#GBFling16, American Beauties Native Plants, Chelsea Chop, Donovan Harmel at Vera's Garden, dry creek bed, Jim Peterson publisher of Garden Design Magazine, Loew Hotel Minneapolis, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Minnesota Master Gardners, Springwood Gardens, Vera's Garden Minneapolis, Wild Ones
Where has the summer gone? Here we are in September! After 8 months of remodeling the house is quiet and I can get back to my thoughts, writing and computer. If you are curious about the remodeling I have documented projects at Griffinhouse, the name of our home, on a Facebook where our house and gardens have their very own page. Silly perhaps but an easy way to share! Today I want to get back to the garden tour we did this summer in Minneapolis. Even with their short gardening season the gardens of Minneapolis are rich and lush. I wonder if the plants grow faster knowing their time is limited? On Saturday, day 2, we were headed to the suburbs and many private homes but we started at the most amazing garden. From the middle bottom picture you get an idea of the site of this garden. It is a community garden on the steep slope of the Midtown Greenway, a 5-mile bike route that runs through the heart of Minneapolis. The Greenway is used for exercising and people commuting to work via bike. We met and chatted with the designer Donovan Harmel. He and several other volunteers had been there early getting everything in top shape for our visit and photographing.
This garden was full of pollinator attracting flowers and buzzing with bees!Next stop is Hopkins/Minnetonka. We will visit several private gardens in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. The itinerary explains that the gardeners have many challenges on their quest for a beautifully garden: steep slopes, lots of shade, voracious rabbits and deer that seem to be able to leap tall buildings. As a garden designer I am so inspired by private gardens. The thought, time and passion that people put into the gardens is amazing. I learned a new word on this tour. Ruth, the gardener at our second stop is a member of Wild Ones and is passionate about native plants and their benefits to wildlife. Her garden is peaceful with places to sit and enjoy nature. She has a charming potting shed where many Flingers posed for pictures and a pond that helps attract wild life including frogs. Here is a shot of some of my dear garden blogger buddies, left to right: Susan, Andrea and with the camera Barbara, who clearly has a picture of me sitting on the swinging bench relaxing and enjoying the scenery. This is the garden of two Minnesota Master Gardeners. They have been working in/on the lovely garden for 30 years. Their property backs up to a wetlands that they also own and keep protected for the native wildlife. They also have a great collection of garden art that is displayed in lovely vignettes through out the garden. That’s Shawn taking a picture of me taking a picture of him : )The dry creek bed that runs down the slope is very well done and dotted with fun accessories! The next garden also has a stream but with running water that is pumped through it. You can sit at the top around the fire pit and enjoy the the sound of water and the warmth of fire simultaneously. I can’t think of a better use of a slope. I liked the sentiment on this plaque as you enter the back garden. I can imagine spending many evenings out here sipping wine and unwinding by the fire or sharing good conversation with friends.Lunch time was in a private lakeside garden. Both the front and the back gardens of this home face water. The back had tall trees and plenty of shade for us to enjoy while we ate. Here is the view from the front yard with our bus on the right. The homeowners have done a lot of work on shoreline restoration.After a nice box lunch and rest we headed to Springwood Gardens: a large daylily breeding operation and display garden. We had a brief talk by the owner Karol about her passion for daylilies. The site is large and the sun was hot in the middle of the afternoon. There were so many stunning daylilies I wish were in my own garden. Springwood Gardens sits on a hillside that looks out over a prairie valley. I found a bench in the shade of a tree and enjoyed the view. The rest of the afternoon we spent at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. After a nice walk enjoying the various gardens we enjoyed the annual Fling dinner in the Snyder Auditorium. The menu was Minnesota-themed food that was delicious. The arboretum is know for its giant insect sculptures. When you come across them they are both whimsical and terrifying when you think about them too much. As we headed toward dinner we came across this bronze sculpture, Winter & Summer Nymphs, by Paul T. Granlund 1973. Before dinner there was time to chat with table mates. After dinner we had a great talk by Peggy Anne Montgomery a horticulturist that works with American Beauties Native Plants. Then we used our tickets to try and win some of the great prizes donated by our sponsors. Here is a link to our sponsors page SPONSORS. One of the many benefits of going to a fling is being exposed to so many great companies and their products that I would otherwise be unaware of. Back in our hotel room at the Loews we were treated to the sun setting on the Minneapolis skyline!That wraps up day two. I hope you enjoy the post as much as I have, reliving it, putting this post together for you. The photo collages are from my Instagram live posts from each garden. If you are on Instagram and enjoy garden pictures follow me (link on right) and if you like to share garden pictures and other fun stuff leave me a link to your Instagram account in comments so I can follow you back : )