On Friday, we described some of the gardens on the MSHS/Washington County Horticulture Society Tour of Washington County Gardens, which will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 20. Eight incredible private gardens will be open to tour-goers during the tour. To order tickets ($15 in advance, $18 day of tour), contact MSHS at 651-643-3601. You can get same day tickets at the Hedberg Nursery at 8400-60th St. N. in Stillwater.
Here are descriptions of three more of these wonderful spaces.
This Cottage Grove garden is a memorial to the gardener’s son. It is filled with flowers that were favorites of special gardeners in the tender’s life: her parents, grandparents and friends. Their favorite plants are woven among the gardener’s own passions: hostas, coral bells, ferns, lilies, cone flowers, lady slippers. The pool, waterfall walkways, and screen are the hardscape elements in the yard. Gardens are always changing with trees maturing, storm damage, plant diseases, and now the aging gardener, whose mobility is waning, though It is hard to reduce the activity or the size of one’s garden when you bleed green.
For many years, these White Bear Lake gardeners have battled the twin evils of rocks and clay. They’ve triumphed to create a woodland wonderland, filled with river birch, white birch, pagoda dogwood, Kentucky coffee tree, Ohio buckeye, large leaf magnolia, and tall evergreens, which provide the backdrop for the couple’s more than 1,500 hostas. More than 550 of their hostas are named varieties. In the spring, wild flowers and ephemeral plants fill the woodland. A grove of oaks stands sentinel on the property, wandering the pathways. Be sure to notice the many rocks ringing the gardens. Each of these rocks was in the ground before the garden began, sometimes requiring an hour or more to remove one rock so the plant can go in the ground. This lovely countryside garden has been a labor of love.
A Country Garden
Like many Minnesota gardeners, the owners of this 2.5 acre Lake Elmo garden have deer, and lots of them. But over the years, they have concocted a variety of wily ways to outsmart the intruders. Everything in the garden is tough and hardy. The gardeners—one is a Washington County Master Gardener—have incorporated more than 50 varieties of ornamental grasses and lots of native plants into the landscape. The garden also has many wonderful wooden structures, built by one of the homeowners. Stroll the path through the pergola back to the pond, and enjoy the mix of sun and shade-loving gardens along the way.