United States of America, Michigan, Bay County, Bay City
Claire's Garden (Bay City, Michigan)
After restoring a near-derelict 1879 house and replacing at least 20 truckloads of construction debris and cement with 20 truckloads of fresh topsoil the current owner created a 100 x 100 foot English style garden with walkways and garden beds in 2008. Discarded brick from the old chimneys and old railroad ties were reused for walkways and edging. Flowering shrubs and bulbs in shades of pink and burgundy were chosen for historical accuracy and to complement the merlot trim on the blue siding of the house. A wrought iron fence was planted with a myrtle hedge on one street side and 28 historic rose bushes on another side, a variety that was developed in France in 1864. The rest of the garden features pink and white varieties of peonies, sweet William and irises in early summer, with rudbeckia and dahlias introducing a different color palette later in the season. The garden is shaded by mature maple trees, an old gingko tree, newer red maple trees and white pines that are indigenous to the area.
The house, also known as the George and Maria Mann House, has been included in historic tours in Bay City and Claire's Garden has been included in a local garden tour. A television program, "The Story Trek with Todd Hansen," that seeks out people with interesting stories featured this house and garden. Also, the owner was the 2012 recipient of Michigan's historic preservation network's citizen award. The garden has also been featured on the 2010 Bay City Garden Club walk.
Persons associated with the garden include George W. and Maria C. Mann (former owners, 1879-1892); Amos J. and Mary Woolfitt (former owners, 1892-1972); rental property with various owners (1973-2002); Copoco Credit Union (former owner, 2002-2007); Green Valley Nursery in Bay City, Michigan (tree plantings, 2008).
The folder includes worksheets, historic information and photocopies of articles.
Garden featured in "Return to Grandeur" by Pati LaLonde published in "The Bay City Times" September 10, 2008; "Entrepreneur's Plan Goes Beyond School" by Brandon Howell published in "The Bay City Times" June 19, 2011; "Restored & Awarded" by Zachary Reichard published in "The Bay City Times" April 5, 2012