Westcroft Gardens in Grosse Ile is the oldest farm in Michigan still owned by the same family. The current owner, Denise De Beausset, is a seventh-generation descendent of the Macomb family that purchased the island from the Native Americans in the eighteenth century. There are two more generations continuing the tradition: Erica L. Mesedahl Jackson, current manager of the Gardens, is an eighth-generation descendent of the Macombs, and Cammy, Denise’s granddaughter and a ninth-generation descendent, lives with Denise in the original farmhouse.
On May 18, Denise, Erica, and Cammy hosted the Westcroft Gardens annual garden party in their botanical gardens to kick off the summer season. The botanical gardens were established by former owner Ernest Newman Stanton, who began changing the property from a hay farm to a flower nursery around 1920. He planted new varieties of broadleaf evergreen plants—azaleas, rhododendrons, laurels, dogwoods, and others—in the former hay fields. Today, these plants are still included in the four and a half acres of botanical gardens.
The gardens are open to the public from dawn to dusk every day of the year. Admission is free, but donations for the upkeep of the property are gratefully accepted. The botanical gardens are also available to rent for special occasions, including photo shoots, family reunions, graduation parties, and weddings.
Westcroft Gardens hosts Market at the Farm every Saturday into October. Market at the Farm is a farmers’ market presented by Westcroft Gardens and Gardens of Hope of Grosse Ile, “an urban agriculture opportunity of education and feeding those in need.”
On June 28, Westcroft Gardens will host Animal Day at Market at the Farm. Visitors are encouraged to bring their pets for this special event. For more information, visit the Westcroft Gardens Web site or call them: (734) 676-2444.
June events at Westcroft Gardens:
June 7: Market at the Farm – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
June 14: Market at the Farm – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
June 21: Market at the Farm – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
June 28: Animal Day at Market at the Farm – 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.