Traveling west on Highway 5, just 10 minutes from Eden Prairie, is the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
The arbor in its name is Latin for tree. That fact, however, is just a part of the story. The Arboretum’s literature tells us it is home to 32 display and specialty gardens, 48 plant collections, and 5,000—five thousand!—plant species and varieties.
You are walking along in the flower gardens behind the Oswald Visitors Center and are stunned not to encounter a giant leafy tree but rather lilies and more lilies and even more.
There are not just pretty pastels but also the drama and darkness of the Blacklist Asiatic Lily (below).
There is the striking Purple Diamond Hybrid Lily.
You note the cup or trumpet shape of these lilies. These are “true” lilies belonging to the genus lilium.
Along a parallel garden path is the Daylily Collection. The flatter daylilies belong to the genus Hemerocallis.
In rapid succession you come upon a throng of diverse orange daylilies and yellow daylilies.
Revisiting the true lilies, you come upon the Eastern Moon Hybrid Lily.
And the Quintessence Oriental Trumpet Lily.
There too is the Yellow Bruse Asiatic Lily.
There is room for whimsy in the Daylily Collection with the Flying Purple People Eater Daylily.
And the colorful All American Chief Daylily.
Emerging from the Lily and Daylily collections you encounter a dramatically full white Hydrangea.
Horticulturalists are Renaissance figures. They are dirt-caked laborers, inspired artists, and scientists with more facts in their head than can be contained in an everyday computer. They deal with the scientific, material measures of color, symmetry, and size with which they conspire to create ineffable beauty—be it lilies or hydrangeas.
As you move toward the road leading to the Three-Mile Drive, you come to an imaginative bed containing tall Mahogany Splendor African Rose Mallows and low-lying Bright Ideas Lime Sweet Potato foliage.
A little bit further and you encounter a profusion of begonias, coleus, and impatiens.
Nature and the horticulturalists are constantly changing the aspects of the Arboretum.
The pandemic has caused the Arboretum to have a ticketed entry system. No problem. Just click Minnesota Landscape Arboretum to reserve the day and time for your own experience with beauty.
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