Mitten In Bloom Guide – When & Where To See Flowers In Michigan


From May tulips to August sunflowers, Michigan is abloom through spring and summer. You know what that means? Green-thumb travelers will find lush gardens to explore, and opportunities to photograph seemingly never-ending flower fields are plentiful. Maybe you’ll even pick up a gardening tip at one of Michigan’s flower-centric festivals and events. If you enjoy touring botanical and estate gardens or want to plan a trip to chase Michigan’s blooms, this post was created just for you.

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Michigan’s Best Botanical Gardens & Conservatories

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory at Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan, USA

With five indoor gardens, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is a year-round free attraction for Recreation Passport holders. (Erin Klema/The Epicurean Traveler)

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory – Detroit

Opened in 1902 on Detroit’s Belle Isle, the beautiful 13 acres feature formal gardens with a lily pond. A year-round attraction, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is the longest continually-running conservatory in the United States. Its indoor gardens showcase ferns, tropical fruit-producing plants, palm trees, succulents and cacti, and seasonal displays of flowering plants.

Address: 4 Inselruhe Ave, Detroit, MI 48207

Hours: The conservatory is currently undergoing renovations and will reopen to the public in July 2019.

Admission: Free*

*Though admission to Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is free, a Michigan Recreation Passport is required to enter Belle Isle.

Accessibility: Belle Isle Park is a wheelchair-accessible attraction though there are only a few accessible bathrooms and garden pathways may not be easily navigated by wheelchair.

Where To Stay In Detroit: Detroit Foundation Hotel | The Shinola Hotel | Trumbull and Porter Hotel

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park

At Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, visitors can visit the indoor and outdoor gardens 362 days out of the year. (Erin Klema/The Epicurean Traveler)

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park – Grand Rapids

Visiting this 158-acre botanical garden and sculpture park in Grand Rapids warrants at least a couple hours, but you could easily spend a whole day meandering through the gardens. Ignite your senses with a stroll through the Leslie E. Tassell English Perennial & Bulb Garden in spring. Not only will you see beautiful blooms, but you’ll smell them, too. Are you a gardening enthusiast? If so, you may also want to plan your visit to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park around the spring and summer flower shows. This year’s schedule includes the Iris Show (June 1-2), Rose Show (June 15-16), Daylily Show (July 20), and the National Dahlia Show (Aug. 31-Sept. 1).

Address: 1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525

Hours: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday

Admission: $14.50 Adults (14-64), $11 Seniors (65+) and Students with student ID, $7 Children (5-13), $4 Children (3-4), Free for children 2 and younger

Accessibility: Wheelchair and stroller accessible indoors and outdoors with ramps and paved pathways. Wheelchairs are also available to rent.

Where To Stay In Grand Rapids: Amway Grand Plaza | CityFlats Hotel | Homewood Suites by Hilton

University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens – Ann Arbor

At Matthaei Botanical Gardens, visitors can explore nine outdoor gardens and the conservatory. Best viewed from June to October, the perennial garden begins blooming around Memorial Day with poppies and irises and ends with yellow mums and purple asters come fall. Another noteworthy garden to visit here is the Helen V. Smith Woodland Wildflower Garden with 100+ native species of ferns, woody plants, and spring wildflowers. Wildflowers typically begin blooming in mid- to late April with peak bloom in May.

Address: 1800 N Dixboro Rd, Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Hours: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Wednesday

Admission: Free

Accessibility: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms, gardens, and picnic areas. Plus, handicap parking is located near the entrance, and wheelchairs are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis.

Where To Stay In Ann Arbor: Graduate Ann Arbor | Weber’s Boutique Hotel

Daylily at W. J. Beal Botanical Garden at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan

Located on the Michigan State University’s main campus, W. J. Beal Botanical Garden is abloom with colorful daylilies in mid-summer. (Erin Klema/The Epicurean Traveler)

W. J. Beal Botanical Garden at Michigan State University – East Lansing

Claimed to be the oldest continually public-operated botanical garden in the United States, W. J. Beal Botanical Garden consists of 5 acres and 1,800 different flowers and plants. This impressive amount of biodiversity is used as a laboratory for students, and each plant is labeled for easy identification. One of the best times to visit is July-August to see colorful daylilies in full bloom.

