Fernwood Botanical Garden

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Fernwood Botanical Garden

This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (February 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve Pond scene at Fernwood in late autumn. Location within the state of Michigan Location Lower Peninsula, Buchanan Township, Michigan USA Nearest city Niles, Michigan Coordinates 41°51′55″N 86°20′48″W / 41.86526°N 86.3466°W / 41.86526; -86.3466Coordinates: 41°51′55″N 86°20′48″W / 41.86526°N 86.3466°W / 41.86526; -86.3466 Area 105 acres (42 ha) Established 1964 Governing body Fernwood, Inc. (non-profit) The Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve is an arboretum, botanical garden, and nature preserve located at 13988 Range Line Road in Buchanan Township, Michigan. It covers an area of 105 acres (42 ha). It is open to the public; an admission fee is charged. Contents 1 History 2 Features 3 See also 4 References 5 External links History Fernwood originally began as the home of Kay and Walter Boydston, who purchased its first 12.5 acres (51,000 m2) in 1941, and became a public garden in 1964, through the efforts of Lawrence and Mary Plym. Additional land purchases have increased the site to 105 acres (42 ha), providing space for the arboretum, prairie restoration, and newer gardens. Features The Garden is located on the St. Joseph River and contains landscape gardens (8 acres), woodland nature preserve (50 acres), an arboretum of trees and shrubs from temperate regions around the world (40 acres, started in 1971), and restored tallgrass prairie (5 acres, started in 1976), as well as a conservatory (greenhouse) featuring more than 100 kinds of tropical ferns. The landscape gardens include a Japanese “dry” garden designed by Ben Oki , a hosta garden with dawn redwood and Ginkgo, a tufa rock garden started in the 1950s, a fern garden with more than 50 types of hardy ferns, a boxwood garden, a lilac garden (1940s), a lily pond , and an herb garden featuring over 200 types of herbs. The nature center displays exhibits about the ecosystems and animals of Fernwood and items of seasonal interest, as well as live animals including an active beehive and local reptiles and amphibians. Environmental education programs are offered year round. See also List of botanical gardens in the United States References External links Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

Fernwood Botanical Garden

Well, I wish I could tell you how pretty the trails are, how good the food in the cafe is, and how wonderful a day at Fernwood can be. I wish I could. I tried to get there. I mean, we had only the Harbor Country guide that described Fernwood, and provided a phone number. No map, no directions, nothing helpful like that. So I, 21st-century woman that I am, said to my friend, who was driving, “I know! I'll call and get some directions. After all, I know it's at one of the first couple exits in Michigan, and it's not that far from the exit. All we need to know is which exit.” Wonderful plan, right, Gentle Reader? So I called Fernwood around 4pm on Thursday, and the call was answered by a real person named Jo or Jill (a female). I said, which I-94 exit do we use to get to Fernwood? And Jo said, “I don't know.” She did not have any sort of directions at hand. She did not offer to ask someone else. She did not offer anything more than “I don't know.” Gentle Reader, I must tell you – I have been working for many a long year. Every place I worked, every office, every restaurant and bar, we had a set of directions at the reception desk, so that potential visitors/ customers could find us. Apparently that is too much trouble for the folks at Fernwood. Maybe they have more visitors than they can handle already? OK, fine. I said to my friend, it's been 6 years since I visited, but I know it is at maybe the first or second exit in Michigan. We should at least see some signage. Uh-uh. Lots of signage about where to find a Holiday Inn or McDonald's, lots of directions for lodging and entertainment and gentlemen's clubs. Nothing for attractions. We really wanted to go. We really did. We actually got off at various exits and drove around for an hour, trying to find this place. No luck. We got all the way back up to Exit 6, where we had exited 2 days earlier to go to our lodging in Union Pier, and I said, let's forget it. This is crazy. Let's just get over to Chesterton, have some dinner, and go home. And that's what we did. I don't like automated attendants as a rule, but I bet that, had there been an automated attendant answering the phone at Fernwood, we would have gotten more help. Unbelievable.

Fernwood Botanical Garden

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Well, I wish I could tell you how pretty the trails are, how good the food in the cafe is, and how wonderful a day at Fernwood can be. I wish I could. I tried to get there. I mean, we had only the Harbor Country guide that described Fernwood, and provided a phone number. No map, no directions, nothing helpful like that. So I, 21st-century woman that I am, said to my friend, who was driving, “I know! I'll call and get some directions. After all, I know it's at one of the first couple exits in Michigan, and it's not that far from the exit. All we need to know is which exit.”Wonderful plan, right, Gentle Reader? So I called Fernwood around 4pm on Thursday, and the call was answered by a real person named Jo or Jill (a female). I said, which I-94 exit do we use to get to Fernwood? And Jo said, “I don't know.” She did not have any sort of directions at hand. She did not offer to ask someone else. She did not offer anything more than “I don't know.” Gentle Reader, I must tell you – I have been working for many a long year. Every place I worked, every office, every restaurant and bar, we had a set of directions at the reception desk, so that potential visitors/ customers could find us. Apparently that is too much trouble for the folks at Fernwood. Maybe they have more visitors than they can handle already? OK, fine. I said to my friend, it's been 6 years since I visited, but I know it is at maybe the first or second exit in Michigan. We should at least see some signage. Uh-uh. Lots of signage about where to find a Holiday Inn or McDonald's, lots of directions for lodging and entertainment and gentlemen's clubs. Nothing for attractions.We really wanted to go. We really did. We actually got off at various exits and drove around for an hour, trying to find this place. No luck. We got all the way back up to Exit 6, where we had exited 2 days earlier to go to our lodging in Union Pier, and I said, let's forget it. This is crazy. Let's just get over to Chesterton, have some dinner, and go home. And that's what we did.I don't like automated attendants as a rule, but I bet that, had there been an automated attendant answering the phone at Fernwood, we would have gotten more help. Unbelievable.

Fernwood Botanical Garden

The Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve is an arboretum, botanical garden, and nature preserve located at 13988 Range Line Road in Buchanan Township, Michigan. It covers an area of 105 acres (42 ha). It is open to the public; an admission fee is charged.

Fernwood is beautiful and so magical. It has some very well manicured spots, but its charm really lies in its wildish areas. This was someone's home until it was donated to the public in the 1970's and it shows. Their two houses are still on the property, along with woods, streams, ponds, and sculptures. It really is a treat, and different from most botanical gardens. The ravine garden when the japanese primroses are in bloom (april, I think) is the most beautiful garden I've ever seen. Don't miss it!

I was introduced to Fernwood by my aunt when she was living in nearby Buchanan, MI. The garden is located in a beautiful rural setting along the banks of the St. Joe River. It is a little off the beaten track, but it's not that hard to find if you take Highway 31 and follow the signs. In addition to several formal and cottage gardens, there are beautiful nature trails through various kinds of terrain. The views along the river are quite lovely. During the summer, there is a model railroad garden that is fun for kids of all ages. This is a small scale operation that is staffed mainly by a dedicated group of volunteers. Don't expect things to be on a grand scale like you would find in a large city garden. However, it's a lovely place, and well worth a visit. They have a small cafe that serves delicious food if you are lucky enough to be there when it is open (hours are somewhat limited). As I mentioned in another review for WAUS 90.7 FM, during the summer there are outdoor classical concerts at the garden on Sunday afternoons. Admission is free during these special events.

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