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Flowers make a splash on 41st annual garden walk

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published June 24, 2015

 Daylilies add splashes of color to the garden of Marilyn and Kirk Delzer.

Daylilies add splashes of color to the garden of Marilyn and Kirk Delzer.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


TROY — The themes of the gardens featured on the Troy Garden Club walk this year — “Artful Contemplation,”  “Blooms and Butterflies,” and “Woods, Water, Whimsy-Wow!” — are as varied as the plants and flowers growing along the garden paths.

This year’s walk is titled Splashes & Flowers and features seven gardens — five in Troy, one in Royal Oak and one in Clawson.

Karol Carter, president of the Troy Garden Club, said the search for gardens begins as soon as each year’s walk has ended. 

“We welcome anyone who would like to offer their garden for consideration,” she said.

“The Troy Garden Club is grateful to all past and present homeowners who have graciously shared their gardens over the past 41 years with our ticket holders,” Carter said.  She added that  the Troy Garden Walk is the group’s principal fundraiser, and proceeds benefit more than 30 organizations or individuals.

The theme of Marilyn and Kirk Delzer’s garden is “Artful Contemplation.” 

The Delzers have lived in their home since ‘86. Kirk Delzer, who works as an architect, said they’ve procured some of their hostas and daylilies from neighbors. Three large pine trees were started from saplings their daughter collected from classmates in her kindergarten class who didn’t want theirs, said Marilyn Delzer, who works as a travel agent.

A small maple tree now stands where a huge ash tree used to grow eight years ago, a victim of emerald ash borer disease.

Garden art, much of it purchased in Door County, Wisconsin — a peninsula that juts out into Lake Michigan across from the Traverse City area — mingles among the roses, hydrangeas, Boston ivy, daylilies, coneflowers, zebra grass, arborvitae, lilacs, burning bushes and red-stemmed dogwood in the garden. The art includes wind sculptures, revolving sprinklers, and stone, metal and glass art objects.

“I like different colors at different times,” Marilyn Delzer said. “It’s amazing to watch how things change from a month ago to what it is now.”

She gets ideas and plants from Folgers Greenhouse in Rochester Hills.
Their children, Ashley Delzer Hrcka and Derek Delzer, now living in their own homes, contributed to the garden throughout the years and are avid gardeners themselves. They still get involved in their parents’ garden, the Delzers said. Hrcka also created some of the artwork featured in the garden.
“They helped out with mulch last week,” Marilyn Delzer said.
Kirk Delzer said he spends a couple of hours in the garden six days a week, not including getting things “cleaned up” in the spring.
“It doesn’t have to be all-consuming,” he said. “I do it for enjoyment.”
“I like to sit outside and relax,” Marilyn Delzer said.
They entertain in their garden and said their friends enjoy discovering what is new each year.
“It’s fun to see our friends get excited,” he said. “It’s like an Easter egg hunt.”
“They are always looking for new stuff,” she added.

The Troy Garden Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, will present its 41st annual garden walk, “Splashes & Flowers,” July 8. Seven private gardens may be viewed 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-8:30 p.m. An arts and crafts boutique, plant sale and student art exhibit will be held at the Troy Historic Village, 60 W. Wattles, 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; admission is free.

Tickets for the walk cost $10 in advance and will be sold at Auburn Oaks Nursery and Garden Center, 3820 Auburn Road; Telly’s Greenhouse, 3301 John R; Uncle Luke’s Feed Store, 6691 Livernois; and the Troy Historic Village. Tickets cost $15 on walk day and will only be available at the Troy Historic Village. For further information on tickets or to submit your garden for next year’s walk, visit or call (248) 540-4249.