Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Margaret’s Monet garden June 27, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 7:07 AM
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This overview shows you the size of Margaret’s sprawling flower garden on Faribault’s east side.

OH, WHAT AN ABSOLUTE JOY to be Margaret’s neighbor, to gaze across the street into her flower garden reminiscent of a Claude Monet painting.

But, alas, I live down the hill, over the river and into the valley across town from this eastside Faribault garden.

I happened upon Margaret’s sprawling, Impressionist style garden on a recent Saturday morning. And because I’m not at all shy, I popped out of the van and approached Margaret as she weeded her flowers.

She obliged my request to photograph her flowers (but not her) and also answered my questions like, “What is that?” or “Is that …?”

Low-lying fuchsia sedum add a jolt of brilliant color.

Loved these dainty, pale pink flowers. Gardeners, what are they? No, I couldn’t ask Margaret to identify every single plant.

Margaret didn’t tell me I couldn’t photograph her hand. She kept working while we talked, bucket of tools nearby. She had more gardening tools in the garage, she said.

Margaret knows her flowers and her passion for them is irrepressible. She simply loves to garden. That’s apparent as her flower garden stretches nearly the entire 180-foot length of her and her husband’s lot and then extends 30 – 40 feet from the edge of the sidewalk, down the slope and to the garage. She began planting the garden about five years ago, partially so her husband wouldn’t need to mow the slope of the lawn.

From daisies to bee balm, sedum to clematis, lamb’s ears to lilies and dozens of other perennials, Margaret’s garden is awash in color and blooms. Her pride and joy, though, are her 50 some rose bushes.

Margaret’s garden is a rose lover’s paradise.

“I just love roses,” Margaret says. “They just have beautiful flowers and smell wonderful.”

Roses and more abloom with pieces of art tucked in among the flowers.

One of the many English rose bushes, which are Margaret’s favorite for their thick layers of petals and scent.

I roamed the perimeter of the garden, snapping photos as rain pittered and hastened my photo shoot. Yet, I took time to inhale the heady perfume of Margaret’s beloved English roses. English and shrub rose bushes compromise most of the roses in her garden.

The most gorgeous clematis I’ve ever seen, in full bloom.

Just look at Margaret’s eye for color, pairing purple clematis and coral roses.

I noticed this gardener’s talent for pairing colors—especially the striking contrast of royal purple clematis next to coral-hued roses.

Who knew a rain gauge could also be a piece of garden art staked next to lilies?

I appreciated, too, how she tucks garden art among her flowers with the skills of a designer.

A snippet overview of a portion of Margaret’s Monet garden.

If Margaret’s garden was a painting, surely it would be a Monet.

Margaret mixes the jewel tones of raspberries with flowers. She’s also incorporated strawberries and tomatoes into her flower garden.

FYI: Margaret’s garden is located at 1325 11th Avenue Northeast, Faribault.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling