Lendonwood Gardens, a leading tourist attraction in Grove, is issuing a call for help – of the garden variety. More volunteers are needed to help maintain the botanical garden’s flower beds brimming with trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.
“Visitors to Lendonwood at peak bloomtimes are surprised to learn that the garden’s beautiful flower beds are tended by only about five or six volunteers working a few hours once a week,” said Melba Dagy of Grove, a board member and regular volunteer at the garden. “Lendonwood would be even more beautiful if we had a little more help on a regular basis.”
The non-profit garden has no paid staff members, with all flower-bed maintenance done by volunteers. The operation budget depends on memberships, donations and gate receipts to keep the garden open.
Founded in 1997, Lendonwood is operated by a local Board of Directors, all of whom volunteer for the garden in various capacities. The garden is open year-round from dawn to dusk. In addition to local visitors, it attracts tourists from around the country and the world.
Located at 1308 Har-Ber Road, Lendonwood covers eight acres of wooded grounds. However, the most-developed area – and the most popular among visitors – includes about four acres surrounded by a wooden fence.
Dagy said those four acres are where the most help is needed.
“The fenced area runs from the front entrance all the way back to the Koi Pond,” she said. “Here are the beautiful collections of Japanese maples, rhododendrons, azaleas, daylilies, hostas, peonies, dogwoods, and many more. It’s the most visited part of Lendonwood and we want it to look its best.”
Typically, the regular volunteers work on Wednesday mornings from April through October. They usually begin about 9 a.m. and finish before noon, except for hot days in mid-summer when they start at 8 a.m.
Nancy Harper, a frequent volunteer at the garden, said the work primarily consists of weeding, light pruning, planting, transplanting and other tasks as needed. She said a “green thumb” is not required, just a willingness to help out and to learn a little about gardening.
“It’s an excellent way to make new friends as well as to get some exercise and fresh air,” Harper said. “I can imagine there are retirees in the area who might like to lend a helping hand. We welcome any and all volunteers and understand that some people might not be able to make it all the time, but any regular help is appreciated.”
Dagy noted that, twice a year, Lendonwood is fortunate to have many community members, including several Grove Rotary members, participate in designated work days. This year’s “Wake Up the Garden” spring workday was held on Saturday, April 6, and the fall “Put the Garden to Bed” event will be on Saturday, October 26.
“We’re so grateful to all those people who dedicate a Saturday morning in spring and fall to help spruce up the garden, but the fact is we also need help during the growing season. With some more hands, our garden will be even more beautiful to visit and enjoy.”
Lendonwood has become a popular site for weddings, prom and graduation photos and other special events. In addition, the garden is home to the Angel of Hope statue, which serves as a memorial to lost loved ones, especially children.
For more information about Lendonwood, see the garden’s web site at www.lendonwood.com, or call 918-786-2938.