Public Gardens of Michigan
Michigan’s glorious public gardens display the rich tapestry of the garden design traditions of the Great Lakes State. The earliest public gardens date from 1701, when Cadillac founded Detroit. These French baroque style elements, their Dutch counterparts,and the English Landscape traditions brought by waves of settlers and intellectuals exist side by side with more recent innovations such as Arts and Crafts influences, Japanese gardens, and industrial motifs. Vast industrial fortunes allowed industrialists such as Henry Ford, Edsel and Eleanor Ford, and Charles Stuart Mott to build expansive estates with beautifully structured gardens that are now public spaces. A commitment to green space, as evidenced by Michigan State University’s land-grant mission and horticultural landscape architecture influences, also contributed to the unusual and enchanting beauty of Michigan’s public gardens. More than a tour guide, Public Gardens of Michigan reveals not only the beauty and majesty of the gardens, but the wealth of design inspiration that Michigan landscape architects both borrowed from and gave to the world. Miriam Easton Rutz uncovers the history, politics, and legacy of Michigan’s public gardens. From stately cemeteries to whimsical zoological parks and breathtaking vistas, readers will delight in discovering the awesome grandeur of this lush and historic garden state.
by: Miriam Easton Rutz