Arboretum News

25 Things to do in September 2022

Unwind with an evening under a full moon, buy a handblown glass pumpkin, watch the colors change and more at the Arb this month.

September 2021 archive photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis.

By Liz Potasek

September at the Arboretum is a truly magical time. The gardens and natural areas are filled with blooms, pollinators and signs of wildlife, and fall colors are just starting to make an appearance. We also welcome fall with scarecrow and pumpkin displays, as well as signature events, including the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch, AppleJAM and Field Fest. 

Atb Glass Pumpkin Patch in 2021. Photo by Robert Evans Imagery.

1. Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch

Stroll through an enchanting “patch” of handblown glass pumpkins during the Arb Glass Pumpkin Patch from Sept. 9-11 in the Snyder Building and surrounding gardens. This second annual display and sale features more than 4,000 handblown glass pumpkins and glass garden art. Shoppers will also get the opportunity to meet and mingle with the artists who made these one-of-a-kind works of art, as well as watch glass blowing demonstrations.

2. Bee-Line Shuttle

The Bee-Line Shuttle is back! This popular, free shuttle runs every 30 minutes on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30 (weather permitting) with stops at the Home Demonstration Garden, Harrison Sculpture Garden, Farm at the Arb and Maze Garden.

3. Watch the seasons change

Summer is slipping into fall this month as the late-summer blooms are at their peak and the trees are starting to change colors. Keep tabs on the changing season at the Arb by visiting the Arboretum’s Garden Highlights. Updated each Tuesday, Garden Highlights will showcase fall color throughout the season. 

4. AppleHouse

Pick up the flavors of fall in the Arboretum’s AppleHouse at 7485 Rolling Acres Road, one mile west of the Arboretum’s main entrance. The AppleHouse features a rotating variety of Minnesota grown apples, as well as frozen apple pies, apple cider and other gourmet foods. Starting in late September, look for Arboretum-grown squash, gourds and pumpkins in an astounding variety of shapes, sizes and colors. 

Tuesdays-Sundays through Oct. 30, North Star Donuts will be open outside the AppleHouse, selling apple cider mini donuts, apple cider slushies and hot apple cider from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

The AppleHouse is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Since the AppleHouse isn’t on the main Arboretum campus, there is no need to make reservations to visit and there’s no admission fee. (Arboretum members do get a 10 percent discount at the AppleHouse!)

Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis.

5. September Full Harvest Moon Hike

Spend a relaxing evening after-hours at the Arboretum, playing lawn games and watching the full moon rise from 7-10 p.m. at Farm at the Arb. After the sun sets, explore moon-lit farm paths or view the harvest moon from the event lawns or prairie overlook. Reservations are $5 for members and children 15 and younger and $20 for non-members.

6. Scarecrows in the Gardens

The popular Scarecrows in the Gardens adds a festive note to the Arboretum’s autumn displays on the Dahlberg Terrace and Scarecrow Hill. Starting Sept. 17-Oct. 31, check out the artistry of the experts from Bachman’s, Arboretum staff and members of the community.

7. Auxiliary Harvest Sale

The Arboretum Auxiliary Harvest Sale offers up exquisite crafts from Sept. 23-25 in the Snyder Building. There will be nature-inspired items, including home decor, potpourri, Arboretum wood creations, knitwear for adults and children, beautiful autumnal wreaths and arrangements, cards, children’s toys and many other creative arts. All items are handcrafted by Auxiliary members, and all proceeds benefit the Arboretum.

Once again, the sale will also include the same beautiful tulip bulbs that will be planted at the Arboretum this fall. These high-quality, fresh bulbs are shipped from the Netherlands.

8. Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library Used Book Sale

Swing by the MacMillan Auditorium from Sept. 23-25 to shop for used books, CDs and DVDs in a wide variety of subjects at this used book sale, organized by the Friends of the Andersen Horticultural Library. Proceeds from the sale benefit the library.

9. Minnesota Herb Society Fall Sale

Stock up on personal care products, herb-infused vinegars and other gifts and goodies with a herbal theme at the Minnesota Herb Society Fall Sale on Sept. 23 and 24 in the Oswald Visitor Center Balcony. The Minnesota Herb Society helps support and maintain the Arboretum’s Herb Garden.

Humbird headlines AppleJAM on Sept. 24. Photo by Juliet Farmer.

10. AppleJAM

The 4th annual AppleJAM features an outdoor concert by Humbird, as well as a variety of family-friendly activities highlighting apples from 5-8 p.m. Sept. 24. 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. Tickets are $10 for members, $25 for non-member and $5 for children 15 and younger.

11. Field Fest

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 at Field Fest from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 24. Dig into the dirt to harvest sugar beets or try the hands-on activities in the family tent while Clark Machtemes and the Traveled Ground play from the event lawns stage. Purchase food and drinks from food trucks and a beer garden. Reservations are free for members and children 15 and younger and $15 for non-members.

