Three-Dozen Floral Designers Transform a Condemned Detroit Duplex with 36,000 Flowers

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Photo by Heather Saunders

Last November, florist Lisa Waud went to a public auction and purchased an abandoned house in Detroit, Michigan—sight unseen. Crumbling and condemned, the aging duplex was filled knee-high with trash, broken bottles, and even a dead dog. Her winning bid: $250. But Waud had a vision. She planned to invite florists from Michigan, Ohio, New York and Canada to fill the house with a temporary art installation of 36,000 flowers. This morning, Flower House opens to the public.

After a year of planning and three days of solid labor from dozens of volunteers, Flower House now contains room after room of independant flower designs and installations that flow together to create an immersive blooming environment. The piece is part art installation, part memorial to Detroit’s history, and an effort in sustainability and responsibility to American-grown flower farms.

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

Waud estimated the entire endeavor may cost up to $150,000 but when flower suppliers California Cut Flower Commission, Mayesh and Nordlie learned of her plans, all three offered to donate their flowers.

Flower House will be opened to ticketed visitors from Friday until Sunday. When the installation is finished, Reclaim Detroit will demolish the house, leaving only an empty field. Materials taken from the structure will be repurposed into new objects like cutting boards, guitars, and tables. Waud intends to then utilize the land as seasonal farm to help supply flowers like dahlias and peonies for her floral business Pot & Box.

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

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Photo by Heather Saunders

Flower House is open for three days only, and tickets are already sold out. You can learn more about the installation on the official Flower House website. All photos by Heather Saunders.

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