We are a group of Rock Garden enthusiasts with nearly 200 members, mostly in Michigan. We focus on plants of the Alpine regions of the world but never turn down a chance to grow any unique or interesting plant. Why not join us?

From garden tours to plant sales, our members enjoy sharing their knowledge and passion in this type of horticulture. We have speakers and programs that span the globe, with experts from as far as Europe, South Africa and New Zealand to our very own members, all united in the pursuit of rock gardening.

Future Local Events

Friday – Sunday, May 17-19, 2019:
Spring Gala, Plant Sale & Garden Tours.

Friday May 17: starting at 6 PM
Meet and greet at Tony & Susan Reznicek's garden, 890 Wickfield Court, Ann Arbor,
Park on the street (parking is a bit limited, so carpooling would be great)

GLC spring plant sale will be there; all can participate. Along with plants donated by GLC members we have procured plants from Wrightman Alpines and Sunscapes Nursery. Also Esther Benedict (Benedict’s Nursery: directions and description ) will be selling her rock garden plants. If you are not a GLC Chapter member, do feel free to donate any special plants you would like to have distributed to other rock gardeners to help support this event.

Saturday May 18: 9 AM - 4 PM Garden Visits.
for garden details see the flyer.
6 PM Dinner at Weber's in the Atrium Ballroom,
8 PM Vojtech Holubec: Happy in the Wild, Happy in the Garden

Sunday May 19: 9 AM - 1 PM garden visits.
General Ann Arbor area map for planning – see also inside the flyer. Also significant and worth seeing are Matthaei Botanical Gardens and the Nichols Arboretum with its striking Peony Garden.

Saturday, June 8, 2019: Spring Meeting with Marcela Ferreyra

Future National Events

Friday – Sunday, May 3–5, 2019:
NARGS ANNUAL MEETING:"Rooted in Diversity”
At the Sheraton Great Valley in Frazer (a suburb of Philadelphia). Hosted by Delaware Valley Chapter.
Contact: Jerry Rifkin (jerryr95 AT comcast.net). See also the fall issue of the Rock Garden Quarterly (if you are a NARGS member).

Previous Events

Saturday, April 6, 2019: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Spring Meeting with Ger van den Beuken
Matthaei Botanical Gardens 1800 N. Dixboro Rd
Ann Arbor, MI 48105 United States [Google Map]

Two programs were presented by Ger van den Beuken, one of Europe’s most eminent experts on the cultivation of choice alpine plants.

  • Program I (11-12:30): The Cultivation and Propagation of the Genus Saxifraga (includes Porphyrion, Saxifraga and Ligulatae Saxifrages).
  • Break (12:30-1:30)
  • Program II (1:30-3): Cushion and Mat-forming species.

A communal lunch was enjoyed by all participants between the two excellent talks which showed an enormous variety of beautiful plants in cultivation and in the wild. Ger has seen and grown dozens of different species of the more than 440 known in Saxifraga; the list of those he discussed was a large extension of those listed on Wikipedia. Unfortunately, the wilds are places most of us will never reach (such as high Patagonia or the far Caucasus), and those plants that are in cultivation somewhere often cannot take Michigan conditions (such as our summer heat or highly variable winter cold). However, Ger did provide practical tips on doing the best one can, drawn from observation in the wild and 35 years as a grower, and gave much encouragement to those willing to try.

Member Joan Bolt, whose jewel of a garden GLC visited in May last year, brought a trove of valuable gardening books. She had decided these were surplus to her present requirements, and to give them away free to 'good homes', as she put it. Many members left very happy with their new treasures.

In addition, a Business Meeting of GLC adopted the motion that the Chapter incorporate. The Chapter Chair, Holly Pilon, will submit Articles of Incorporation to the State of Michigan. Incorporation differs from the legal status following from the previous Articles of Association, dating from 25 October 2010, to be seen from the GLC Governance page. Incorporation protects individual members from personal liability and will simplify obtaining liability insurance for for events that GLC runs, like the upcoming Gala, on May 17-19, and garden visits. It does not affect GLC's charitable or tax situations.

