Flint in Genesee County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Demonstration Garden
C.S. Mott established the farm and vegetable garden to be sure his family and guests could enjoy the benefits of healthy and tasty fresh food. As the children grew up and left home, the large vegetable gardens were no longer needed. Years later when Ruth Mott renovated the gardens, she create this demonstration garden filled with ideas for visitors to use at home or in their communities.
The Historic Vegetable Garden
The large rectangles of grass to your left were originally Applewood's vegetable garden, shown here in the 1940s. Notice the overhead sprinkler system on poles. The Motts believed there were many benefits to eating home-grown food, and C.S. insisted on using Applewood's own meat, fruits, and vegetables before buying. Gardener John Mair informed the cook what was ready to eat each week so she could plan menus.
Ideas to Look For...
• a fern collection west of the chicken coop
• a waterlily pool
• a bubbling fish-shaped fountain
• a collection of ornamental grasses in the southwest corner
More Than Just Plants
Concrete, bluestone, brick, and pavers
A statue called La Brezza ("The Breeze" in Italian) was a 95th birthday gift to Mrs. Mott from family, friends, and staff. A beautiful herb garden surrounds the bronze girl, who seems to be celebrating the sights, sounds, and smells of the garden. Ruth Mott celebrated with her about 1995.
Different Plants Each Year
A wide variety of flowers, vegetables, and herbs are grown here. Some love shade; others love sun. Some are annuals, which must be planted each year. Others are perennials, which return again and again. Look for small labels among the plantings that identify their names. Feel free to smell, taste, and ask questions!
"After dinner, C.R. [Cousin Ruth] and I walked around the grounds. In the lower garden it looks as though there might be a lot of strawberries. Peas seem to be doing well except there are a number of spots where the pheasants got ahead of us."
— C.S. Mott, June 1945
Be sure to take some ideas home with you today!
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture Horticulture & Forestry. A significant historical month for this entry is June 1945.
Location. 43° 1.376′ N, 83° 40.502′ W. Marker is in Flint, Michigan, in Genesee County. Marker can be reached from East Kearsley Street south of Walnut Street. Marker is on the Applewood Estate about 400 feet south of the East Kearsley Street (west) gate. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1400 East Kearsley Street, Flint MI 48503, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Heart of the Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); Gatehouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fun and Games (about 400 feet away); Applewood Estate (about 400 feet away); Ruth Mott's Point of View (about 500 feet away); Terrace Reconstruction Project (about 600 feet away); Flint (about 800 feet away); Renewing an Old Orchard (about 800 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Flint.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 8, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 14, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 94 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on November 14, 2019, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.