Fernwood - Niles, Michigan

Botanical Garden in Niles, Michigan - www.fernwoodbotanical.org


fernwood structureFrom the aconites of early spring through the asters and mums of fall, Fernwood is an ever-changing landscape of blooming plants. In April and May, visitors enjoy drifts of daffodils and primroses, a wonderful variety of flowering trees and shrubs, and Fernwood’s famous blue lawn. Summer brings a rich diversity of shade- and sun-loving perennials, annuals, and herbs, plus many butterflies. Even after the first frosts of autumn, the gardens continue to delight with colorful displays of perennials and ornamental grasses.

Fernwood began as the country home of Kay and Walter Boydston, who purchased the first 12.5 acres in 1941. During the years that followed, Fernwood became a popular gathering place for those who shared Kay’s love of nature, horticulture, and the craft arts. In 1964 Fernwood became a public place through the efforts of Niles philanthropists Lawrence and Mary Plym. Additional land purchases increased the size to 105 acres, providing space for an arboretum, prairie restoration, and additional gardens. The Nature Center was constructed as an office building in 1973-74 and converted to its present use in 1989. The Mary Plym Visitors Center also opened in 1989.