The Weekly Weeders: Volunteer coordinator Alice Duggan named Member of the Year

Alice Duggan (left) was named Garden Club Member of the Year by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society in October. Award winners are nominated by fellow community members for their outstanding contributions to horticulture and green efforts. The St. Anthony Park Garden Club has supported planting and maintenance of the gardens and window boxes at the St. Anthony Park Library for 20 years. Duggan organizes volunteers to do the planting, weeding and pruning of the grounds. Duggan is shown here with the Weekly Weeders: Carol Starkey, Pat Thompson, Verena Larson, Janet Kinney, Flo McNerney and Barb Sippel. Photo by Mary Maguire Lerman, another WW.

Alice Duggan (left) was named Garden Club Member of the Year by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society in October. Award winners are nominated by fellow community members for their outstanding contributions to horticulture and green efforts. The St. Anthony Park Garden Club has supported planting and maintenance of the gardens and window boxes at the St. Anthony Park Library for 20 years. Duggan organizes volunteers to do the planting, weeding and pruning of the grounds. Duggan is shown here with the Weekly Weeders: Carol Starkey, Pat Thompson, Verena Larson, Janet Kinney, Flo McNerney and Barb Sippel. Photo by Mary Maguire Lerman, another WW.

A dedicated crew of weeders was seen this summer on Tuesday and Friday mornings toiling on the new garden addition at the library.

Last winter, the St. Anthony Park Garden Club arranged for all the woody invasive and aggressive plants (including box elder, mulberry, buckthorn and honeysuckle) to be cut down and removed from the hillsides next to the children’s wing. As a result, thousands of weed seeds that had been accumulating beneath these woody invaders sprouted. Pickup truckloads of weeds were pulled and delivered to the compost site on Pierce Butler Road all season long.

A plan to create a large pollinator garden was hatched by the Weekly Weeders, who decided to consider the dome of the childrenʼs library as the sun and to begin planting “rays” of perennials out from the dome. While most of the season was spent weeding, a few perennial rays were installed. A large quantity of flowering perennials (many are native plants) will be ordered for a major planting effort next spring.

Stay tuned to this newspaper for future updates on the planting day. The public is invited to participate.

The Weekly Weeders encourage you to join the team. Please contact Alice Duggan, our Garden Club Member of the Year, at comeforteamn@gmail.com to be added to the Weekly Weeders roster.

In 2016 we will have both a morning and an evening volunteer crew so that more neighbors can participate. While the garden is done for the winter, we will meet occasionally during the snow season to plan for next year’s garden additions. We are ordering flats of the pollinator perennial plant packs (say that fast three times!) that the Minnesota State Horticultural Society is offering for sale during its 150th anniversary celebration in 2016. These plants will become the “rays” out from the library’s sun dome.

You can order these great plants to create a pollinator habitat in your own yard. Three separate packs of perennials are available in large market packs. Each plant is close to a 3-inch pot size. One six-pack contains six species of milkweeds, which attracts monarchs. Another six-pack features five species of Blazingstars and blue lupine for butterflies. Finally, one six-pack includes six species to attract native and honey bees and includes the vanilla-scented clematis sourced from Ann Brey’s garden on Gordon Avenue.

If you would like to order one or more of these pollinator market six-packs, you can place your order by Dec. 31 with the St. Anthony Park Garden Club. Why must you order by December? The seeds must go through several cold or warm treatments before they will germinate and then they need time to grow. By early June the plants will be well- established.

The pollinator packs will be delivered for the garden club’s annual plant sale held during the St. Anthony Park Arts Festival. To order, contact Mary Maguire Lerman at magui011@umn.edu to arrange or call 651-644-7388.

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