GWA: The Assoc. for Garden Writers Holland Garden Tour


Rocks, Eats and Tweets in Holland, MI

Join fellow garden lovers in a relaxed day touring one of West Michigan’s largest farmer’s markets, three outstanding private gardens, and ending with a photo op in the extensive perennial display gardens at Walters Gardens. Whether you’re into organic produce, rock gardening, specimen trees, plant collecting, or garden photography, there’s something for you on this tour. All stops are conveniently located within just a few square miles near the shore of Lake Michigan. Make it a weekend trip and enjoy the area’s white sand beaches, the famous Big Red lighthouse, and unique downtown boutiques while you’re in town.

Here’s what the event will include:

10:00AM-12:15PM We’ll explore the Holland Farmer’s Market, an expansive venue that draws thousands each weekend. Led by Market Master Sara Cozolino, we’ll meet with four local area farmers about how they grow/produce and bring their foods and plants to market.

10:15-11:15AM Tour will include interviews with: Shady Side Farm–specializing in organic beans, wool and lamb; Plants with Stories—specializing in heirloom vegetables and seed saving; Sweet Everlastings—specializing in homegrown and dried flowers; Windridge Perennials and Landscaping–specializing in perennials

Bring your cooler and pick up organic veggies, fruits, meats and plants while you’re there. Lunch will be on your own at the market; choose from vendors or food trucks. A brief business meeting will be held after lunch.

12:30PM-1:45PM We have the rare opportunity to tour the private home garden of succulent and perennial breeder and grower Chris Hansen. You may know Chris’ lines of SunSparkler® Sedum, Chick Charms® Sempervivum, Gnome Domes® Orostachys, and Winter Thriller™ Helleborus. See them all in action in his botanical garden-grade home rock garden which encompasses every square inch of his suburban landscape. You’ve never seen a home rock garden like this!
2:00PM-3:00PM We’ll also have the rare opportunity to tour the private garden of world-renowned plant breeder and collector Hans Hansen (no relation to Chris). As the principle breeder of perennials and tropical plants for Walters Gardens and the Proven Winners brand, Hans is a wealth of knowledge and his garden reflects it. He will lead us through his no-grass, all-ornamental suburban garden and highlight his favorite unique plants which number in the thousands. This garden is a plant geek’s paradise.
3:15PM-4:15PM Tour the private garden of professional landscape designer Cami Geschwendt. Recently featured in Michigan Gardening magazine, the Geschwendt family garden is a spectacle like none other. Features include numerous unique specimen trees, masses of landscape roses, one of a kind metal sculptures made by Cami’s son, a 4-season tree house, a pontoon boat-turned tiny house, and much more.
4:30PM-Dusk We’ll have the chance to explore and photograph perennials in the expansive display gardens at Walters Gardens, Inc. This garden features over 1,000 varieties of perennials, including all Proven Winners Perennials, which are labeled clearly to make it easy to ID what you are photographing. This garden will be open to GWA attendees through dusk to allow ample time for photography when the lighting is at its best. You are encouraged to tweet and post your pictures to social media while in the gardens.

Dinner will be on your own at your leisure. A list of local area restaurants will be provided to attendees. A list of recommended hotels will be provided upon request. If you do plan to stay overnight, I encourage you to book your room now as this event is taking place during high season in a popular vacation town.

As you can see, this is a one of a kind day not to be missed! The cost is ONLY $35 for members who register by June 1! Non-members are always welcome. Sign up and bring a friend! And feel free to forward this information to anyone who you think might be interested in attending. Here’s the link to register online:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s