Blossoming Garden Serves As Cedar Community Landmark

Father Ken of St. Francis in Traverse City has been growing a back yard garden for 40 years now.

Even he is on his hands and knees — pulling weeds, watering, and digging to add even more plants.

This garden is a landmark for the Cedar community.

Father Ken says people usually drive around the corner slowly — even knock on the front door to see the garden.

The gates are wide open for what Father Ken calls "God’s Creation."

"It is, it’s just all his creation alive," said Father Ken.

Father Ken grew up here in his parents’ house and when he was 14 years old — he was inspired to transform it from what it used to be.

“It was basically just a big piece of grass,” Father Ken said. “This was a big baseball field on the side of the house for the kids in the neighborhood.”

Now thousands of flowers like daylilies, peonies, marigolds, and sunflowers fill the floor of this garden.

“It’s just a beautiful place for silence and quiet, prayer and just being in god’s presence,” he said.

The garden is more than just beautiful scenery though.

People gather here socially — for parties and even weddings.

“It’s the atmosphere and the social interaction that is, it doesn’t matter how many times you’ve seen it it’s such a beautiful backdrop and such a great opportunity to talk to the parish family,” said Maggie Quinn.

It’s a lot of work…

“In the garden today we have lots of garden elves,” said Maggie. “They will be checking to pull those last faded blossoms off or to pull the last little weed that came up overnight.”

“I am on my knees with a shovel and yep right at it doing the weeding,” Father Ken said.

…for a big reward.

“I think that everyone is looking for something beautiful in the world,” he said. “When you watch what’s happening in the world, you see so much tragedy and they want something to refresh their soul.”

Anyone and everyone is invited to enjoy the garden together Monday from 1 to 3 — where you can enjoy snacks, a silent auction and a string band playing live music.

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