The Old Town Commercial Association is kicking off its first ever Old Town in Bloom event on July 24, featuring varied glimpses of urban gardening in backyards, courtyards, public and private settings.

Michael Beebe, an avid gardener for 26 years and lover of unique urban space, approached Old Town Commercial Association with the idea to host an annual garden event. He has been part of the Greater Lansing Garden Tour and several garden shows.

The event will feature over eleven gardens and urban spaces throughout Old Town, many of them with tantalizing names: Key West North, Turner-Dodge House Gardens, Elements of Nature, A Garden Enclosed, The Secret Garden, Robert Busby Memorial Garden, A Place For Growth, Pardee Sunken Garden, Cozy Koi Ponds and Gardens, Old Town Oasis, and Urban Patio Oasis. For the most part, these gardens don’t announce themselves grandly, but are tucked into unexpected places.

“There’s a lot of cool gardens in Old Town,” Beebe said, “There’s some really unique spaces that people don’t know about.”

Beebe hopes the event will open many eyes to the beauty that is in Old Town and in each garden. Sharing discoveries with other people on the tour will be a part of that experience.

“It will showcase urban space, but also serve as a social event,” he said.

Each garden already has its own attractions, but many will acquire extra features for the tour. The Mid-Michigan Bonsai Association will set up a display at one garden, while others, including Beebe’s own garden, will host local artists, painting the views. Most of these gardens will feature the work of local talent, including painting, sculpture , and glass art. All the artwork will be garden themed.

“Some features and gardens might be a surprise,” Beebe said. “We’ll see.”

Beebe believes that Old Town has served the Lansing community well. He has experienced the effect to the utmost, as he lives in Old Town.

“I spend a lot of time in Old Town, taking part in many of the events,” Beebe said, “I plan to get more involved in the future.”

For Beebe, Old Town in Bloom is just the beginning. With the unique elements that Old Town offers, he believes that it will continue to get more creative and unique for Lansing area residents.

Beebe sees this event as an opportunity not only to experience the signature urban spaces that are characteristic of Old town, but a chance to support the association, and the community, as whole.

“Old Town is a hub for culture,” Beebe said.

Beebe suggests that all ages come to this event, as it is a place not only for avid gardeners, but for families and anyone who likes to explore cool places. (He recommended the Turner Dodge house’s Rose Garden, with its fragrant, sheltered arbor, for romantic couples.) With a wealth of unexplored, garden-decked nooks and crannies, Old Town is perfect for a meandering stroll.


Old Town In Bloom

Noon - 6 p.m. Sunday, July 24 $15 adv., $17 day of.

Old Town, Lansing (517) 485-4283 iloveoldtown.org/events

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