Treat Your Garden Club to an Amazing Garden Party

Jerry and Lee Shannon’s St. Paul garden is one of the hidden jewels of that city. And, a lucky MSHS garden club will get a chance to have a garden party and tour of this magnificent space in the summer of 2016, as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of MSHS. But first, the garden!

The Shannons' cacti collection includes many beautiful native forms.

The Shannons’ cacti collection includes many beautiful native forms.

The gardens of Lee and Jerry Shannon encompass two-thirds of an acre in the Highland Park area of St. Paul. The Shannons are collectors of unusual woody and herbaceous plants which enhance sunny and shady perennial gardens, a dwarf conifer collection, a large rock garden, a cactus garden, a vegetable garden, a formal garden and a roof top garden. Numerous garden troughs feature diminutive alpine plants and miniature hosta are featured in various locations.

Wisteria adorns an archway leading to one of the garden rooms.

Wisteria adorns an archway leading to one of the garden rooms.

Sited under towering ash trees is a garden gazebo surrounded by shade loving hosta and wild flowers plus a gurgling water feature.

The Shannon gardens have been featured in Northern Gardener, Better Homes and Gardens, Outdoor Living and Midwest Home magazine. Their gardens have also been featured on the Home and Garden channel. In 2011, the Minneapolis Star Tribune named the Shannon gardens one of five most beautiful gardens in Minnesota.

A large collection of conifers gives structure to the Shannon garden.

A large collection of conifers gives structure to the Shannon garden.

I was fortunate enough to visit the Shannon gardens in 2009 for a feature that ran in the September/October 2009 issue of Northern Gardener. The gardens are glorious. On the day I visited, an archway was dripping with wisteria blooms, the native cacti were flush with yellow flowers and a wooden goat held court on the rooftop shed garden. The L-shaped lot is impeccably designed; it begs a visitor to explore, to sit and to enjoy.

Because garden clubs were so vital to the growth of MSHS from its early years right up to the present, the Shannons (long-time supporters and volunteers for MSHS) and MSHS are sponsoring a contest for MSHS garden clubs. The

garden club that signs up the most new members for MSHS between now and June 30. 2016, will be treated to a private garden party at the Shannon gardens in July 2016.

Reach out to the gardeners in your community, introduce them to the benefits of club membership and MSHS, and then enjoy a private garden party to celebrate your club and the 150th anniversary of MSHS!

For more information, contact Lisa Williams-Hardman at MSHS.