gardener, the Charlevoix Area Garden Club is holding their annual Garden Walk through six breathtaking private gardens in Charlevoix on July 12th. Spend the day visiting some of Charlevoix’s best gardens and get some ideas for your own home! The club is also hosting a luncheon at Castle Farms, with each table decorated by members of the garden club. Proceeds from the Garden Walk and Castle Farms luncheon support the education and community service efforts of the Charlevoix Area Garden Club.
Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island is located on 18 acres of sprawling lakefront gardens. Their gardens offer everything from tranquil, private areas perfect for disconnecting and recharging, to the Great Lawn, where you can reconnect with family and friends. Maintained day-to-day, Mission Point’s gardens are the perfect way to experience the beauty of Mackinac Island.
Several other resorts and lodges on Mackinac Island are known for their exquisite gardens and sloping lawns, and many of them host garden tours. The entire island is a treat for the eyes all season long, but the century-old lilac trees, swooping cedars, and sturdy maples really make it worth taking a tour to see the foliage and well-maintained gardens. This is also the perfect time to mark your calendars for the upcoming 2017 Lilac Festival, June 9th to 18th, which includes the Taste of Mackinac and Lilac Festival Parade!
Traverse City is famous for their annual cherry blossom explosion. But the city and its neighbors are also a wonderland of smaller gardens. Wander in any direction and you’ll discover these sanctuaries that are being maintained by their loyal gardeners. In fact, for the past 35 years, the local Friendly Garden Club has been leading an annual “garden walk” each July to highlight some of the prettiest private gardens. If you didn’t have it already, you’re sure to get the gardening bug next time you stop by Traverse City.