Arboretum News

20 Things to do in August 2022

Enjoy gardens teeming with color and wildlife, art, live music, dance performances and so much more this month at the Arb.

by Liz Potasek

Annual Garden on July 27. Photo by Liz Potasek.

As August rolls in, we can no longer pretend that summer days are endless. The back-to-school displays are getting picked over, the baby osprey on the Arboretum’s Osprey Cam is getting bolder and the Minnesota State Fair is on the horizon. Now is the time to make the most out of the final days of summer at the Arboretum. We’ve got a busy August, filled with gardens teeming with color and wildlife,  art, live music, dance performances and more.

1. Art in the Gardens

Shop from more than 70 artists, and find beautiful crafts, fine art, jewelry, gourmet treats and more at Art in the Gardens from 4-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19 and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 and Sunday, Aug. 21. Enjoy live music from Paul Imholte from 4-7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19; Nick Jordan and Mary DuShane from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20 and The Abiders from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21. The art fair is included with gate admission; free for members, $15 for non-members ages 16 and older; and free for children 15 and younger.

Photo by Armour Photography.

2. THERMAL dance performance

Don’t miss this outdoor contemporary dance performance centered on the Earth’s changing environment. Join us for a performance at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21 on the Event Lawns at Farm at the Arb. 

THERMAL: Meditations on Climate Change is a dialogue through movement, form and sound. 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. Tickets are $20 for members, $35 for non-members and $5 for children 15 and younger.  

3. Giant pumpkins

University of Minnesota Extension Educators are growing giant pumpkins with the hope of competing at the Minnesota State Fair. This spring, they planted giant pumpkins in a garden off Three-Mile Drive near the Dahlia Trial Garden and the Pine Collection. Check out the growing pumpkins at the Arboretum — in the right conditions, giant pumpkins can grow up to 2 inches in circumference every night — and follow the Extension Educators’ weekly updates on their experience growing the pumpkins throughout the summer. 

World-renowned Chinese Garden Architect and Landscape Architect Jim Chen will discuss the history of Chinese gardens on Aug. 11 at the Arboretum.

4. Jin Chen: Chinese Garden Design

Join us from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11 in the MacMillan Auditorium for a lecture featuring Jin Chen, a world-renowned Chinese garden architect and landscape architect. He will discuss the history of Chinese gardens, explaining the philosophies and key concepts still in use today, as well as his experiences in Chinese garden designs. Chen’s most notable works in the U.S. include the famed Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon, and Liu Fang Yuan, the revered Chinese garden at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, California, near Pasadena. Reservations for this lecture are free for Arboretum members and $15 for non-members, and include entrance to the Arboretum.

5. AppleHouse

Kick off apple season on Thursday, Aug. 25 at the birthplace of the Honeycrisp: the Arboretum’s AppleHouse (7485 Rolling Acres Rd., Victoria), a free destination that’s just a mile west of the main Arb grounds entrance. Visitors can buy locally grown apples, pumpkins, gourds, squash, apple pies, apple cider and gourmet food items from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Tuesdays through Sundays, check out North Star Donuts, offering slushies, hot beverages and their signature apple cider mini donuts.

Members get special access to the Arboretum on Aug. 11. Archive photo by Todd Mulvihill.

6. Membership Appreciation Event

We’re thanking Arboretum members with special members-only access to the gardens from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11. Join us for live music from The Abiders; Jonny Pops frozen treats; double discount on Gift & Garden Store purchases; photo opportunities with costumed characters, including princesses; children’s activities and more. Members must be signed into their Arboretum account to make free reservations for this event. Members can also reserve tickets by calling 612-301-6775.

7. Annual Garden Blooms

This year’s Annual Garden, designed to highlight the color yellow with red and orange, is in full bloom. Don’t miss your chance to stroll through this garden, which is redesigned annually by Landscape Gardener Duane Otto. In addition to the Annual Garden, gardens throughout our grounds are incredibly compelling this time of year. Check out our Garden Highlights — updated weekly on Tuesdays — to keep track of what’s in bloom.

Dr. Mary Meyer in the Ornamental Grass Collection in October of 2020. Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis.

8. Ornamental Grass Collection Open House: Celebrating 35 Years

Join Dr. Mary Meyer from 3-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 23 or Thursday, Sept. 22 in the Ornamental Grass Collection to enjoy the grasses in their fall beauty and see which plants have been there for 35 years. The collection, which Meyer helped establish at the Arboretum in 1987, is a Plant Collections Network Nationally Accredited Plant Collection. Bring any grass questions or any grasses you want identified. Free posters and information on little bluestem, the Perennial Plant Association’s perennial of the year for 2022 will be available. 

