Visiting a garden is a vastly underrated way to spend a beautiful Minnesota summer day. Gardens can be a peaceful and relaxing alternative to bustling, noisy crowds of other popular destinations. You can only catch most of these Twin Cities public gardens for a few months of the year, but they all are worth the effort for the spectacular views, scents and atmosphere.
This is one of the few remaining glass domed Victorian style gardens in the U.S. Its construction, finished in 1915, was decades-long dream of Frederick Nussbaumer, the Como Park gardener who became St. Paul Park superintendent in 1890. Within three years of its opening, the Conservatory housed approximately 77,500 plants and some of the originals still survive. It now maintains over 260 major varieties of plants from six different continents. Five yearly seasonal flower shows occur in the sunken garden. Classes and concerts are also hosted within the conservatory.
Normandale Community College's Japanese Garden was built by the Bloomington Affiliated Garden Clubs. Plans for the garden began in 1967 when the college campus was still being developed. The garden clubs raised the funds to build the garden while the college donated two acres of land. The Japanese Garden is a two-acre oasis on its campus in Bloomington, Minnesota. The beauty and serenity of the garden, open year-round, make it ideal for relaxation and peacefulness. The design services of Takao Watanabe, a professional garden architect from Tokyo, Japan, were critical to the success of the project.
It is the Upper Midwest’s largest public garden and features annual and perennial display gardens, plants developed for northern climates, demonstration gardens, a Japanese garden, and natural areas including woodlands, prairie and marshes. Its collections include clematis, dahlias, ornamental grasses, hostas, iris, wildflowers and cultivated, hardy shrub roses. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is part of the Department of Horticultural Science in the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences at the University of Minnesota and is open to the public every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas. The arboretum also includes a horticultural library and conservatory, as well as miles of hiking and cross-country skiing trails.
The Central Park Muriel Sahlin Arboretum offers a relaxed and calm setting to enjoy eight acres of beautiful theme gardens, manicured grounds, walkways, water fountain and detailed architectural features. Many of the trees and shrubs are native Minnesota species which are ideal for the setting and climate, blooming beautifully all summer long. Additionally, The Arboretum and Shirlie Klaus Pavilion are available for event rentals and can accommodate up to 300 guests.
The Lyndale Park Rose Garden, created in 1946, is the second oldest public rose garden in the United States. Situated in the 64 acre Lyndale Park, the 1.5 acre rose garden contains 3,000 plants with more than 250 varieties. The Lyndale Park Rose Garden is made up of two long perennial borders that flank six annual beds. The combination of fountain and flowers contained by an enormous hedge, makes this an ideal location for garden enthusiasts, wedding ceremonies and photos and other celebratory event. The gardens are located near the northeast corner of Lake Harriet.
We encourage you to get out and enjoy Minnesota’s beautiful summer with family and friends by visiting these gardens or get involved with local environmental causes. Happy summer!