Here’s Your Invitation To The Gardens

ADDING COLOR TO HER DECK is the domain of Jen Fritsch. This lovely yellow cart full of blooms once belonged to her grandmother. You can see all the ideas of six local gardeners at the Troy Garden Walk on Wednesday, July 11.

by CYNTHIA KMETT

You all have an “Invitation to the Gardens” on Wednesday, July 11. This is the 44th Annual Garden Walk hosted by the Troy Garden Club. The garden walk is the club’s principal annual fundraiser, from which donations are made to many local projects. The proceeds from last year’s walk helped over 30 organizations add to the beauty of our land.

There are six stops on the walk; one even has two homes to visit. Of course, the Village Green, a free stop all day, has lots of activities planned, too. And the Plein Air Artists will be painting in every garden.

One family getting ready for the annual walk is the Fritsch family. Dan and Jan have taken their large heavily-treed lot and turned in to a marvelous “Made in a Shade” experience for you to enjoy. The family has lived in the home for over 30 years. But it was Dan who really got into remodeling his yard after his retirement from Teleflex, where he has been the vice president of operations which required a great deal of travel, but not gardening.

That travel had made Dan an avid golfer and he had played courses from Japan to Germany. But now that he has retired, Dan wanted a better way to spend time with his kids. Golf wasn’t the perfect sport and he decided “I better find something to keep me busy at home.”

He noted that when they moved to this lovely home on Trinway there was nothing but some trees and a small backyard with nothing but weeds. “I saw the potential; I love nature and feed the birds,” he noted. When Dan learned two adjacent lots might be built on, he bought them and expanded his space to garden.

The garden Dan has developed is heavy with lush foliage and he’s found specimens in many different shades of green, from ferns and hostas to Japanese maple and blue spruce. He likes “the flavors of colors.” And if they work, he’ll try all kinds of shade plants. And, just wait until you see the size of his hosta plants. He never divides them and says if you do, “they’ll never be the same again.” But, he does try to keep them away from tree roots.

“I have enjoyed the challenge of working in a garden that is mostly in the shade under big trees. I have been able to combine different varieties of plants while keeping the theme of a wooded shade garden,” Dan observed.

There are also a lot of colors tucked into this peaceful landscape, as well as decorative statuary, bird baths, and spinners. Some of the potted additions are Jan’s contribution to the yard’s décor. But she added, “Dan works so hard and I think other people should be able to enjoy it too.” Jan definitely enjoys adding flowers to the deck, complete with its hot tub and fountain.

Come enjoy all these gardens on Wednesday, July 11. Don’t miss stopping at the Troy Historic Village some time during your garden touring. Admission is free to everyone. Here you’ll find the arts and crafts boutique, a plant sale, a “fabulous finds” sale, and a student art exhibit. The Village, on Wattles just west of Livernois, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The gardens will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 5 to 8:30 p.m.

You can purchase tickets in advance for $10 each at Auburn Oaks Garden Center, Telly’s Greenhouse, the Troy Historic Village, or Uncle Luke’s. On Garden Walk day, July 11, tickets will be sold only at the Troy Historic Village. They will also be available from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, July 7 at English Gardens on Coolidge, across from Meijer. For more information or to order tickets by mail, call 248-540-6158.