Last Tuesday I made a very last minute decision to head to Michigan to see a portion of the 2013 Michigan Garden Plant Tour . I didn't think I was going to be able to squeeze the Tour into my schedule this year, but I did it!
Because impending magazine production schedules and upcoming trade shows did not leave me a whole lot of spare time out of the office, I knew I wouldn't be able to make it to all of the locations. So I decided to make a whirlwind tour to the stops closest to Chicago in the western portion of the state.
On Tuesday afternoon, I made it as far east as Litchfield for a visit to the impressive trial gardens at C. Raker & Sons . Then I started my journey westward. It was pouring down rain when I began my trek on Wednesday morning at Mast Young Plants  in Grand Rapids so I thought I was in for a long and soggy day. But Mother Nature actually cooperated and decided to stop raining after an hour-and-a-half downpour and the sun came out for my next stop at Spring Meadow Nursery  in Grand Haven. From there, it was off to Pell Greenhouses  in Hudsonville and then on to Walters Gardens  in Zeeland. Like I said before, it was a whirlwind trip — 700 miles of windshield time and five great stops all in about 30 hours time.
And I was back at my desk first thing Thursday morning working on the September issue of GPN. Unfortunately, my schedule didn't allow me to make it to Michigan State University's Horticulture Gardens  in East Lansing or Four Star Greenhouse  in Carleton.
So next year, I'm going to make time to see ALL of the locations. I'm going to start my tour in eastern Michigan and work my way west. If you have a chance and are in the Michigan area next August, you should put this tour on your schedule — it is well worth your time!
I posted some photos from my trip on the GPN Facebook page . I'll be adding some more photos as the week goes on.
— Tim