Perennial Gardens

The Judith A. DeLapa Perennial Garden features the colors, textures and forms of flowering and nonflowering herbaceous perennials, bulbs and ornamental grasses. Ten island beds totaling 6,500 square feet informally display a multitude of diverse perennials. Because the perennials bloom at different times, the display is ever-changing, starting as early as March and ending in November, sometimes later!

The Perennial Garden is an educational resource for students, industry professionals and the public. Plants are labeled with their scientific, cultivar, and common names. Thus, gardeners can learn the names of those plants that pique their curiosity.

The Garden was designed by Laura Coit and has an informal setting with free form beds (compared to the Annual Garden, which is more formal). This Garden contains 11 island beds and covers approximately 9,000 square feet.

The majority of the original plants were installed in 1992. Some were from divisions from the Old Horticulture Gardens. Others were installed from bare root and small containers donated by the industry.


Hundreds of different flowering perennials, bulbs, ornamental grasses that perform well under Mid-Michigan climatic conditions are planted in the Perennial Garden. All beds were originally excavated to an 18” depth and amended with a composted manure and leaf mixture. This same mixture is often top dressed on beds every few years. All beds are watered by hand.

The entire garden is managed and maintained by Bethany Troy. She oversees one to two students each summer to help with maintenance tasks and many volunteers also assist with the maintenance of this and all the gardens.