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2016 Minneapolis Fling

2016 Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling group at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in St. Paul.

The 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling is over, and the tired but exhilarated bloggers have gone home to sort through hundreds (thousands?) of images and digest all that they have seen and learned about northern gardens.

We'll be sharing their posts here. For real-time information about the Fling, check out our Garden Bloggers Fling Facebook page or look on Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #gbFling2016. (The photos will blow you away!)

The Fling was organized by Amy Andrychowicz, Kathleen Hennessey and Mary Lahr Schier. You can check out our itinerary, our terrific sponsors, and more information about gardening in the North on this blog. Now, on to the posts! MINNEAPOLIS -- THE CITY AND ITS GARDENS

Highlights of the Minneapolis Fling by Garden in a City

Gorgeous Gardens Dominate 2016 Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis by Sharing Nature's Garden

Fling, Flang, Flung by Woodchuck Acres

Busy Flower Visitors on Swamp Milkweed by Natural Gardening

Some Fling's Up at the Casa by Casa Mariposa

Minneapolis' Courthouse Plaza by Toronto Gardens

Garden Bloggers Unite! by American Meadows

Minneapolis Water Features Great and Small by Commonweeder

Garden Bloggers Fling 2016 by Nature Hills Nursery

Scenes from the Minneapolis Fling by Digging

Why Garden Hats Matter by Notes from Northern Gardener

Come Sit with Me in these Gardens by Toronto Gardens

Color FULL Small Gardens by More Than Oregano

FRIDAY, July 15

Creating a Focal Point at Hearts and Ivy by Toronto Gardens

Cor-ten Beauty in Rhonda Fleming Hayes' Potager Garden by Digging

A Twin Cities Fling, Part 1 by Plant Postings

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden by Wills Family Acres

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden by Recreational Gardener

Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling, Day 1 by Shovel-Ready Gardener

Our Recent Garden Trip to Minneapolis, Day 1 by Ravenscourt Gardens

Noerenberg Memorial Garden and Carmichael-Kelley Home Garden by Digging

2016 Garden Bloggers Fling, Day 1 by Down2Earth

Eloise Butler Gardens by Floradora Gardens

Eloise Butler Wildflower Gardens by Homegrown

Peacefulness in Minneapolis by Rebecca's Retreat

Noerenberg Memorial Gardens by Garden in the City

A Gardening Couple's Magnificent Obsession by Garden in the City

Day 1 Highlights on the Still Growing podcast

The Garden of Rhonda Fleming Hayes and Bachman's tour by Adventures in My Garden

Ideas for Designing with Vegetables by Toronto Gardens

Lyndale Park Gardens by Adventures in My Garden

The Studio Garden of Donna Hamilton by Adventures in My Garden

Springwood Gardens Daylily Farm was a favorite stop.


Garden Bloggers Visit Vera's Garden by Notes from Northern Gardener

Springwood Gardens Daylily Farm by Digging

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum by Digging

Dynasty Drive flowers and bonus hosta garden by Digging

Celebrate July's Profusion in the Garden by Toronto Gardens

I Went to the Woods and Saw Walden Road Garden by Digging

Dotty Over Monarda Punctata by Toronto Gardens

Will Fine Plastic Netting Deter Deer? by Toronto Gardens

Twin Cities Fling, Part 2 by Plant Postings

This is an Espaliere Belgian Fence by Toronto Gardens

Garden Tour: Day 2 by Ravenscourt Gardens

Day 2 Highlights on the Still Growing podcast

From Weed Patch to Community Garden by Garden in a City

What a pretty vegetable garden!

SUNDAY, July 17

Lotus Position, Marjorie McNeely Conservatory by Toronto Gardens

What Makes a Japanese Garden by Woodchuck Acres

An Enchanting Gate by Natural Gardening

Woutrina de Raad's Sculpture Garden by Toronto Gardens

Design, Plant Collections and Larger Than Life Sculptures Dominate Fling Garden by Sharing Nature's Garden

Making Fish Box Troughs by Toronto Gardens

Como Conservatory and Japanese Garden by Digging

Elegant Garden of St. Paul Writer Marge Hols by Digging

Inspired at Squire House Gardens by Digging

Garden Artistry at Woutrina De Raad's Sculpture Garden, Part 1 by Digging

Magical Mosaics in the Garden of Woutrina De Raad by Digging

A Twin Cities Fling, Part 3 by Plant Postings

Day 3 Adventures on the Still Growing podcast

A Garden Summit in St. Paul by Garden in a City ___________________ MINNEAPOLIS FLING ITINERARY The Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis is shaping up to be a fun event, where you'll see the wide range of Minnesota gardens, from historic city yards to unique rural gardens. We're still working out details (and we have a couple more gardens we hope to squeeze in), but here's a sneak peek at what you'll be enjoying in Minneapolis come July.

Boardwalk at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden

Thursday, July 14 Welcome to Minnesota!

If you are flying in, there is light rail service from both Twin Cities terminals (Lindbergh and Humphrey) to downtown. A cab ride will cost about $35. Check in at the Loew’s Hotel and join us for our Welcome Event (details to come). DAY 1: Friday, July 15 Today we'll stay on the Minneapolis side of the Twin Cities. We start the day touring two beautiful public gardens near one of Minneapolis' famous lakes. First, we'll got to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, the oldest native-plant garden in the United States, established and designed by pioneering horticulturist Eloise Butler in 1907. The garden features woodland, wetland and prairie habitats and is home to more than 130 species of birds.

