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.

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8 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    My son and DIL live in St. Paul, MN, very near this conservatory. Last time we visited them we also visited this lovely place, and very much enjoyed it. We’re headed up there again next weekend, and I’m using the Fling itinerary to help flesh out a great plan for what to do on the Saturday that we’re there!

  2. Alison says:

    Wow! That is a gorgeous conservatory! I think from now on an effort should be made to have a naked person in every group Fling photo.

  3. Conservatories aren’t my favorite places during summer but as you say during winter they are life savers for lots of people that want to smell and see life of a garden being carried on. A nice looking group of gardeners. The naked ladies in my garden are popping up now too.

  4. I didn’t spend much time in the Japanese garden, due to time — preferring to make love to the water lilies on the other side of the conservatory. But I loved that bonsai tree with the stripped bark.