Updated: Jun 8, 2022
"I know that if odor were visible, as color is, I’d see the summer garden in rainbow clouds.” — Robert Bridges
Summer Tour Dates
June 16 (Thursday) 6:30-7:30 AND 7:30-8:30 Gary Degrande
June 23 (Thursday) 6:30-7:30 AND 7:30-8:30 Simba Blood
July 14 (Thursday) 6:30-7:30 AND 7:30-8:30 Linnea Tani
July 21 (Thursday) 6:30-7:30 AND 7:30-8:30 Aimee Schaefer
Cynthia Anderson (929 Arlington Ave W St. Paul MN 55117) For the past decade since I became a Master Gardener, my yard and gardens have transformed into a combination of vegetables and pollinator paradise. Don’t be fooled by my large front lawn; the real activity takes place in the sunny back yard of my fenced double lot. By August, my Mexican Sunflowers, Cup Plant, Cardinal Flowers, and Four O’Clocks are especially busy. Mandevilla and Crepe Myrtle pots are also in full bloom.
(2269 Carter Ave St Paul MN 55108)
Our lot is large and on a hill near UM-St. Paul campus. Gardens are located in three areas: on boulevard (rain garden started in 2021), in west side yard (shade) and in back yard (vegetables in straw bales, perennials and some raspberries in ground, annuals in patio pots, some houseplants). When I moved here, only the shade garden was established; everything else was lawn, including our steep front hill.
I have gardened in this ground for 31 years, the first 30 years quite haphazardly and recently, with more intention thanks to retirement and joining the MG program. There’s more to consider (turning remaining front lawn to bee-friendly, maybe planting a few forsythias along west side of front yard) and I welcome inspiration from visitors.
Our boulevard and front hill face south, so get full sun as well as run-off during rains. (East half of boulevard is not yet established but will be sun-loving perennials.) The shade garden west of the house is mostly ferns, wild ginger and spring ephemerals.
Backyard was full sun but is increasingly shaded by a redbud and a river birch, both of which are about 20 years old and now taller than the house. I grow veggies in straw bales due to poor soil and to take advantage of full sun near the detached garage and have had best luck with cucumbers, tomatoes, herbs, and eggplant.
Simba Blood: Snail Lake Regional Park (wetland buffer restoration)
4191 Snail Lake Blvd Shoreview MN 55126
With restoration work beginning in 2018, this 60 acre portion of the park has been undergoing a transformation- from a buckthorn-choked thicket to a spectrum of native plant communities including prairie, wet meadow and emergent marsh, savanna and woodlands.
Although strictly speaking it’s not a garden, this restoration site is a wonderful opportunity to observe well over 100 species of native prairie, wet meadow and woodland plants, and some of the pollinators that visit them. Many of the plants are labeled with arboretum-style tags including a QR code link to an online plant guide. Simba will be on hand to help identify plants, and discuss restoration processes and challenges.
The restored area is a 5 minute walk from the Beach/Boat Launch parking lot at Snail Lake Park. I’ll be at the parking lot to guide folks to the site at the beginning of the tour time. There will also be signs marking the way for those who join later.
Directions: From the lot, cross Snail Lake Boulevard and turn left (north) on the trail. There is a Ramsey County trail sign at the entrance to the wetland. Turn right into the park, then follow the trail to the left up a slight hill to find the open prairie section, with excellent views of the pond.
955 Summit Ave St. Paul MN 55105
We as new owners are breathing fresh life into the established formal gardens that sit on almost an acre at 955 Summit. The goal-in-progress is to maintain formal spaces for colorful summer blooms and street appeal, and add functional spaces with vegetable beds, native perennial gardens, and a chicken coop.
(4100 Oakmede Ln White Bear Township MN 55110)
Come see three ponds/waterfalls, feed the Koi and enjoy the many water lilies, along with a variety of perennials, shrubs and annuals, each suited for the wet, dry, shady, sunny, hilly and flat aspects of this large garden. Lots of lilies.
