Like a lot of northerners, I like a winter escape—preferably to Florida. While it's not always possible to get away, the past couple of winters my husband and I have taken a break from the snow, ice and potholes in St. Paul to spend some time in Sarasota, Florida. Whenever we are here, we visit the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. These gardens celebrate all things Florida, with lots of native plants, palms and brightly colored annuals, all arrayed along the shores of Sarasota Bay. Viewing the ... Read More about A Visit to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, Sarasota
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Yesterday, I took a side trip on my way home from the Twin Cities to Afton, Minnesota, to visit Squire House Gardens, a garden center specializing in unusual plants and accessories for home and garden. I visited the store last December to talk with co-owner Martin Stern and designer Kathy Oss about creating holiday pots. The garden was lovely then, under a coating of new snow, but it's even more impressive in summer. Martin, who designs and maintains the gardens with his partner, Richard ... Read More about Summer Visit to Squire House Gardens
The Anderson Japanese Gardens are 12-acres of calm, just off a busy road in Rockford, IL. The gardens grew from local businessman John Anderson's interest in Japan, its culture and aesthetics. Located in Anderson's former backyard, the garden is operated by the Rockford Rotary Charitable Association as a non-profit. Designed by Hoichi Kurisu, former director of the Portland Japanese Garden, the garden celebrates all of the elements of traditional Japanese gardens—water, stone, sound, ... Read More about Anderson Japanese Gardens, Rockford, IL
For the past three years, my cousin has been among the organizers of an unusual garden tour in Tracy, MN. The tour—officially the Tracy Area Garden Party—combines two art forms that often go together—quilting and gardening. Though I've made a few simple quilts, I'm decidedly no quilter, but many gardeners are also expert quilters and many quilters are also darn good gardeners. This year, I was able to visit Tracy for the tour and Jolynn (my cousin) took me around to see not only the six ... Read More about Quilts and Gardens Go Together
A week ago, I visited my oldest daughter who is working in Washington, D.C. We had a great time, but because she had to work two of the days I was there, I had a chance to visit some gardens in the capital city on my own. I lived in D.C. for three years in the 1980s and have visited many times since then, but there are always new things to see. These are gardens that many tourists miss, but are well-worth a visit. Hillwood Estate and Gardens Located within walking distance of the Van Ness ... Read More about Hidden Gardens of Washington, D.C.