This article appears in the March/April 2015 issue of Northern Gardener.
When Redeemer Lutheran Church decided to build a new welcome center just over a decade ago, plans for garden spaces were drawn. The Redeemer Landscapers group formed soon afterward.
The landscapers have been members of MSHS’ Minnesota Green program since 2005. Over the years, they’ve received perennial plants, shrubs and vines. “We’ve tried to pick more unique plants at the donations so they’re really exceptional gardens,” says garden coordinator Chuck Carlson. “The spring lupines that generate themselves are one of the things I enjoy the most.”
Now well established, the gardens look wonderful. Donations of annuals through Minnesota Green add color each season. Last year, conifer trees were added around the landscape and, in the future, the landscapers would like to plant rose bushes.
Seven different gardens surround the church: five entrance gardens, a wedding garden with a path and gardens around the pastors’ office building. Four church volunteers tend the gardens. “We really need more volunteers for this project,” says Chuck. “I know a lot of people are interested because they ask a lot of questions about the plants, and everyone likes to have the gardens around.”
The church gardens are meant to beautify and create a welcoming atmosphere, not only for members of the church, but the neighborhood as well. “My own feeling is that I want people to see the gardens and think, ‘This is a place I’d like to be.’”