Up the road from Hidden Lake Gardens, is Michigan State University in East Lansing. In my next life, I'm going to attend MSU and major in Horticulture. It's clear just by walking through the campus that growing things is a Very Big Deal there.
Michigan State was chosen as an All-America Selections flower trial garden in 1978. The grounds surrounding the horticulture education buildings are covered with bed after bed of nearly 1000 different annuals, all labeled with their names, date introduced, and the grower. There were some familiar to us, and some not yet introduced to the public, still in trial.
In addition to the AAS demonstration gardens, the walkways and buildings are beautifully landscaped. The rose gardens were in full bloom and fully fragrant as we tried to see it all before we got rained on. You could easily spend most of a day just perusing the gardens of MSU.
The jewel of the gardens is the 4H Children's Garden, much of which provided inspiration to my mom when she proposed creating a children's garden in Van Wert to her Master Gardener group.
Just across from the entrance to the children's garden is a large peacock topiary. The flowers planted in it aren't fully grown to fill the spaces yet, but it's still an impressive structure.
Just across the railroad tracks that run through campus is the Clarence Lewis Landscape Arboretum. Contained within the arboretum are individual landscape gardens, where students can practice their skills and get ideas.
Obviously, our initial plan of seeing these gardens plus the next stop on our Michigan Garden Tour (Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park) was just a little bit ambitious as the result of our being unaware of the size scope of the beauty both Hidden Lakes and MSU held. We arrived at our hotel in Grandville, near Grand Rapids, shortly before 8:00 and after a late supper at Panera's, we called it a night. The next day was going to be just as fun and flower-filled as this one.
Next: Garden Crossings Garden Center, Walters Gardens, and Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park