Healing garden replanted, revitalized

fm trinity gardens 3Dakota County Master Gardeners care for Trinity Care Center garden

Cathy Johnson, a Dakota County master gardener, talks about the organization’s plans for revitalizing a public healing garden located just south of the Trinity Care Center in Farmington. (Photo by Andy Rogers)
Cathy Johnson, a Dakota County master gardener, talks about the organization’s plans for revitalizing a public healing garden located just south of the Trinity Care Center in Farmington. (Photo by Andy Rogers)

Trinity Care Centers healing garden and labyrinth has been a place of peace and healing for decades, and the Dakota County Extension Master Gardeners want to keep it that way.

The master gardeners are revitalizing the public garden located south of Trinity Care Center, 3410 213th St., Farmington.

“It’s a gem for the city of Farmington,” said Cathy Johnson, Dakota County master gardener. “More people should know about it.”

The garden is special to Johnson because her parents often visited the grounds when they stayed at Trinity and the staff recognizes its importance to the people who share the space.

“It’s more than a garden, it’s a healing garden,” said Joy Lauterbach, director of recreational therapy, volunteers and marketing at Trinity Care Center.

Master gardeners began restoring the garden last year after Trinity Care Center asked if they would be interested in helping.

“It was filled with thistle and just some really bad stuff,” Johnson said. “Part of it was a herb garden, but we don’t have the manpower to maintain that. We’re putting in more self-contained plants that aren’t quite so invasive. We’re trying to tame the garden this year and to see the potential of what we already have.”

They held a grand reopening ceremony Monday with city officials, Trinity Care Center members and master gardeners.

Johnson has tried to organize the garden to appeal to all of the senses. They’ve planted pleasant-smelling plants and a bush that appeals to birds.

Not only will the garden give visitors a meditative and sensory experience, but soon there will be an educational component.
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The University of Minnesota will be doing a seed trial as part of a research project in one of the plots.

“Once we dig out the plants, we’re just going to turn it over,” Johnson said.

The garden also features a unique labyrinth that was the first of its kind in the United States when it was built 15 years ago.

It’s essentially a maze on concrete for people to walk through.

“There’s directions, but it’s more meditative than anything,” Johnson said. “There are no rules.”

The garden and labyrinth are open to the public daily during daylight hours, and it’s handicapped accessible.

It’s available to rent for events such as parties and confirmations for free, according to Lauterbach. Just check with her first, she said.

During Dew Days, gardeners will provide demonstrations and answer horticulture questions at the garden.

The master gardeners will hold presentations through the summer at the garden.

A presentation on soils is scheduled for June 15, dead-heading is July 20, perennials is Aug. 17 and year-end preparation Sept. 17.

All the events begin at 6:30 p.m.