Heritage Hill Garden Tour returns June 19 with a free community event from the Pleasant Park Marketplace


GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Gardening is a quiet pastime for some, but it’s serious business at Heritage Hill.

After a year without its annual visit to Heritage Hill Gardens, the district is making a strong comeback on Saturday, June 19, bringing back tours to 13 gardens. The event has expanded to include the free Pleasant Park Marketplace, a family-friendly event that features artisan vendors, music, and activities for kids.

Heritage Hill Garden Tour co-chair Karen Coy said many of the proud garden owners look forward to sharing a wide variety of styles with their guests, from shabby chic to traditional Victorian.

“I think we have so much variety in our styles and our architecture, you are definitely going to see it reflected in the gardens,” she said.

This year’s festivities are especially important to the Heritage Hill Association after major fundraisers and events last year were canceled due to the pandemic.

“We, of course, had to cancel last year, because of COVID, so we’re really very happy to bring it back,” Coy said. “One of the things that’s also really especially special this year is that we’ve decided to bring her back bigger than ever.”

The organizers are particularly excited to bring the park event to the community and allow them to reconnect in a space that has been an epicenter of the neighborhood.

“We hope that people will hang out with local artisans and vendors, bring lawn chairs and a picnic while listening to music, and go with their children to the children’s tent for all the various activities planned throughout. throughout the day, ”said Barbara Draughon, Executive Director. of the Heritage Hill Association.

“The residents have invested so much effort in making Pleasant Park the beautiful space it is today, and we are happy that it serves as the centerpiece of the event.”

Garden tours have a long history at Heritage Hill, a historic Grand Rapids neighborhood near downtown that has preserved much of its community from serious renovations since the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Kate Diedrich, co-chair of the Heritage Hill Garden Tour, said the gardens are essential to the beauty of the neighborhood and the owners are the artists.

“People who choose a historic home end up falling in love with it, and the garden becomes the home’s picture frame,” she said. “As every home and every owner is so unique, the gardens tend to reflect both. “

Coy herself fell for it when she inherited her house in the neighborhood. Her backyard – a shabby-chic style garden with a backdrop of upcycled light fixtures and fairy gardens – will be on display, and she credits much of her development to the region’s enthusiastic community.

“I just started to inject my personality into the yard,” she said. “For me, it was just some kind of extension or some other way of being creative.”

From visits to the historic gardens to live music, Coy said all kinds of guests and community members would find something to enjoy.

“It’s such a special neighborhood and so we’re always happy to bring people here,” she said. “There’s just such a sense of history here.”

On Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., people can explore the private gardens of various historic homes and public spaces in the Heritage Hill district. Advance tickets are $ 12 and are available at www.heritagehillweb.org or at the Heritage Hill Association office at 126 College Ave.SE.

Tickets are available on-site on the day of the tour for $ 15 at Pleasant Park, 400 Pleasant Ave., where a map of participating gardens will be provided. A reduced group rate for groups of 10 or more is available in advance for $ 10 per ticket. Children 12 and under are free.

This year, the free Pleasant Park Marketplace runs in conjunction with the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. tours. Along with the variety of artisan vendors, the festival will feature a midday performance by the Mary Rademacher Trio and a DJ playing retro music throughout the afternoon.

More information on tours and tickets are available online.

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