Despite the steady — and very much needed — rain, a good crowd of gardeners attended the West End Neighbor’s Garden Tour in St. Paul today. My friend, Julie, and I were among those under their umbrellas ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the gardens. The West End is that area of St. Paul that borders along the Mississippi River and runs from downtown toward Lexington Parkway. Among the gardens on tour were those at Forepaugh’s Restaurant and the Alexander Ramsey House. But the gardens we enjoyed most were the home gardens, of which 13 were open to the public.
Early June is a tricky time to show a garden in Minnesota, but these gardeners were up to the task. We saw a bleeding heart the size of a big shrub and a plant I have never seen before called Centaurea montana or mountain bluet. The homeowner described it as a big bachelor’s button. Another garden included several tiers, each edged with dry laid stone. Visitors entered the garden over a small bridge connected to the porch. One thing we noticed in all of the gardens (we visited three and walked by the Forepaugh’s garden) was the presence of pots full of succulents such as the whimsical pot in the photo.