top of page

Getting ready for the State Fair

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

Designed to peak during the State Fair, this garden highlights a collection of edible plants and hardy, low-maintenance perennial plants


For several years, Master Gardener volunteers from both Ramsey and Hennepin counties have been working together to re-envision the University of Minnesota Extension Gardens at the State Fair. The volunteers started planning during the still-cold spring months and got into the gardens right away in June.

A mix of Minnesota’s native and pollinator-friendly plants draws in bees, butterflies and hummingbirds and fills the late-summer landscape with colorful blooms. Edible plants, like herbs and vegetables have been added to demonstrate how beautiful and functional they can be in the garden landscape. This year, the State Fair Demonstration Gardens includes a large primary garden and a collection smaller themed areas.

  • The Main Garden has many beautiful “weeds” that are too beautiful to pull—most notably the Verbascum thapsus or the Common Mullein. You will see squash and pumpkin vines traversing the area, also dwarf sunflowers and rhubarb. We also added a concrete block “urban garden” design to this area and planted it with edible greens to inspire small space growers. This area will be beautiful in the late summer when visitors come to the Fair.

  • Our Salad Garden features with chard, green & purple kale and various herbs. Each plant is edible and beautiful!

  • Our Apple Garden celebrates Honeycrisp apples trees planted by the U of M and Rosa Lena shrub roses, both planted years ago by the U of M. You will also notice the newly planted Jumpseed (Persicaria virginiana), which has oval leaves marked with brownish V-shaped splotches.

  • Our Sitting Garden highlights perennials plants. Do you know your alliums? You will find a selection ornamental alliums here. They won't spice up your cooking but their cheerful spherical flowers will bring color to any garden. This garden is on the sidewalk and is a wonderful place for people to sit, relax and watch the flow of the Fair.

The University of Minnesota Extension Gardens are located outside the Horticulture building, across the street from the Haunted House.

We hope you stop by!

Julie C

Master Gardener Volunteer

Ramsey County

This project supports the Horticulture Skills priority of the Master Gardener Volunteer Program: Share current research-based horticulture principles and practices.

bottom of page