Arboretum News

19 Things to do in July 2022

Meet a few hundred fireflies, stroll through thousands of blooms and enjoy the beauty of summer at the Arboretum.

By Liz Potasek

Fill the long days of summer with the beauty of the Arboretum. From special after-hours access to see fireflies to a family-friendly celebration of corn at the Farm at the Arb, our July events will help you glean the most out of summer. 

Fireflies at the Arboretum on June 24. Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis.

1. Firefly Viewing Nights

Explore the Arboretum grounds after sunset to find hundreds of fireflies flashing through the woods and meadows. Firefly Viewing Nights are 8-10:30 p.m. June 30, July 1-2 and 7-9. Tickets are $5 for Arboretum members and $20 for non-members.

Photo by Katie Knapp.

2. Corn is Everywhere

Drop by the Arboretum’s Farm at the Arb to learn about corn and how it impacts our everyday life from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. July 9. This family-friendly event will feature hands-on activities, freshly made food samples, educational games and more. You’ll discover what it’s like to be one of our state’s 24,000 corn growers, the many products made with corn from carpet to crayons, how corn is processed and delicious new ways to enjoy corn.

3. Bike the Arb

Bring your bikes to the Arboretum for a 13.3k Road Race from 7:30-9:30 a.m. or geocaching by bike led by Carver County Parks from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on July 17. All proceeds from Bike the Arb support the general operating budget of the Arboretum.

4. Take a hike.

Explore the Bennett-Johnson Prairie on mowed paths or see what’s happening in more than a dozen gardens along Three-Mile Walk. The Arboretum has more than 16 miles of walking trails throughout it’s 1,200 acres, so there’s always something new to explore.

5. Music in the Gardens

Enjoy live music throughout the summer Music in the Gardens 6-7:30 p.m. Thursdays and 1:30-3 p.m. Sundays at the Ordway Picnic Shelter. Local bands and community groups will perform throughout the summer — check the Music in the Gardens website for the lineup. Bring a blanket or lawn chair for seating.

6. The Art of Flying: Bird Images from A to Z

The Art of Flying exhibition showcases two stunning bird prints for each letter of the alphabet from rare books in Andersen Horticultural Library’s collection. Featuring 52 beautifully illustrated species of birds, mostly from John Gould’s seven volume masterpiece, The Birds of Asia (1850-1883), this is a magnificent display of feathers you won’t want to miss. On display through Aug. 12 in the Skyway Gallery and Andersen Horticultural Library.

Wilson Rose Garden on June 28. Photo by Liz Potasek.

7. Stroll the gardens in full bloom.

Get inspired by the bright colors of the Annual Garden, stop and smell the roses in the Wilson Rose Garden and explore the Home Demonstration Gardens to see fruits, vegetables and flowers that might do well in your own garden. Find out what’s in bloom on our Garden Highlights page, updated weekly on Tuesdays.

8. Let’s Talk Plants

Visit with Master Gardener Volunteers, who can answer questions about gardens, trees, lawns and landscape from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 29 in the Andersen Horticultural Library. Master Gardeners are happy to help you identify garden pests and potential strategies for handling them, provide inspiration for what to plant in your garden or offer advice on your house plants. Drop in any time to start a conversation and learn from their experience.

9. Practice Yoga in the Gardens

Take a yoga class surrounded by the beauty of the Arboretum. Sessions are for all levels. Please bring your own mat and water bottle. Join us for these upcoming classes:

10 a.m. July 3, Pine Collection
Practice yoga at the Arboretum in a class led by an instructor from 

6 p.m. July 21, Sculpture Garden
Practice yoga at the Arboretum in a class led by an instructor from Emily Dusek.

Noon July 31, Shade Tree Exhibit
Practice yoga at the Arboretum in a class led by an instructor from Katie Murphy with Yoga4Life.

10. Infused with Nature: The Renderings of Ava Lambert

On display in the Cafe Gallery through July 17, Ava Lambert’s oil and acrylic works reflect a fleeting moment in time. “The images I portray are of subjects seen in passing, often overlooked or rarely given a second thought,” Lambert says. “I find inspiration in capturing these moments and portraying them in a new and focused light.” Her detailed paintings are photo-like representations, inviting viewers to marvel at the artistic process and inspiring new admiration for the subject of the painting. “I hope that my art leaves others with a new, more aware perspective of the everyday,” she says.

11. Andersen Horticultural Library StoryTime

Join us at 10:30 a.m. July 29 for story time in the Andersen Horticultural Library. The theme for July is The Birds & the Bees. Join us as we read stories about some of the most beloved flying creatures in our gardens: birds and bees!

