Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Garden Tea at Meadow Brook Hall

Last Thursday, August 27th, my girlfriend and I attended the 62nd Annual Women's National Farm and Garden Association [Michigan Division] International Tea held at Meadow Brook Hall. The event was co-hosted by Troy Garden Club and Meadow Brook Hall.  It was appropriately held at Meadow Brook since Matilda Dodge Wilson belonged to the Women's National Farm and Garden Assoc. and was a member of multiple garden clubs.

I've been to Meadow Brook Hall numerous times, but never toured the gardens, or viewed the mansion from the back, so it was a new and enjoyable experience.  The first garden we approached was just off the parking lot and side entrance to Meadow Brook, called the Orientation Garden.

~ Side of the mansion leading to the back ~

~ The Knot Garden ~

~ The Pegasus Fountain Garden ~

The photo below is the entrance to the Breakfast Room and Christopher Wren Dining Room.

~ The Patio Garden ~

We meandered our way through gardens and walkways to get to the large white garden tent where we registered and had lunch at noon. 

~ There were almost 300 attendees ~

~ The Troy Garden Club made all the centerpieces ~

After Words of Welcome, the Pledge of Allegiance, and Invocation, lunch was served.

It began with a delicious tomato-based Gazpacho, and roll with herb butter.

 ~ Followed by a Caesar Salad ~

Dessert was Angel Food Cake and Fresh Fruit.  Hot tea was Lipton's tea bags - the only thing about the event that could have been improved.

After lunch a member of Meadow Brook's staff gave a brief history of Meadow Brook Gardens, and Matilda Dodge Wilson's involvement with gardening.  Self-guided tours of the gardens were from 1:30 - 3:00 p.m.  Below is the sunken Rose Garden that once contained more than 1,800 roses. The central brick path leads to the Rose Tea Terrace.

Even though late summer, some roses were still blooming.

~ Rose Tea Terrace ~

Then we made our way back up the brick path to the back of the mansion and more gardens. Below is the window in the Christopher Wren Dining Room.

~ The Loggia Terrace ~

~ The English Walled Garden ~

This path led to a Rock Garden and Tea House.  The pointed roof of the Tea House is visible below [top center]. We couldn't go in it because a wedding rehearsal was in progress.

The tea house is also visible on the upper right side of the photo below.  The photo is off center so it wouldn't disturb the wedding party.

~ More of the Rock Garden from the other side of the wall ~

~ The Entrance Bridge to Meadow Brook Hall ~

~ Close-up of Meadow Brook's Forecourt and Entrance ~

~ The Gatsby Garden ~

And lastly, we peeked inside Danny's Log Cabin built in 1926.  It was used as a rustic playhouse by Matilda's young son, Danny Dodge.  Later a "T" shape addition was added for a workshop for him.

Knole Cottage, a three-quarter scale playhouse was also built for Frances Dodge the same year, but we didn't go in it since we've toured it on previous visits.  It's not far from Danny's Cabin. 

I thoroughly enjoyed touring the beautiful gardens.  Even though I'm not a gardener myself, I appreciate seeing the dedicated work of others.


  1. What a beautiful place! So glad you could enjoy it.

  2. Such beautiful photos! Love the food presentation - particularly the dessert!


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