Arboretum News

19 Things to do in August 2021

Savor the final days of summer at the Arb.

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!

Annual Garden on July 27, 2021. Photo by Jenny Ekeren-Holm.

By Jenny Ekeren-Holm

Take advantage of the last days of summer with the Arb. We have lots of opportunities throughout the month to enjoy the grounds and participate in activities. The opening of the AppleHouse, Art in the Garden and our new event, Bike the Arb Duathlon, are just a few ways to get involved at the Arb in August.

Photo by Karen Blenker.

1. Shop Art in the Garden.

Reserve your time to visit Art in the Garden from 4-8 p.m. Aug. 20, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 21 & 22. This is unique showcase of art and nature is geared to Arboretum visitors of all ages. Listen to live music and find a wide variety of works from talented artists, who will be on hand to meet with visitors and sell their wares. 

2. Increase your tree knowledge with the Andersen Horticultural Library.

The Andersen Horticultural Library is participating in the Arboretum’s Season of Trees with two exhibits. Celebrating Trees: 4th Annual Flora & Fauna Illustrata (FFI) Exhibition is on display in the Skyway Gallery. The FFI is the Andersen Horticultural Library’s “hundred-year project” to document all the species of plants and animals living at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum through scientifically accurate fine art. In honor of the Arboretum’s Season of Trees, this exhibition includes original artworks from the FFI collection celebrating individual trees that live at the Arboretum! Use the GPS coordinates or scan the QR code beneath each artwork to locate the living tree on the Arboretum grounds and compare it to the artist’s rendition. We are always seeking submissions to the FFI collection; for more information please visit

The second exhibit is Turning Over a New Leaf, which celebrates a new woodcut image each week from an old book. While the book (Traité des Arbres et Arbustres [Treatise on Trees and Shrubs]) is from 1755, the original woodblocks are from 1563. Nineteenth-century nurserymen’s plate-books, laced together to enable turning of several colorful images of trees and fruits at once, will also be featured in each of the library’s display cases. Learn more about both exhibits  on display through Oct. 31.

3. See what’s blooming in our gardens.

Updated weekly on Tuesday, our What’s in Bloom website highlights what’s happening in our gardens each week. Visit the plants on the grounds and read about our blooming plants. Use the information for a guide in your own garden. 

Photo by Susie Hopper.

4. Shop for our famous apples and gifts.

The Arboretum AppleHouse (7485 Rolling Acres Rd.) opens late August. Shop for the Arboretum’s famous apple introductions, including Honeycrisp, First Kiss and SweeTango (apple availability varies throughout the season). In addition to apples, the AppleHouse sells a limited supply of other seasonal produce, as well as fall decor, gourmet food items and pumpkins. North Star Donuts will be back with their popular apple cider mini donuts this year. On Nov. 1, the AppleHouse will convert to the Holiday Boutique, featuring gift items, holiday decor and more.

5. Explore art inside and outside.

Art Rocks! in the Arboretum Cafe Gallery explores the outside world of Minnesota rocks. The exhibit runs through Aug. 25 and contains works from artists Peter Juhl and Anne Legeros. Author, artist and instructor Juhl not only teaches rock balancing classes but also photographs his gravity-defying creations. Legeros executes paintings that highlight the interplay of light and water to produce an endless variety of fascinating images.

Nature: Wild and Wonderful in the Reedy Gallery has art installations both inside and outside. Visit the exhibit inside through Sept. 6 and be prepared for the unexpected in this nature-themed exhibition featuring four renowned artists — Jackson Dainty, David Lefkowitz, Eleanor McGough and Sonja Peterson — who come together with wildly different styles. Each work contains a larger narrative, enticing the viewer to move in closer and discover deeper intentions. Follow the show outside to an art installation by Sonja Peterson near the entrance to the Wilson Rose Garden. Look for directions on a sign in the gallery.

6. Bike the Arb.

Register for the first Bike at the Arb Duathlon 7:30-9:30 a.m. Aug. 14. Tackle the rolling landscape of the Arboretum in this new duathlon. Participants will run for 2.25 miles on Three-Mile Walk, bike three laps on Three-Mile Drive, and finish up with a 2.25 mile run on Three-Mile Walk. 

Visit the Arb on the new Highway 5 Regional Bike Trail connection, which runs along the Arboretum grounds. While the bike trail connection won’t be completely open until this fall, bicyclists and walkers are welcome to use the trail to access the Arboretum. Admission for bicyclists and walkers is $12 for non-members and free for members. Bicyclists and walkers can purchase these tickets using their smart phone at a kiosk near the Arboretum’s gatehouse. 

