The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, an extension of the University of Minnesota, consistently makes multiple lists of the top 20 arboretums in the United States and USA Today named it one of the “10 great places to smell the flowers”. It is a place to smell the flowers, learn about plants indigenous to cold climates, and just simply enjoy the beautiful gardens, woodlands, wetlands, exhibits and sculpture.
Situated on 1,215 acres are approximately 28 gardens, 17 displays and model landscapes, 45 plant collections and more than 5,000 plant species and varieties AND SO MUCH MORE!
This summer the popular “Nature Connects” exhibit will be on display through August 30th. Sean Kennedy, a New York artist, created over 50 nature inspired LEGO sculptures. Thirteen of those sculptures are on display and delight children and adults.
A great activity for adults and kids is the Community LEGO “themed” Brick Builds. They are held on Saturdays and you can find more information here:
Here are just a few of the amazing LEGO sculptures.
When we were there they were planting the Annual Gardens. We missed the spring flower displays and we were too early for the roses, but that did not detract from our day at the Arboretum. The perennial gardens were very pretty and one thing I appreciate here is that all of the flowers and plants are marked so you know what they are. I have missed that in many of the botanical gardens I have been to.
The peonies were just beginning to bloom
They were planting the annual gardens the day we were there and this brings us to the topic of Volunteers. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has so many opportunities to volunteer in education, gardening, events, clerical support and special assignments. What a great way to give back to a place that offers so much to so many. It’s a Win-Win!
It must be time to have lunch or just sit for a spell. They have a wonderful cafe with an outdoor patio
or if you packed a picnic you will find a picnic area near the Learning Center. If you just want to sit for a spell to rest and enjoy the beautiful surroundings you will find many, many benches along the paths.
Continuing along the path you will want to explore the many gardens: Prairie Garden, Sensory Garden, Garden for Wildlife, Dahlia Trail Garden, Rhododendron Garden, Iris Garden, Wildflower Garden, Rose Garden, Japanese Garden, Rock Garden and don’t forget the Maze Garden.
Other sites along the paths and drive
MAN MADE BEAUTY .. Sculptures can be found throughout the Arboretum grounds and there are 22 sculptures in the Harrison Sculpture Garden. They are all pretty awesome. Here are a few of my favorites.
MY KIND OF DANDELION
ST. FRANCIS… The smell of lilacs when you enter this area is amazing.
HARRISON SCULPTURE GARDEN
FOUR OPEN RECTANGLES
LOOKING INTO THE WIND
ROLLING OVER FIGURE (I have no idea what inspired this but the title and the sculpture took me back to those Monday mornings when I’d wake up feeling like I’d been run over by a truck)
If you want a narrated tour of the 1,215 acres climb aboard the Trumpet Creeper Tram. It seats 42 and can accommodate one wheel chair.
This is just a taste of what you will encounter at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Visit their website and click on “Plan Your Visit” http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/
Things to watch for:
Live Music in the Gardens http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/music.aspx
Artists in the Gardens http://www.arboretum.umn.edu/artcrawl.aspx
Enjoy your day at the Arboretum! Hope to see you on the paths.