Bachman's Idea House arrangement

Noerenberg Gardens

Then, we ride around the lake to visit Lyndale Park Gardens, located just a short ride from Eloise Butler on the shores of Lake Harriet. The gardens include a rose collection, northern perennial garden and the Peace Garden, a small Japanese style garden that is a favorite among city residents seeking a moment of quiet or a beautiful place to take a picture. While we are in south Minneapolis, we'll stop at two fabulous private gardens. Then, on to lunch hosted by Bachman’s, one of the oldest garden centers in the Twin Cities, known for its three-times a year makeovers of the old Bachman’s homestead into an “idea house.” We’ll enjoy a salad lunch, talk with Karen Bachman Thull about trends in gardening and have a chance to shop. Refreshed, we'll board the buses for Noerenberg Memorial Gardens, on the shores of Lake Minnetonka. Built on the estate of Frederick Noerenberg, founder of Grain Belt Beer, the garden sits on Maxwell Bay and features formal and informal beds. Noerenberg will arrange to have gardeners in the garden to answer questions about the garden and its history. We'll spend an hour at Noerenberg before taking a short ride to the private garden of Steve Kelley and Arla Carmichiel. Talk about a gardening power couple – Arla Charmichiel is the horticulturist at Noerenberg Gardens and her husband, Steve Kelly, owns Kelley and Kelley Nursery, an exceptional nursery only a short drive from the Noerenberg Gardens. We’ll have time to explore Arla and Steve’s beautiful private garden, and if you wish, you can walk across the street and see some of the unusual plants Kelley and Kelley offers. We'll get you back to the hotel with plenty of time to rest and freshen up before the Happy Hour sponsored by Garden Design magazine. Dinner is on your own and we'll have a list of nearby restaurants to check out. Or, if you are sports-minded, wander over to Target Field, where the Twins will be playing the Cleveland Indians! DAY 2: Saturday, July 15 We go into the suburbs and the outskirts of Minneapolis to see the wide array of gardening styles.

Springwood Gardens

On our way, we'll stop at Vera's Garden, one of the many community gardens in the Twin Cities. This exceptional community garden backs up to the Midtown Greenway, a 5-mile bike route that runs through the heart of Minneapolis and is a favorite of both recreational and commuter bikers. The steep slopes on the side of the greenway have been shaped into ornamental and vegetable beds, largely by a crew of volunteers. Next, we head to Hopkins and the lakes west of town to visit six private gardens in the western suburbs of the Twin Cities. These range from smaller yards in neighborhoods from the 1940s to large, park-like spaces. What the gardeners all have in common is that they are Master Gardeners. Along the way, we'll stop for a box lunch. In the mid-afternoon, we'll visit to Springwood Gardens, the home of Karol Emmerich’s daylily breeding operation and display garden. The colors will amaze you as we visit this large daylily garden, filled with daylilies Karol has created as well as those she just loves. Home, Karol will greet, give a brief talk about her daylilies and then give time for photographing and enjoying the grounds, which are located on a wind swept hill above the prairie. Our next stop is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We'll have our group photo taken and have time to tour the arboretum, which is one of the largest in the Midwest. The folks at the arboretum are planning some special presentations for us, but since this is such a large space, there will also be lots of time for you to explore the specialty gardens on your own to take photos. All the plants here look gorgeous and they all have identification tags! It’s a great opportunity to get those plant glamour shots for your blog.

Japanese Garden at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretym

We'll stay at the arboretum for our Fling Banquet, which will be a Minnesota-themed buffet dinner with drinks and lots of prizes and giveaways. DAY 3: Sunday, July 17 Today, we go east to St. Paul and then into the wilds of Wisconsin.

Como Conservatory

We start the day at Como Park Japanese Garden and Conservatory. This 100-year-old conservatory is the go-to refuge from winter cold in the Twin Cities. It features palms, banana trees and other tropical plants under an historic dome. Outside, we will have a chance to tour the park’s Japanese Garden with horticulturist Tina Dombrowski available to answer questions. Then, we'll visit some of the beautiful private gardens of St. Paul, including Marge Hols' home garden. Marge is the dean of garden writers in St. Paul, and her home garden compliments beautifully the old-fashioned charm of her Summit Avenue home. If you have a few minutes after touring Marge’s garden, walk up and down Summit to see the old mansions (Minnesota’s Governor’s Mansion is about two blocks away.) We'll also see Lee and Jerry Shannon's garden. Named one of the five best gardens in the Twin Cities, this one is deceptive. From the front, the Shannons’ house looks like a typical bungalow on a city lot. But, behind it is a two-third acre plant haven, featuring a rock garden, a formal garden, a gazebo and an impressive conifer collection. Lee and Jerry are a delight and love sharing their garden with others.

Bailey's Display Garden is full of creative ideas.

Our next stop is for lunch at Bailey’s Display Garden. Meet the folks behind Easy Elegance roses, First Editions shrubs and perennials and Endless Summer hydrangeas. The Bailey family has been growing and selling plants in Minnesota (and far beyond!) for three generations. We’ll enjoy lunch in their lovely display garden in Cottage Grove. After lunch, we'll visit Afton, a quaint river town that is home to Squire House Gardens, one of Minnesota's many independently owned garden shops. This one in tiny Afton is located in an old house with formal and casual gardens around it. Owner Martin Stern will share some of his favorite design tips. We may also have a few minutes to wander around Afton. Depart 2:20 for drive to Beldenville, Wis.

Lots of surprises at Woutrina De Raad's Garden

After this stop, we'll drive through western Wisconsin to Woutrina DeRaad's Mosaic Sculpture Park and Garden. We may have saved the best for last. This private garden and sculpture park is difficult to describe – it’s like stepping into another world. Riana, the owner and creator, is an artist in tile and in plants. We’ll have an hour to explore this amazing space. We hope you'll join us for the Minneapolis Fling!

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