Apparently, (according to this farmer that my cousin talked to at a farmers market downstate) after the peepers start singing, if you count three hard frosts, it’ll be okay to plant. When you’re downstate in Michigan, it is typically safe to plant on Memorial Day weekend. Up north, in the Grand Traverse area, you may want to wait until the first of June. Or if you listen to the old farmers who would know, you can plant anytime after the 3rd frog frost regardless.
The nighttime low temperatures are rising and I cannot wait any longer. This morning I decided to go see the best growers I know. Eden Hill Greenhouse is small outfit on the west end of the Grand Traverse area in Benzie County, Michigan.
Pete and Tim Volas own the business and oversee all of the growing. Pete had been a vegetable farmer in Missouri before he moved to Michigan about 30 years ago, and while began with veggies here as well, he soon converted his business to growing wholesale flowers. You may know Tim from the Traverse City Farmers Market. They always have the most beautiful chrysanthemums in the fall.
After Tim graduated from college, he came back to the area to join the family business. About ten years ago, Pete’s wife Barbara (Tim’s Mom) became ill. It was a very challenging time for the family all the way around. Running a business only added to the difficulties they were experiencing. In order to lighten the demand from the greenhouses, they converted the business once again, moving away from wholesale they began selling directly to the public.
Opening to the public has proven to be a good decision for the Volas family. It has certainly been a great thing for those of us who get to shop here too. Stepping into this greenhouse is an experience so incredible they could easily be charging admission. But don’t tell them that!
Meet Otto. The first thing I saw today when getting out of my car was this face. The picture is a little blurry, and it’s even upside down because I wasn’t ready for him. And by the time I was, he was off to greet the next person. But in my brief encounter with Otto, he brought a smile to my face.
The next thing I saw, brought another one. It was this perfect lilac. Of course it’s not part of the inventory, just a bonus for me there at the edge of the parking lot enhancing the view. So I had to share it with you.
The view from inside the greenhouse offers an even more spectacular view. The display is an explosion of color. You’ll find the selection is superior quality with plants ranging from fresh herbs to cactus. And you’ll find the most amazing hanging baskets ever.
I took the above picture just inside the central greenhouse where Pet and Tim have assembled a nice variety of annuals for our easy shopping. You can see gerbera daisies, geraniums, petunias, fuchsia and the most beautiful coleus. You can call this one stop shopping and be perfectly satisfied or you can venture into the other greenhouses.That would be my recommendation.
There are five greenhouses all together and I found these succulents in one of the greenhouses out on the other side of the drive. There are a lot of unusual plants in this one, many of which are not picture. You’ll have to go there to see them and when you get there, you won’t find planters like this just anywhere. These are really special.
Outside, centered between two of the greenhouses is where you’ll find the perennials all lined up. Whether you are looking for annuals, perennials, flowers for you or for a friend, or just the experience, you’ll find something that delights you.
I highly recommend you stop by Eden Hill. Tell them I sent you! 😉
2034 Eden Hill Road
Beulah, Michigan 49617
Here’s how to get there. It’s at the top of the hill on U.S. Route 31 just before you go around the bend and down the hill heading into downtown Beulah (coming from Grand Traverse County). You’ll turn west on Lincoln Road by the Presbyterian Church-the one with the big windows that overlook the Lake Michigan shoreline.
The map below is a link to help you out along with some visuals that may help guide you. Look for these signs and the church on the hill at the corner of Lincoln Road and U.S. Route 31. You’re going to actually cross Eden Hill Road and enter off of Lincoln to the back of the greenhouses. Parking is a little tight, but if you pull down the dirt road that winds through the greenhouses you’ll find a spot.