Jul. 11, 2018 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
After nearly three decades of hard work and dedication, Craig and Roberta Malkowski have created their own slice of paradise at their Northville property. Their efforts will be on display this year along with four additional private gardens during the 25th Northville Garden Walk set for July 11.
The Malkowskis purchased their 2.25-acre property 29 years ago, attracted by the beauty of the location and the apple and pear orchards on the land. All that remains of the orchards is one ancient apple tree that stand like a sentinel on the property which has been transformed by the sheer determination and hands-on efforts of the Malkowskis. While they utilized professional landscaping help in the front of their home, they took on the challenge of the back garden on their own. One of the major challenges their efforts encountered was the heavy clay soil-which they first attempted to bypass by planting in the early spring or after a heavy rain.
That hasn’t always been the answer, however. One neighbor, they recalled, dubbed their area “The Northville Desert” because Mother Nature consistently skirted the area when she called for rain. The Malkowskis, not to be defeated, resorted to an old-fashioned watering system they use to this day.
“We drag a garden hose around to all the garden beds,” the couple said.
They have also battled the heavy clay soil with the installation of four compost bins at the rear of the property which hold various stages of “black gold” used to enhance their bedding plants.
The couple also took advantage of the Arbor Day seedling giveaway in Northville years ago and planted tiny trees that have matured into stately 30-foot pines towering over the acreage. They built a step-down waterfall for the 21-foot pond at the back of the property where Craig Malkowski’s “tree bench” is featured. Another project was a small pond near the house where goldfish are protected from wildlife and the couple can enjoy the serenade of frogs on summer evenings. Roberta Malkowski took a Master Rain Gardener class and developed a “rain garden” on the northwest corner of the yard. She said the “cottage garden” is her favorite, filled with many colorful and eclectic flowers.
The 25th Northville Garden Walk will take place from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. July 11. Included in the celebration of the Silver Anniversary of the event, along with five private gardens, will be a Vineyard Café at the Cady Inn at Mill Race Village where complimentary homemade cookies and beverages will be served. The Northville Student Strings will provide music from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Garden artisans will offer interesting wares along Mill Race Village streets. At garden number four on the walk, there will be a “Mystery Flower” contest where guests can attempt to identify the flower and enter a drawing for a wine basket.
The Garden Walk will take place rain or shine. Tickets are priced at $12 if purchased in advance and at $15 the day of the event. Tickets are available at Gardenviews, 117 E. Main St, Northville. On the day of the walk, tickets will also be available at Mill Race Village 215 Griswold, Northville.
Proceeds from the Northville Garden Walk provide scholarships to Northville High School students and fund local and national gardening projects.
For additional information, phone (734) 788-9935.