So Minnesota: Clemens Garden
Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, and many enjoy spending time in their garden during the holiday weekend.
There’s a special garden in St. Cloud.
Located along the Mississippi River, Munsinger Clemens Gardens is a dazzling St. Cloud treasure.
The history behind the lovely garden is a true love story, which starts in 1943, that’s when William Clemens married his sweetheart Virginia.
“What a big heart he had,” Nia Primus, the woman in charge of the garden, said. “How much love he had for her to provide all the funding for this.”
In the 1980s, the couple lived in a home across the street from what was then a grass field.
“His wife Virginia had Multiple sclerosis and pretty much just sat in the house and looked outside,” Primus said.
William, a wealthy businessman, decided to buy the field and turn it into a garden for his wife.
“This way, he thought he could bring the flowers outside across the street, and she could come over and enjoy them herself or watch all the visitors come enjoy them,” Primus said.
Clemens donated the land to the city of St. Cloud along with millions of dollars to fund the garden.
“With her illness and his big heart, he was able to build this place for her and for the rest of the community,” Primus said.
The gardens are free, and 350,000 people visit every year from around the world.