Arboretum News

2020 in Review: Arb Instagram

The Arboretum's Instagram account showcased beauty in a turbulent year.

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Johanna DeBuhr runs the Arboretum’s Instagram account.

By Liz Potasek

If there’s one thing that Johanna DeBuhr, the mastermind behind the Arboretum’s @mn_arb Instagram account, seeks to do, it’s to add a little peace and beauty to Arb followers’ feeds. DeBuhr has a background in photography and added running the account to her job duties in the membership department in April 2018.

This year presented a unique set of challenges — one of which was accessing the grounds when the Arboretum closed in March and throughout the rest of the year as staff worked at the Arboretum in a limited capacity. In addition to taking her own photos, DeBuhr coordinated with Arboretum staff on the grounds and Arboretum volunteers to keep the account updated.

As we looked back on this wild year, we curated a few of our favorite shots highlighting the beauty of the Arboretum and the peace we found in nature during turbulent times. Check out @mn_arb to see the entire year, and make sure to follow us as we document what 2021 has to bring.


Jan. 16: Ricky Garza, Arboretum Greenhouse Manager, says this plant is the largest Amaryllis he’s ever seen. The plant, which was donated to the Arboretum, is about 40 years old. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.


Feb. 20: Frost-covered trees created a beautiful scene. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.
Feb 21: Our 2020 Spring Flower Show was one of the only events to happen as planned this year. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.


March 8: The much-anticipated snow drops are one of the first signs of spring. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.


April 6: These early splashes of color (Crocus chrysanthus ‘Advance’) in the Rock Garden were a welcome sight — especially since so few of us could see them in person. Arboretum Director of Operations Alan Branhagen, one of the few staff members who worked on site during the shutdown, supplied many of the photos from this time period. Photo by Alan Branhagen.


May 21: The tulip display featured more than 39,000 tulips in shades of red and pink. Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis.
May 29: The azaleas blooming in the Japanese Garden. Photo by Nick Kreevich.


June 14: A perfect peony. Photo by Susie Eaton Hopper.


July 2: The prairie at sunset. Photo by Wendy Composto.


Aug. 7: The Richard and Judith Spiegel Entrance Garden in front of the Snyder Building. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.
Aug. 13: Annual Garden in shades of red. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.


Sept. 22: Autumnal Equinox. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.


Oct. 5: The cucurbit “tree” featuring some of the pumpkins, gourds and squash grown at the Arboretum. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.
Oct. 26: An early snow made fall look like winter. Photo by Johanna DeBuhr.


Nov. 24: Clarencetown Light, by John Henry, lit up for the dark winter nights. Photo by Michael Borg.


Dec. 1: A scene from our Winter Lights display. Photo by Michael Borg.

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