Favorite Gardens in Minnesota

Berit Thorkelson
| February 22, 2024 | 4 Minute Read
A group of crabapple trees with white, pink and magenta blossoms. Mark Paulson

Soak in spring’s beauty at these gardens across Minnesota.

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, Chaska

For your radar: Three wow-inducing rounds of spring blooms among the 1,200 acres in this Chaska draw, which is the crown jewel of Minnesota’s garden-based attractions. In May, the bulk of their 40,000 tulips bloom in a rainbow of colors in the annual garden. Soon after, Three-Mile Drive explodes in white, pink and magenta crabapple blossoms (above). And in June, catch the 100-plus peony varieties’ brief and beautiful show.

Closeup of a three-petaled white flower with light touches of pink. iStock

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, Minneapolis

This is America’s oldest public native plant garden, a quiet and wild 15-acre oasis nestled within Theodore Wirth, Minneapolis’ largest park. In April and May, head to the woodlands to catch bloodroot, wild ginger, trillium, bluebell and trout lily blooms—just a handful of the 500-plus native plant species throughout the garden.

A five-story stone tower stands above the trees and the city beyond them. City of Duluth

Enger Park, Duluth

Situated on a stony bluff overlooking Duluth, this park opens for the season around May 1. Its beautifully varied gardens include a white birch and poplar grove carpeted in 4,000 daffodil blooms in spring. Plus, there are two options for spectacular views of the city and Lake Superior: stair steps to a Japanese-style viewing pavilion or a five-story climb up Enger Tower (above).

Tree branches filled with pink blossoms and a cemetery in the background. Lakewood Cemetery

Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis

In the late 1800s, this Minneapolis cemetery (above) served as a destination park of sorts, with extensive gardens for Sunday afternoon picnics, strolls and visits to loved ones’ graves. Today’s version is still an attraction with beautiful seasonal flowers, including plenty of tulips in spring. Learn more about the gardens, history and notable residents during a tour, either organized or self-guided.

Close-up of a white and pink flower. Courtesy of the Northland Arboretum

Northland Arboretum, Brainerd

Much of this 413-acre destination between Brainerd and Baxter used to be a landfill. Now it’s a wild space with maintained gardens and lovely nature trails. Starting in mid-June, the big draw is the Showy Lady’s Slipper (above), our state flower. Catch them by the dozens along the Monet pond trail, named for its resemblance to the famous artist-designed garden with an iconic arched bridge in Giverny, France. Among their many botanical gardens with spring blooms: the butterfly garden near the visitor center that boasts native prairie blooms such as purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan and blazing star.

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