Larry Cipolla is a star gardener in Edina whose passion for planting and weeding sprouted at a very young age. Cipolla grew up on a vegetable farm in East Hartford, Conn. But his passion would later mean finding ways to garden with little space.
When Cipolla bought his first townhouse in 1972, he would become association president and help make container gardening and planting in other outdoor spaces permissible. Cipolla moved to Edina in 1976, and when his house was being built, he asked the construction crew to leave the dug-up soil that would normally be hauled away. He had the mound of dirt spread in his backyard, creating a space for what is now his vegetable garden. He also has 50 containers of soil that are hosts to vegetables, herbs and flowers in addition to a pollinator garden, hosta garden (with 125 different varieties), and a Japanese garden with 10 water features.
Cipolla’s love of gardening has spread beyond his backyard. He’s worked to help establish a community garden in Edina and is part of the School Yard Gardening Program. He teaches at the Edina Community Center, has been a speaker at St. Paul and Minneapolis Home and Garden Shows and teaches with a master gardener program. Cipolla’s goal is “to get people to understand that gardening can really be fun and rewarding.” He says there’s nothing better than “picking up a tomato and eating it immediately—no pesticides, no shipping and handling, just fresh and pretty darn healthy for you.”