WCROC begins work on new Peace and Meditation Garden

September 6, 2014

Kim Ukura, Morris Sun Tribune, September 6, 2014

The West Central Research and Outreach Center's (WCROC) Horticulture Display Garden is already starting to look a little different as plans progress for a new Peace and Meditation Garden.

The project got started when four different families approached the Horticulture Garden staff about donating to create gardens in memory of family members.  The design incorporates four different garden "rooms" into a cohesive whole designed to inspire peaceful contemplation.

"It's really going to be unique," said Steve Poppe, Sr Horticulture Scientist at the WCROC.

This fall, the base for the paths through the garden have been laid and some trees and shrubs have been planted.  The carpentry shop at the University of Minnesota, Morris will also help build a pergola planned for one garden.

"We're hoping that this garden will be completed, weather permitting, by the end of the next growing season," said Poppe.

At a dinner for donors and volunteers on Wednesday, September 3, 2014, staff with the Horticulture Display Garden shared the stories behind each of the new gardens and invited the families for a ceremonial ribbon cutting in front of a drawing of the garden.

Jacoby GardenMichael and Adelle Jacoby

The idea for a meditation garden came from Mike and Adelle Jacoby after they lost their son Jason in 2012.  The garden will have a pergola with a sculpture, tall calming grasses, and shady trees.  Adelle shared a saying that helped inspire the garden design: "Sometimes we need a quiet place to let our hearts remember." 

Day Garden

The Day Garden will be planted in memory of David Day, who was killed in Iraq in 2005.  David and his wife, Amy, were married in the garden shortly before he was deployed - the garden will be built near where they said their vows.  His parents, David and Vicki Day, wanted the garden to be a living memorial for David, filled with life and beauty.

Loher Garden

Jerry and Lois Loher were very proud of the Horticulture Display Garden, and would visit the garden whenever friends and relatives were in town to visit.  The Loher Garden, planted in the memory, will be filled with many of the Loher's favorite plants and flowers.

Foley Garden

Dick and JoAnne Foley used to bring their grandchildren to the gardens, packing a lunch and spending the day looking at the flowers and plants.  The Foley Garden will recognize Dick's love for Ireland and JoAnne's love of music with plants reminiscent of Ireland and wind chimes.