After a year break due to the pandemic, MSHS donors and supporters visited the garden of Steve and Pauline Danielson for the annual Garden Gathering. The Danielson’s Maplewood garden is featured in the July/August 2021 issue of Northern Gardener.
The Danielsons started the garden on a completely empty lot nearly 25 years ago. Talking to MSHS supporters, Steve said that he wanted a large, mostly empty lot so he could create a landscape of his own vision. He offered several tips for those starting with blank slates.
When planning a garden, start with the perimeter, Steve suggested, not the plantings around the house. The perimeter is the part of the garden you see—from the kitchen windows, from your bedroom, from the living room. Starting with the edges also gives a frame to the garden. Once the perimeter is set, Steve recommended creating the various garden rooms.
The Danielson garden includes several water features, an octagonal greenhouse, a “secret” vegetable and herb garden, a waterfall and dense, healthy plants by the hundreds. One other tip that Steve passed on to MSHS supporters was to nurture the soil rather than the plant. All of his in-ground plantings receive compost every year. Only annuals grown in containers are heavily fertilized. You can read more tips in the article in Northern Gardener.
MSHS is Growing Together!
At the Garden Gathering, MSHS Executive Director Rick Juliusson reported on the society’s activities during the difficult days of the pandemic and its plans going forward. Greater interest in gardening led to triple the number of people attending classes in 2020 compared to 2019. Signature programs that serve the community, such as Garden in a Box, Minnesota Green, and our new seed-saving collaboration, MN SEED, have grown significantly, he said. That growth has continued in 2021.
The hort society is now pursuing a strategic plan that focuses on four important areas:
- Expanding education to reach more people with horticulture information through MSHS publications, classes and events.
- Increasing impact through programs and partnerships that address health, environment, equity and community.
- Stregthening membership through stronger relationships with current members and reaching out to new members in a range of age, race, location, income, gender/orientation and gardening experience/interest.
- Building capacity by strengthening the organization’s financial and operational capacity to sustain new growth.