by Roger Hintze, Master Gardener

On our large campus we’ve been fortunate to have congregation members who are willing to step forward to help initiate and maintain several gardens. 

In 2015 we decided to use some of the land on our south property to build vegetable gardens for immigrant gardeners. Our church members did the initial digging, preparation and fencing of the garden area. Since inception, a total of six gardens have been maintained by Karen persons from Myanmar. This activity is particularly valuable for the elderly immigrants who have a background in farming in their native land. Volunteers from our congregation have helped to maintain a constant supply of water for the vegetables. This has been especially crucial during the recent years of drought.

The flower gardens by the north driveway on Victoria Street have been planted annually by church volunteers. These gardens are particularly susceptible to critters that roam our property at night, so we are careful to plant the kinds of plants that aren’t tasty for deer and rabbits.

Because of the natural slope in elevation on our property it was found to be favorable to install rain gardens, which would help to catch and absorb rain water that was running off of our property. The two rain gardens near Victoria Street have been planted and maintained by members of the congregation. These occasionally require weeding and additional mulching. The older original garden near the west lower parking lot is reaching its peak of performance and needs to be revitalized. The rain gardens were planned and financed and are inspected by the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District.

The flower beds to the left of the main church entrance have been planted with chrysanthemums (“mums”) and roses. Church member Jim Stillings, an experienced rosarian, has taken charge of the planting and care of the roses. Next to them the mums put on a colorful show in the fall, attracting many kinds of pollinators, and sometimes a mama duck in her nest. Another bed of roses has been planted around the main church sign near the intersection of County Road C and Victoria.

The flower beds to the right of the entrance are planted with an assortment of perennial flowers, which have been planted with the intent to give constant color throughout the season. Many of these plants were donated by members of the congregation.

Finally, a “thank you” to all who have participated in the planting and maintenance of our Prince of Peace gardens, and an invitation to others who might consider volunteering in the future.