Applewood

Applewood.jpg
Flint, MI
United States
Applewood

The Applewood estate, originally 64 acres, was built in 1916 as a residence and working farm for Charles Stewart Mott, a General Motors vice president. Designed by architect Herbert Davis and landscape architect William Pitkin, Jr., the grounds comprise a diverse collection of trees, shrubs, annual and perennial herbaceous plants, and tropical greenhouse plants. Pitkin was business partners with Mott’s cousin, Seward Mott, and was also C.S. Mott’s cousin by marriage.

The original landscape, designed between 1916 and 1921, included a bowling green and English croquet lawn; an apple orchard with 29 heritage varieties; a grape arbor; and cutting, vegetable, and formal perennial gardens. Between 1977 and 1991, Johnson, Johnson, and Roy (JJR) rehabilitated the landscape, maintaining the original garden layout and its spatial relationships but in some cases replacing plant materials and how the spaces are used. Newer features include an allée; daylily collection; and demonstration, rose, and butterfly gardens. Many original specimen trees remain today. Recently, the Gilkey Creek floodplain was relandscaped and a walking trail was introduced.

The current 34-acre estate is now a part of the Ruth Mott Foundation and is open to the public one day monthly from May through September. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.