The garden at the corner of Lake Road and Meadow Brook Drive wasn’t professionally landscaped and it doesn’t contain lavish flowers. But it’s special.
Last spring, when Jill and Brian Brown sought a way to protect their daughters (Evelyn, 4 and Nora, 5) from running into the street that edged a 30-by-10-yard portion of their property, they became resourceful. “The girls are so young, we wanted to find a way to deter them from going down to the road,” Jill says. “Since it’s such a big area, landscaping would have been too expensive. We grew up in rural Minnesota, with its open land and wildflowers, so that seemed like a beautiful solution to us.”
Brian installed a rail fence and scattered the soil with wildflower seeds. The girls added a hand-painted sign that read, “Nora & Evy’s Flower Patch.” Brian says, “We really didn’t know what would come up, if anything,” but it didn’t take long before the garden was blooming in cosmos, coneflowers and daisies.
While the girls discovered how to cut flowers and pluck worms out of the dirt for composting, they also learned how a simple act can affect others. Inspired by the garden, neighbors visited. Drivers smiled. And in August, a card arrived. The inscription read, in part, “Every time I drive on Lake Road and see your beautiful garden, my day is brightened. Thank you for making our city more attractive.”
The Browns happily replanted the garden this year with only one modification; this summer, the girls each painted their own sign.