By Lynn McDonald
Lewis and Clark Community College may be a small college in a small town, but it’s reputation far outweighs its size. In fact, Godfrey trustee Sarah Woodman counts L&C as the town’s “number one” asset. One thing that makes a huge impression on students and community members alike is the lovely campus and colorful gardens.
This year marks the Monticello Sculpture Garden’s ninth annual garden show, Here Comes the Sun. Unlike years past, the design was created, as well as implemented, by L&C Gardener Katie Piper. After the challenging times of the past year and a half, she chose to draw inspiration from a “ray of sunshine” that she sees in the future.
“I knew I wanted the gardens filled with vibrant colors and pollinator-attracting plants,” Piper said. “So that’s where I started. I made a list of plants with bight, warm-colored blooms, bold textures that catch the eye, and features that bring in bees, butterflies, and birds.”
Like the Beatles song of the same name, Here Comes the Sun is full of vibrant hope for better days. The bursts of color bring joy to those wandering across campus, helping to ease tensions and brighten spirits.
“I truly feel this show’s energy is cheery and uplifting,” Piper said. “The plantings draw people in to admire and snap photos. I know I have enjoyed watching all the bees and hummingbirds buzzing and the butterflies floating by. Being outside in gardens truly brings people joy but add swirling butterflies and munching caterpillars and the experience can be spectacular.”
Located in eight different spots, one is certain to encounter a multitude of glorious blooms, no matter which part of L&C is traversed.
“We also love chatting with people about our gardens,” Piper said. “I encourage all guests of the gardens to ask us questions and tell us your own garden stories so please come say hi if you see us out amongst the blooms!”
For a deeper look at the gardens, free guided tours are available via appointment from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. To request an appointment, email Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org, or L&C Horticulture Manager Ethan Braasch at email@example.com.
For those who prefer self-guided tours, the gardens will be viewable through September. A map is available for download by visiting this link. For younger garden enthusiasts, a fun scavenger hunt has been created, complete with an activity sheet.