Location: Michigan State Main Campus, W Circle Dr, East Lansing, MI 48824

Hours: Always open to the public

Admission: Free

Where To Stay Nearby In Lansing: Homewood Suites by Hilton Lansing Eastwood

More Botanical Gardens in Michigan

Where to See Michigan Spring Wildflowers

In Michigan, spring is marked by the arrival of spring beauty, marsh marigold, bloodroot, wood poppies, and wild columbine. By mid-April these wildflowers and other native species pop with colorful petals. Are you wondering where to find wildflowers in Michigan? Certainly, one option is University of Michigan’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens, which has a whole garden dedicated to Michigan’s wildflowers. You’ll find wildflowers native to southwest Michigan at Fernwood Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve in Niles. In Traverse City, visit the Botanical Garden at Historic Burns Park to see wildflowers and plants native to northwest Michigan.

Tulips in Holland, Michigan

Tulips in bloom at Windmill Island Garden in Holland, Michigan

Tulips bloom in early May during the Tulip Time Festival celebrating the Dutch heritage of Holland, Michigan. (Erin Klema/The Epicurean Traveler)

Each May, millions of tulips bloom around the lakeside city of Holland in West Michigan. This annual spring bloom is celebrated along with the city’s Dutch heritage during the Tulip Time Festival. Usually coinciding with the festival, early to mid-May is the best time to see tulips in Holland, Michigan. To see more than 6 million tulips in colorful rows, visit Veldheers Tulip Farm. Another option for viewing tulips in Holland is Windmill Island Gardens, where the authentic Dutch windmill is a stunning backdrop.

Related: Tulip Time: Windmills and Tulips in Holland, Michigan

Cherry Blossoms in Traverse City

Traverse City Cherry Blossoms - Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism

In the Cherry Capital of the World, orchards full of cherry trees bloom with white and pink flowers each spring. (Photo courtesy of Traverse City Tourism)

Cherry orchards on Traverse City’s Old Mission Peninsula and on the neighboring Leelanau Peninsula are filled with flowering trees come mid- to late May. Unfortunately, the light pink and white flowers don’t last long!

Flower Day at Detroit’s Eastern Market

Tulips for sale at Eastern Market in Detroit, Michigan

Every year on the Sunday following Mother’s Day, growers bring their best flowers to Eastern Market in Detroit. (Erin Klema/The Epicurean Traveler)

A time-honored tradition for more than 50 years, Flower Day occurs every year on the Sunday following Mother’s Day at Detroit’s Eastern Market. In 2019, Flower Day runs from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19. Regional growers will fill 15 acres with the heartiest varieties of flowers that thrive in the local area. If you live within driving distance, this is an opportune time to find flowers for your home garden and to ask the pros for their best green-thumb tips.

Location: Eastern Market, 2934 Russel St, Detroit, MI 48207

Hours: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19, 2019

Admission: Free to browse, but bring money to shop

Peonies at Nichols Arboretum

Pink peonies at Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, Michigan

The University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum has the largest collection of peonies in North America. (Erin Klema/The Epicurean Traveler)

With 929 peony plants, the University of Michigan’s Nichols Arboretum has the largest collection of peonies in North America. Located in Ann Arbor, the Arb consists of 123 acres, hiking trails, a shrub collection, a prairie, and the impressive peony garden that blooms in late May through June. Though seeing the peonies are worth a road trip to Ann Arbor, I’d plan your visit during Shakespeare in the Arb. An annual tradition each June, one of the Bard’s plays is performed among the peonies as each scene moves to another location within the arboretum.

Location: 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Hours: Sunrise to Sunset

Admission: Free

Where to See Lavender in Michigan

Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne City, Michigan

Lavender reaches peak bloom in July, but the purple Adirondack chairs and gift shop full of edible lavender goodies makes Lavender Hill Farm a destination worth visiting even before the lavender blooms. (Erin Klema/The Epicurean Traveler)

By mid-July lavender is bursting with purple petals and a delightful floral aroma at Michigan’s lavender farms. Some of the farms allow visitors to tour the grounds and pick their own lavender bouquets, and most have gift shops filled with lavender soaps, candles, linen sprays, lotions, essential oils, and lavender-infused food and drink. On a sunny day, a lavender lemonade fizz is quite refreshing at Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne City.

