The Joys of Garden Travel

Gardeners seem to share a number of characteristics, besides their love of gardening. Many are also good cooks; a lot are big readers or crafters in the winter; and many of them love to travel, especially if it includes a visit to a garden.

ideas mn arb

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is full of ideas for home gardeners.

We’re fortunate in Minnesota to have several public gardens not far away. In the Twin Cities, you can visit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum or other local arboretums, such as the Muriel Sahlin Arboretum in Roseville’s Central Park. Of course, the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park is a favorite spot for gardeners seeking a respite from cold winter weather. But, that’s just the beginning. St. Cloud’s Munsinger Clemens Botanical Garden has been delighting visitors since the Depression. The Virginia Clemens Rose Garden is a must-see for rose-lovers. Duluth is another great stop for those doing garden-themed travel. The Leif Erickson Rose Garden near Duluth’s lakewalk is a beautiful spot, with hundreds of roses and a fabulous view of Lake Superior. If you visit Glensheen, the famous Congdon family mansion, be sure to walk through the landscape. Whether your interest is in trees, ornamentals, design or vegetables, these gardens have plenty of ideas.

como conservatory winter

Take a break from winter with a visit to the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in Como Park.

Outside of Minnesota, you don’t have to go far to find a beautiful garden. In Wisconsin, the Olbrich Botanical Garden in Madison is hauntingly beautiful even in late fall. Janesville’s Rotary Botanical Gardens hosts one of the All-American Selections gardens and in Milwaukee, the Boerner Botanical Gardens offer acres and acres of garden ideas. Those are just a few places to stop in your garden travels.

But what if you have a yen to go even farther — say, France? This summer, MSHS will be offering a garden travel opportunity to visit the gardens of the Loire Valley, hosted by Lynn Steiner, author, columnist and former editor of Northern Gardener. The trip is in June, but next Monday (Nov. 4), Lynn and representative from Collette Vacations will be talking about the itinerary and giving a preview of the trip at a special presentation at MSHS. The program starts at 6:30 p.m. at the MSHS office, 2705 Lincoln Dr., in Roseville. The presentation is free, but registration is requested. Call and leave your name with the receptionist at 651-643-3601 or 800-676-6747. A special online presentation will be held at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 5 for those who cannot attend the live presentation. Click here to sign up.

What is your favorite garden to visit?

grand allee giverney

The France trip sponsored by MSHS does include a visit to Monet’s famous garden at Giverny.