Tuesday, September 7, 2010

MN State Fair Garden Tour – Part Two

It hardly seems possible that The Fair is over for another year. In my four trips to the Fair this year, I’m sure I covered most of the 320 acres of the grounds. During yesterday’s visit, I did get to all of the 32 gardens on the grounds. Here are a few of the gardens I didn’t show you the other day:

Friends School of Minnesota. Since I go to their plant sale every Mother’s Day weekend, I thought I should include them. There’s a begonia in this garden named “Raquel Wood,” for the founding director of the Friends School in Minnesota. This garden also includes one of the Tree Sculptures, carved from stumps of Elm trees that had Dutch Elm disease.

There’s a wildflower garden by the Creative Activities building and the butterflies were loving it! I was lucky to get a couple shots of the butterflies.

This garden is provided by a local landscaping firm. It’s one of several gardens with a water feature. People love to come and sit on the ledge or up in the gazebo.

These galloping horse topiaries aren’t on the map, but I saw them as I was wandering from garden to garden, and I liked them! They are lighted and have straw manes.

This is one of the more vibrant gardens on the grounds. It’s by the Administration building and is chock full of annuals and perennials, surrounding a boulder that bubbles water.

The blurb in the brochure for this garden (with Snoopy and Elvis) says it’s a favorite spot for napping. And, I did see a dozen or so folks taking a snooze, either on the shady lawn or on the benches in this very shady and tranquil garden spot. I could hardly believe over 100,000 people were roaming the grounds when I was in this garden.

I’ve walked by this “garden” at the bandshell hundreds of times and not even noticed it. The brochure says that the garden Is “overlooked by a rake imitating the rising sun and hopeful semi-finalists competing for a chance to perform on the big stage.” (The bandshell is where the preliminary talent competitions occur. Finalists get to perform at the grandstand the last Sunday of the Fair.)

These next snapshots are at the garden sponsored by the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. This shot is of an annual (here in MN anyhow) called Indian Kale. It has these wonderful leaves and wine colored stems.

Here’s a little garden angel that surprised me on the path in the MNLA garden.

This gazebo with green roof and goat is part of the garden sponsored by the Minnesota Horticultural Society! I loved this idea. It reminded me of traveling through Norway where I’ve seen live goats grazing on roofs.

A colorful wading bird sculpture is perched at the edge of a pond in the Hort Society garden.

The last garden on today’s tour is the garden at the entrance to the International Bazaar. Even though it’s in full sun, people sit on the ledge to rest their feet while enjoying a cool beverage. This garden is filled with tropical plants.

I took a guided tour of the JV Bailey house yesterday and learned that the Canna Lily is the “signature” flower of the State Fair! No wonder I always associate the two! That’s it for the Fair this year. Tomorrow, it’s back to the gardens at Auntie Ks, and planning for the neighborhood Plant Swap on Saturday. Yikes!


Marguerite said...

I've been reading along with your posts about the State Fair and I have to say I'm seriously impressed with the idea of having gardens at the fair. (I confess I haven't seen this before). So many wonderful ideas and plants and they provide spots for people to relax! Truly a fantastic idea.

Melinda said...

Beautiful! Think of all the hours spent making those gardens so picture perfect!

Auntie K said...

Marguerite; I have been going to the Fair for almost 40 years and must say I can't remember them from my childhood. I do remember a few plots and planters here and there with the Canna lilies and other annuals. I think as the Fair has evolved from a primarily rural event focused on crops and farm machinery to more balance with urban and suburban folks participating, the gardens were something these folks were interested in and could emulate at home. I know for certain that the "Adopt a Garden" program started in 2001. It does make sitting and resting a much more luxurious experience.

Melinda; Yes. I was amazed that the gardens looked so good -- even after 12 days of heavy foot traffic, I thought they looked lovely.

Jami said...

Wow- it sure is inspiring to get to visit gardens like these! Thanks for sharing at the TGP.

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