For the last six years, the Ypsilanti Garden Club has been organizing these late August garden walks in conjunction with the city's Heritage Festival. Club members have been tempted to put the walk earlier in the summer when gardens are more likely to be at their peak, but they decided to keep the date where it is. Most people on the tour are gardeners themselves and appreciate seeing what is possible so late in the season. Attendees also say it's nice to go on a garden tour after the other tours are over.
Gardeners on the tour don't have to belong to the Ypsilanti Garden Club, and in fact most don't, although they often end up joining after being on the tour. Members of the eight-year-old club, who number about thirty, pick gardens for the tour by keeping their eyes out for interesting ones (something gardeners do anyway) and then going up to the door and asking the owners. According to club president Paul Mayes, most are pleased to be asked. When a few gardens have been lined up, the members try to find others in the same neighborhood. They also watch for logistical problems like roadwork.