Come see what's blooming in 2019
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
Mondays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Tuesdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Wednesdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Thursdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Fridays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Saturdays: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Sundays: 12pm to 5:00pm
G A R D E N
T O U R S
From May through October, we love to show off the Garden and share the transformative story of this historic park. Our Garden team looks forward to meeting and visiting with folks from all over America – and all over the world!
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.
Our Guided Tours are scheduled to begin Monday-Saturday at 10:00am, 11:30am, 1:30pm, and 3:00pm, and Sundays at 1:30pm and 3:00pm.
Please complete the form here on our website to request a specific date and time for your tour!
Tours last approximately 45-60 minutes (it depends on the Docent and the group interaction!)
The Tours do involve walking and we have golf carts, ramps and automatic doors available for those who may need some extra support.
As you’re looking at dates and times for your tour, please note that our Visitor Center hours are Mondays through Saturdays from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and Sundays from Noon to 5:00pm.
There is no set fee for our tours and donations are requested to help The Botanic Garden grow. There are several options for donations, including Membership sign-ups and renewals (available on-site), as well as a Donation jar in the Gift Shop. Please plan to bring your donation with you to your tour.
Thank you and we’ll see you soon!
PLEASE READ before completing the tour request form!
Due to popular demand, please complete the form below to request a specific date and time for your tour.
Please understand that by completing the form below, you are submitting a tour request.
Once you submit your tour request, you will receive a confirmation email from a Garden team member verifying that your tour has been booked.
Tours are only available from May through October of each year.
If you are requesting a tour with less than 24 hours notice and/or if you do not receive a confirmation email within 24 hours, please call our Visitor Center at (231) 935-4077.
Ready to request a Garden Tour?
A R T I S T O F
T H E M O N T H
The work of the Artist(s) of the Month is on display in the upper level of the Visitor Center at the Botanic Garden from April – October. Please check in with the Gift Shop on the lower level for more details on viewing and purchasing artwork.
Joan Bonney • Sally Peckham • Laura Wright
About Joan Bonney
Joan Bonney has been drawing since she can remember. Educational experience included private classes with a well- known local artist through Junior High and High School; 5 summers at Interlochen (when it was National Music Camp with Dr. Maddy as president); University of Michigan; Denison University; and Stella Elkins Tyler Art School (Temple University), various classes in Michigan in watercolor and oil.
Teaching drawing, exhibiting and doing commercial art gave way to “changing room environments.” Joan always loved doing murals in her homes as they moved from place to place so for 18 years she painted private and public murals of all sizes from Boston to Baltimore to Bloomfield Hills and of course all around Northern Michigan.
Her murals grace the walls of the Grey Hare Inn, The Traverse City History Center, the Dennos Chinese exhibit; Lake Ann Elementary Library and Gymnasium; the first Great Lakes Children’s Museum and many private residences.
Returning to framed work, she works in pencil, watercolor, acrylics, oil and mixed media.
About Sally Peckham
“I am a local self-taught artist that specializes in acrylic medium. My work includes a Hidden Michigan Mitten and Upper Peninsula in every painting. I have done several art fairs in Traverse City and Frankfort areas including the Cherry Festival art fair. My work is also being displayed and sold in a new store in Traverse city called West Bay Handmade on Front Street and Boardman. I also have my work displayed in Central Lake. Up coming is the month of May 2020, at the Opera House in Traverse City.”
About Laura Wright
Rustic Flower LLC
“I was so fortunate to get back in touch with my creative side this year, photographing some of the most
beautiful places in Michigan. There’s so many little gem towns delivering big ‘Mother Nature’ moments
that I had the privilege to observe.
I love losing myself in the moment and letting nature dictate when to click. I love editing to how I feel in
the moment or how I think someone else feels about a special place. I often add warmth to images,
maybe turning a muted sky into a warm sunset, or transforming a simple flower into a Georgia O’Keefe-
inspired fine art piece.
Photography has been a part of my life even before I knew how to operate a camera. I spent many years
as a young girl watching my Dad capture amazing moments with his old Minolta. I distinctly remember
coming to Traverse City on vacation, my Dad capturing the elegant swans that appear so peaceful until
they decided to chase me! In high school I took a black and white photography class—and then I was
hooked! One of my photos was chosen for the Flint Art Council show, which happened to be of my sister
at our ballet studio, sitting on a window sill, natural light falling delicately on her face, toe shoes, and
skirt. It is these memories that helped shape my love for capturing moments that resonate and strike
A business and marketing executive for over 20 years, I decided to make a shift in my life this year, and
pursue my passion for art and photography, sharing moments with others through my photography
business. For years, I thought about it but never believed I was good enough or wasn’t as good as other
photographers. This year I finally figured out it’s not about being good enough or good as someone
else—it’s about feeling emotion, capturing emotion, and being totally present in the moment; when I’m
in this mindset, I create art that I’m proud of. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more rewarding
then to hear a client say one of my photographs transported them back to a special place or memory.”
Laura C. Wright