Saturday, January 19, 2019: [NOTE: changed from Jan. 26]
The Annual Winter Potluck took place at Matthaei Gardens in Ann Arbor. The new Bylaws were discussed at the business part of this meeting, and the GLC Board continues their refinement and deliberations over legal correctness.

Sunday, December 9, 2018:
The Great Lakes Chapter packaged seeds for the NARGS seed exchange at the downtown Ann Arbor library.

On a rare sunny Michigan December day, we were lucky to have 22 meticulous workers and were able to get all the seed packaging done in only three hours instead of the allotted six hours!

The primary tools were a sheet of paper and a single edged razor blade-yes it looks like everyone is doing lines of cocaine and it did attract attention from curious library patrons although when they saw what we were doing decided they really didn't want to join us after all.

Each participant is entitled to 10 free packets of seeds through the upcoming seed exchange. The random seed they took home stuck by static electricity to their fuzzy sweaters was just a bonus.

Kudos to Holly Pilon, our president, and Jacques Thompson, for orchestrating this big endeavor.

Saturday, November 3, 2018:
Fall Meeting at the Hamburg Senior Community Center – see the map in the Fall Newsletter
MEETING: 11:00 AM – ca. 3:00 PM
PROGRAM: Marcia Tatroe
11:00 AM – Four Seasons in a Rock Garden
1:30 PM – Going Beyond Alpines

Bio at NARGS: Marcia Tatroe writes the monthly "Mountain Garden Checklist" for Sunset Magazine and is a frequent contributor to Colorado Gardener and other gardening publications. She has been gardening in Centennial, Colorado, for over 31 years. Her photography and gardens have been featured in numerous books, magazines, and nationally televised gardening shows. She lectures throughout the West focusing on garden design, rock gardening, xeriscape, and native plants, advocating using drought-tolerant and native plants and indigenous materials to create a gardening aesthetic unique to this region. Her garden was awarded Gold Habitat Hero status by the Audubon Rockies in 2017 as an outstanding urban wildscape.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018:
Special Meeting in Room 125 at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.
PROGRAM: Sue Milliken and Kelly Dodson
from Far Reaches Farm in Port Townsend, Washington
For a list of articles about them click the link just given.

Saturday, September 22, 2018:
Fall Meeting & Plant Sale, & Garden Tour
MEETING: 11:00 AM – ca. 3:00 PM at Eric and Julia Hofley's garden, 4010 Fairlane Drive Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301
See the Plant Sale Insert
BAG LUNCH: While touring the gardens
PLANT SALE: 1:30 PM – See the Plant Sale Insert for details.
A very successful plant exchange in a lovely garden setting full of interesting and well-grown plants! Even the weather was fine if a little cool.

Saturday, September 1, 2018:
Bus trip to Bob Iiames Garden fair in Englewood Ohio, with a visit to another garden thereafter, and a short stop at Springfield Garden Center in Tipp City on the return journey. For a report with pictures see the 2018 Fall Newsletter.

Friday to Sunday,July 6–8, 2018; NARGS Annual Meeting 2018 "Where Alpines Meet the Sea"
in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

A great meeting followed by an optional Post-conference Tour.

Newfoundland Limestone Barrens
Monday, July 9   Monday, 16, 2018
Todd Boland, Trip Leader

Saturday May 5, 2018;
Spring Meeting & Plant Sale
at Mike & Libby Greanya’s and Pat Byler’s in Jackson.
Details were in the Spring Newsletter and the accompanying insert.

