Garden views: Garden a tribute to veterans

Summer is a great time to get out and enjoy the Anoka County parks in our community. They are a quick getaway to enjoy outdoor activities on a warm summer weeknight or to spend some time on a weekend. If you enjoy the outdoors and are interested in seeing and learning about gardening, the Veterans Peace Garden has a lot to offer you.

The Veterans Peace Garden is located in the Bunker Hills Regional Park next to the Bunker Hills Activity Center at 550 Bunker Lake Blvd. NW, Andover. In 2008, Anoka County Parks and Recreation and the Anoka County Master Gardeners collaborated to develop and design the Veterans Peace Garden. The main purpose of the garden is to honor those who now serve and have served our country. We invite you to take some time to pay tribute to our veterans and enjoy the garden.

As you approach the garden you will see three raised beds. The beds are planted each year with annuals that bloom beautifully and continuously throughout the summer. The perimeter of the garden was designed with perennial flowers that come back each year and are mixed in with hardy trees and shrubs. The walk through this area provides a visual interest of a variety of textures and color. A small waterfall is the backdrop to the centerpiece of the memorial to our veterans. This enhances the garden and makes a peaceful setting to contemplate and relax.

The garden is also designed to be used as a demonstration garden. Each spring, master gardeners plant the raised beds with annual flowers and clean up and prepare the perennial gardens. Teams of two to four master gardeners maintain the garden each week by weeding and watering, deadheading flowers and checking for any insect infestations or disease. Pedestrians will often stop and ask the master gardener questions about a particular plant they see which provides more opportunities to learn about gardening.

Every year a theme is developed by the master gardeners to teach classes in the garden. A variety of annuals are selected to help develop a theme for teaching “A Walk in the Garden” classes. Classes are held on select Wednesday evenings throughout the summer. This year’s theme is “Exploring Sensory Gardens to Enhance Your Well-Being.” The classes are informal and fun and you get to be inspired by fellow gardeners.

Two more classes are scheduled this season; Aug. 7 – Fragrant Annual and Perennials and Aug. 21 – Design Concepts in the Landscape. Classes are free to the public but donations are welcome. Pre-registration is required as limited class space is available. Go to www.anokacountymastergardeners.org to learn more about the class descriptions or call the Anoka County Extension Office at 763-7551280 to pre-register.

Lynne Forbragd is an Anoka County Master Gardener.

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