Garden Walk and Art Stroll
Five gardens featured in Waupaca area event
The 2019 Garden Walk and Art Stroll will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 22.
Sponsored by Waupaca County Master Gardeners, the event will feature five gardens and one special attraction in the Waupaca and King area.
The gardens will showcase raised beds, organic gardening, rock gardening, vegetable gardens, perennials and nectar producing plants, heirloom plantings and city gardens, with Danes Hall open for touring.
Artists from central Wisconsin are featured in each garden and at Danes Hall. They will demonstrate and sell their work throughout the day.
Tickets are $10 and available at the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce, 221 S. Main St., or in the gardens the day of the event.
A couple locations will have plants for sale.
Nels Rasmussen Park and Garden
North end of Main Street, Waupaca
In the 1930s, Nels Rasmussen was Waupaca’s street and water superintendent.
He noticed weeds growing among the rocks, so he decided it would be a great area for planting gardens.
Over the next 40 years, Rasmussen transplanted two pine trees from his yard and many types of ornamental plants from his garden.
When he retired, the city decided to name the garden Nels Rasmussen Park.
After Rasmussen passed away in 1971, his daughter Marge Telfer coordinated the park project for the 25-member Waupaca Garden Club. The Waupaca Garden Club, under the direction of DiAnn Sorenson, still continues to care for the park.
Waupaca Falls Park
Located on Water Street down the hill from Nels Rasmussen Park.
This is the site of the beginning of Waupaca around 1849. The “falls” was where the first settlers came to stake their claims. It is said these settlers made their first camp at the rocky high point above the falls, now called Nels Rasmussen Park.
This also is the site in later years of the power station and shop built in 1893.
The power house was used as the water department office and shop run by Nels Rasmussen, the founder of Nels Rasmusssen Park.
The water department office was demolished in 1994, along with the city garage to make way for the new Water Street Bridge.
Jim Boyer Park and Gardens
Located at the intersection of North Harrison (State Highway 49), Granite and Hillcrest streets. Turn left onto Granite Street from the north end of Main Street by Danes Hall and Nels Rasmussen Park to Harrison.
Jim Boyer was mayor of Waupaca in the 1980s. Boyer and the common council were responsible for making the property a park. Sometime in the 1980s, Jim Boyer Park was known as “The People’s Park.”
When Boyer passed away in 2012, the city of Waupaca officially named it the Jim Boyer Park, as he was instrumental in developing this lot. The Boyer family is proud of this park and has contributed to it. They salute the Waupaca Garden Club for making it a most picturesque place in Waupaca.
The garden is comprised of railroad ties laid along the west hill in two tiers. Sidewalk and benches were added.
The early gardens were planted with canna bulbs, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, alyssum and dusty miller. In the spring, it is a sea of yellow and red tulips.
Through the years, many perennial plants had been added but had become overgrown and untended. Three years ago, the Waupaca Garden Club stepped forward to rejuvenate the flower beds. The overgrown plants were taken out, and the city crew tilled and added new soil to the beds.
They added sedum, astilbe, cleome, cosmos and inpatients among the perennials. The club planted wave petunia, marigolds, zinnias, alyssum and several perennials. On the south end, were planted herbs and some vegetables for some of the area residents. The city provides mulch from tree removals to help keep the weeds down.
Val and Gary DuChateau
“Wee Haven Two”
N2724 Park Lane Drive, Waupaca
Located directly behind Magdalene’s Restaurant in King.
Directions: From State Highway 54 (by Kwik Trip) or State 22, turn onto County Trunk QQ into King. Park at Magdalene’s Restaurant parking lot or wherever you see Garden Walk parking signs. Then walk to Park Lane. There is no parking on Park Lane Drive.
The garden is 6 years old this summer. When Val and Gary bought this property, it had a lawn that was in poor condition, a few hostas around the house and plenty of weeds with gravel along the cedar fence. They felt the need to make some improvements just about everywhere.
This grand task began by creating a shade garden to frame the back yard – planting old fashion hydrangeas, coral bells, varieties of hostas and bleeding hearts. Almost all the plants in this area were either transplants from their home garden or kindly shared as divided plants from the gardens of friends.
