OUR THEME? LUCKY SEVEN!
Another beautiful day for our attendees and hosts
This year as we toured 5 unique Beaver Island spots starting at the CMU Bio-Station on East Side Dr. John Gordon led our tour through the campus relating stories about how this beautiful gem on the shore came to be and what the vision of its 3 directors has been. He spoke of the wonderful relationship the community has fostered over the years and how CMU has given back to us. The first director Mathew Hohn came up to BI for 26 years bringing his family with him. Sue Solle, our NP, loved being here so much she has returned to us at the BIRHC. The woods behind our Medical Center building has been planted with wildflowers by CMU staff and has been tidied up each year by their students. The Wellness Gardeners have kept up this relationship by including CMU in our Garden Tour plans each year. Thank you John, and drivers Vickey Neuman, Becky Uzarski, and Jessica Kosiara Your assistance is much valued.
Our 2nd stop this year was at the home of Bruce and Leonor Jacobson. We toured the former side garden which has now gone “au naturelle” due to towering trees that leave little sunshine. Leonor decided to look to the beach for a sunny location ! Off the deck was a bracken-filled incline which made the perfect spot. Hiring Barbara Rahn to design and kick-start the planting project, the Jacobsons have spent the past two Springs moving sun-loving perennials from the side garden to the front and Voila! , it has matured to a flourishing floral vista. But awareness of what the wildlife needs and loves, the Jacobsons have left the other two beachfront lots as is, including a little pond of tadpoles where the geese visit in gaggles of 20- 30 each afternoon honking and preening! The deadfall and underbrush has been home to chipmunks, squirrels, rabbits and deer. They all seem to have a mutual respect for each other’s space. Only the slugs have intruded beyond tolerance!
On from there the tour headed north to the 16 gardens of Jim Luteyn. Some of our tour goers might think they have “seen” Jim’s garden as he welcomed our group a few years ago. But just as a toddler does not resemble the teenager he becomes, this garden has grown and changed. Jim now maintains sixteen separate garden areas, each with its distinct soil type, sun exposure, drainage and plant selections. So, we had a treasure hunt — each garden was given a number, and Jim placed a printed notice in each, briefly describing the area and naming a plant or plants blooming now and/or of special interest. ( If we’re really lucky, Jim might invite us back again in 7 years!)
After this delightful morning we were ready for a nourishing meal at the Circle M! Yum! Choice of three lunch plates, homemade nut bread and fresh salads awaited our hungry crowd. Colleen Martin, her family and staff got 63 people seated, fed, and out the door in record time. Thank you Colleen, Erin, Josh, Daniel, and the girls! Jan Paul had the tables decorated with her usual artistic flair and creativity and made these prizes for the lucky winners!
Throughout the day we were given a treat with the presence of Heidi Vigil, Beaver Island Gardens proprietor. She made fortune cookies with planting advice, and gave out rakes to the Lucky Seven whose names were drawn. Thank you Heidi for all you inspire in us, lucky enough to be on BI.
The “Laughing Whitefish Lodge “ is all about the best of Beaver Island lakeshore living: the view from the deck, the grill patio, the way to the beach, the outdoor shower, the paths through the garden, and even the burial ground for pets, all in a setting kept casual and un-intimidating. We entered the garden from the guesthouse, where we saw a new garden in the planning stages;, took a woodland path to a large garden area with walkways , a spiral herb garden and enviable roses and other perennials now blooming, toward the house built by Kevin and Judy Boyle in 1998. Judy started to garden only about four years ago, realizing a long wished for dream. Initially Barb Rahn provided help with design and plant selection but Judy now gardens entirely on her own. While fairly new to the game she demonstrates the relaxed attitude, wisdom, and humor of a seasoned gardener. She allows native and introduced species to volunteer and mingle with intentional plantings to learn what they are and to keep them if she likes them. Her stonework prevents run-off and provides boundaries and features, such as the dry stream bed, and she made her own bird bath from resale shop finds and a dog watering bowl from a transfer station treasure. This is a big and complex garden, with several planted areas and a large variety of perennials, shrubs and trees. The beach is naturally rich in native plants. Clearly we couldn’t wait for seven years to ask Judy to open her garden to our tour, and we sure are lucky that she welcomes us today.
We ended the long perfect summer day at another hidden gem on the west side. We thank Michael and Gay Franckowiak who hosted our Final Dessert this year, which featured five cakes, not quite seven, but who’s counting? After Gay’s presentation of house history, we were invited into their beautiful home to wander, take in the dune setting, the overall vista of Lake Michigan from every window, and the landscape features built by the owners themselves. Here is a bow to Nantucket, a whiff of France, echoes of football — collegiate and professional, and a tennis court speaking to current activity. It’s an Emerald Isle summer at its best.
The Cake-off was a success, and typical of BI, the bakers put out their finest! Thank you Barb Murphy, Marijean Pike, Tammy LaFreniere, Nancy Tritsch and the winner, Tracey McCrumb! ! Excellent, scrumptious, mind-boggling works of culinary expertise!
Thank you all for making this the end of a delightful day! And thanks to Dale and Terry Keyes owners of Paradise Bay Cafe, for the coffee and accompaniments. We appreciate all your support! Let’s not forget to also thank Dana and Frank D’Andraia, Jan Paul, Bruce Parker, Connie Wojan, for their vehicles, bringing water, typing blurbs, and cleaning up, and our photographer Narhyn Johnson,; couldn’t have been successful without all your hard work!
What do we plan for #8? Not sure, but give us a month to relax, and we’ll let you know!
Submitted by Leonor Jacobson, and Dana D’Andraia from her interviews.