Saturday March 31, 2018;
Spring Meeting, Conifer Extravaganza! at
Matthaei Botanical Gardens Auditorium (see the map in Newsletter
11:00–ca. 1:00 tour the garden;
CATERED LUNCH: 12:30 — 1:30;
PROGRAMS: Robert Fincham

11:00 AM – Dwarf Conifers Suitable for Small Gardens

Some conifers are among the hardiest plants, and many are evergreen, offering year round color and texture. Though many are big trees, dwarf sports are not uncommon and selecting and propagating these allows a huge diversity to be utilized in even in small gardens.

1:30 PM – Colorful Conifers

Among the mutations to which conifers are prone are color mutation that provide splashes of color even in winter months. Find out what ones are best for our gardens.

Robert Fincham

Robert Fincham was a founding member and first President of the American Conifer Society, and a well-known author, nurseryman, speaker, and introducer of dwarf conifers. Popular illustrated books he has written on conifers include Small Conifers for Small Gardens, and Special Conifers For Special Gardens (3 volumes). For many years he was the owner of Coenosium Gardens, a specialty conifer nursery. See http://coenosium.com/ for more information.

Saturday January 20, 2018;
Winter Pot Luck and Janet Macunovich Lecture
at Matthaei Botanical Gardens in Ann Arbor
MEETING: 11:00am – ca. 3:00pm
POT LUCK LUNCH: 12:00 noon
BUSINESS MEETING: 1:00pm included a ceremony handing over the prestigious NARGS Edgar T. Wherry Award to Tony Reznicek
Janet Macunovich and Stev Nikkila talked on
    Planting Well Even When Roots Aren't Right.

This was of special interest to those planting woody plants from containers. Jacques Thompson relates that Janet's presentations Giving Your Conifers a Haircut and Columbo on Conifer:Why’d it Die? ,at the National Conifer Society concerning new insights into planting techniques, caused him to change his ways. Janet is a South-East Michigan gardener, designer, author and educator [see her biographical page]. For a map and other information see the GLC Winter Newsletter or the lecture's posting at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Saturday September 23, 2017;
Fall Plant Sale and Garden visit
at the garden of Ed and Colleen Weiss in Ann Arbor, 1005 Fairmount, Ann Arbor, MI 48105 — see [Newsletter]:
11:00–ca. 1:00 tour the garden; BAG LUNCH: While touring the garden; PLANT SALE: 1:30 PM — See the Plant Sale insert for details.

(Note this meeting is the 23rd not our usual date of the third Saturday in September.)

Ed and Colleen Weiss are pleased to host. Relatively new to the world of Alpines, they have been planting these fascinating plants over the past five to six years. Their introduction to the plant world began with their collecting unique and diverse conifers. All this planting activity takes place in and around large boulder walls creating a unique back-yard environment. The Alpine garden is a work-in-progress that begs complementing the conifer slogan “I haven't met a Chamaecyparis I didn't like” with “There isn't a Saxifraga we wouldn't plant”.

Sunday September 24, 2017, at 1:00 pm;
Hypertufa Trough Workshop given by Don LaFond
at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Don LaFond will show people how he makes his wonderful troughs, and also include some tips on planting them.

Saturday and Sunday, September 16-17, 2017;
Exotic Plant Show and Sales weekend
at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Saturday May 6, 2017;
Spring Plant Sale and Garden visit
at Joan Bolt's, 509 Fendale St SE, Grand Rapids – see map insert.

MEETING: 11:00am -- ca. 3:00pm
GARDEN: 11:00-ca. 1:00 tour the garden
BAG LUNCH: While touring the garden
Changed from 1:30 pm on 3 May to allow more time for Blue Horizon excursions
-- for other details see Newsletter and map insert for details.

Due to the distance many of will be travelling we wanted to have a second venue of interest for this outing and Blue Horizon Nursery will more than fill the bill. Located about a 45-minute drive from Joan’s, this a bit-off-the-beaten-path plant destination will leave you absolutely plant drunk!

