Whether Detroit's leaders want to acknowledge the truth or not, the city's citizens are redefining what it means to be both urban and rural.  The city and countryside are converging in the Motor City--and original Silicon Valley--with often spectacular results.  Michigan's valley, in this case, is returning to what much of the state was before the rapid industrialization of 100 years ago:  a valley with meadows and flowers.  Urban and rural are no longer just synonyms, but come together and are now creating synergy in this humbled and hopeful city.

thistle, Corktown

thistle, Corktown

While Detroit becomes the anchor for urban farming, large swathes of city blocks are returning to nature.  While visiting one of the city's urban farms, I could not help but notice how fruits, and especially flowers, are taking over the city.  While Detroit's transformation is an inspiring bottom-up affair, it is at once eerie and inspiring how pollination, not paint, is adding splashes of color throughout the city. The wildflowers are all over Detroit: a local entrepreneur may be on to something if he or she wants to make a living and send flowers from the Motor City across the country.

Detroit's metamorphosis is often painful for its citizens and former Michiganders that want the city's return to what it once was.  Nevertheless, the quiet, serenity, and return of wildflowers all add to the joys of exploring Detroit.  For all of its challenges, Detroit's potential to surprise us is one reason why the map of Michigan shows a thumb's up.

Enjoy the pictures.  The camera and I sure did.

daisy fleabane

daisy fleabane

goldenrod

goldenrod

blue flax, Detroit

blue flax, Detroit

aster, in a community garden, northeastern Detroit

aster, in a community garden, northeastern Detroit

sunflower, garden in Corktown

sunflower, garden in Corktown (technically not a wildflower but it makes the photo shoot)

staghorn sumac

staghorn sumac

Another example of where wildflowers will surprise you is in Las Vegas.

About The Author

Leon Kaye

Leon Kaye is the founder and editor of GreenGoPost.com. Based in California, he is a business writer and consultant. His work is has also appeared on Triple Pundit , The Guardian's Sustainable Business site and has appeared on Inhabitat and Earth911. His focus is making the business case for sustainability and corporate social responsibility. He's pictured here in Qatar, one of the Middle East countries in which he takes a keen interest because of its transformation into a post-oil economy. Other areas of interest include sustainable development in The Balkans, Brazil and Korea. He was a new media journalism fellow at the International Reporting Project, for which he covered child survival in India during February 2013. Contact him at leon@greengopost.com. You can also reach out via Twitter (@LeonKaye) and Instagram (GreenGoPost). As of October 2013, he now lives and works in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.