The gardens on Belle Isle are getting an upgrade! Stay tuned next year. Until then, go on a green adventure this summer with the best Detroit gardens. These gardens offer a mini getaway over the summer and beyond. The diverse plants with ornate garden designs may even inspire you to start your own at-home garden, or, grow more flowers.
Several of these Detroit Gardens (and in Metro Detroit) are free and open to the public. Some of these gardens are even open all year. Detroitisit rounded up a list of the best Detroit gardens to visit this summer.
OUDOLF GARDEN DETROIT
Planted on Belle Isle in the fall of 2020, the Oudolf Garden Detroit is a 4-season, free public garden. It’s a work of art, characterized by Piet Oudolf’s signature use of colorful native grasses and hardy perennial flowers. The internationally renowned Dutch garden designer and horticulturist’s displays created the planting designs for the High Line in New York City and the Lurie Garden in Chicago. Oudolf Garden Detroit proudly accumulates 4 million+ people a year. Sunbathe on its beaches for hours and bird-watch this summer. Explore the three district areas; the Main Garden, the Rain Garden, and the Meadows. Click HERE to view the website.
Location: Picnic Way and Loiter Way, Detroit, MI
Next up on this list of Detroit gardens to visit this summer is truly an oasis. Take your friend on a little adventure to downtown Detroit for an urban garden experience. Find a little peace and green as you escape city life for a while. Hidden just west of Lafayette Coney Island, this nature & wildlife area is abundant with vegetable gardens, flowers, unique art sculptures, and even patio seating with umbrellas. Immerse yourself in this sensory garden where you’re free to feel! Go ahead and touch, smell, and feel the plethora of plants including exotic varieties like lavender. Not to mention, the produce grown here is all donated to a local food bank.
Location: 132 W Lafayette Blvd, Detroit, MI
ANNA SCRIPPS WHITCOMB CONSERVATORY (CLOSED THROUGH 2024)
Belle Isle Park will be busy with locals and visitors this summer. The spring and summer seasons are always buzzing with flowering plants and gorgeous greenery. Unfortunately, this popular spot for appreciating nature will be under major renovation through 2024. However, people can stay informed and have something to look forward to! After all, it’s one of the gems that transports people to the tropics with various plant life. Don’t let this temporary closure stop you from enjoying the rest of the park, which is free to roam. The Belle Isle Nature Center has recently been reimagined, so make sure to take a close look this summer. Click HERE to visit the Belle Isle Conservatory website.
W.J. BEAL BOTANICAL GARDENS AT MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY-EAST LANSING
For those looking for a more botanical route that’s a little out of town, take a drive out of Detroit to visit the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens at Michigan State University-East Lansing. College campuses in Michigan are extraordinarily colorful in the Autumn and summer months. Become one with Michigan State University’s campus, which is home to the nation’s oldest continuously operating botanical garden, the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens. It’s an easy walk from Spartan Stadium and residence halls. With more than 5,000 plant species, these gardens have plenty to look at. Look out for fruits and vegetables, flowering plants, medicinal, and rare and endangered plants as well!
Location: West Circle Drive adjacent to the library, MSU Campus, East Lansing, MI
CRANBROOK HOUSE & GARDENS
If you’re looking for more green outside of the city, then you can always visit Cranbrook House & Gardens. This enchanting, historical spot with beautiful architecture has any flower you can name amid a myriad of remarkable gardens. Soak in the rich history too! Cranbrook Gardens hours include Spring (Preseason)-March 14-May 30 7:00 am-7:00 pm, Summer (Tour Season) from June 1 – September 30, 7:00 am-7:00 pm, and the Fall/Winter (Off-season) from October 1 – March 13, 8:00 am-5:00 pm. The Cranbrook House tour season runs from June through October. You can even do Yoga in the Gardens” this summer with Citizen Yoga.
Location: 380 Lone Pine Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI
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