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This historic home and garden reflect the spirit of the original owner, George Carson, who arrived in 1888 with his brother as the first settlers of European descent in Bemidji. Kim and Jim Hoff are the current owners of the home, which boasts garden areas that flow into one another. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Front Yard Garden of the Week: Historic property glows with color

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Kim and Jim Hoff own one of Bemidji's historic homes and a garden that reflects the spirit of the original owner, George Carson.

Carson and his brother, Merian, arrived in the area in 1888 from Becker County and were the first settlers of European descent in Bemidji. In 1905, George bought 30 acres near the Red Lake Railroad Depot and built a house on a bluff above Lake Irving. The stately house in the Carson Addition, the property of Jim and Kim Hoff since 1997, was also known for George's extensive gardens.

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"He's here," said Kim. "The ghost is in the house. We've heard him. He must be very happy."

The Hoffs' lot consists of about 3.5 acres and offers lawns and gardens that flow into one another in what Kim calls a Feng Shui manner.

"You're right in town, but it's almost like you're in the country," she said.

Several of Kim's gardens follow themes, such as her Bistro Garden. She salvaged antique bricks from a brewery that at one time stood near the Lake Irving shore. Using the bricks, she created a little patio under a shade tree, set up a table and chairs and planted flowers around the tree.

Her "Grandchildren's Garden" contains little statues of three boys and five girls, one for each grandchild, as well as a tiny tea table and chair.

Her "Peaceful Place" looks over Lake Irving with an iron bench.

She said she mostly goes with perennial flowers - yellow and white daisies, queen of the prairie, lady's mantle, day lilies, Joe Pye weed, hostas and more than a score of other naturalizers. But she also puts in some annual flowers for continuing color. And she said she likes trying something new each year.

As someone who enjoys interior decorating, Kim said, "This is what I call my decorating outside."

Kim teaches third grade at Central Elementary School, and she uses some of the story of her and Jim's property and the Carsons as an introduction to Bemidji history.

Y mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

Kim and Jim Hoff own one of Bemidji's historic homes and a garden that reflects the spirit of the original owner, George Carson.

Carson and his brother, Merian, arrived in the area in 1888 from Becker County and were the first settlers of European descent in Bemidji. In 1905, George bought 30 acres near the Red Lake Railroad Depot and built a house on a bluff above Lake Irving. The stately house in the Carson Addition, the property of Jim and Kim Hoff since 1997, was also known for George's extensive gardens.

"He's here," said Kim. "The ghost is in the house. We've heard him. He must be very happy."

The Hoffs' lot consists of about 3.5 acres and offers lawns and gardens that flow into one another in what Kim calls a Feng Shui manner.

"You're right in town, but it's almost like you're in the country," she said.

Several of Kim's gardens follow themes, such as her Bistro Garden. She salvaged antique bricks from a brewery that at one time stood near the Lake Irving shore. Using the bricks, she created a little patio under a shade tree, set up a table and chairs and planted flowers around the tree.

Her "Grandchildren's Garden" contains little statues of three boys and five girls, one for each grandchild, as well as a tiny tea table and chair.

Her "Peaceful Place" looks over Lake Irving with an iron bench.

She said she mostly goes with perennial flowers - yellow and white daisies, queen of the prairie, lady's mantle, day lilies, Joe Pye weed, hostas and more than a score of other naturalizers. But she also puts in some annual flowers for continuing color. And she said she likes trying something new each year.

As someone who enjoys interior decorating, Kim said, "This is what I call my decorating outside."

Kim teaches third grade at Central Elementary School, and she uses some of the story of her and Jim's property and the Carsons as an introduction to Bemidji history.

mmiron@bemidjipioneer.com

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