This week I’ve had the opportunity to visit three stunning private gardens in the Twin Cities. Each of these gardens is on a city lot (although large ones) and is primarily tended by the homeowners. While each is glorious, the gardens had very different ambiance and show how the owners’ personalities come through in long-tended gardens. One thing that all three had in common, however, was a sturdy fence around the perimeter. Bunnies, deer and other critters are kept out.
A Scientist’s Garden
The first garden I visited is owned by a gentleman who loves martagon lilies and does a great deal of hybridizing. His large, shaded and hilly lot backs up to a pond. Amid the many beds of shade plants were the stars of the show, the lilies he studies, photographs, and breeds. His use of rock throughout the garden gives it real backbone and makes the garden interesting year-round.
Yesterday I visited this garden in St. Paul. It’s owners take meticulous care of the many carefully designed beds. They mulch with only two things: pine needles and oak leaves. The smell of the garden with its roses, lilies, and that marvelous mulch is intoxicating. While the garden has curving beds and an impressive vegetable garden, its formal room was especially beautiful, symmetrical yet varied, formal but inviting. It also features a hidden gazebo, where the homeowners enjoy the many birds that make a home in the garden.
The last garden I visited was in my hometown, Roseville. This large suburban lot has everything: beautiful conifers, undulating perennial beds, rock gardens, a charming shed, and a continually changing palette of color and blooms. This garden looks beautiful from May to October. The homeowners (the husband says it’s mostly his wife’s talent) have an artisitc sensibility that shows in how everything in the garden is arranged and displayed.
After visiting these gardens, I’m excited about this weekend’s Northfield Garden Club tour, where six Northfield gardens will be open to visitors. See the Northfield News article for more information.