Educational and Demonstration Areas
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum’s Green Roof is part of the “Harvest the Rain” exhibit located in the Margot picnic shelter area, just north of the main parking lot. This previously ordinary picnic shelter now sprouts a colorful array of plants in an effort to highlight a growing trend in water runoff management. The green roof was installed at the Arboretum in the spring of 2009. This innovative roofing material demonstrates an increasingly popular method of water management and how it can be good for the environment, the home, and the landscape.
Though not always in style, hedges, both sheared and unsheared, are an extremely useful way to use plants. Though our hedges are all woody plants (trees and shrubs) hedges they can be made of herbaceous plants as well (annual and perennial). Hedges can block unsightly views, direct views, define exterior spaces, and can even be used to create a maze!
Though some of our hedges are made from flowering shrubs, unless the plant blooms on old wood you will invariably prune off the flower buds. An easier way to create a hedge is to find a shrub that grows to the height you need, plant it close together and watch the hedge materialize after a few years with next to no pruning (an informal hedge). We have 31 genera, 57 species and 44 cultivars in this collection.
Interested in learning more? Visit Mary Meyer's "Hedges: A Brief History and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Hedge Collection"
Green Play Yard
Located by the Marion Andrus Learning Center, the Green Play Yard is both a wonderful play destination for young families and a rich "idea place" for preschools, childcare centers and family backyards. Its plantings and natural play features show how to bring 'nearby nature' to daily life for our youngest ones, at an age when they are growing and changing quickly and the impact is significant.
Garden for Wildlife
From butterflies to bullfrogs, the Johanna Frerichs Garden for Wildlife is a working laboratory designed to demonstrate the most effective ways to attract birds, insects, mammals to the backyard by providing food, shelter, and a reproductive habitat.
Bailey Shrub Walk
The Bailey Shrub Walk contains 160 species and 245 cultivars of shrubs hardy to Minnesota's landscape. There are a total of 497 specimens in the collection.
This changing collection represents the best shrubs for our landscape and ones that are available in local nurseries. However, a few are shrubs the Arboretum feels are overlooked by the home gardener and occasionally the nursery industry! The plants are arranged in landscape settings to give you an idea of what they might look like in your yard.
Among the plantings are five instructional signs covering garden design, planting and maintenance of shrubs. Take a close look at all the shrubs during the course of the year to determine those you like the best and ones you feel will fit your landscape the best.
Don’t all gardens collect rain? Of course, but these particular gardens collect parking lot runoff and allow it to settle into the planted swales. It’s a great way to remove our rainwater from hard surfaces instead of allowing it into the storm sewer and flooding and polluting our streams and wetlands. The parking lots have no curbs so all water runs to the swale. The plants are mostly native and must be able to withstand drought since they are planted in 6 inches of sandy loam over 2 feet of sand! Further, they must also be able to withstand short term flooding during heavy storms.
Wall Teaching Garden
The Wall Family Teaching Garden consists of a series of raised beds in an enclosed area off the Teaching Classroom. It is planted with herbs, vegetables and annual flowers and the fence area contains annual vines.
Some Arboretum collections are not generic but are planted by characteristic. The weeping tree collection consists of varieties or cultivars of 16 genera and 15 species and a total of 25 specimens. Some of the more dramatic weeping trees are the white pines (mentioned under pine collection), Red Jade weeping crabapple (Malus ‘Red Jade') and Uncle Fogy weeping pine (Pinus banksiana ‘Uncle Fogy") an Arboretum introduction. Most common of all weeping trees are the weeping willows.