Rochester Hills Museum to Host 15th Annual Garden Walk

From town to country, the 15th annual Rochester Hills Museum Garden Walk shows off seven gardens in the greater Rochester and Oakland Township area. Co-sponsored by the Rochester Branch of the Woman’s National Farm and Garden Association, this year’s event on Thursday, June 19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. also provides a look at the Rochester Community Gardens and the adjacent Dinosaur Hill Children’s Garden.  Guests can also tour the Children’s Garden on the Rochester Hills Museum grounds as well as the Dairy Barn and historic plantings surrounding the 1840 Van Hoosen Farmhouse.

Pergola Gate in late summer

Pergola Gate in late summer

An Open Air Market featuring Michigan artisans will be held at the Museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on walk day. Kathy Miller of Kathy’s Gardening will present “Clever and Creative Container Gardening” at 2 p.m. Using both conventional and unique containers, she will demonstrate how to include unusual plants such as vegetables and perennials. Door prizes will be awarded during the program which is free to ticket holders. Other participating vendors include Marvin’s Gardens, ETC Designs, Sewing Sisters, Garden Girls, Accent on Art, Glass Gardens, 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 Dairy Barn where phase one restoration was completed in 2013 to stabilize and enclose the building to enable its usage as a rental facility for weddings, receptions and meetings. Phase two of the restoration is in the planning stages to include bathrooms, heating and cooling and interior finishes.

011Walkers can also view artists at work throughout the award-winning Children’s Garden which boosts 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 gardens 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 1927 Dairy Barn. It is hosted by garden club members who welcome attendees to sample their homemade cookies and lemonade and to stop by the current exhibit “Life on a Farm:  Tools and Equipment of the Trade.” This museum collection features the tools, machines, and equipment used by local farmers. Also on display is the model train exhibit of downtown Rochester. And at the museum store, items relating to local history, some of which are handmade, can be purchased.

Included in this year’s walk is the Rochester Community Garden located in Scott Street Park adjacent to Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve and the Public Works Facility. The garden was designed in 2010 by the City Beautiful Commission to allow apartment dwellers, seniors and residents with undesirable yards to lease a plot of land for growing fruits and vegetables in a community setting. There are no chemicals allowed in the planting or maintenance and gardeners are encouraged to dedicate part of their garden to local food banks. Dinosaur Hill helps manage the garden and keeps residents up to date on its progress.

Advance tickets are available on the museum website through PayPal at or at the Rochester Hills Museum on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m.  Cost in advance is $12 ($10 museum members) or on the event day for $14. The Rochester Hills Museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and s located at 1005 Van Hoosen Road off Tienken Road between Rochester and Dequindre Roads. For more information, call 248-656-4663.

All information was provided by the Rochester Hills Museum.



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