Dow Gardens (1899-Present)
1809 Eastman Avenue, Midland, MI 48640
Visited September 24, 2011
The estate of Herbert Dow, Founder of Dow Chemical, has been transformed into a 110 acre garden open to the public. There are natural areas, manicured plantings, a children’s garden, a hedge maze, and carefully placed art and sculpture (including Leaping Gazelle by Marshall Fredericks).
There are several bright red bridges designed by Herbert’s son, architect Alden B. Dow, which span meandering streams and provide a stark contrast to the lush green background plantings. There are paved walkways, woodchip paths, and grass lawns to traverse. As you round the corner you may come upon a wedding ceremony – or two as I did.
The main reason I went to the garden was to get the view of Alden B. Dow’s Home and Studio from across the reflecting pond. (See separate post on the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio)
There is a contemporary conservatory building that you can walk thru. Although not as large or as vast a collection of unusual plants as most I have visited, there was a cage of bright yellow friendly birds greeting the visitors by the entry.
All in all it provided a beautiful relaxing place to wander through for the afternoon.
Logistics: there is a small admission charge ($5 when I visited) and there is a shop selling gardening related items with an extensive collections of gardening books at the entrance.
Click this link for the Dow Gardens Official Website