Humbird will perform at AppleJAM on Sept. 24. Photo by Juliet Farmer.

12. Make Plans for Fall Fun

Tickets for the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch (Sept. 9-11), Field Fest (Sept. 24)  and AppleJAM (Sept. 24) go on sale on July 20.

13. Journey through Japan: Traditional Woodblock Prints

Visit the Andersen Horticultural Library to feast your eyes upon brilliant Japanese woodblock flora and fauna art from the Edo Period (1603-1868), a time in Japanese cultural and political history of relative peace and stability. This period provides the inspiration for the Arboretum’s Japanese Garden and is characterized by the innovation of artistic techniques, such as colored woodblock printing.

All prints in this exhibition are from the Andersen Horticultural Library’s rare book collection, and many are from Honzō Zufu (Illustrated Manual of Medicinal Plants), by Iwasaki Tsunemasa (1786-1842). Tsunemasa was a Japanese botanist and samurai. Although he created these prints in the early 1800s, this work was published between 1916 and 1922. Early 19th-century woodblock prints by prominent artists from various Kyoto schools of painting are also featured. The exhibition is on display through Aug. 12.

14. Visit the Arb using the Highway 5 Regional Trail.

The Highway 5 Regional Trail – Arboretum Connection runs along the Arboretum grounds from the underpass at Minnewashta Parkway to the Highway 41 underpass.

Bicyclists and walkers can use this regional trail to access Arboretum grounds at the Gatehouse. Bicyclists can use Three-Mile Drive to explore the grounds. Walkers should use Three-Mile Walk and other trails.

15. Garden Travel Tours

Tour beautiful gardens from around the world with Arboretum Director Peter Moe, Arboretum Director Emeritus Peter Olin and Arboretum Director of Operations Alan Branhagen. These popular Garden Travel Tours are offered throughout the year, featuring custom itineraries, behind-the-scenes tours, local attractions and small group sizes. Upcoming tours include a trip to Michigan in September and a trip to Chile, Argentina and Patagonia in November.

Prairie Heat by Denise Friesen is part of the Between the Edges exhibition in the Reedy Gallery, opening July 8.

16. Between the Edges

Join three artists deeply concerned about the plants and animals that surround us for this Reedy Gallery exhibition opening July 8 and showing through Sept. 5. Denise Friesen, Emily Gray Koehler and Vera Ming Wong display an exciting collective body of work that encompasses the world’s shared porous boundaries. Exploring interactions among plants, animals and fungi — and between habitats and communities — results in images that reveal natural webs that connect us all. Don’t miss the free Artist Meet & Greet 1-3 p.m. Sunday, July 10.

17. Donate to the Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library Book Sale

We’re accepting donations of clean, gently used books in all genres, as well as CDs and DVDs (no old textbooks, no magazines) through Aug. 31 Aug. 16 for the Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library Book Sale. Small loads can be brought directly to the library during normal hours (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saturday). If you’d like to bring a larger load, please contact library staff at 612-301-1239 or

18. Warmth and Nature 

View the works of quilt artist Connie Dummer and nature photographer Aldo Abelleira as they join forces to display a nostalgic, inspired show featuring the beauty of the surrounding Minnesota landscapes. Their show will be on display July 19-Sept. 5 in the Cafe Gallery. Geometric floral designs brought forth in the handiwork of Dummer complement the unique and unexpected nature images from Abelleira. Meet the artists to discuss their work from noon-2 p.m. July 30 in the Cafe Gallery.

THERMAL: Meditations on Climate Change. Photo by Armour Photography.

19. Make plans for August

Get your tickets for the THERMAL dance performances at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Aug. 21 on the Farm at the Arb event lawn. THERMAL: Meditations on Climate Change is a dialogue – through movement, form and sound – centered on Earth’s changing environment. With the effects of climate change here – THERMAL invites viewers to slow down and appreciate our natural surroundings. An original score by Minnesota composer Joshua Clausen and choreography by Mathew Janczewski of ARENA DANCES activate the work and pull the viewer in. Live performances feature the trio Dustin Haug, Javan Mngrezzo, and Betsy Schaefer Roob.

Reservations for August visits will be available starting July 1. Make reservations to visit 4-8 p.m. Aug. 19 or 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20 or 21 to enjoy Art in the Gardens. This annual event is a showcase of more than 70 artists, from culinary to crafts to fine arts, for Arboretum visitors of all ages. Enjoy live music from Paul Imholte from 4-7 p.m. Aug. 19; Nick Jordan and Mary DuShane from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 20 and The Abiders from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 21. Art in the Gardens is included with general Arboretum gate admission.

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