Sunday, July 18, 2021

Fernwood Gardens

 Laura, Aaron and girls gave us a membership to Fernwood Botanical Gardens for Mothers and Fathers Day. The cool thing about this is it allows us to visit about 330 gardens and nature centers all over the country. Several are close to us, Fernwood is about 2 hours south of us, in Niles Michigan.  Bob and I seem to rarely have a Saturday off together, but last weekend we were both off.  We decided to have a little getaway and drove to Niles after work Friday evening.

We stayed in a Hampton Inn where we had something strange happen when we arrived.  It was about 7:30.  We were going to check in and then run out and get some supper.  We went up to our room, tried to flash the key across the pad and nothing happened.  We tried with the other key and nothing.  We went back down and a manager came up.  She couldn't get in and said the battery in the door was out.  She went to get things to fix it and we stood outside and waited.  While we stood there, 2 ladies came to get into the room across from ours.  They asked if there was a party in the hall and we told them we hoped they could get in.  Can you believe - their door did the same thing?  So there we all stood.  It took about 20 minutes to get us in and things fixed.  However, after that all went well and it was a nice hotel.

The next morning, we headed for the Gardens.  It covers 105 acres, with space for an arboretum, prairie restoration and several different gardens.  

Here's the back of the visitors center, as we startted on the trails.

Check out this tree!  You can see Bob in his hat at the edge of it, to judge it's size.

When you part the branches and go through this is what you find.  There is even a swing on one of the branches.  Kids would just love this.  I wish I knew what type of tree it was.

Another tree with cool fronds hanging from it.

There were quite a few cute birdhouses scattered through the gardens.

This is an herb garden.  There were so mnay different types of herbs planted all around this cute little building.

There were also lots of benches scattered around.

This is the home of the original owners of the property.  They bought it in 1941.  The lady loved to garden and people came to see her flowers.  They donated it and more land was added to start the gardens.

This working water wheel was a charming addition.  However, at this point we were in the woods and the mosquitoes were awful.  We hurried through and hardly stopped to take pictures, because we were being eaten up!

It may be called Fernwood because of all the huge ferns on the property.

There is a large pond with lots of turtles and frogs.  The frogs were very noisy when we were there.


A little visitor we saw in the bird watching area.

Lots of cheerful daisies!

This was part of the Japanese Garden.

There was a fun Childrens Garden that had a big train set running through it.

The last section we visited was the naturalized prairie area.  The plants in the area were surprisingly tall.

This is a viewing deck that was built to be abou the level of a Conestoga wagon, to give people the idea of what it was like for the early settlers as they rode in those wagons across the prairie.

And here we are at the end of our time there.  I have a horrible time with selfies.  My eyes close when I smile, so I'm trying to look at the camera, smile, and keep my eyes open!  :)  Of course, Bob looks good in every picture.  We were laughing at the crazy shots and this is the best we got!
It was a fun little getaway together!


Ginny Hartzler said...

Wow, your photos are wonderful, and I have enjoyed every one of them. I adore Botanical Gardens. And even a black squirrel! I have never seen one. Those trees are amazing, I guess they are Weeping something. The ferns are huge, and so is the pond. And the water wheel and little bridge are adorable.

Anni said...

My favorite would be the Japanese gardens. And the train!! Perhaps that tree would be an eastern redbud? Just a guess. Oh, and selfie is great.

Linda said...

WOW, such lovely photos. You take a great photo, I on the other hand, do not, lol. Hope you have a beautiful week ahead, smiles.

Martha said...

What a great little getaway! The photos are all beautiful and it looks like a great place to spend the day. I really love that first tree, every child should have one in their yard - it's magical!

R's Rue said...

I’m glad you enjoyed your getaway. What a nice gift. I love the daisies and train in the children’s area.

Arlene G said...

What a nice gift from the girls. I know you both enjoyed it and you can take home some ideas for your lovely yard that looks like a botanical garden to me.

Jeanette said...

That looks like a great place to visit! We've visited the Matthai Botanical Gardens at U of M a couple times. I hear you about the selfies. I always look bad but my husband is very photogenic and always takes a good picture!

Changes in the wind said...

What a wonderful gift and the pictures are just gorgeous!! You are a cute couple:)

Beside a babbling brook... said...

Thank you Dear, for the larger print!!!!!

With that very distressing "welcome" to that establishment, they should give you something, to make up for it!!!!!!!!! In fact, I would gently demand they do so.

Lovely things to view... But didn't you bring your Cutter Greaseless? Needed, at all times, when outside, and especially in such a garden with water setting. :-)

Some time away, with just the 2 of you. Precious...

That photo of you is great, better than of him, actually. So there! >,-)


Sparky said...

How lovely. There's a Botanical garden in or near Dothan, Alabama that we visited once. It wasn't nearly as nice as what y'all visited. Thanks for sharing!
Blessings. xx

Michelle said...

This sounds like a great getaway! I would love to see all of this in person, but your photos are wonderful.

Debi said...

What a beautiful place and such a thoughtful gift. I'm sure you will enjoy it over and over.

LL Cool Joe said...

That's a great photo of you both. I love the gardens they look beautiful. I've never seen a black squirrel before, much more striking than the normal brown ones we get in the garden!

carrie@northwoods scrapbook said...

Catching up and what a brilliant gift they gave you. I love places like that and those gardens were absolutely beautiful! I love the pond area. And you 2 are beyond adorable. Just sayin 💕

Jenny the Pirate said...

What a wonderful time together! Wow I never heard of hotel doors losing their mojo. How strange. Ahhhh coneflowers! You guys would love Hopelands Gardens in Aiken, South Carolina. It's one of my favorite places. It too was originally an estate, and the lady who owned it donated it to the city of Aiken. Fernwood looks spectacular! Always pack a can of Cutter Dry, haahaha! xoxo