For the past three years, Saginaw Valley Master Gardeners Sheila Hempsted, Jane Hannah, Janet I. Martineau and John Humphreys have transformed boring grass into three garden wonderlands at the Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, 315 West Genesee Avenue.
The garden project started in the Fall of 2008, during the annual Make a Difference Day project in which master gardeners play a role. Designer Hempsted and logistics manager Martineau were volunteers that day, and from that decided to “adopt” the museum as an ongoing/expanding garden project starting in the Spring of 2009. SVMGA funds, private donations and volunteer labor have assisted in the project.
The three gardens include: the Michigan Native Plant Bed, with nearly 25 species like ironweed, wild senna, nodding wild onion and prairie dock growing there; the Aunt Sugar’s Farm Garden, with old-fashioned flowers like daisies, hollyhocks, cosmos, snaps and zinnias, and the massive Flag Pole Bed, with trees, shrubs, Knock-Out Roses and five raised perennial beds echoing the color theme of the museum’s logo.