I awoke that Friday morning to pouring rain — and it never let up. Take my advice: if it is raining on Saturday, June 11, do not skip this year's garden walk. A late-spring garden in the rain, its many shades of green and other subtle color tones shimmering through a prism of water, has its own special allure.
In past years I've encountered many a memorable garden on this walk. I recall peonies and irises around an elegant pool on a Barton Hills estate, the perennial border of my dreams at a north-side garden, and a garden in Ypsilanti that enlivened all four sides of an 1840s Gothic house in a tour de force of personal expression. On the downside, I've also put in time trudging between McMansions off Geddes encircled by tedious beds of impatiens. There was barely an impatiens to be seen on last year's walk — it was a true gardener's tour.
I started at the U-M's Inglis House, which backs up enchantingly to the Arb, offering a delectable array of formal and informal vistas and gardens. It is Ann Arbor's best imitation of an English estate, and I savored every second of my personal tour of its idyllic grounds.