The front yard, because of its sunny location, became a small vegetable garden, which now has grown large enough to hold tomatoes, green beans, green peppers, onions, carrots, beets, cucumbers, rhubarb, zucchini and butternut squash.
Finally, there is the area along the fence by the road. It required a thorough weeding, hand raking and the addition of a lot of rich compost to the mostly sand/soil. Growing there today are light purple iris and autumn joy sedum that they brought from their home in Appleton, grandmother’s light pink peonies, hardy lilies, black eyed Susans from a neighbor and finally red and yellow dahlias, which are a favorite of those passing by.
Each year, the DuChateaus put in a few annuals, but marigolds have become their best thrifty choice since they save their seeds each fall to plant next season.
Jan Lytie and
Susan Lytie Schroeder
723 E. Lake St., Waupaca
Directions: Take Main Street to East Lake Street and continue to 723 E. Lake St.
Jan and Susan find great pleasure putzing in their garden. The garden includes Naked Ladies, Phlox, Yucca’s, Day Lilly’s, Iris’s, Hostas and many different colors and species of plants.
Every year, they add many new plants and garden art with different varieties of plants. They say they have the perfect “city garden.”
301 N. Main St., Waupaca
Located on the corner of Main and Granite streets in downtown.
Danes Hall, situated on the hill at the north end of Waupaca’s Main Street, was designed by famed architect William Water and built in 1894 for the Danish community of Waupaca as a social gathering place.
Originally, the building consisted of a restaurant/coffee shop in the lower level and a meeting hall, library, ladies parlor, cloak room, smoking room and ticket office on the main floor.
The grand ballroom, surrounded on three sides with a gallery, is on the upper level.
The Koehler brothers, Mike, Jack and Joe, purchased the vacant building in August 2016 and completed a restoration of the entire building in the spring of 2019. Danes Hall has been returned to its original grandeur and purpose. An elevator and restrooms are available.
The building is located adjacent to beautiful Nels Rasmussen Park/Garden, which is meticulously cared for by volunteers each summer. Plans are underway to beautify and landscape the area surrounding Danes Hall.
CopperFox Farm, Sustainable Dreamer and KitchensBrew
Judy and Chet Smith, Jess Smith and Brandon Spurlin
N4294 Oakland Drive, Waupaca
Directions: Head west on W. Fulton St., then turn right (north) onto State 49/N. Harrison St., turn left onto Larson Road, turn right onto Oakland Drive. Destination is on the right at N4294 Oakland Drive. Total distance is 4.7 miles.
In the past six years, serendipitous events brought CopperFox Farm to life, along with two related family businesses, Sustainable Dreamer and KitchensBrew.
Inheriting her parents’ retirement home, outbuildings and 74 acres of woods and farmland, Chet and Judy Smith decided to head back up north. Their goal was retirement – maybe grow a few daffodils and some tomatoes, and just travel a lot. Brandon and Jessica, the youngest daughter in the family, had a bit more grandiose of a plan – to resuscitate the family farm and heal the land from years of conventional farming and to create a sustainable regenerative farm practice.
They have about 40 acres of woodlands to reclaim from invasive buckthorn, autumn olive and barberry utilizing a small herd of Pygmy goats to clear the understory. Large pastures are complimented with a mobile chicken coop that travels the fields to fertilize the soil. There is a plethora of bulbs, day lilies and perennials tucked into the edges of the woods and surrounding the log cabin. Sunflowers and other volunteers from birdseed abound.
Sustainable Dreamer established about a one-quarter acre of market gardens containing an assortment of salad greens, culinary and medicinal herbs, edible flowers, peppers, several varieties of cucumbers, and micro-greens. There are also a 100-foot greenhouse, a small tomato hothouse, and a sizable pumpkin patch with over 10 varieties of gourds, squashes and pumpkins inter-planted with broom corn and beans.
The work began in earnest in the spring of 2018. CopperFox Farm is certainly a work in progress – very early progress – but it is the beginning of the delivery on the family’s commitment to the legacy of Jim and Joyce Miller (Judy‘s parents/Jess‘s grandparents), to the future generations of the family, and to the land itself.