Welcome Mat: Homestyle Garden Photo Contest kicks off

Maureen Feighan
The Detroit News

Franklin, Rochester

host garden walks

Two Oakland County communities will show off their top-notch gardens this week. The Franklin Garden Walk on Wednesday will tour approximately six private gardens. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Tickets are $12 in advance or $15 the day of the tour, available at the Franklin gazebo. Go to franklingardenwalk2016eventbrite.com to purchase tickets online. The 17th annual Rochester Garden Walk (pictured), meanwhile, on Thursday will feature private gardens and the Children’s Garden of Rochester Hills. Co-sponsored by the Rochester Garden Club and the Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm, it runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Two featured gardens are actually side by side, cultivated by longtime friends who share a space they call their “friendship garden.” Tickets are $12 in advance or $16 on tour day. Go to RochesterGardenClub.org or call (248) 656-4663. Both garden walks will include an artisans market with Michigan artists.

Homestyle Garden Photo Contest kicks off

We know Metro Detroit’s gardeners are talented – incredibly talented – and we have the photos to prove it. Hundreds of you submit photos every summer to Homestyle’s Garden Photo Contest. Now, it’s time to do it again. Enter your garden photos here or mail them to my attention at 160 W. Fort Street, Detroit, MI 48226. We’re looking for a variety of images – wide images, tight shots and vignettes. Each week we’ll pick a weekly winner who will receive a free home or garden book. At the end of the summer, in September, we’ll select a grand prize winner from those weekly winners who will receive a $100 gift card to English Gardens along with a basket of gardening goodies. The images must be from this year. Pictured is the garden of last year’s grand prize winner, Barbara O’Keefe of Livonia.

TV designer visits Shuptrine

to discuss collection, book

He’s best known as the design expert on “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” but Thom Filicia’s design pedigree began long before that. The founder of New York City-based design Thom Filicia Inc., which he started in 1998, Filicia has worked for everyone from upscale hotels to private clients such as Tina Fey and Jennifer Lopez. Now he’s coming to Metro Detroit. Filicia will visit Scott Shuptrine Interiors in Royal Oak from 6-8 p.m. June 17. He’ll talk about his new book, “American Beauty,” and he’ll discuss his collection with Vanguard. I’ll be there as the moderator. The first 100 to register for Filicia’s visit will his book for free. Go to eventbrite.com and search for “Thom Filicia” to register.

Cranbrook Custom Homes, Restoration Hardware team up on model unit

It’s called a Show House but the recently opened Cranbrook Show House, a model unit, is more of a dream house. The 6,200-square-foot house at 19085 Chaumont Way in the new Montcaret development in Northville was built by Cranbrook Custom Homes in partnership with Restoration Hardware, which provided furnishings. It features four bedrooms, a loft, a men’s cigar area, a covered porch, a lanai and more. “It’s very indicative of Restoration Hardward magazine and look,” said Cranbrook Custom Homes sales manager Erik Morganroth. The $2 million home, which opened June 4-5, is now open every day except Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (248) 266-2795 or email info@cranbrookcustomhomes.com.

Need help with garden pests? Get ladybugs

Ladybugs are more than cute. They’re serious eaters that can help control pests in your yard and on your plants. According to English Gardens, ladybugs are one of the most popular types of organic pest control for the garden, eating aphids, spider mites, immature whiteflies and other soft-body insect pests. In honor of Pollinator Weekend this weekend, English Gardens is giving away 500,000 ladybugs at its six stores. Customers will get one bag of 150 ladybugs with a purchase while supplies last; there’s a limit of one bag per household. English Gardens also will host two related seminars at all of its locations: “The Benefits of Insects” at 11 a.m. Saturday and “Create a Garden to Attract Pollinators” at 1 p.m. Sunday. Call your local store for more details.

State’s historic preservation network hosts block build in Detroit

You’ve heard of Habitat for Humanity’s mission to restore houses for family’s in need or build them from scratch using volunteers, but how about volunteering to help historic homes? The Michigan Historic Preservation Network this month is holding its first Jefferson-Chalmers Block Build on June 25. With the help of about 50 volunteers, they’ll work on projects at five historic homes, working on tasks such as window re-glazing and caulking, exterior painting and prep, tuckpointing and landscaping. Jennifer Reinhardt says the network chose the historic Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood because they already have a house on the 800 block there, purchased from the Detroit Land Bank, and they’ve already done a lot of work there, including workshops for homeowners and a historic walk. She said most of the homes were built in the 1920s and 1930s in the Arts & Craft style. “These houses are beautiful and they’re in tact,” says Reinhardt. The Michigan Historic Preservation Network wants to keep them that way. Most of the volunteer slots are filled, but Reinhardt says they are still looking for people to help with setup and other tasks. Email reinhardt@mhpn.org.