Hidden Lake Gardens renovates tropical dome

The tropical house under renovation at Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, MI. (Photo courtesy Hidden Lake Gardens)

The tropical house under renovation at Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, MI. (Photo: Hidden Lake Gardens)

Hidden Lake Gardens is excited to announce that their tropical dome is being renovated this summer. The Date Palm tree and the Fan Palm tree have out grown the space and are threatening to compromise the dome structure and they must be removed. Though they are sad to say goodbye to these old friends, their removal provides a unique opportunity for other improvements to the facility.

Hidden Lake has created a plan for retaining some of the key plants while adding new plantings with more color and flowers along with a water feature, upgraded electrical, lights, plumbing, and painting. Additionally they will be making repairs to the outside sandstone walls and addressing water drainage. The end result will be a new, exciting and fresh tropical environment for visitors to the gardens.

The Tropical Dome is now closed and the refreshed Tropical environment will reopen later this summer. The Arid Dome, Temperate House and the Bonsai Collection at the Conservatory, as well as all gardens at Hidden Lake, will continue to be open to the public during this process.

Look up for power lines when planting trees


Does anything look odd about these trees planted under the power lines? We drove past right after a tree crew removed the top third of each of them. This example serves as a reminder to always keep power lines and the mature size of a tree in mind before planting.


Unlocking the secrets of healthy soil

MSU Extension:

Understanding healthy soil biology is quickly becoming the “next frontier” for science exploration. Michigan State University professor of nematology George Bird reminds us that “Like the oxygen we breathe, no life can exist without soil.” Similarly, soil cannot function without life.

While soil scientists have long understood the physical and chemical properties of the ground we garden in, new research is unlocking secrets of the “living component” of soils that make them able to regenerate and function as a living ecosystem. So, what does this mean? Do we need a bunch of earthworms sliding around to make our soils healthy?

According to Bird, a large percentage of the living component is microscopic, not visible to the naked eye. Like magic, organisms such as bacteria, fungi, nematodes, flagellates and actinomycetes work in harmony with one another to release, or mineralize, nutrients and make them available to plant roots. Often these very organisms become the “gatekeeper” of essential elements to enter plant roots. What Bird describes as “gardener’s friends,” these diminutive creatures work in tandem with plant roots and each other, allowing the soil to respond to management practices in a predictable manner and preventing soil degradation.

Read the full article…

Designer edibles allow gardeners to grow for taste and good looks

The nearly translucent Glass Gem Corn looks more like a work of art than a vegetable. (Photo: Greg Schoen/Native Seeds)

The nearly translucent Glass Gem Corn looks more like a work of art than a vegetable.
(Photo: Greg Schoen/Native Seeds)


The Salt at NPR:

To the home gardener who says “been there, done that” to the heirloom green bean, the French breakfast radish or the Brandywine tomato, take heart.

Nurseries and seed companies are competing to bring you the most colorful and flavorful designer edibles they can come up with. They travel the world looking for the next in-vogue plant for the home horticulturist. Every few years they introduce these new chic varieties in their catalogs and websites.

Alice Doyle, a founder of Log House Plants, a wholesale nursery for classic and unusual plants, says some of her customers are like wine connoisseurs who are always seeking the next best thing.

Read the rest of the story…

Jamie Durie brings his high-energy gardening style to Michigan

durie-may-14Wojo’s Greenhouse in Ortonville, Michigan is celebrating spring with a special guest appearance by Jamie Durie on Sunday, May 4, 2:00 p.m. at Wojo’s Greenhouse (2570 Oakwood Road Ortonville, MI 48462).

At Jamie’s high-energy presentation, he shares his international award-winning design philosophy with everyone from budding gardeners to new homeowners to the seasoned gardener. Using hand-picked and proven plants, he will show you how to create a garden oasis out of any space.

Durie was a regular on the Oprah Winfrey show for 3 years and credits Ms. Winfrey with his introduction to America. He has designed international resorts and took home the prestigious Gold Medal Award at the 2008 Chelsea Flower Show. The author of 9 books, he will be available for complimentary autographs of his latest book, “Edible Garden Design,” where he inspires new ideas to help make your garden look as good as it tastes.

The event includes a presentation and book signing. Admission: $20, which includes a $10 Wojo’s gift card. Space is limited. Please call 248-627-6498 to register or click here.