Sunday, September 19, 2010

Touring the Dow Gardens

After we saw The Art of the Brick last month, we walked next door to the Dow Gardens with Aunt Cheri. Begun in 1899, by the founder of the Dow Chemical Company, on just 8 acres it's since grown to 110. It now includes several smaller gardens, hills, towering evergreens, and ponds that are beautiful to meander through.
It was suprisingly uncrowded for a beautiful sunny day. We took a leisurely walk along the stream to the Children's Garden. What a wonderful place for little ones. I thought it was very well thought out, with lots of activities to do, like a picture scavenger hunt. There is also an elevated building fun to look out of to take in the views, and where you can also play in the sand or crawl through the tunnel underneath. One of ER's favorite things to do was making huge bubbles but she also liked pumping water with the old fashioned pump and sweeping up.
The cheerful sunflowers were my favorite sight in the Children's Garden.
There are also several vegetable displays throughout. You can even eat or pick a couple while you're there. We also walked through a now empty grape arbors and saw quite a lot of squash.
I also really liked the ABC garden. If we'd had more time, it would've been fun to walk about looking at the plants for each letter. There were handy labels all over so you could find them. It's not just an alphabet activity, but also a great way to learn more about plant life. There were several I'd never heard of.
The beautiful rose beds full of fragrant blooms were nearby. It was so colorful and many varieties were represented. I haven't seen such lovely roses since I was in California.
Afterward, we continued along the paved walk for awhile before walking through the fields for this view of the historic Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Home. Built in 1899, it's often referred to as The Pines, and is an example of their son Alden B. Dow's Unit Block construction. The white unit boxes are six-sided rhombuses that gain strength when stacked together. Part of the house is actually underwater and you can view out, literally into the pond, from the windows. A walk through the fields among the trees led us over the red lacquered handrails and bridges, I still can't believe I didn't take a picture of those. They were also designed by Alden B. Dow, and are an unexpect bright burst of color among the greenery, with a surprisingly modern look to them. We also came upon and then walked over the Sun Bridge, a Dow Garden landmark.
The Dow Gardens are known for their spring butterfly exhibit, but even though we were there at the wrong time of the year we still saw plenty.
It's an inventive and imaginative public garden with a wide variety of open spaces to explore. The kids will have be kept busy in the Children's Garden and when they're done with it, there's still plenty of space to run off excess energy or shady spots to relax in. We enjoyed all the interesting things tucked here and there and the Midland community is fortunate to have such an outdoor treasure. If we lived closer, we'd be there ALL the time. Thank you to Aunt Cheri for introducing us to it!
See some more beautiful pictures at kt moxie, they are gorgeous and she got a great one of the red bridges. She also got some of the scarecrows, ER liked a lot.

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9 Friends Said:

Party Box Design said...

wow, so so pretty!

Madison said...

Beautiful photos!

Infant Bibliophile said...

What a beautiful place!

debbie said...

Did you get to tour the alden b. dow house that is located in the gardens? It is really beautiful. Years ago, I had friends doing their internships there, and they gave me several perrinials from the gardens. It really is a beautiful place.

♥ Noelle ♥ said...

what a nice peaceful looking place! you take wonderful pics!!

Flying Giggles and Lollipops said...

Oh my goodness Katie, that is beautiful! What a wonderful way to spend the day. I am surprised it was not crowded.

kt moxie said...

I went to Dow Gardens recently, too!

http://ktmoxie.blogspot.com/2010/09/wordless-wednesday-dow-gardens-of.html

Jill Boydston said...

beautiful photos Katie! makes me miss Midland - we spent a lot of time @ dow gardens - they have great programs for kids.

Jill Boydston said...

if you go back to midland in december be sure to check out the santa house......it's amazing!!!

http://www.midlandfoundation.org/santa_house.htm

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