The Henry Ford Estate Fair Lane is doing a celebration of mothers through a new annual initiative, The Clara Ford Tribute Garden.
To honor any special woman in one’s life, April 30 is the deadline for anyone to send a $100 donation to recognize one’s living loved one in the blossoming garden, and choose to have the Henry Ford Estate mail a Mother’s Day card to the honoree, informing her of the gift. Bernadette Banko, director of development for The Henry Ford Estate, advised that the cutoff date is Friday for receiving the donation by mail, or by going on online at www.henryfordestate.org.
“It could be a nice way to honor mother, or even grandmother, aunt, niece, sister, daughter or friend,” Banko said Thursday, “If the person is not living, then May 20 will be the deadline to have a sign in that person’s memory since it will not be up until the garden is planted, but if you want to have a card sent out for Mother’s Day, then we need to receive the gift by tomorrow.”
The national historic landmark is honoring Clara Ford’s 150th birthday year, “and honor all women who have made a difference in the lives of others,” through its initiative. The purpose of the Tribute Garden program is intended to raise new funding for increasing the variety of plants in The Henry Ford Estate’s “Cutting Garden,” and help support annual garden maintenance throughout the national historic landmark’s landscape.
Clara’s Tribute Garden, originally labeled the “Picking Garden” on Jens Jensen’s 1915 landscape plan but now referred to as the “Cutting Garden,” was historically a garden space for trying out new variety of plants before planting them in the more prominent display gardens. Each year, a mix of perennials and annuals are grown in the Cutting Garden each year (including many old fashioned varieties: coreospsis, purple coneflower, salvia, Shasta daisy, snapdragon, zinnia, bachelor buttons and many other examples). Some unusual or rarely-seen varieties of heirloom plants are also cultivated.
In 1950, Clara Bryant Ford was named “Mother of Michigan” by “The American Mothers Committee” (this framed citation and award still hangs in Clara’s dressing room at Fair Lane). To have one’s own mother honored, the Henry Ford Estate emphasizes the name of the Mother must be printed exactly as one would like it to appear in the garden. To have the Mother’s Day card sent, the honoree’s street address must be provided by the sender, along with how the sender’s name is to appear on the card.
If anyone makes a gift for the Tribute Garden to recognize a special mother, the Henry Ford Estate invites the donor, along with the donor’s honoree and family, “to visit often and enjoy the garden.”
The donation must be made payable to The Henry Ford Estate and sent to The Clara Ford Tribute Garden (care of 1100 Lake Shore Road, Grosse Point Shores, MI, 48236).