Getting Ready for the State Fair!

Boxes are piled high at the MSHS offices and volunteers have been weeding and laying mulch at the display gardens at Judson and Underwood Avenues on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

MSHS State Fair Garden

The MSHS garden is just south of the Horticulture Building.

The fair starts Thursday, Aug.23, and is one of our biggest events of the year. Members can renew membership (or join!), and everyone who renews or joins receives a special gift. This year’s gift includes garden tools and a kneeling pad in a tote–great for beginner or experienced gardeners. We also have a wide array of books, gloves (the best!), calendars, shirts, hats, birdhouses, garden decor and much more available in our retail booth in the Horticulture Building.

The fair is also a great opportunity for people to learn about gardening. Our educational booth has the theme “Grow Anywhere,” and will include a variety of ways of growing ornamental and edible plants in containers, straw-bales and other unusual places.

Volunteer carrying mulch

Volunteers worked every Thursday night this summer to make the garden look gorgeous.

The most educational part of the fair, however, may well be our wonderful display garden just outside the Horticulture Building. This late summer garden peaks during the fair. It is home to a waterfall feeding two streams that end in a central pond, a bubbler fountain in a large boulder, and two pondless falls at the patio level. This year, it features several new varieties of Ageratum, which were developed by Minnesotan David Zlesak. The Monarch MedianoTM and Monarch GrandeTM series of ageratum (PPAF) are very robust, floriferous plants, and they have filled out a small meadow area of the garden.

Ageratum meadow

This new ageratum, developed by Minnesotan David Zlesak, looks great in the fair garden.

We are very grateful to the volunteers who tend our garden, under the watchful eye of Ron Dufault. Many of the gardeners are from the St. Anthony Park Garden Club. On Thursday, the volunteers put down the last of the mulch. The garden looks great — please stop by and see it at the fair!

For more photos of the garden, check out this gallery on our Facebook page.