This article by Brenda Harvieux originally appeared in the November/December 2018 issue of Northern Gardener magazine. It’s one of a series of articles about community gardens assisted by the Minnesota Green program of MSHS.
The Hennepin County Horticultural Society (HCHS) has tended several gardens at the Faith-Lilac Way Lutheran Church in Robbinsdale for four years. The gardens include the Memory Garden, a new shade garden under a tree with benches facing the Memory Garden and additional plantings on the grounds.
Hennepin County Horticultural Society members found out about the Minnesota Green program during their second year of gardening at the site. “The program allows us to garden in a much bigger way than we would have been able to otherwise,” says Ellen Vollmers, an HCHS member. “It’s a great program—we want to see it continue and expand.” Now that they’ve created a good foundation of plantings, they’re looking for new and unusual plants to enhance the gardens.
All the efforts of the Hennepin County garden team don’t go unnoticed. “When we’re out working in the garden, people walking by are constantly thanking us; they love the gardens and how they make their walks more enjoyable,” says Diana Straate, HCHS president.
HCHS meets the second Monday of the month in Fellowship Hall at the church. They also hold garden tours, a seed share in March, a May plant sale and a members-only plant share and auction—a valued perk of being a member. And there’s always social time. “Since we started having meetings at the church where we garden, our camaraderie has grown—we’ve developed more friendships and had a lot of fun,” says Vere Vollmer, another HCHS member. “All because of plants.”