Looking for inspiration, a nice place for a date, or a few stops on a visit to Minneapolis? These ten flower gardens represent the best flower garden designs the city and its surroundings have to offer — and they make an amazing presentation on behalf of the area. Whether you’re looking for the intriguing and exotic or the simple but profound, there’s something here for everyone.
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park, St. Paul
Few places offer the variety and ingenuity on display at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. While it isn’t as immense as some other flower gardens, its division into different gardens and galleries can make it an ideal choice for a lengthy visit. The seasonal flower shows of the Sunken Garden and the butterfly gardens both deserve special attention from any visitor.
Normandale Japanese Garden, Bloomington
A perfect example of artistic garden design, the Japanese Garden at Normandale makes effective but sparing use of flowers. The design is as much about what the various plants represent as what they look like, making a visit most worthwhile for those willing to learn the underlying concepts.
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska
Few locations can compete with the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in sheer size, with over 1,000 acres of natural plantlife, cultivated gardens, special exhibits, and more to hunt through. The sheer variety of species, display types, and spaces available have made this not only the home of some of the best flower gardens in the state, but one of the premier horticultural destinations of the country.
Horticultural Display Gardens of the University of Minnesota, St. Paul
For a more relaxed, unassuming presentation of flowers in the area, the Horticultural Display Gardens at the northern end of the St. Paul campus of the Univeristy of Minnesota deserves a special mention. Trail gardens, landscaped areas, and a greenhouse offer a good variety of viewing options, each with information kiosks to help visitors in their viewing.
Noerenberg Gardens on Lake Minnetonka
The estate of a successful immigrant businessman, developed by his horticulturist daughter into a premier flower garden before being gifted to the park system. Of particular interest are regions planted with traditional European species, and newer gardens utilizing the latest cultivars in intriguing designs.
Loring Park Gardens, Minneapolis
A lovely sectioned garden, the Loring Park Garden of the Seasons offers three experiences. The inner ring, the Woodlands Circle, presents native trees, shrubs, and woodland flowers. The central ring, the Wheel of Color, presents eight wedges of perennials planted in a particular color. The outer ring, the Tapestry of Green, completes the experience with ground-hugging junipers, Prairie Dropseed Grass, and Bearberry.
Muriel Sahlin Arboretum, Roseville
A relaxed experience of themed gardens, well-maintained walkways, and intriguing combinations of gardens with architecture. This arboretum works especially well as a venue for special events, while still offering enough to entice serious horticulture fans for a visit.
Lyndale Park Rose Garden, Minneapolis
While there are plenty of other interesting sights to see in Lyndale Park, the rose garden deserves special attention as the second oldest public rose garden in the country. At the peak of the season, the garden hosts as many as 60,000 blooms in its one-acre confines. The garden includes over 250 species and an official All America Rose Selections test garden.
Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, Theodore Wirth Park, Minneapolis
For those seeking a more natural experience, it’s hard to beat the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary. Host to incredible displays of native wildflowers across a variety of settings, the sectioned habitats allow guests to see all the beauty of Minnesota’s native plants.
Memorial Rose Garden, State Capital, St. Paul
While it lacks the rich horticultural significance of some other items on this list, the Veterans Memorial Rose Garden on the state capitol grounds makes for a wonderful visit nonetheless. The formal geometric flower garden designs host around 800 roses arranged by color and type.
Whether you visit one, some, or all of these amazing gardens, you’re certain to encounter a feast for the senses, ripe with incredible sights and scents. Whether you prefer natural beauty or the careful shaping of a garden to match its caretakers’ designs, there’s something for everyone within these ten locations. We hope you enjoy the best flower gardens the Minneapolis area has to offer.