Blue Horizon Nursery
09721 59th Street Grand Junction, MI 49056. Hours: Wed – Sun 10 am till 6 pm

Saturday February 18, 2017;
Business Meeting, Talks 12:00-12:45 pm and 2:30-3:30 pm, and Membership pot-luck
at Matthaei Botanical Gardens auditorium in Ann Arbor, MI

Kenton J. Seth gave two fascinating (45-minute -- the first went rather longer to the audience's pleasure) talks. One on “Crevice Garden Construction” beginning followed by our membership’s pot-luck lunch, and the second presentation “Wildflowers of the Caucasuses”. Both lectures were well attended. In addition there was a demonstration of grafting (a peach on a cherry) by Andy Duval and an auction of some donated books and choice plants (particularly 2 Hamamelis in bloom from Duval).

Kenton Seth is a young native of Colorado. He is a plant nut and native plant hunter who has worked in public horticulture and nurseries. Kenton currently owns Paintbrush Gardens, a dual specialty landscape company which builds un-irrigated native landscapes and crevice gardens for public spaces. Kenton also documents his adventures on his blog “I Need A Cup of Tea”. In addition, you can look at a YouTube video from a crevice gardening workshop by Kenton at the J. C. Raulston Gardens in Raleigh NC

Photos: Rimmer de Vries

  • Rimmer-Fritillaria-olivieri-IMG_1174.JPG

    Fritillaria olivieri

  • Rimmer-Herbarium-IMG_9293.jpg

    At the Herbarium

  • Rimmer-House_IMG_1448.JPG

    Garden view

  • Rimmer-Iris_'Thor'_IMG_1430.JPG

    Iris cv. 'Thor'

  • Rimmer-Iris_acutiloba.jpg

    Iris acutiloba

  • Rimmer-Iris_kirkwoodii_x_atropurpurea_IMG_1460sm.jpg

    Iris kirkwoodii

  • Rimmer-Jeffersonia_dubia_20120318.JPG

    Jeffersonia dubia 2012-03-18

  • Rimmer-P_caucasica-20120416.JPG

    Paeonia caucasica 2012-04-16

  • immer-Paeonia_tenuifolia_IMG_1450.JPG

    Paeonia tenuifolia

  • Rimmer-Sax_on_tufa_20120219.JPG

    Saxifrage on tufa 2012-02-19

  • Rimmer-earlys_sax_20120318.JPG

    Early saxifrage 2012-03-18

  • Rimmer-photo2-20111022.jpg

    Crocus sp. 22 Nov 2011


Tony Reznicek received 2017 NARGS Edgar T. Wherry Award

Encomium: There is no doubt that Tony fulfills the requirements for the Edgar T. Wherry Award. I have known Tony for at least 25 years and read many newsletters and NARGS Quarterly articles he has written, as well as several talks. Tony has served as the GLC newsletter editor for over 30 years. He has been a past director of NARGS and a past president for GLC. Tony is the Curator of the University of Michigan Herbarium. His knowledge of plants is second to none. Tony leads countless plant tours for the GLC and many other organizations, and, as some have experienced a tour of the UP of Michigan for the post-conference trip of the past National Meeting in 2015. As the Wherry Award concerns the dissemination of botanical and/or horticultural information, I did some research on what else he has spoken or written about. I counted over 300 scientfic papers, magazine articles, and books that Tony has co-authored or authored outright. I believe all, or at least most, of his writing subjects consisted of native plants around the Great Lakes and Canada and high-elevation plants of Mexico, with some very interesting work on plant hunters, with a big interest in Reginald Farrer, and Joseph Rock. His big plant focus is, but certainly not limited to, Carex, on which he literally wrote the book. I also roughly counted 300 speaking engagements on numerous scientific and horticultural subjects, all this dissemination of botanical and horticultural information spread over 50 years. Tony is a tireless proponent of rock gardening, horticulture, environmental concerns and a mentor of countless people (me included). We here at the Great Lakes Chapter of NARGS would love to see Dr. Anton (Tony) Reznicek receive the Edgar T. Wherry Award for a simply amazing career, so far!