Elegant garden of St. Paul writer Marge Hols: Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling


A lovely Tudor-style home on St. Paul’s historic Summit Avenue, just down the block from the Minnesota Governor’s Mansion, was a stop on day three of the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling.


It’s the home of gardening columnist Marge Hols, who welcomed us and immediately set us loose to explore at our own pace. I gravitated to the rear garden, entering through a wrought-iron gate adorned with a succulent wreath.


The back of the house is U-shaped with the addition of an elegant sun porch on the left and screened porch on the right, with a small patio filling the space between. To the right…


…an armillary anchors a small formal garden loosened up with prairie-native purple coneflower.


A flagstone path leads to a side garden…


…that’s naturalistic with ferns and other shade lovers. Peggy Anne Montgomery of American Beauties Native Plants and her husband, Dan Benarcik of Chanticleer (he’s in charge of the Teacup Garden), make a cute couple.


Of course I couldn’t resist peeking into Marge’s sun porch.


This room must be a garden-lover’s lifeline during Minnesota’s colder seasons.


In the sunny rear corner of the lot, a colorful flower garden is lush with daylilies…


…daisies…


…bee balm and clematis.


A pretty urn in the center of the garden makes a classic focal point.


It’s a charming space, and very liveable.


Thanks to Marge for sharing her lovely garden with us.

Up next: The formal Squire House Gardens in nearby Afton. For a look back at the grand conservatory and serene Japanese Garden at Como Park, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
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All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Como Park Conservatory and Japanese Garden: Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling


In the South we don’t have many conservatories, probably because our winters aren’t particularly bleak or cold. But I’ve visited a few on my travels to northern states, and on day three of the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling, I got to see another one at Como Park in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Como Park’s 100-year-old glass house is flanked outside by a long, mirror-like, elevated pond bejeweled with water lilies.


A sunken garden fills one wing of the conservatory, with a rill-like pond running down the center and flowering plants on each side.


Photo by Diane McGann

Our group of approximately 60 garden bloggers posed here for the official group photo. I don’t know if it was planned, but a naked woman streaked into the photo with us and then struck a demure pose. Hah! See her?


After the photo, we had only a few minutes to see the garden before it was time to get back on the bus, and I made a beeline for the Japanese Garden. Along the way, I paused to admire several bonsai, including this large eastern white cedar, displayed on a patio.


Jack pine ‘Uncle Fogey’ bonsai


Ponderosa pine too


In the garden itself, their life-size counterparts add height, soft texture, and a sense of age to boulder-edged islands in a koi-filled pond.


A zig-zag bridge of stone planks crosses the pond.


A roofed gate with lattice-style bamboo fencing leads to (I assume) a teahouse. According to Como Park’s website, the Japanese garden’s design was a gift from the people of Nagasaki to the people of its sister city, St. Paul.


What a lovely gift!

Up next: The elegant Tudor-house garden of Marge Hols. For a look back at a streamside garden inspired by Walden, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Dynasty Drive flowers and bonus hosta garden: Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling


A garden tour within a garden tour was offered on day two of the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling, held in mid-July.


Bused to a half-dozen lovely private gardens on a local Master Gardeners tour (see my upcoming post about the Walden Road garden), at one point I found myself admiring a colorful prairie-style garden along Dynasty Drive, near a house that wasn’t even on the tour.


How amazing is that, to have such a wealth of gardens in an area that even the non-tour yards look gorgeous?


The flowering extravaganza of the front yard continued around the side yard, which was adjacent to a neighborhood tennis court. As I followed the flowers…


…several bloggers heading back toward the bus said, “You must see this garden. The owner is inviting us in.”


Owners Julie Carley and Gary Mosiman were standing at the entrance to their expansive back garden, lush with hostas and ligularia in shade, lilies and daylilies in sun, and inviting passing bloggers to have a look. As it turns out, they were scheduled to be on a different tour the next day, or so I understood. It was a lucky bonus garden, then, for the Flingers!


Brightened with variegated hostas — and not a slug- or snail-chewed leaf in sight — the garden shows how beautiful a shady foliage garden can be (in the upper Midwest).


You talking about me?


With a little more sun, daylilies appear.


In the center of the garden, a sweeping lawn (no water shortages in Minnesota!) provides a verdant space to rest the eye. In the sunny border around it, brightly colored lilies and daylilies vie for attention.


I love a garden with lots of places to sit and enjoy the view. This simple concrete bench offers the perfect spot to breathe in the lilies’ fragrance.


Looking uphill, you can see what a huge elevation change there is between the house and lower garden. A deck helps bridge the gap between indoors and out.


Panning right, you see an elevated patio with steps and a retaining wall of wooden timbers — a beautiful way to bring the house and garden together. (And look, there’s Rebecca from Buda, Texas!) Climbing steps on the left (not pictured)…


…you arrive at an intimate, bark-mulched seating area shaded by a tall tree.


It offers views across the garden, including the upper patio on the other side.


Zooming in


And now here’s the view from the other patio.


Elevation changes add so much interest to a garden, and the broad curves of the planting beds set off the lawn to perfection.


More hostas under the trees


These oversized, rippled hosta leaves are lovely.


Ligularia (‘The Rocket’?) adds a swath of sunshine with its golden flower spikes.


What a beautiful garden!


Here’s one of the owners, Julie (left), explaining something to Diana and Gryphon. I’m grateful to Julie and Gary for spontaneously sharing their garden with us.

Up next: The Walden Road garden, one of the gardens on the Master Gardeners tour. For a look back at the flowery and art-filled Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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