Explore and Enjoy The Botanic Garden
V I S I T O R
C E N T E R
Upon your visit to The Botanic Garden, you will be welcomed by our Visitor Center. This beautiful building was once the Traverse City State Hospital’s Granary, built around 1886. Come inside to see the original stone walls and tunnel that originally connected the farm’s root cellar to the Granary’s lower level.
The Visitor Center’s lower level includes a gift shop, information desk, restrooms and drinking fountains. In our display area, we feature a special artist of the month. Upstairs, on the second floor, is a classroom/meeting room where most of The Botanic Garden classes and workshops are held. This bright and beautiful room is also available for rental year-round for your special event.
Because environmental sustainability is a guiding principle of The Botanic Garden, many components of the renovation were designed for LEED certification. Energy saving lighting, heating & cooling and water conservation systems were incorporated. The Visitor Center’s V-shaped roof collects and stores rainwater for garden irrigation. Recycled materials were utilized wherever possible, including wood paneling from Manistee’s Vogue Theater. Even old cast iron cow water buckets from the adjoining barn now serve as lighting fixtures in the classroom!
Interested in renting the Visitor Center as a space for your next personal or professional event? Click here to learn more!
H O U R S
The Visitor Center is closed for the season, but our grounds are always open to the public!
Gift Shop Holiday Sales
Saturday, Nov 19th – 10am-5pm
Sunday, Nov 20th – 12pm-5pm
Saturday, December 3rd: 10am-5pm
Sunday, December 4th: 12pm-5pm
We can’t wait to see you
There is no charge for admission, but donations are always appreciated.
Call us at (231) 935-4077 with any questions.
Click here for the self-guided audio tour.
G A R D E N
T O U R S
We offer guided tours of The Garden from April through October. The Visitor Center is closed starting November 1st, 2022 and will reopen April 1st, 2023.
The grounds are always open to the public! There is a self-guided audio tour available year-round.
Pick up a map in front of the Visitor Center any time to take a self-guided tour at your own pace!
Our Botanic Garden Tours are guided explorations of our property’s unique past, present and future. Visitors are introduced to areas like our Visitor Center, Pavilion, multiple garden spaces (some that are currently works in progress), the Historic Barns, and more.
T H R E E S E A S O N A R T S H O W
F E A T U R E D A R T I S T S
, ,,,,The Visitor Center is open from April – October. We exhibit art from featured artists on the upper level, above the gift shop.
Fall: August 23 – October 21
Kristy Avery & Ragner Avery
Kristy A. Avery “KAZ” (Acrylics)
Kristy grew up in the Detroit and Midland, Michigan areas where her interest in art was ignited. Her corporate career as an event planner took her across the U.S. and abroad to Europe and Asia. Travel over the years provided her opportunities to explore art museums, see street artists and opened up a world of color. Now she is enjoying Northern Michigan in her “life after retirement” turning to art as a creative outlet.
Travel in her personal life and her past corporate job inspired and influenced Kristy’s imagination and artwork, especially in the use of bold color and exploring different techniques. She doesn’t have one set “style” but her work is distinctive. She often uses bright color whether the piece is abstract, contemporary, impressionistic or whimsical. Her work is not the typical garden, bird, Koi, or landscape style. When you see these pieces, you will know it’s her work. Some pieces are whimsical, others tell a story, and others just share bold colors, happiness or capture a mood. Her main medium is acrylic, mixed media or collage. She also enjoys taking photos. Sometimes these photos inspire her artwork.
Kristy is a member of several Northern Michigan Art Councils and often produces artwork for art show callings. Her art has been displayed at Crooked Tree Arts Center, Jordan River Art Center, The Oliver Art Center in Frankfurt, The Gaylord Area Council for the Arts, Charlevoix Circle of Arts, The Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Creative 360 and MCFTA in Midland. She has received honorable mentions and awards over the year in art shows throughout Michigan.
Kristy signs her artwork with her initials from her given name (Zitta). That explains the “KAZ” signature.
Ragnar Richard Avery (Photography)
Ragnar is a photographer who has loved to create since he was a young boy in rural northern Indiana. This joy of creating led him to Purdue University where he worked his way to a degree in Mechanical Engineering. From there, he pursued a career at a Fortune 500 chemical company in mid-Michigan. His work with this company took him all over the world exposing him to many cultures, sights, and experiences. Upon his wife’s retirement, Ragnar arranged to work in a home office at their beloved vacation house in Kalkaska. With access to the ever-evolving beauty that is Northern Michigan, Ragnar’s interest in photography was rekindled. A chance meeting with noted landscape/nature photographer, Tom Haxby, gave Ragnar the mentorship he needed to develop his skills.
Once the creative candle for photography was lit, it only began to burn brighter, making photography a wonderful creative outlet. Now that Ragnar is retired, photography has become one of his creative passions, inspiring him to shoot images in magnificent locations like Oregon, Arizona, and Wyoming. He also uses photography to quench his creative curiosity by exploring studio, macro, and nature photography.
The most satisfying photography for Ragnar combines travel with landscape photography, which has produced some of his strongest, most-recognized images. Ragnar has won several awards at Juried Fine Art photography shows in Northern Michigan.