Dear Family, Friends, and Visitors:
Welcome to the country home of Dick and Karol Emmerich, and Karol's daylily farm. Located on 145 acres in rural Minnesota, Springwood Gardens is located on a site rich in HISTORY. You may be especially interested in reading about the house, which was built in 1862 by a California railroad baron. The old buildings, harsh winter, fierce winds, and having to haul water to the house when we first bought the place (thank goodness we soon got that fixed!) make us feel a great kinship with those who lived here in the 1800's.
Springwood is a place of extremes and great diversity. Sometimes the wind is so strong that it takes all one’s strength just to shut an outside door. Sort of like the tornado scene in The Wizard of Oz:-) Its swirling about produces bare earth next to mounds of snow. Part of Springwood sits high on a hill overlooking the Minnesota River valley. So high you can almost touch the sky. So high you can watch the weather change throughout the day, and the seasons change throughout the year. Yet in other places it’s so low that water wells up from underground springs and the high water table to create wonderful sloughs. Springwood is home to a large variety of wildlife and native plants. In the fall, it lies on the migration path of what seems like millions of Monarch butterflies. The terrain ranges from jungle to aspen forest to thick brush to sloughs to alfalfa fields to reclaimed gravel pit.
So how did we get here? One of Karol’s passions has been to “paint the world with flowers,” which we’ve done on a couple of acres at our place in the city (and at many of our friends’ homes from the seemingly endless supply of plants from our garden). This passion has grown to include creating new varieties of DAYLILIES. But in order to do that, we needed a place to install outdoor test beds for thousands of seedlings and construct a large greenhouse. We hoped to find about five acres with a small house where Karol could sleep and eat during hybridizing season. A building where Dick could store his hunting gear would be a bonus.
To our amazement, we stumbled onto the place we call Springwood. It reminded us of Monet’s home at Giverny and we fell in love with its possibilities. Portions of the house were remodeled in the 80’s and 90’s, but much had been untouched. And the land had been neglected for decades. So, despite the fact that we’re at an age when most folks think of downsizing home and gardens, we’ve decided to wear ourselves out :-) by spending the rest of our lives working on a project of epic proportions (see FUTURE PLANS).
Why? Because it’s here. Because of its possibilities. Because we love working with our hands and with the earth. Because of the sense of adventure and excitement we feel when we’re at Springwood, and our desire to share that with others. Because we feel God has given us a work to do here, although we don’t yet know exactly what that means.
We’ve been very busy. See GARDENS/SCENERY for a look at what we’ve been up to. Thankfully, we’re not doing this all by ourselves. Lots of great PEOPLE are helping make our dreams a reality - and many VISITORS are cheering us on:-). We hope you’ll become one of them.
Isaiah 35:1-2 “...like the crocus, the wilderness will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.”