2018 Tour dates: July 30 to August 10

Welcome to the 15th annual Michigan Garden Plant Tour, which is a free, coordinated open house of leading young plant producers of ornamentals and Michigan State University.  The objective of the Tour is to educate growers and industry professionals about new and existing plant selections and how they perform in different settings.

Greenhouse growers, landscapers, garden center operators, and nurserymen are invited to visit each of these participating Tour sites during a two-week period

Expect to learn about a wide range of ornamental crops, including popular commercial brands of annuals and perennials. This is a terrific way to observe plant performance at different locations and grown under various conditions, both in the ground and in containers.

Like our Facebook page to see participating company photos
and get the latest scoop on their Tour preparations!



View Michigan Garden Plant Tour map in a larger map
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Take a day trip to visit a couple of sites, or complete the entire loop for the full tour.  The Michigan Garden Plant Tour is completely free, but growers would appreciate a call ahead to know you'll be coming.  Use the map above to help locate the sites and plan your route.

Special Events

Some Tour sites offer special events, see below.  More information is on the site pages.  Many participating companies also offer a light lunch and/or refreshments during the entire 2-week Tour.
          July 25: The MSU Plant Trial Field Day. This half-day program features presentations from MSU faculty and staff about a range of production topics and garden plant performance.
          July 25: Customer Appreciation Day at Walters Gardens.
  The first of two days in which you can enjoy lunch and ask your growing questions to their panel of experts.
          July 27-28: The Connection at Rakers.
This two-day event features conversation, food, concerts, greenhouse tours, and kids' activities.
          August 1: Customer Appreciation Day at Walters Gardens.  The second of two days in which you can enjoy lunch and ask your growing questions to their panel of experts.

For additional, general information on the Michigan Garden Plant Tour, please contact Tour coordinators Jennifer Sweet (phone 517-353-0443) or Erik Runkle (phone 517-353-0350).

Articles about the 2016 Michigan Garden Plant Tour

Michigan MVPs by Tim Hodson, GPN magazine (August, 2016)

Making the connection by Chris Manning, Greenhouse Management magazine (September, 2016)

Video highlights from the 2015 Michigan Garden Plant Tour

The GIE Media team (which includes Greenhouse Management magazine, Garden Center magazine, and others) visited participating Tour companies in 2015, and below is a sampling of their video content. Additional videos can be viewed online at the Greenhouse Management video webpage.

Michigan Garden Plant Tour reflections

Walters Gardens

Four Star Greenhouse

C. Raker & Sons

Mast Young Plants

MSU Annual Trial Gardens

Video highlights from the 2014 Michigan Garden Plant Tour

Editors from Greenhouse Management, Nursery Management, and Garden Center magazines visited each Tour stop in 2014, and below is a sampling of their video content. Additional videos of each company can be found on this Greenhouse Management magazine webpage.

Four Star Greenhouse

Michigan State University

Mast Young Plants

C. Raker & Sons

Pell Greenhouses

Walters Gardens

What have participants said about the Michigan Garden Plant Tour?

We conducted a post-Tour survey of participants of the 2013 Tour.  Here are some highlights of what they told us:

  • The displays and garden plant trials met or exceeded expectations for 97% of attendees
  • 98% of respondants indicated there were sufficient staff at each site to answer questions and provide guidance
  • As a result of participating in the Tour, 88% of producers planned to offer new varieties next year
  • 97% of attendees believed they increased their knowledge of new plants somewhat, considerably, or tremendously                                    
  • 85% of the Tour attendees in 2013 plan to attend again in 2014.

Additional media highlights from past Michigan Garden Plant Tours

Mast Young Plants

Spring Meadow Nursery

Four Star Greenhouse

C. Raker & Sons
Tour de Michigan, from the November, 2012 issue
of Greenhouse Management magazine. By Kristy O'Hara.
Summer Trials - More from Michigan, from the November, 2010 issue
of GrowerTalks magazine. By Chris Beytes.

Michigan State University

Walters Gardens
    These short videos were created by Garden Center Magazine and are from the 2012 Michigan Garden Plant Tour. Each opens into a new window.

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Thomas G. Coon, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. This information is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products, companies or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned.