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Reflection garden planned at The Deerfield

Peggy Grubbs, left, and Carolyn Craig pose with the plan for the reflection garden at The Deerfield campus in New Richmond. The garden will be installed by the Willow River Garden Club, in cooperation with The Deerfield and Star Prairie Fish and Game. (Photo by Jackie Grumish)

When Carolyn Craig moved her daughter into the Deerfield Gables facility, she immediately noticed the potential for a reflection garden just outside the facility's new Town Center.

"Last summer the (Willow River) Garden Club was looking for a project and I suggested this," she said.

The roughly $35,000 project will include garden pathways, a water feature, several flower beds, benches, a rain garden and outdoor lighting. The garden club members said they hope to reduce the cost of the project by in-kind installation efforts.

Before moving into the Deerfield Gables, Craig's daughter was housed at the Christian Community Home in Hudson.

"They had this outdoor gazebo garden that was just beautiful," Craig said. "It was so fun to see the residents interact with it and get outside to enjoy the sunshine."

After discussing the garden, the Willow River Garden Club members met with Dennis Caliva of Earthworks, a River Falls-based landscape company, to come up with a landscape plan.

The project will likely be done in phases, she said. The club hopes to raise at least $12,000 this summer to complete the infrastructure portion of the project -- installing/ moving irrigation lines, installing electrical outlets, installing the dry river beds, etc.

"We think we can get started with $12,000," said Peggy Grubbs, fundraising chairwoman and past president of the garden club.

So far the club has raised $4,000 on its own and has pledges from Star Prairie Fish and Game ($2,500) and the Doris Nelson Foundation ($1,500), assuming they can raise the matching funds.

"Right now we're working on raising the rest of the money," Grubbs said.

If all goes well, the garden club hopes to start planting this fall.

"We're going to take advantage of the existing concrete here on the patio," Craig said.

A three-column water feature will be placed just off the patio and provide the soothing sounds of trickling water. It will also be used as a water source for local birds.

Beyond the fountain, wheelchair paths will lead residents to a large raised garden bed with bench seating all around.

"We're hoping that this garden bed can be used as part of the garden therapy program," Craig said.

Crabapple trees, vertical birch trees and serviceberry trees will be planted throughout the space to provide a sense of privacy for residents.

"We're really hoping this will invoke a sense of serenity," Grubbs said.

Once the garden is complete, it will be maintained by the garden club and a few of the Deerfield residents, Grubbs said.

"The garden club was really receptive to this," Craig said. "We're probably all going to end up here anyway, why not do something we can all enjoy later, too?"

Anyone interested in donating to the reflection garden is encouraged to contact Craig at 715-246-6242 or Grubbs at 715-248-3943. Drawings of the entire plan can be viewed in The Deerfield Town Center.