The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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April 12, 2014

Meet Your Neighbor: Gardening serves multiple purposes

Anderson to showcase garden during walk

CLINTON — For Kathy Anderson, gardening is something she has always enjoyed.

“For as long as I remember, I have been obsessed with being outside,” Kathy said. “My mother never had to ask twice for me to go outside and play.”

At 5 and 6 years old, Kathy walked around her neighborhood and her grandmother’s friends would cut flowers from their gardens and give them to her. She remembers being in “seventh heaven” as she carried those bouquets.

Kathy began gardening more than 40 years ago, not long after she married her husband. She said when her children wanted to go outside and play, gardening was a good way to leave them to their own devices and watch them at the same time. The hobby also lifts her spirits in time of sadness.

Kathy continues to garden today, preferring structured flower gardens. Her garden features walls to keep mulch off of her grass. She loves unusual conifers and succulents.

This year, Kathy will share her garden with community members during the Clinton County Master Gardeners’ Garden Walk on June 22. She last participated in a garden walk more than two decades ago. Recently, a fellow volunteer at the Bickelhaupt Arboretum, asked her to participate in the garden walk.

“Gardeners seem to know when other gardeners in town have gardens worth looking at,” Kathy said.

In her free time, Kathy is a member of the Tree Commission. Through her volunteering at the arboretum, she is interested in butterflies, especially monarchs. Her own garden includes plants for butterflies to lay their eggs and eat nectar.

Kathy said that monarchs are currently in a crisis. Through the garden walk, she hopes to educate people on planting visually-attractive milkweed for the butterflies.

Samantha Pidde can be contacted at



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