Leon Snyder’s 1969 rambler has been completely renovated and some of the nearly three acres around it relandscaped, but reminders of the late Minnesota Landscape Arboretum founder are still visible inside and out at the Victoria home.
Leon Snyder, founder and until 1976 director of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, took his work home with him every single day. That's where he lovingly tended the fruit trees, flower and vegetable gardens on his three-acre property in Victoria until 1986. Snyder died a year later.
The gently sloping open land was perfect for growing apples, grapes and strawberries, said Peter Moe, director of operations at the arboretum, who visited the Snyder home in 1974. Snyder also planted some of the University of Minnesota introductions, such as hardy Northern Lights azaleas, around his home and led tours of the gardens.
"His yard was a model of what people could grow in Minnesota," Moe said.
Snyder built a rambler on the property in 1969, a mile from the arboretum, and lived there almost 20 years. Today, little of the original landscaping and gardens remain. The current owners, IBR Realty agents Kevin and Linda Sharkey, recently completed a whole-house renovation and have put the home on the market.
But Snyder's crab apple trees still line the driveway, and the Sharkey children played football by the original apple orchard. Down in the lower level, Snyder's "grow room" is put to good use each spring. Gardener Linda Sharkey starts plants from seed in the original metal beds under adjustable grow lights.
"It appeals to my sense of history and romance to know that the arboretum director was growing plants there," she said.
The Sharkeys bought the dated, drafty home in 2001 and doubled the size of the walkout rambler to create more functional open spaces for their family of four. They replaced all the windows and converted a screen porch into a dining room and bedroom. Modern amenities include a gourmet kitchen and a well-appointed master suite with an exercise room.
"It was a great house to raise kids," Linda said. "But they've moved out, and we're ready to find another house to fix up."
• The 6,000-square-foot home includes four bedrooms and four bathrooms.
• The interior features natural cherry woodwork and Australian spotted gum floors.
• The galley-style gourmet kitchen has a granite center island, pot filler, double oven and Subzero refrigerator.
• There's a floor-to-ceiling Chilton stone gas fireplace in the vaulted living room.
• The walkout lower level features a family room with the original wood-burning fireplace, wine cellar and game arcade.
• Three decks and a bluestone patio overlook the gardens and lake.
• The home sits on 70 feet of shoreline on Schutz Lake.
Lynn Underwood • 612-673-7619
Kevin Sharkey of IBR Realty has the listing, 952-548-1614.