The idea for planting a Peace Garden when the new UCAM building was purchased came from two sources. The former Executive Director, Darina Siv was herself a gardener. All you had to do was visit her office and you were in a jungle paradise. How she maintained her workload, kept all those orchids blooming, then kept a much larger indoor and outdoor garden flourishing at home amazed me. Secondly, Darina and I were both members of the Pan Pacific and Southeast Asia Women's Association, a group affiliated at the United Nations. PPSEAWA promotes Peace throughout the world. There was a call for each member country to establish a Peace Garden. UCAM and PPSEAWA Minnesota agreed to work together to plant the USA garden in the UCAM courtyard.
After finding a designer willing to donate his work and raising money for the project our little PPSEWA group set out to work. People donated hosta, grasses, iris and their time. We planted a magnolia tree, two kinds of lilacs, wigelia, ever blooming lilies and sedum. There was no way to know in July 2003, that one of the hottest and driest summers on record would follow! It was a struggle to keep the garden alive. We lost one tree, but owe the survival of the project to Custodian Larry Fuller for faithfully watering. Before frost we planted tulip, hyacinth, allium and butterfly lily bulbs. The garden concept is that there will be plants blooming at every season. A wind chime adds a sense of well being to the environment.
Next spring after clean up work, we will plant a chestnut crab apple, two kinds of vines, and ground cover. A garden bench will be added as well as a Peace marker in many languages.