Meet the men behind Excelsior's gorgeous gardens

When you come into Excelsior, Minnesota, you can't help but notice all of the warm color. The Excelsior Men's Garden Club is the reason why the gardens are here.

"I think it's a real nice welcome when people drive in and see well-kept garden areas like this,” said club president Jerry Laughlin.

The Excelsior Men's Garden Club is simple concept, but their elaborate gardens are filled with an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 plants. The volunteer group's beginning goes back to 1949.

“For me personally, it's kind of a social event,” Laughlin said. “I really like these guys and like working with them."

And the socializing always moves from the garden to the coffee shop.

They're always adding to their workload, with a section at the port is their newest spot on the list. You don't have to be from Excelsior to be part of the group -- the guys come from all over the area: Deephaven, Chanhassen and Minnetonka.

"We get a lot of compliments,” May said. “People honk, give us a thumbs up. When we're working it's a lot of fun."

But these guys don't garden for recognition. They do this for fun and personal satisfaction.

"Sometimes I just sit in front of the fountain and hope a bird comes while I’m sitting there,” said Rod Schallberg, who maintains the Arey Memorial Garden.

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