Garden Photo of the Day

Dahlia Hill in Michigan

Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

Happy Monday, everyone! Today’s photos are from Cheryl Weeks-Rosten, a volunteer at Dahlia Hill in Midland, Michigan, two hours north of Detroit.

Bench at the top of the garden. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

Cheryl says, “Dahlia Hill is a hillside garden devoted for the past 25 years entirely to dahlias. This free garden began because a young girl gave her mother two dahlia tubers for Mother’s day. The father in that family, Michigan artist Charles Breed, now 85, began planting them on the property next to his art studio. Eventually that hillside property was purchased and terraced through contributions from the community and a local foundation and today operates as a non-profit. It’s at the corner of a busy intersection and wows people daily.

Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

“About 50 volunteers keep this unique organic garden going. In the third week of May volunteers plant 250 varieties representing all 19 petal configurations recognized by the American Dahlia Society. We plant 3,000 tubers in all, and when we dig them up, they generate close to 10,000 to store. After the killer frost hits in early October we begin the process of digging, dividing, labeling, and storing them in a surprisingly small closet kept at 45 degrees.

Dahlia ‘Aitari Diadem’. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

“On the last two weekends of May, we sell our leftover tubers for $2 each, so there are probably more dahlias in our community than in most.  Since Dahlia Hill is such a unique community garden, the public is invited for a cider and donuts open house every September to celebrate the Autumn Equinox and the dahlias at their peak.

Dahlia ‘Jersey’s Beauty’. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

“Besides the garden, visitors will also notice Charles Breed’s scultpures in aluminum of the four seasons and also the four stages of human life. For more information about Dahlia Hill and Charles Breed’s hilltop studio, seek out”

Dahlia ‘Kelvin Floodlight’. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

Wow, Cheryl, that is amazing! I definitely need to visit next time I’m in Michigan to visit family. Thanks for introducing us to this great garden!

Dahlia ‘Marie Schnugg’. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

*** Hey all, I have a new email address for photo submissions. Having everyone send it to my everyday account was filling up my inbox with hundreds of megabytes of photos, and the “Your Mailbox Is Almost Full” notices were getting a bit obnoxious. So, from now on, email photos to [email protected]. Easy! ***

Night before frost. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten
Dahlia ‘Sherwood’s Peach’. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten
Dahlia ‘Wanda’s Aurora’. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten
Dahlia ‘Grace Rushton’ and “Autumn” sculpture. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten
“Winter” sculpture. Photo: Courtesy of Cheryl Weeks-Rosten

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View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 10/22/2012

    What a heartwarming and beautiful community achievement...Midland, MI must be a very special place to live. The flowers are gorgeous and Mr. Breed's sculptural pieces are stunning.

  2. tractor1 10/22/2012

    I didn't realize there are so many different dahlias. A difficult decision but I think I like Sherwood's Peach best.

    This is my Peachie.

  3. pattyspencer 10/22/2012

    Beautiful - what a wonderful community project. The pinks and yellow are my favorite.

  4. cwheat000 10/22/2012

    Absolutely beautiful. This garden is just one of those places that makes the USA so special.

  5. jagardener 10/22/2012

    A community project such as this renews our FAITH and HOPE and reminds of that which is good in the USA. Wonderful colors and Dahlias have now become a favorite!

  6. TeriCA 10/22/2012

    What a wonderful community you must live in to have such faithful volunteers to this beautiful garden! Just think of the possibilities if every neighborhood had something like this! Beautiful! Congratulatins!

  7. Bthecook 10/22/2012

    This is amazing and inspiring! What's also amazing is that I have a sort of personal connection. I grew up in Bay City, MI (near Midland) and was in Charles Breed's 2-D design class at Delta College - many years ago. I'm glad to know about the garden and museum. I live in NY state now and can't wait to visit Dahlia Hill when I go back to visit!

  8. cwrosten 10/23/2012

    We got hit with a hard frost the first week of October, but the warm weather to follow has made it easy to get on with digging, washing and bagging the tubers. Next week we begin
    the indoor task of dividing, labeling and storing then - still damp - in ordinary store bags filled with kitty litter or vermiculite. Thanks for all the compliments and do come and visit us if you're in the area. Our garden kicks in when most others are past their prime, and that's the fun of planting dahlias in your own garden too: something to look forward to late in the season.

  9. suzflora 10/23/2012

    It is a beautiful place run by some very special people. Come visit next fall!

  10. bugiba 10/24/2012

    Hello my dear
    My name is Joy I am a girl single and never married, please contact me
    back in my e-mail address [email protected] and I will give you my picture and further details thanks.

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