My City

Although I'm a born and raised Michigan girl, my second home is the beautiful Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. I don't want to sound like a travel guide, but if you're into spending time in gardens across the country, the Twin Cities have a lot to offer. Here's a list of interesting places to visit if you ever find yourself passing through.

"Spoonbridge and Cherry"
1. The first and one of the most famous places we have is the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Not only is it the largest urban sculpture garden in the country with 11 acres and 40 permanent sculptures, it also has the Cowles Conservatory and is located near the Walker Art Center which is one of the "Big Five" modern art museums. Most famously, the sculpture garden houses the "Spoonbridge and Cherry", a sculpture that has become a famous icon of the Cities.

2. The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary is the oldest, public wildflower garden in the nation and houses over 500 plant species and 130 bird species on it's 15 acres. It has interpretive stations for a self guided tour along the paths of the garden and a visitors shelter where you'll find lots of natural history information. They also have summer youth programs. The garden is open from the beginning of April to mid-October.

The Sunken Garden
3. One of my favorites is the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at the Como Zoo. I've been going to this conservatory since I was little and it's always been one of my favorite places in the Twin Cities. It's changed a lot over the past 18 years, but it still houses the giant palms under it's central glass dome and has the rotating sunken gardens display that always has the most beautiful flowers. One of my favorites is the Easter flower show where pinks and purples and yellows make for a breathtaking display. You can take a virtual tour of the sunken garden and the palm dome here. You can also find my post about one of my trips to the conservatory here.

A rose in the Arboretum Rose Garden
4. The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum isn't quite as close to downtown as the other gardens, but is probably the most gorgeous garden I've ever been to. It's an extension of the University of Minnesota college where I'm earning my horticulture degree and is devoted to research, education and conservation. It's a horticulturalist's dream with more than 1,100 acres of model landscapes, gardens, and natural areas such as wetlands, prairies and forest, all with labeled plants for easy identification. You can find a full list of their gardens, collections and native areas here.

There are tons more parks and gardens in the Twin Cities and I'd love to visit, review and share all of them with you. You can find a list of more parks on the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation site and a local news station's Best Gardens in the Twin Cities list will give you a few more suggestions as well. And while I focus just on gardens here, the music and dining scene is just as fabulous.