Home and garden tours with live music, dinner and a dessert reception showcase historic Palmer Woods homes on July 13 and 14.
Photos by Barbara Barefield
Homes holding history and gardens holding fresh blooms go hand in hand at the Palmer Woods Home & Garden Tour set for Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14.
The Saturday evening soirée — with live music, strolling dinner, introduction to the tour and dessert reception after visits — kicks off the weekend showcasing renovated residences and updated landscaping, some properties originally planned by area executives and designed by prestigious architects.
The event will be held at a 6,300-foot Tudor home surrounded by land that features a greenhouse, pools, fountains and raised garden beds designed by Deborah Silver of Detroit Garden Works.
A shuttle will provide transportation to all the other homes and gardens throughout the evening, and soirée guests will have free entry to the Sunday tour, which also can be accessed by walking from place to place. Some neighborhood homes, built in the 1920s, combine the old with the new as specifically planned by current owners.
Jodee Fishman Raines, who moved to the area eight years ago and is active in the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue, will show the first floor of her remodeled 1928 Tudor home and its environment-friendly garden.
“We’ve done renovations to make our home more historically accurate,” Raines says. “We discovered a hidden carved plaster ceiling with flowers and scroll work that had been covered by a dropped ceiling.
“Our garden is a modern interpretation of European gardens with fountains, gravel walkways and lots of flowers. We manage the rainwater on site so that storm water stays out of the sewer system. We also have native plants — pink coneflowers, blue lobelia and cardinal flowers — that contribute to a healthy ecosystem.”
Barbara Weinberg Barefield, who is on the committee planning the tour, explains that 10 sites will be visited, some where both the home and garden will be open and others where one or the other will be shown.
Not showing her own home or garden, Barefield is an enthusiastic area resident who arranged to feature residences she has admired over many years in the area near Woodward and Seven Mile. They are in a range of styles that include Dutch Colonial and New England Colonial.
One special Palmer Woods home, Barefield points out, was planned by Frank Lloyd Wright and owned by Dorothy Turkel. The home’s native/prairie-inspired gardens were designed by landscape architect Richard Hass. The residence, built around 1955, is Wright’s only home in Detroit itself.
Another special residence, a renovated French chateau-styled manse, belonged to the Gershenson family, long active in the Jewish community.
The Palmer Woods Home and Garden Tour runs 5-10 p.m. Saturday, July 13, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, July 14. $125 for Saturday with Sunday activities included. Tickets for Sunday alone are $35 in advance and $40 on event day; $15 for those ages 13-18 and free for those 12 and younger. (313) 891-2514. Palmerwoods.org/home-and-garden-tour.