Dow Gardens, in Midland, are about 3 hours from Kalamazoo. The gardens were planted by Herbert Dow, the founder of Dow Chemical, on the grounds of his estate. His son, architect Alden Dow, designed many of the garden's structures. With over 100 acres open to the public, the gardens are a pleasant spot to spent an hour or so. Paths wind along streams, across bridges, and through woods. Most of the gardens have an informal, naturalistic style, inspired perhaps by Japanese gardens rather than the geometric arrangements of Europe. There are colorful annual and perennial beds, sculptures, ponds, a bright children's garden, and a circular yew maze. Admission $5 Students $1 Annual pass $10
I teach economics at Kalamazoo College. My wife is also an economist. We were on sabbatical in Europe for the 2014-15 academic year. (Salamanca, Spain, followed by Oxford, UK.) We were in Uruguay for the 2006-7 academic year.