Visiting the Arboretum: All members and visitors need to make a reservation in advance of their visit to the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. We hope to see you soon!
Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch
Preview: Noon-4 p.m. Sept. 9
Sale: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 10 & 11; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 12
Free glass blowing demonstrations daily!
Reservations available to members starting July 26 and open to the general public on July 30.
by Liz Potasek
If you’ve been astounded by the Arboretum’s annual display of pumpkins, squash and gourds each October, you’ll be blown away by the Arboretum Auxiliary’s newest event, the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch. The patch features thousands of blown glass pumpkins handmade by 10 artists from across the country.
The glass display and sale will feature 2,000 blown glass pumpkins, gourds, apples and more in a wide range of shapes, sizes and colors. “We’ve used every color in the rainbow,” says glass blower and pumpkin patch coordinator Shannon Jane Morgan, adding that the pumpkins range in size from 1-inch to about 10-12 inches. Each piece is handmade one at a time.
Blown glass enthusiasts can see the entire pumpkin display from noon-4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, and starting at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 10, the pumpkins will be on sale. “Every piece is beautiful, but the best selection is on Friday,” Morgan says, noting that pieces are priced between $25 to $300.
Arboretum members will get the first opportunity to make reservations for the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch. Members, watch your email inbox on Monday, July 26 for an exclusive invitation and link to make reservations. Starting July 30, we’ll post the reservation link on our website. Reservations to the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch will include access to the Arboretum grounds, so make plans to browse through the pumpkins, enjoy the fall colors and explore the gardens. Reservations are free for members and $15 for non-members.
In addition to enjoying the pumpkin sale and display, visitors will also be able to chat with the artists who made the pumpkins and watch free, narrated glass blowing demonstrations.
It was a similar demonstration that inspired Morgan’s artistic career more than 25 years ago. She saw a glass blowing demonstration at the California State Fair, and then later watched another demonstration at the California School of Arts and Crafts. Morgan observed for hours as three artists worked in tandem to create an intricate piece. “I was spellbound,” she says. “I was so mesmerized by their focus, talent and skill set. I walked away thinking ‘I want to do that for a long time.’”
She started making glass pumpkins as decorations for her mom’s Thanksgiving table, and continued to work on other glass pieces, selling them at Renaissance fairs and art events. She also taught classes and did glass-blowing demonstrations.
Eleven years ago, Morgan, who lives in California, approached the Morton Arboretum in Illinois about creating a glass pumpkin fundraising and educational event, and she’s coordinated annual events for the Morton Arboretum ever since, traveling to the Midwest each fall with her glass blowing furnace and thousands of glass pumpkins.
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Auxiliary heard about the success of glass pumpkins at the Morton Arboretum and convinced Morgan to bring the pumpkin patch to Minnesota. Pumpkins sold at the Arboretum will benefit the Arboretum and the 10 artists who are involved with the sale.