1243 Hewitt Ave St. Paul MN 55104
The gardens we will focus on are a new plot of native prairie plants off the alley behind our high tunnel.It is about 6’X40’ and it included a diversity of species selected for staggering bloom times to provide forage for pollinators throughout the season.We will also look to the south facing permaculture perennial garden on a hill.It includes fruit bearing plants, flowers, and native plants intended to provide habitat and forage for pollinators and food for the human inhabitants.There are various other garden features on the property we will view in passing.
522 Bellwood Ave St. Paul MN 55117
We purchased our home for the four-season sunroom and many south-facing windows. Freshly landscaped with spruce trees and tons of river rock, the backyard faced an empty lot. We removed the rock and started gardening. Over time, the garden has transitioned from full sun to shade to sun to part sun/shade due to the growth of the neighbor’s trees and removal of our overgrown spruce. Construction of a house on the backlot added a privacy screening challenge as well. The space is now a mix of shrubs, perennials, and annuals. Use of lamium as ground cover unifies the beds and dramatically reduces maintenance. A wisteria completely shades the deck. A magnolia, redbud, weeping pussy willow, larch, and a variety of hydrangeas add interest. Loss of a large silver maple in the front yard provided new opportunities for sun gardening.
438 Snelling Ave S Saint Paul MN 55105
Small urban garden. 5+ years old. We have an example of an entire yard with no lawn or grass. The back is a flower garden focusing on roses, dahlias, and annuals. Raised veggie beds plus natives/pollinator plants in the front. Mostly sun with a portion of dry shade.
779 Greendale Ln Vadnais Heights MN 55127
My main garden is in the front yard. It started as bushed and rocks. I slowly got rid of the bushes and planted perennials cutting through plastic. I finally removed all the rock and plastic and expanded the size to a large front perennial garden. I line the outside with annuals. It is a work In progress. I finished the overhaul in august of 2020 so last year was its first year I. Bloom. I also have two veggie gardens in the back and would love some advice in the back. As well as other ideas for expanding into wildflowers in the front yard, as well.
1778 Colvin Ave St. Paul MN 55116
This sunny garden was laid out 20 years ago. First task was returning to a blank slate and opening the front and back garden spaces by removing a lot of volunteer trees and perennials. Views south across the Minnesota River Valley were recaptured with the removal of 17 diseased Colorado Blue Spruce. Creating the large curvilinear beds and repeating drifts of similar plant materials unify the front and back gardens. Neighbors to the west repeated the same curved beds and much of the plant materials allowing the garden to flow beyond its actual size. Bluestone walls and pathways hardscaping is repeated throughout. The garden desig relies less on blossoms and more on foliage, using color, texture, shape and contrast to captivate the eye. Topical’s are used to punctuate and surprise as your eye moves through the landscape. Recently pollinator plantings and a rainwater capture system connecting all downspouts to either rain gardens, rain barrels or in ground cisterns have been added.
809 Millwood Ave Roseville MN 55113
We have lived in our home for over 35 years and it has been a constant evolution. Our front yard has many ornamental grasses. A year ago I converted and annual flower bed to a pollinator garden and I’m anxious to see how everything overwintered. Our back yard has many planting areas. In sunny spaces I have lots of lilies, ornamental grasses, and pollinator friendly plants. I fill giant pots with wax begonias. We container garden both flowers and vegetables. We have a couple different sunny gardens for flowers and vegetables. I also have a magnificent shade garden at the back of the yard. It includes a variety pf just and ferns and one of the spaces is planted in a spiral with a variety of rocks edging the spiral. The property adjacent to ours is owned by the city of Roseville and I have been tending gardens there in cooperation with the city for a number of years. Scattered throughout our gardens and adding bursts of color is my mosaic art. For me, a garden is both for food but also for pleasure and beauty. I look forward to hosting again this year.
1531 Osceola Ave St. Paul MN 55105
Since we moved into our home in 1993, we have been gradually trading grass for flowerbeds on our small Saint Paul lot. The front yard gardens have full sun, so there you will see lots of sun-loving perennials and annuals. I’m expanding the boulevard garden this year to include all or almost all natives there. The side garden features several Clematis and Heuchera, which are among my favorites, and the backyard has sun and shade gardens. There you will see more Clematis against the garage and more evidence of my love affairs with Heuchera and Hosta. In 2021, we had our remaining grass seeded for a bee lawn, so we are eager this season to see how it develops.