ISSUE 51  |  Homesteaders

Christmas in Detroit: A Pilgrimage to Gardeners’ Midwest Mecca

December 24, 2015 2:00 PM

BY Christine Chitnis

Detroit Garden Works‘ motto is “Where passionate gardeners come to shop.” Step through the door, and you immediately understand why shoppers from as far away as Kansas, Pennsylvania, and Iowa make pilgrimages to this mecca. Founded in 1996 by landscape designer Deborah Silver, the store sells beautiful pots and planters, fountains and hardscape elements, well made tools (new, used, and antique), and special plants, from potted topiaries to giant amaryllis bulbs. We stopped by the other day to see the Christmas decorations:

Photography by Christine Chitnis for Gardenista.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Trees wrapped in burlap and tied with red ribbon make a festive holiday display in front of a living ivy wall.

Inside, different rooms have living walls and elaborate displays, and it is then that the full beauty and uniqueness of the shop hits you.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Oversized twinkling wreaths frame a fountain on a living wall.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: A bit of sparkle; simple silver ornaments nestle in a bowl.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Rounds of twinkly lights frame the living wall and fountain, creating a sparkling vignette.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Every year, the shop has a silver bell made and engraved with the year.  A strand hangs on the door of the shop, and jingles as shoppers enter.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Garlands of all types are strewn about the shop, including this charming, simple garland of monochrome oak leaves and acorns.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: A wall of pots and garden accessories. Detroit Garden Works does landscaping work throughout Southern Michigan, including everything from elaborate pots in the warmer months to garlands and holiday decor during the holidays.  In fact, November and December are as busy as May and June for the landscaping business.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Christmas bells and garland.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Lighted trees in the shop’s courtyard surround a simple wooden bench.

Detroit Garden Works Christine Chitnis Gardenista

Above: Birch branches and evergreen swathes in the window boxes.  The shop gets its holiday decorations after all thr clients are taken care of.  The simple palette ensures that the decorations can stay throughout the winter months, without feeling too “holiday.”

Visiting the Midwest for the holidays? Stop in at another of our favorite shops, A New Leaf in Chicago.

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