Armed with petals and stems, florists from around the country are bringing new life to an abandoned home in Hamtramck. Next weekend, 11751 Dequindre Street will be drenched in evergreen, and fitted floor to ceiling in flowers.
This is the passion project of Lisa Waud, who bought the foreclosed property on auction last year to build Flower House, a living art installation of flowers and foliage inside.
In May, the team held a fundraising event where clinging vines leapt from picture frames, crawling up walls and hugging corners, and godesia grew from the floorboards with hyacinth peaking through the cracks. There were daisies in the bath, moss curtains cinched at the waist, and a rocking chair terrarium held succulents and poppy pods in its seat. (In my deepest enchanted-cottage-in-the-woods fantasies, these are the interiors.)
The temporary installation was a teaser for the main event, where visitors will walk into something like the set of a fractured fairy tale: a Tim Burton spin on The Wind in the Willows —
a dreamy living and work space for hummingbirds.
Waud has selected fellow florists to join her with their wildest visions in hand. Each designer will be assigned their own room in the 17 room duplex, which will range from modern to romantic to wild.
In between the wallflowers, the building’s history remains visible in bits of peeled paint that haven’t been stripped away. It’s hard not to wonder who lived here before — how many sat to dinner, read in that chair, cooked in this room.
If Detroit’s abandoned houses could talk, what storytellers they’d be.
Visitors can purchase tickets here
for a 20-minute, self-guided tour through the Flower House from Oct. 16-18. Check out photos from Flower House below:
Leah O'Donnell is a Michigan-based writer and dancer