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Leonard gets June yard of the month

Darlene Leonard stands beside her flowering roses at her home at 1402 Sixth St. SE, Wadena. Leonard was selected for yard of the month in June by the Wadena Garden Club. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal1 / 4
Darlene Leonard has a love of gardening which she shows at the Wadena County Fair each year. Her work earned her yard of the month in Wadena in June. Find her yard at 1402 Sixth St. SE. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal2 / 4
Darlene Leonard stands at the edge of her variety of flowers in her garden. She selects some of the fine specimens for her entries at the Wadena County Fair. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal3 / 4
Darlene Leonard poses with Shirley Hartjen after being chosen for the "Yard of the Month" by the Wadena Garden Club. Submitted photo4 / 4

The Wadena Garden Club is actively seeking out yards in tip top shape this season and they've recognized Darlene Leonard's yard as Yard of the Month for June.

Leonard was known for always keeping a large garden going at her farm north of Verndale. Since moving to Wadena five years ago, she's been building on her yard variety and added a flower garden as well, which is where her many award winning arrangements get their start.

Leonard has exhibited flowers and arrangements at the Wadena County Fair for 27 years. Leonard and Julie Deiss usually win the trophy for exhibitor winning the most blue ribbons, according to Garden Club member Shirley Hartjen.

Leonard said she enjoys gardening and can be found in her yard most any day there isn't snow on the ground. When not outside, she also has at least one plant in every room of the house to tend to. Leonard is a little concerned with bringing annuals to present at the fair this year as snow covered the ground well into April this year, it backed up the growing season considerably.

Her perennials, however, are plentiful and add a great deal of color to her property. She mixes in some metal art and other permanent pieces to bring it all together. Plants surround the home and can be seen from the corner at 1402 Sixth St. SE, Wadena.

Hartjen added that the garden club is planning for local yard tours on June 26, though not all the details were immediately available.

Michael Johnson

Johnson is a graduate of Verndale Public School. He earned his associate's degree from Central Lakes College with an emphasis in English and natural resources. He earned his bachelor's degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead, where he graduated cum laude in 2008. While there, he double-majored in English and Print Journalism. He's reported for The Advocate, student newspaper of MSUM; The Barnesville Record Review in Barnesville, Minn.; Clay County Historical Society in Moorhead, Minn.; Gillette News Record in Gillette Wyo.; Underwood News in Underwood, N.D.; and The Leader-News in Washburn, N.D. and the Brainerd Dispatch in Brainerd, Minn. Johnson has worked as a reporter for the Pioneer Journal and Perham Focus since Nov. 2017.

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