The Michigan Central Greenhouse was constructed north of the Depot in April. It was used to grow the plants for the flowers that were used in the gardens at the Railroad Station.
Following is an article about the Depot Gardens that was written in the Commercial, the Newspaper of the Period.
The Depot Garden
It may be interesting to the flower loving people of Ypsilanti, to know something of the work that is being done on the depot grounds of the Michigan Central. For two years past the company has been beautifying its property surrounding the depot building, making it beautiful and attractive for the eyes of its patrons as well as the citizens of Ypsilanti. The grounds have been tastefully laid out under the direction of the gardener, Mr. Laidlaw. The closely shaven lawn is dotted every where with flower beds of all shapes and sizes. Hard rolled gravel walks with borders of coleus wind about in various directions, thus enabling the visitors to obtain a near view of all of the beds.
The masonic bed is perhaps the most attractive of all. In a large circular space, various emblems of masory are worked out in different colored leaf-plants in a most skillful manner.
The designs have all been made by Mr. Laidlaw, who has shown excellent taste in the grouping and arrangement of his plants and colors. The large pyramid of cannas, petunias, nasturtiums, and many other varieties of plants, is gorgeous, being a mass of flowers of many colors on all sides. On a rise of ground and surrounding the water-tank the name “Ypsilanti” is spelled out in red letters. The very large Scotch thistle is a great attraction with its long, grayish green leaves thickly covered with needle-like spines. It must be 6 or 7 feet high now and has not yet reached its full growth.
All the plants used were propagated in the little green-house just at the rear of the depot. The new green-house, now in process of construction at the extreme west end of the grounds will be 5 times as large, 20 by 100 feet, and will afford facilities for the propagation of 100,000 plants. It is to be heated with a hot water furnace and will have all the conveniences necessary for the work to be carried on there. Hotbeds, etc., are just in the rear of the building. The now rather diminutive fish-pond is to be considerably enlarged for the accommodation of many more of the tribe.
Last summer, the company distributed bouquets of flowers as souvenirs to its patrons on the through trains and this summer has resumed this pleasant custom of surprising the weary traveler with a bunch of fresh and fragrant flowers.
About 120 bunches are distributed daily to 3 of the through trains, the remaining 4 trains being supplied with flowers at other points.
Visitors to the grounds are unanimous in declaring them worthy of the highest praise and admiration, and yet are assured that next summer they will not know the place, so superior will be the gardening to what it is now and has been hitherto.
M. C. Depot, Ypsilanti, Mich.