This story was published by The Ypsilanti Daily Press on Thursday, August 22, 1929.
Pleasant memories of Ypsilanti linger with 80 and 90 travelers daily—fragrant memories of fresh flowers from the gardens at the Michigan Central depot.
The greenhouse and garden spots were established in Ypsilanti fully 40 years ago and have since been maintained here by the railroad. In addition to the pleasing landscape effect which passengers enjoy while the trains stop here, small boutonnieres are made up daily at the greenhouse and distributed to the patrons of the road. L. B. Moore has charge of the gardens and Malcolm Laidlaw makes up the nose gays, an average bouquet consisting of a rose geranium leaf, a blue scabiosa, a gaimardia, a pink and some mignonette.
Flowers during the winter are grown in the green house and the supply is enhanced by the use of blooms grown in the summer time and cured, such as the brilliantly purple everlasting clover and the variegated straw flower. These little bouquets are distributed each day on trains 13, 15 and 23 which arrive at 9 a.m., 2 o’clock and 3.33.
There are 12 plots or ornamental gardens at the station with one spelling “Ypsilanti.” Each bed is surrounded by a close clipped, thick turf, kept velvety and green in spite of the extremely dry summer. At the top of the slope above the green house is a garden plot in which thousands of flowers bloom from early spring to frost time.
At present one may see about 600 variegated asters, every plant stroog and healthy; patches of three kinds of geraniums, the dusty miller, two kinds, for use in borders; straw flowers and everlasting clover for curing; phlox, zinnias, 450 carnation plants; helio trope, seabiosas, calendulas, 600 gladioll plants, Jerusalem cherry plants, Martha Washington geraniums, umbrella plants, trailing colus, ornamental grass, hardy pinks, mignonette, bachelor buttons, vinca vina, lobelia, myrtle, primulas, cineraria, aifnantha, old hen and chickens, dahlias, goldenglow, spider lily, Japanese daisy, vinca plant and numerous shrubs including licacs, Japanese plums, rubber plants, palms, spirea dns roses.
Other garden spots at the depot are now aflame with the brilliant cannas, there being five varieties diaghn, President, yellow king, Humbert and red king Humbert. Salvia, also bright red and cox comb may be seen in addition to a variety of other unusual plants. Seven kinds of hardy peonies appear in a single bed where cosmos and nicotine plants also are frequent.
Besides proving flowers for three trains stopping here daily and for the ornamental beds, the local greenhouse supplies decorations for the Detroit depot on holidays and with a similar institution at Niles, under John Gipner, chief gardener of the road, furnishes plants and shrubs for depots throughout the state. This spring two car loads were sent out from here.
In the winter activity is transferred from outdoor work to the greenhouse where plants are stored and cared for. New clippings are made in the fall and set out each spring. Tiny clippings from rose buses received only tow weeks ago are already in bloom, having been grafted into roots. Nearly 200 new ferns have been started and carnations are to be removed soon to make roof for new clippings
Inside the greenhouse is a jasmine tree, whose flowers smell extremely sweet and which can be used in the manufacture of perfume. The tree is not hardy enough to survive out doors in this climate so it has been carefully nurtured in the glass house. It has been pruned closely in order to keep it from interfering with the entrance.
In addition to making ready for the fall work which consists of potting and caring for plants which are now out of doors, Mr. Moore is having the paths which wind between the flowers beds filled with clean crushed rock and is arranging to have a new boiler for the heating system installed.