Rochester Hills Museum Hosts 16th Annual Garden Walk

From town to country, the 16th annual Rochester Hills Museum Garden Walk shows off eight gardens in the greater Rochester and Oakland Township area. Co-sponsored by the Rochester Garden Club, a branch of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association, the press release said that this year’s event takes place Thursday, June 18 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Guests can also tour the Children’s Garden on the Rochester Hills Museum grounds as well as the newly-restored Calf Barn, Dairy Barn and historic plantings surrounding the 1840 Van Hoosen Farmhouse.

Watton Garden 2Featured gardens include the three-acre Delta Kelly homestead nestled along the banks of Paint Creek along with a suburban home bursting with blooms, which has been created by the daughter and family of one of Rochester’s leading plant growers. There are also three quaint in-town yards one of which is enhanced by the homeowner-artist’s own mosaic designs. Another participant will feature her handmade glass and ceramic blooming flowers many of which will be available to purchase. Not to be missed is the unique yard lovingly tended by a Rochester Garden Club member. A backyard garden anchored with a koi-filled pond and waterfall completes the walk.

An Open Air Market featuring Michigan artisans will be held at the Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on walk day. New vendors include Michele St. Peter of Glass Flower Art, Specialty Growers and Sticks and Stones. Among others returning are Marvin’s Gardens, ETC Designs, My Father’s Butterfly, A Bird’s Eye View, Minnebo Garden and Home Art and Full Ark Tees. Their wares will be offered throughout the grounds and inside the 1927 Calf Barn, which has been completely restored to enable its usage as a rental facility for weddings, receptions and meetings. Phase two of the restoration was completed this year with the addition of bathrooms, heating and cooling and interior finishes.  Rochester Garden Club member Ethel Stepnitz will present “Fantastic Flower Arranging” at 11:30 a.m. in the Calf Barn. Using conventional and unique containers, she will demonstrate how to create arrangements for the novice using garden flowers or inexpensive grocery store bouquets. Door prizes will be awarded during the program which is free to ticket holders.

A special highlight will be country musician Austin Scott who is being presented by Earth Environments. A down home kind of guy, Scott will bring classic country to the farm along with the latest and greatest sounds. While being entertained, walkers can also view artists at work throughout the award-winning Children’s Garden, which boasts new hands-on activities such as patchwork checkers and hopscotch. They join other popular features such as the sundial, pizza, ABC and butterfly areas. There’s also the Stoney Creek Schoolhouse replica complete with working bell and Kathleen’s Pump in the garden, which is planted and maintained by garden club volunteers. Nearby are raised beds tended by Raising Rochester a nonprofit endeavor that creates, provides and supports efforts to improve the physical, emotional, social and educational well being of children and adolescents in greater Rochester.

Another perennial favorite of the yearly walk is the Cookie Room located in the renovated Dairy Barn. Garden club members welcome attendees to sample their homemade cookies and lemonade and to stop by the current exhibit honoring a pioneer for women and her profession, “Bertha Van Hoosen: “Hen-Medic and Petticoat.” Also on display is “Water Powered Mills of the Great Rochester Area.” In the early 1800s, these mills were the first businesses in the area and provided great milling locations for grist, cider, paper, timber, sugar and more. And at the museum store, items relating to local history, some of which are handmade, can be purchased.

Advance tickets are available on the museum website through PayPal at or at the museum on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m. Cost in advance is $14 ($12 museum members) or on the event day for $16. The Rochester Hills Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located at 1005 Van Hoosen Road off Tienken Road between Rochester and Dequindre Roads. For more information visit or call 248-656-4663.

About Sarah Hovis

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