Guests can enjoy strolling the garden, enjoying the hillside picnic areas and browsing through hand-crafted lavender products in the farmhouse-inspired garden shop with its wraparound porch.
(Summer snack options include lavender lemonade and five flavors of custom-made Moomer’s Ice Cream flavored with Brys-grown strawberries, blueberries and lavender.) The Secret Garden is open seasonally from June to October.
Another garden, located west of town on M-72, is simply known as The Iris Farm.
This six-acre farm, features more than 1000 varieties of hybrid German Iris, which are usually in peak bloom during early June.
Appropriately, given its history, it is being organized as a series of 19 interlocking “healing gardens” spread through the length of the property like a ribbon.
There’s already a walled garden featuring Michigan wildflowers among the massive stone foundations of a former horse barn, a labyrinth, a landscaped visitor’s center built in a former granary dating to 1886 (complete with an underground tunnel) surrounded by pools, a waterfall, an outdoor pavilion and generous plantings of native shrubs and perennials.
Hannah and the Beers family are related through marriage.
“There’s something deeply rewarding about maintaining my family’s commitment to northern Michigan,” said Beers, a commercial banker at Fifth Third Bank.
Everything – walls, fences, doors, and door art – has been handcrafted by the Blairs.When owners Walt and Eileen Brys began developing the 91-acre site in 2001 they discovered a low-lying12-acre pocket of land that was too cold for growing wine grapes.In 2013 they found a suitable use for it, as The Secret Garden at Brys Estate, a magical spot in the forest below their vineyard planted with thousands of lavender plants, a fresh flower garden, strawberry and blueberry patches and an herb garden.Traverse City is famous for its annual cherry blossom explosion, when more than two million trees in the region’s cherry orchards burst into bloom for several weeks in mid-May.But the city and its neighbors are also a wonderland of smaller gardens.The latest addition is a sugar maple “allee” planted with over 11,000 spring bulbs.