Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hidden Lake Gardens

Mom and I took to the road again. Mom's friend Sue joined us on this expedition to Michigan, where we spent two days touring several gardens that I'd not seen before, as well as a garden center I'd wanted to visit for quite some time.

Our first stop was at Hidden Lakes Gardens, near Tipton, Michigan, and part of Michigan State University, although it's located 40 miles from the school. The Gardens are in a very rural setting, which is key to their beauty. As the name suggests, there is a lake and a small pond and some of those rolling hills that we flatlanders find so appealing.

The Pond

Originally purchased in 1926 by Adrian businessman, Harry Fee, it was Mr. Fee's dream to own property with a lake. Some time after the acquisition of the property, he constructed a road around the lake and landscaped the property to enhance the beautiful views. He later opened it to the public so they could enjoy it too, and donated it to Michigan State University in 1945, wanting the property to also be used also for educational purposes.

Swans on Hidden Lake

The original 200 acres has grown to over 750, which now includes a 250-acre arboretum. Located within the arboretum is a collection of over 300 dwarf and rare conifers, donated to the gardens by Justin Harper, from his personal collection in E. Moline, Illinois, in 1981.

Abies koreana 'Blue Cones'

Native Plants Garden

A conservatory was built in 1961 and houses a collection of houseplants and other non-native exotic plants. There are three rooms in the conservatory: Temperate, Arid and Tropical.

Clivia miniata

Bougainvillea behind sculpture

Scuttellaria costaricana

Blooms on Cocoa Tree (Theobroma cacao)

The bonsai collection is just outside the conservatory and was acquired through a series of donations.

The perennial gardens are official
All-America Selections Display Gardens near the visitor's center and are located on a hill overlooking the pond.

Lysimachia punctata 'Alexander'

Yarrow (Achillea)

Hosta Hillside was originally Mr. Fee's rock garden, which overlooks Hidden Lake and contains over 800 hosta varieties. It was designated an Official American Hosta Society Display Garden in 1995, only the second garden in the nation to receive the distinction.

Mom and Sue stroll through the hostas on Hosta Hillside

Hosta Hillside overlooks Hidden Lake

Mom and Sue enjoy some wild raspberries, growing in the woods across from Hosta Hillside

As we were driving through the grounds on our way out, these Great Spangled Fritillaries caught our eye and I stopped the van to take their picture. I don't know if the butterflies enhanced the beauty of the flowers or the other way around.

Great Spangled Fritillary on Asclepias tuberosa

Next: Michigan State University in East Lansing.


Cathy S. said...

What a beautiful garden tour! love the bonsai display. Happy 4th to you!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Oh my gosh. What a gorgeous place. I will have to put that on my list of places to visit the next time I am in MI. Thanks for the virtural tour.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

You always find the neatest places to visit!

You mentioned the other day about visiting my garden one day. I'd love to have you visit, but I'm afraid you might find me a fraud gardener. Not much time had been spent gardening this year, been too busy taking care of our aging, sick parents. Hopefully soon things will settle down and real gardening can begin again. It sure doesn't take long for things to spiral out of control.

I enjoyed your garden tour!

EAL said...

Fabulous! I will have to visit this place if I get out that way.

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Kylee, I used to teach at Hidden Lake Gardens and it's a wonderful place. Gosh, if you're ever back in Michigan, stop on by--I'm about 50 minutes from both Hidden Lake Gardens and MSU!

Sky said...

splendid gardens and photographs. thanks for sharing so we can enjoy the gardens, too. such a nice introduction to a place i might never learn about otherwise. :)

Anonymous said...

Next time I take a tour through Michigan, I'll certainly put this garden on the agenda! I have two reccomendations for you next time you are there. Matthei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor, and Fredrick Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids. Thanks for reminding me of Lysimachia Alexander. I had one at my old house, and I think I need to find another!

Kylee Baumle said...

Cathy ~ There were several bonsais there and each one was PERFECT. They were amazing! I hope you had a good 4th, too! :-)

Lisa ~ I know you'd love it. So secluded and so many wonderful and natural sights to see there!

Robin ~ We do try to go to different places each year.

Oh Robin, don't worry! I'm not about to just show up on your doorstep! I just think it would be great to meet you and you don't live that far away, so it was just a thought. Maybe someday, when life settles down for you! *hugs*

EAL ~ Yes, you will! It was very peaceful and there was a lot to see - more than we expected. I'm very glad we went.

Monica ~ I thought of you while we were there! I didn't think you were close to it though and had no idea you had a connection to it. You're fortunate you got to work around such beauty.

Sky ~ You're welcome! It's fun to share what we've seen.

Robin ~ Stay tuned! I haven't blogged about the rest of our trip yet! ;-)
Let's see.....I wonder where I might have taken over 200 photos?? (I took over 350 in two days!)
That Lysimachia was just gorgeous!

Cindy, MCOK said...

Kylee, I really love that Hosta Hillside ... probably because we can't grow them all that well here. I did buy one yesterday that's reputed to be heat tolerant: Stained Glass. Wish me luck!

Nutty Gnome said...

What a lovely garden tour! I'm spoilt for choice for my favourite bit ........the Bonsais were lovely and I could do with one to go on my island, the lake was gorgeous too but I think the hosta hillside overlooking the lake was the winner! I've just got to be patient and wait for my hostas to grow bigger!

Kylee Baumle said...

Cindy ~ 'Stained Glass' is a nice one! I hope it does well for you. I had no idea you couldn't really grow them down there! Probably every garden in the north has at least one.

Nutty Gnome ~ I think most hostas tend to grow very fast, so your wait shouldn't be long!

TC said...

Thanks for takin me along on your tour Ms. Kylee. Loved it!

Sylvana said...

I want to go to there! That Scuttellaria costaricana sure caught my eye.

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