It was a long, murky winter and a dismal April and MayApril and May, but one advantage of the cold, longer spring is our perennial plants have had more time to root and build up energy for their aboveground stems. Visitors to the St. Anthony Park Garden Tour on Saturday, June 25, will see the results.
This year’s tour of 15 private and two business gardens will feature a chess board and labyrinth set in a series of terraces framed by a knockout garage, a rock garden created by the designer of the Lyndale Park Peace Garden at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, a dog-proof vegetable and mini orchard, front-yard perennial borders, a classic English cottage border garden, rain gardens, a front-yard waterfall and a hillside garden with mature golden Chamaecyparis (False Cypress) with pathways created from old city sewer covers rescued by a dumpster-diving gardener.
Master gardeners will be assigned at each garden to assist with questions. Native and specialty plants will be for sale at one or more of the gardens. Local businesses and restaurants will be featured in the tour guide and will provide garden tourists with great meals, snacks and tchotchkes.
The variety of gardens on the tour is a nod to St. Anthony Park’s unusual topography. The most recent glacier’s effort left the community with hills and dales and everything in between. As a result, gardeners have come up with unique ways to respond to their specific topographic challenge.
Co-chairs Chris Call and Nancy O’Connor began scouting possible gardens last summer. The tour is sponsored by the St. Anthony Park Garden Club and local businesses. Proceeds from the event help support local garden plantings at the St. Anthony Park Branch Library and the Minnesota State Horticultural Society garden at the State Fairgrounds, invasive species and plant restoration efforts, and program speakers for garden club meetings.
Late June is a great time for a garden tour as lilies are beginning their display and many of the early to mid-season perennials are in bloom. Bring a notebook and camera to record the great plant combinations you see on the tour to help you plan your future garden.
Mary Maguire Lerman lives and gardens in St. Anthony Park.