In search of Pocket Gardens – around town

Last month, while visiting my favorite small town, Saugatuck I was struck by all the lovely, tiny gardens that filled the town. After writing a post showing off all the little gardens I found, I decided to take a look for pocket gardens in my own town.

I actually live in the city, only a couple of minutes from the downtown area. My neighborhood and the immediate neighborhoods around mine are urban, working class neighborhoods, filled with old houses standing side-by-side with tiny little backyards or no backyards at all. Some of the houses are either single family dwellings like mine or converted into apartments as rentals. There is a mix people living here, of families with children, students from the nearby colleges, singles, artisans, white collar workers, blue collar workers, unemployed. 

A perfect place to look for pocket gardens. I found so many that I’ve had to break this post up into two. Today, I want to show off a few of the lovely gardens that our downtown businesses and organizations have created and maintain.

I’ve shown off our downtown park before, and mentioned that our county is one of the top producers of bedding plants in the country, so volunteers provide a beautiful display every year in honor of this industry.  The nearby businesses have followed suit.


The entrance to one of the older churches in town. The bright red door sets off the red geraniums beautifully.


The garden is in a courtyard facing the street. It’s a quiet sanctuary just a few yards away from the busy street.



Looking through the courtyard gate.


A local bed and breakfast. Originally, this building was a funeral home. If you look at the eaves decorations, you can see that it is made up of Christian crosses.


The front garden is a bit ho-hum and is looking very Victorian in keeping with the building.


More of the garden hugging the side of the B & B.


And leading to, surprisingly enough, a little Italian patio garden in the back.


The Food Dance Cafe not only has a lovely entrance…


but thery’ve started a garden in the back along the parking lot,


which includes fresh herbs for the chefs.


They planted a wall of ornamental grass to help block out traffic sounds.


Right across the street is the YWCA. There is very little space along the front but they filled it with grasses, russian sage, coneflowers, rudbbeckia and daylilies. This is one of my favorite public buildings in the downtown area.



The main entrance in the back where they created another lovely pocket garden.



I really love the peace signs.


While both the local college and university use a lot of grass plantings, this hedge of grass is a favorite as I drive by it each morning on my way to work.


These photos were taken about 3 weeks ago; now the grass is about a foot taller and way over my head.

I’m a little disapointed with the university’s floral display this year. Usually the campus is quite beautiful. I know many of the groundspeople, they are all required to complete and maintain their master gardener’s certification in order to work here so I’ve become friends with them at various volunteer projects.  Perhaps they’ve had a budget cut this year and are making do with less.


They’re going with a lot of containers this year instead of ground plantings.


Conifers with trailing stuff seems to be the common theme.


A different container with just flowers, though there is a conifer in a pot immediately to the right of these two.


I think that purple and red are the two best colors to put together.

The next “In Search of Pocket Gardens” we will explore the local urban residences that have come over to the garden side.

Be sure to click on the photos for a clearer view.


About Jill-O

a girl who likes lakes, trees and critters; making an attempt at living the artistic life.
This entry was posted in community, flowers, gardens, Michigan, photos, summer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to In search of Pocket Gardens – around town

  1. Catherine says:

    You found many beautiful pocket gardens. I love how they’ve all used what space they had to fill with different plants to make it a nice view for anyone passing by.

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