The annual spring plant sale at Cranbrook House and Gardens is attended by hundreds of shoppers each year.

The annual spring plant sale at Cranbrook House and Gardens is attended by hundreds of shoppers each year.

Photo provided by Eric Franchy, Cranbrook House and Gardens public relations coordinator


Cranbrook marks start of spring with plant sale

New fairy garden demo to be offered

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published April 30, 2019

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — Most years, guests show up to the historic Cranbrook House and Gardens in coats and sweaters to shop the annual plant sale.

It’s chilly, but make no mistake: The event is a celebration of spring.

The 47th annual spring plant sale at Cranbrook will be held this year May 14-15, with loads of native plants, perennials, herbs, vegetables and beautiful blooms available for purchase, many of which were propagated right on the property by auxiliary volunteers.

Admission to the sale is free and open to the public, and the proceeds from each item sold will benefit the preservation of the house and gardens.

“It’s so wonderful. I believe it is (the auxiliary’s) largest fundraiser,” said Laura Eby, the spring plant sale co-chair. “I love to see the community come out and support it, and I certainly love the people that work out at Cranbrook. It’s a very rewarding cause.”

New to this year’s sale is an opportunity to learn about fairy gardens during a demonstration from the Herb Society of America-Southern Michigan Unit. The whimsical mini-gardens are fun for all ages to create, and the sale typically offers a selection of small plants and herbs that are perfect for fairy garden designs.

“They’re just precious. We had the plants last year, but the demo will be new, and it’s going to be great,” Eby said.

Another big draw for shoppers is the sale’s selection of native Michigan plants, like the rows of trillium available that were raised from rescued plants around the region. Cranbrook gardeners visit construction sites throughout the year to retrieve native species before they are destroyed by builders, and then they propagate them in Cranbrook’s greenhouse.

“The spring plant sale has been attended by over 650 people annually for the last three years,” Eric Franchy, the public relations manager for Cranbrook House and Gardens, said in an email. “Thanks to the support of our loyal shoppers, and the hard work of Cranbrook House and Gardens Auxiliary volunteers who spend countless hours potting perennials, rescuing native plants and running the sale, each plant sale typically raises over $30,000 for the preservation and beautification (efforts).”

The sale will be open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesday, May 15. The fairy garden demonstration will take place at 4:30 p.m. May 14. Visitors to the sale are encouraged to bring wagons to transport their purchases back to their vehicles, and a complimentary volunteer-driven shuttle will take shoppers between the plant sale and the parking at Christ Church Cranbrook, 470 Church Road in Bloomfield Hills.

For more information, visit housegardens.cranbrook.edu or call (248) 645-3149. Cranbrook House and Gardens is located at 380 Lone Pine Road in Bloomfield Hills.

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