Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Explore the beauty of Hidden Lake Gardens

Nestled in the scenic Irish Hills of southeastern Michigan, Hidden Lake Gardens presents a wonderful opportunity to spend the day relaxing, recreating and discovering. While the setting is secluded, the gardens are only about eight miles west of Tecumseh and easily accessible from M-50.


Owned and operated by Michigan State University under the division of land management, the park includes six miles of paved drives for automobile or bike access, 10 miles of hiking trails, a picturesque landscape and an incredible collection of flowers, trees and shrubs.

Hidden Lake

Here are some of the many highlights of Hidden Lake Gardens. 

Butterfly Bush

The Conservatory

The Conservatory is made up of three distinct zones. The Temperate House includes a huge assortment of beautiful flowering plants. 

Banana Plant Flower

The Tropical Dome, which is humid and warm, allows tropical trees, palms and fruit bearing plants such as bananas and limes to thrive throughout Michigan’s coldest winters.

Colorful plants in the Tropical Dome

The Arid Dome, which lacks humidity and moisture is perfectly suited for its collection of succulents and cacti.

Succulents in the Arid Dome

Bonsai Courtyard
An extraordinary display of miniature trees in the Bonsai Courtyard is accessible from the Conservatory.  Visitors can view the permanent display from May through October. 

Bonsai Courtyard

On Sunday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the gardens will hold its 5th annual event, The Art of Bonsai, featuring art inspired by bonsai, a bonsai show, vendors offering bonsai and pots and tools, and a lecture on how to get started in growing miniature trees. 

Daily admission applies and there is an additional $3 entry fee for the show. 

Hosta Hill

Touring the Grounds
Next to the lake, you’ll find The Benedict Hosta Collection, or Hosta Hill, which includes more than 800 varieties of the Hosta species. 

Woodland Drive is a winding scenic road through an oak and hickory forest. 

The Harper Collection of dwarf and rare conifers contains over 500 specimens. 

A picnic area is available to enjoy lunch or a snack in a covered shelter or under a shade tree. 

Potted succulents at the entrance to the Visitors Center

Stop by the Visitors Center and Gift Shop for more information about the park and trails and peruse the large assortment of garden-related gifts.

Water Lily

Hidden Lake Gardens is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. through October 31. Winter hours begin November 1 and hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Check the website for holiday closings. 

Admission is $3 per person, free for children age 2 and under (and free for your dog, on a leash, of course). The first Monday of every month is free (unless it is a holiday such as Labor Day).

Enjoy your visit!

Jerry’s Pub on the Lake
While in the area, take advantage of the early fall weather and grab a bite to eat at Jerry’s Pub on Wampler’s lake, located at 650 Egan Hwy. off M-12. 

A favorite among locals and visitors alike, Jerry’s outdoor deck overlooking the lake is the perfect spot to enjoy a burger, pizza or fish and chips. 

Jerry's Pub at Wampler's Lake

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