Michigan also celebrates lavender each July at the Michigan Lavender Festival in Armada. Festival activities include educational classes, gardening demonstrations, DIY workshops using lavender, and u-pick lavender. Plus, there is lavender lemonade, cupcakes, doughnuts, and more lavender-infused treats.

Dahlia Hill in Midland

In bloom from July to October, Dahlia Hill in Midland features eight terraces filled with 3,000 dahlia plants of 300 varieties. In addition to the beautiful dahlias to admire, visitors will see aluminum sculptures created by local artist Charles Breed.

Location: 2809 Orchard Dr, Midland, MI 48640

Hours: Dawn to dusk

Admission: Free

Where to See Sunflowers in Michigan

Whitmore Lake sunflower field (Photo by Aaron Cruz)

This never-ending field of sunflower goodness is just north of Ann Arbor along US-23 at the corner of North Territorial and Whitmore Lake. (Photo by Aaron Cruz/The Adventures of elATLboy)

Kansas may be the Midwestern state known for sunflowers, but Michigan has beautiful sunflower fields worthy of an Instagram selfie, too. In fact, owners of a sunflower field in Jenison, Michigan, intend for you to do exactly that. According to, benches and props have been placed in the privately-owned sunflower field for visitors’ photo ops.

Up north in Traverse City, the Field of a Million Sunflowers became a buzzed-about tourist attraction in 2014. At the time, more than a million sunflowers were planted across the 50 acres.

As you drive around Michigan in August, you’re likely to see some sunflowers. Please note that many of Michigan’s sunflower fields are privately owned. However, you’ll still capture fantastic roadside photos like Aaron Cruz, of The Adventures of elATLboy, did in Whitmore Lake and Fowlerville.

If you’d like to get up close with sunflowers consider attending the Ukrainian Sunflower Festival. Each August, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church of Warren hosts about 25,000 people to see hundreds of sunflowers planted by local students.

Michigan’s Most Beautiful Estate Gardens

Cranbrook House & Gardens – Bloomfield Hills

The 40 acres feature a reflection pool along with sunken, Japanese, and herb gardens.

Location: 380 Lone Pine Rd, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48304

Hours*: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Daily, May – October only

Admission*: Free

* Hours and admission for gardens only. The Cranbrook house is only open to the public for special events and scheduled guided tours.

Dow Gardens – Midland

Herbert and Grace A. Dow’s estate is now a 110-acre botanical garden with walking paths, greenhouse, formal gardens with seasonal flower beds, and the longest canopy walk of 1,400 feet at 40 feet above ground.

Location: 1809 Eastman Ave, Midland, MI 48640

Hours: 9 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. April 15-Labor Day, 9 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Labor Day – Oct. 31, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Nov. 1 – April 14

Admission: $10 Adult, $2 College Students (with student ID) and Children (5-17), Free for children younger than 5

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House – Grosse Pointe Shores

The gardens surround Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s Tudor Revival mansion include Flower Lane, which blooms in spring with tulips, daffodils, and Virginia Bluebells followed by daylilies, delphiniums, and more.

Location: 1100 Lake Shore Rd, Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236

Hours: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, Noon – 4 p.m. Sunday

Admission: $5 Ages 6 and older, free for children age 5 and younger (grounds and gardens tour only)

W. K. Kellogg Manor House – Hickory Corners

The lush garden along Gull Lake is a beautiful location for a self-guided tour.

Location: 3700 E Gull Lake Dr, Hickory Corners, MI 49060

Hours: Reservations preferred | 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. Monday – Friday

Admission: Donations appreciated

Don’t want to miss any of these beautiful blooms and gardens? Pin this post now to reference later!

Your Guide to Michigan in Bloom: When and Where to See Flowers in Michigan


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