CLINTON – Friends of the Library gathered around a refurbished garden spot at Clinton Public Library on Tuesday morning to thank Master Gardeners for bringing new life to the disordered space.

The garden plot to the west of the library's front steps was overgrown with grasses and weeds, said Sandy Hansen, co-president of Friends. She contacted the Iowa State University Extension Office in DeWitt to see if the Master Gardeners could rehabilitate the space.

Master Gardener Brenda Council checked out the spot and decided to take on the project.

"It just needed to be refurbished," Council said Tuesday.

Council saved some plants from the Master Gardener plants sale in May for the library project and added other plants that would fit the space.

"Mainly we're kind of focusing on a butterfly garden," Council said. "We put in something a little more child friendly."

Master Gardener Andrea Witt joined Council outside the library to clear out the old growth and create a new garden.

"While we were cleaning... we found all these painted rocks," Council said. The colorful stones were probably part of a library project for children, Council said, and Witt suggested they use the rocks to create a river of knowledge.

The gardeners arranged the painted rocks among larger, unpainted ones to create a decorative path among the flowers.

The coneflowers, botanical name Echinacea, are prominent in the garden. Shorter plants and the rock path stand out against red mulch.

"Most of these are butterfly friendly plants," Council said. Most are perennials, but some are annuals.

"It looks so much better," Hansen said. Friends of the Library thanked Council for the effort the Master Gardeners put into the project and reimbursed her for the expense.

The Gardeners and Friends have reached an agreement for caring for the garden through the summer, they said. Friends will water the plants, and the Gardeners will manage the care of them.

A native of Centerville, Winona comes to the Clinton Herald after writing for the Ottumwa Courier for two years.