May 30, 2014 at 1:00 am

Welcome Mat: The latest and greatest for your home

Lee MacDonald's 'Backyard Bliss' was 2013's grand prize winner of the Homestyle Garden Photo Contest. 'The patio is our little island paradise,' says MacDonald of Clinton Township, who gardens with his wife, Liz. (Lee MacDonald)

Picture perfect: Homestyle's Garden Photo Contest

Doesn’t gardening feel like such a treat this year after our wretched, never-ending winter? Now it’s time to get out your camera and share your best garden photos with us! Homestyle’s annual Garden Photo Contest will run through early September. Each week — starting June 6 — we’ll pick a winner who will receive a free home or garden book. At the end of the summer, we’ll pick a grand prize winner who will win a $100 gift card to English Gardens. Lee MacDonald’s photo, “Backyard Bliss,” was last year’s grand prize winner. “The patio is our little island paradise,” says MacDonald of Clinton Township, who gardens with his wife, Liz. To submit your photo, go to Or mail your photos to my attention at 615 W. Lafayette, Detroit MI 48226. Please include your name and contact information. Last year, more than 930 submitted photos. I can’t wait to see what sprouts this year. Start sending photos now. Happy gardening!

Pewabic Pottery's Garden Party weekend June 6-8

Pewabic Pottery’s “For the House and Garden Party” is June 6-8 with tours, demonstrations and beautiful vignettes. This year’s show will feature the work of more than 80 artists from around the world, offering giftware, vignette designs and ceramic art. Pewabic has teamed up with End Grain Woodworking Company this year on special commemorative tiles that will feature frames made of salvaged wood from old Detroit houses. One of three new items this year: A 4-by-8-inch Downtown Map tile (left; $50). The show runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. June 6-7 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 8; it’s free and open to the public. The “For the House and Garden” Benefit Preview Party, meanwhile, is from 6-9 p.m. Thursday with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and live entertainment (along with the chance to shop early). Tickets are $75. Proceeds go toward Pewabic’s art and education programs. Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson.

Corktown Home & Garden Tour runs from noon-5 p.m. Sunday

Corktown is Detroit’s oldest surviving neighborhood. Bounded by I-75 to the north, the Lodge Freeway to the east, Bagley and Porter streets to the south, and Rosa Parks Boulevard to the west, it derives its name from the Irish immigrants who settled there, who were primarily from County Cork, according to the Detroit Historical Society’s website. If you’d love to see Corktown up close and personal, Sunday may be your chance. The Corktown Historical Society is hosting its annual Home and Garden Tour from noon-5 p.m starting at the Detroit Gaelic League, 2068 Michigan Avenue. Eight stops are on this year’s tour, including homes, lofts and gardens ranging in age from the 1840s to the early 1900s. Artifacts from recent Corktown archeological digs also will be on display at the Worker’s Row House on Sixth Street courtesy of Wayne State University and historian Tony Panepucci. One more special tour-day treat: There will be a vintage baseball game at 1 p.m. at the old Navin field at Trumbull and Michigan Avenue. Tour tickets are $15, available at the Gaelic League starting at 9 a.m. the day of the tour. For information, go to

Oakland County Market Spring Flower Day

If you haven’t bought your annuals or vegetable starter plants yet, there’s still time. The Oakland County Market’s second Spring Flower Day is from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday. You’ll find annuals, perennials, plants, garden accessories and more. The market is at 2350 Pontiac Lake Road in Waterford. Call (248) 858-5495 or email

Rose bowls: Early air fresheners

Long before scented air fresheners like Air Wick, Febreze and Glade helped make your home smell like freesia or lilacs with the squeeze of a button, there were rose bowls. “Our 19th century predecessors greatly valued aromatic rose petals, as scented candles and air fresheners were nonexistent,” says Linda Sirko, owner of Silver Quill Antiques & Gifts in Warren. “They found that the spherical glass bowls with small, often crimped openings, preserved the fragrance of the dried petals, emitting the scent gradually.” Silver Quill recently acquired an entire collection of rose bowls, dated from 1880 to 1985. Prices range from $25 to $150. To view the collection, go to Silver Quill Antiques is at 22813 Van Dyke Avenue. Call (586) 756-8180.

Detroit map tile from Pewabic Pottery (Pewabic Pottery)
Flower Days at the Oakland County Market (Oakland County Market)
See Corktown up close and personal on a home tour. (Corktown Historical Society)