Meet at the Ornamental Grass Collection; parking is available off Three-Mile Drive at the parking lot near the Dahlia Trial Garden/Pine Collection or the Ornamental Grass Collection parking lot just beyond the Maze Garden. The Ornamental Grass Collection Open House is included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

9. Between the Edges

Join three artists deeply concerned about the plants and animals that surround us for this Reedy Gallery exhibition open 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. The exhibition is included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

10. Let’s Talk Plants

Visit with Master Gardener Volunteers, who can answer questions about gardens, trees, lawns and landscape. 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 the Andersen Horticultural Library anytime from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 29  to start a conversation and learn from their experience. This event is included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

Photo by Mark MacMillan.

11. Music in the Gardens

Enjoy live music throughout the summer at the Ordway Picnic Shelter. Local bands and community groups will perform on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. Bring your own blankets or lawn chairs. Music is included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

Upcoming concerts:

Thursday concerts are 6-7:30 p.m., and Sunday concerts are 1:30-3 p.m.

Sunday, July 31: Flute Cocktail

Thursday, Aug. 4: Doug deGrood & David Zimmerman

Sunday, Aug. 7: Dragonfly

Thursday, Aug. 11: Basset Creek Brass

Sunday, Aug. 14: The Meire Grove Band

Thursday, Aug. 18: Fluteloops

Sunday, Aug. 21: Celebration Brass Quintet

Sunday, Aug. 28:  The Silverwinds

12. 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. 

Library StoryTime in July at the Arboretum. Photo by Adrienne Alms.

13. Library StoryTime

Explore the theme of Friendship & Kindness during the Andersen Horticultural Library’s StoryTime at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 26. Celebrate the joys and importance of friendship and kindness this week for a special StoryTime, featuring guest readers. In addition to our regular Library staff readers, the Linnes-Bagley Family will be reading their recently published story, “Who Is Your Friend?” Meet up in the Andersen Horticultural Library to find out if StoryTime is inside or outside, depending on the weather. StoryTime is included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

14. Capturing Colors: 5th Annual Flora and Fauna Illustrata 

This year’s Flora and Fauna Illustrata Exhibition opens Friday, Aug. 26 in the Skyway Gallery and features scientifically-accurate, brightly-colored artwork by local artists depicting flowers, fruits, insects and other organisms living at the Arboretum. You’ll be tickled pink by this beautiful array of colors. The exhibition will be on display through Feb. 28, and it’s included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

15. 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 and included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

16. The Art of Tiny Things

Celebrate the tiny things in life from Friday, Aug. 26 to Feb. 28 in the Andersen Horticultural Library. Explore miniature books, as well as art from the Andersen Horticultural Library’s collection featuring tiny organisms that are often overlooked, including moss, fungi, lichen, insects and more. The exhibition is included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

17. 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 Chile, Argentina and Patagonia in November and a trip to Florida in March.

Photo by Wendy Composto.

18. 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 a class at noon Sunday, Aug. 28 in the Ornamental Grass Collection, taught by Live True Yoga.

Register now for a full or half-day of yoga at the Autumn Yoga Retreat on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Farm at the Arb.

19. Book Donations

The Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library are accepting donations of clean, gently used books in all genres, as well as CDs and DVDs (no old textbooks, no magazines) through Aug. 16 for its Book Sale in September. 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

Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch in Sept. 2021. Photo by Robert Evans Imagery.

20. Plan for September

Get your tickets for these events:

Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9 and Saturday, Sept. 10; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11: Browse through more than 4,000 handblown glass pumpkins and glass garden art made by award-winning, professional glass artists from the Midwest and California at this event presented by the Arboretum Auxiliary. 

Field Fest 2022 | 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24: Celebrate the harvest at the Farm at the Arb with a family-friendly festival! Enjoy farm-fresh food tastings, garden tours, a scavenger hunt, interactive games, exhibits and more.

AppleJAM featuring Humbird | 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24: The 4th annual AppleJAM features a concert by Humbird, as well as a variety of family-friendly activities highlighting apples. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Haralson apple, which was introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1922, with apple bingo, lawn games, a scavenger hunt and apple-themed concessions, including beverages from Excelsior Brewing Co. Local band The Z’s will open for Humbird at 5 p.m., and Humbird will perform from 6-8 p.m. Bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the show from the Farm at the Arb Event Lawns.

And mark your calendar for the fourth weekend in September!

Visit on Friday, Sept. 23, Saturday Sept. 24 or Sunday, Sept. 25 to shop the Auxiliary Fall Harvest Sale, the Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library Book Sale and the Herb Society Fall Sale (Friday and Saturday only) — all in the Oswald Visitor Center and Snyder Building. Field Fest is also happening Saturday, Sept. 24 — so you could shop the sales and then swing by Farm at the Arb to find a bunch of fun activities!

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