June 13, 2014 at 1:00 am

Welcome Mat: The latest and greates for your home

New Guinea impatiens can be used instead of regular impatiens. (Chris Howell / AP)

No impatiens at English Gardens again this year

If you were looking for impatiens at your local English Gardens store this spring, there’s a reason you couldn’t find them. For the second year, English Gardens, which has six stores in Metro Detroit, isn’t selling impatiens because of downy mildew, a fungal blight that hit the popular flowers two years ago. “We made a decision to not sell impatiens again this year, because we want to ensure our customers success,” says John Darin, president of English Gardens, in a news release. “We couldn’t in good conscience sell a plant that we believe will fail.” Instead of impatiens, English Gardens has several alternatives: begonias, New Guinea impatiens, coleus, vinca and SunPatiens.

'Ask a Designer' feature offers free design help

Do you have a room in your home you just don’t know how to decorate? A color quandary? A furniture fiasco? We want to help. Homestyle and the Michigan Design Center have teamed up on “Ask a Designer,” an occasional series in which a local interior designer helps answer and resolve your design dilemmas. To submit a question, email questions@michigandesign.com or send it in writing to the Michigan Design Center, Attention: “Ask a Designer,” 1700 Stutz, Suite 25, Troy, MI 48084. Pictures are encouraged. Your question and answer may be featured in an upcoming issue of Homestyle.

Hugh offers unique gifts for Father's Day

Looking for something unique for Dad this Father’s Day? Check out Hugh on Cass Avenue in Detroit. This sleek home decor store with a modern aesthetic has everything from barware and furniture to shaving supplies. Owner Joe Posch has a slew of fun gift ideas for Dad, including the Copper Unlined Mule Mug (perfect for a Moscow Mule cocktail). Since it’s unlined, the mug ($31.50) “will acquire a fantastic patina with use,” says Posch. Hugh is at 4240 Cass, Suite 107. Call (313) 831-4844.

'Home Garden' is this week's garden photo winner

Summer hasn’t even officially started, but James White’s Brighton garden is already teeming with color. There are yellow irises, purple irises, peonies and a Japanese red maple. In the center is a small pond with a rock waterfall. It’s a “beautiful and peaceful setting,” he says. White’s “Home Garden” picture is the winner of this week’s garden photo contest. He will win a home or garden book and be entered as finalist for the grand prize at the end of the summer, a $100 gift card to English Gardens. To enter your garden photos, go to detroitnews.com/gardenphotos and click on “Submit a photo.” You can also mail your photos to Homestyle Garden Photo Contest, 615 W. Lafayette, Detroit, MI 48226. Please include contact information.

West Bloomfield Home Tour is on June 21

In honor of its 40th anniversary, the Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society is hosting its first home tour in 27 years on June 21. Six homes built between 1825 and 1928 will be on the Living with History: Historic Homes Tour of Greater West Bloomfield which runs from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 21. With the 40th anniversary, “we thought it would be a good time to do it,” says Gina Gregory, the historical society’s president. The tour starts at Schulak Farm, 6889 W. Maple, and ends at the Orchard Lake Museum, 3951 Orchard Lake Road. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 the day of the tour. Order them online at gwbhs.org/homestour or go to Orchard Lake Village City Hall or the Friendshop at the West Bloomfield Library.

Several garden walks planned for June 20-21

The Crocker House Museum in Mount Clemens is an Italianate style home built in 1869. It was the home of one of the city’s first mayors, George M. Crocker, and his wife, Katherine, great granddaughter of the city’s founder. The house, rescued by the Macomb County Historical Society in 1976 , reflects a distinct time in Mount Clemens’ history. It’s the starting point for the Crocker House Garden Walk June 21. The walk, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature several local private gardens. Tickets are $10 for historical society members ($15 for nonmembers). Call (586) 465-2488 for information.

Meanwhile, at least two other garden walks also are planned next weekend: A Mad Hatter’s Tea Party Garden Walk, presented by the Gardeners of Northville-Novi, and the 23rd annual Grosse Pointe Garden Tour. The Mad Hatter’s Tea will run from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 21 and will showcase seven gardens. Tickets are $10 (go to www.gardenersnorthville-novi.org for details). The 23rd annual Grosse Pointe Garden Tour (pictured left), sponsored by the Grosse Pointe Garden Center, will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. June 20-21. Six private gardens are on this year’s tour, along with the Trial Gardens and Veterans Garden at the War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 the day of the tour. Call (313) 881-7511, ext. 206, for information.

'Home Garden' by James White of Brighton (James White)
Enjoy a summer day experiencing unique stories of greater West Bloomfield ... (Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society)
Grosse Pointe Garden Tour (Grosse Pointe Garden Center)