Once inside the Arb, bike along Three-Mile Drive. The Annual Garden, Behren’s cabin, Prairie Garden, and the Maze Garden are stops along the way. Bike along Eastern Drive to the Farm at the Arb and see the crops growing and visit the Red Barn.

Dwarf Iris. Photo by Christopher Bolin.

7. Shop the Iris Society of Minnesota’s Iris Sale.

If you love Iris, you won’t want to miss this sale featuring about 200 different Iris cultivars. The selection includes many of the Irises grown at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Northeast Minneapolis Municipal Garden and by members of the Iris Society of Minnesota. Some cultivars are limited in number, so come early for the best selection. The sale is located in the MacMillan Auditorium and is included with reservations to visit the Arboretum. Shop the sale from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 14 and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 15.

8. Hike the Arb.

Get your steps in for the day with two hikes at the Arb. First, hike the newly paved Buuck Farm Trail, which leads from the Farm at the Arb to the Rhododendron Garden, where it intersects with Three-Mile Walk. Second, explore Three-Mile Walk, which weaves around the Arboretum and provides views of woods, prairies, and much more. Visit the Sculpture Garden and Chinese Garden just off the trail.

Trees at the Arboretum. Photo by Mary Ann Land.

9. Get poetically inspired by trees and nature.

Register for a guided “PoeTree” workshop 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 21. Award-winning Swedish artist and poet Marie Olofsdotter will guide participants in a playful, nature-inspired class to poetry writing as you explore metaphor, anaphora and sensory detail while walking together amidst the seasonal gardens and scenery of the Arboretum. No writing experience required, a notebook and pencil are included in the fee! $29 member/$44 non-member, includes Arboretum admission, advance registration required.

10. Look for a new product line at the Gift & Garden store.

Sailor Mercy is a local company based in Stillwater, which makes Elderberry syrups, Fire cider, and honey to boost immune health. Look for products from this woman-owned business in the Arboretum’s Gift & Garden Store.

11. Experience the Arb with the Trumpet Creeper Tram.

Take a narrated tram tour highlighting the Arboretum’s varied collections, display gardens and demonstration gardens. Buy same-day tickets for $5/person at the Oswald Visitor Center Information Desk. 

12. Buy a raffle ticket for the 2021 Auxiliary Quilt.

Members of the Arboretum Auxiliary created “Sights and Sounds of the Arboretum,” a quilt that highlights birds of Minnesota. The quilt is on display at the Oswald Visitor Center. Raffle tickets are $2, and the raffle drawing is scheduled for September. All money from the sale of raffle tickets supports the Arboretum.

13. Enjoy a meal in the Arboretum Cafe.

Arboretum Cafe offers a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches and bakery items, freshly made daily. Stop in from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Seating is available indoors and outdoors.

14. Explore the Season of Trees.

Participate in activities at the Arboretum or at your home to celebrate the trees of the Arboretum. Take a tree trek or a self-guided tour of trees on our grounds, and find Arb the Tree Gnome. At home, print coloring pages and share your work with us.

15. Take a yoga class in the gardens.

Practice yoga in a variety of different gardens throughout the Arb. Upcoming yoga classes are 10 a.m. Aug. 1, 6 p.m. Aug. 12 and noon on Aug. 22. Bring a yoga mat and water bottle, and make sure to make reservations to visit the Arboretum prior to attending your class.

16. Register to run through the leaves.

Reserve your place in the 2nd annual Fall Color Trail Run/Hike, Oct. 8-10. Experience fall color at the Arb in a whole new way during our 5K/10K/1K run or hike. Enjoy this event, which is staggered over three days to prevent overcrowding on the trail and maximize enjoyment for all participants. We will mark the routes, so runners and hikers can enjoy the trail.  Race packets include a long sleeve t-shirt and a Gift & Garden Store 10 percent off coupon good on the day of your run. Registration is $30 for members and $45 for non-members.

17. Buy tickets to AppleJAM.

Join other concert goers at this family-friendly event 5-8 p.m. Sept. 25 as you listen to the Daisy Dillman band starting at 6 p.m. at Farm at the Arb. Great music, apple-related scavenger hunt, apple bingo, lawn games, and concessions including beverages from Excelsior Brewing Co. are included with your ticket. Registration available now.

18. Register for the Autumn Yoga Retreat.

Relax your mind and refocus your energy at our Autumn Yoga Retreat on Sept. 18. The day will feature classes from multiple instructors, as well as time for walks and quiet contemplation in the gardens. Half and full day options available. Learn more about the day and register.

19. Make reservations to shop the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch.

Reserve your spot to shop the Arboretum Auxiliary’s new event, Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch. The link to make reservations will be posted on our website on July 30. The event is included with gate admission to the Arboretum, so reservations are free for members and $15 for non-members.

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