Detroit’s Leaf and Blossom asks for community help to complete children’s art and butterfly garden

“It’s a work in progress – we’ve been working on it since the start of the summer,” said Maggie Mazzara.

Mazzara is one of the owners and artists of Leaf and Blossom in Kercheval and Alter in the east of the city. They turn the abandoned land behind their gift shop into a butterfly garden and children’s art – thanks to donations from the community.

There’s mulch, flowers, and art – reused or salvaged – it’s full of whimsy like the fairy statue that was a Greek goddess – a colorful toadstool that was dull and meant for landfill.

“We hope it will be a place – a gathering point for people to come and read to their children,” she said.

It’s part of efforts to revitalize Detroit’s Jefferson Chalmers neighborhood – bordering Grosse Pointe Park where three female artists opened Leaf and Blossom in December during the pandemic. The shop displays and sells their work as well as the work of other artists from the region. rehabilitate this space in a building over 100 years old. They love to rehabilitate and rehabilitate.

“We believe in taking things out of the garbage and recycling them to make great things out of them,” said Lillian Li.

Like a freshly painted patriotic bicycle and an old Victorian organ that Lillian Li turned into a bar. They also offer art classes for children and adults.

Business was good – then came the summer rains and the floods.

“We lost $ 100,000 of inventory – we had just been open for six or seven months and it was a big blow,” she said.

But Lillian says the kindergarten they were working on was still standing.

“This garden looked better than anything on this whole block,” said Lillian. “I said – okay – you’re still here so we’ll continue.”

That means more mulch and weeding, flowers and paint – which will turn the shipping container into an art project – books for the small library – which will soon be a place for kids and others to find a safe space. for a story and a smile.

For the owners of Leaf and Blossom, it really is about community – that’s why they want everyone to come on Saturdays and help with the garden, the painting – the murals to create a space for the kids in it. district.

“We just want to show everyone that things are happening – there is a renaissance here and beauty can be found here as well,” said Victoria Li.

“We think being a part of this community has been a great blessing and as much as they’ve given us by supporting our little store – we think we have to give that back as well,” said Lillian.

And you can help out Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Children’s Art and Butterfly Garden behind Leaf and Blossom in Kercheval and edit on the east side of Detroit.

For more information, visit theleafandblossom.com/


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Margarita B. Bittner

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