I’ve been wanting to visit Brincka Cross Gardens for some time. With puffy white clouds, cool summer breezes and my walking shoes, I headed to Michigan City for an adventure.
First, a little history. A professor at the Art Institute of Chicago, Bill Brincka and his partner, Basil Cross developed and cared for four acres of gardens consisting of more than 400 varieties of daffodils, crabapple trees, 40 varieties of ornamental grasses and more than 400 types of hostas! Forsythias, magnolias and weeping trees can also be found among the gardens.
The mid-century modern home that Brincka and Cross built 1969 still stands and is a complete dream! I, myself, have a passion for mid-century homes and Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. I imagined Brincka and Cross living in this home and gazing over their gardens through the large windows and sliding doors. Just look at the door! Nirvana.
I peeked through the windows, making note of the wood slats, pebble walls, hexagon tiles and small details to take back to my own mid-century home. (I’ll also keep this location in mind for a small special event as it’s available to rent!)
As I wandered around the grounds, I couldn’t help but make a mental note to visit during the spring. Visiting in midsummer, I missed the bright and cheery daffodils and the aromatic magnolia tree blooms.
One of my most favorite sights on the property were the weeping trees! I don’t know what it is about a weepy tree, but they are truly unique. Brincka is quoted, “Since there’s no water here, I play with other elements that suggest it, such as weeping trees and trees that shoot up like fountains… As a result, visitors can infer that there’s water here. Sometimes the poetry of a garden is pretty subtle.”
After a walk the house and barn, I decided to venture into the woods. Twenty-one acres of pristine woodlands surround the main house and garden. I put my hood up, sprayed myself with insect repellent and took off. There are seven marked trails that meander through the woods. The high canopy of trees let enough sunlight in to keep me warm on this cooler summer day. The path was easy to navigate and hiking boots are not needed… a pair of tennis shoes was perfect for the trek.
I spent a few hours exploring and I can’t wait to visit again during the spring and fall! If you want more to explore visit Ambler Flatwoods Nature Preserve or Barker Woods Nature Preserve also located in Michigan City.
If you go:
Brincka Cross Gardens
427 E. Furness Road
Michigan City, IN 46360