Azure Skies 5 by Pamela Sukhum.

12. The Art of Pamela Sukhum: Hymns to Nature 

See Pamela Sukhum’s nature-inspired paintings in this highly anticipated Reedy Gallery show, her first in Minnesota in seven years. A former researcher in cardiovascular health and electrophysiology at the University of Minnesota, Sukhum left that career behind in 2003 when she fell in love with painting, creating a one-of-a-kind style using richly applied, custom-made paints, emitting a glasslike look on her canvases. Sukhum will be showing pieces from multiple series of her work, including “Bamboo Amongst the Oaks,” “Peony in Love” and “Azure Skies,” all inspired in part by her life and times in Minnesota. The exhibition will be on display Sept. 8-Nov. 7.

Meet and chat with Dr. Mary Meyer in the Ornamental Grass Collection on Sept. 22. Photo by Jason Boudreau-Landis.

13. Ornamental Grass Collection Open House: Celebrating 35 Years

Join Dr. Mary Meyer from 3-6 p.m. 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.

14. Buy tickets to Winter Lights

Make your plans to see the Arboretum’s Winter Lights, an annual outdoor walking tour, opening Nov. 17 through Jan. 1, 2023. Members get early access to Winter Lights tickets starting at 9 a.m. Sept. 23, and Winter Lights tickets go on sale to the public at 9 a.m. Sept. 28.

15. Library StoryTime

Explore the Harvest Time theme during the Andersen Horticultural Library’s StoryTime at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 30. Reap the rewards of your spring plantings and celebrate autumn harvest time. We will read stories about harvesting, sharing, and enjoying fruits and vegetables. StoryTime is included with Arboretum gate admission: free for members and children age 15 and younger; and $15 for non-members.

16. Breaking Boundaries and Barriers: The Art of Lynne Sarnoff-Christensen

Artist Lynne Sarnoff-Christensen has been fascinated with fences and artificial divisions for many years. But in this Cafe Gallery exhibition, she explores these borders more deeply — not as a way to divide, but as an artistic device to focus the viewer’s eye on her sculptural paintings. Using watercolors, oils, photography and wax along with an encaustic heat process, Sarnoff-Christensen pushes artistic boundaries. Immerse yourself in botanical paintings with pronounced textures and transparency as well as natural landscapes, often dotted with images of abandoned barns and farmhouses that add depth, spark interest and pique curiosity. The exhibition is on display Sept. 8-Nov. 6. Visit with Sarnoff-Christensen during an Artist Meet & Greet from noon-2 p.m. Sept. 10 in the Cafe Gallery.

17. Walk with Awe

Tap into your sense of awe – a positive emotion triggered by awareness of something vastly larger than self and not immediately understandable – and you’ll get benefits that go beyond the physical benefits of walking, says Jean Larson, manager of the Nature-Based Therapeutics Program at the Arboretum. Read more about the benefits of walking with awe and find directions for walking with awe in Larson’s latest blog post.

18. Capturing Colors: 5th Annual Flora and Fauna Illustrata Exhibition

This year’s Flora and Fauna Illustrata Exhibition 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 show is on display through Feb. 28, 2023 in the Skyway Gallery.

19. 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.

20. 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.

21. 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 New York City in April.

Yoga in the Gardens. Photo by Wendy Composto.

22. Yoga in the Gardens

Take a yoga class surrounded by the beauty of the Arboretum. In addition to the  Autumn Yoga Retreat on Saturday, Sept. 17 at Farm at the Arb, check out these upcoming yoga classes:

  • 10 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 4 in the Oak and Nut Collection with Emily Dusek.
  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 15 in the Ornamental Grass Collection with Spirit of the Lake.

Sessions are for all levels. Please bring your own mat and water bottle.

23. Giant pumpkins

University of Minnesota Extension Educators are growing giant pumpkins at the Arboretum this season. This spring, they planted giant pumpkins in a garden off Three-Mile Drive near the Dahlia Trial Garden and the Pine Collection, and the first one “Audrey” just took home 5th place at the Minnesota State Fair. Audrey weighed in at 591.5 pounds. Audrey’s garden companion, “Seymour” is still growing, though, and will hopefully compete at the Stillwater Harvest Festival in October. Watch Seymour continue to grow — in the right conditions, giant pumpkins can grow up to 2 inches in circumference every night. 

Pumpkins grown an the Arboretum’s Horticultural Research Center in 2021. Photo by Sara Pace.

24. Pumpkin Displays

Starting in mid-September, pumpkins will pop up in Arboretum gardens and around the Scarecrows in the Gardens display.

Starting Oct. 1, check out the pumpkin tree, featuring hundreds of pumpkins, gourds and squash grown at the Arboretum’s Horticultural Research Center. This year’s tree will feature Cucurbita in a spectrum of color, arranged to create a rainbow. After you’ve marveled at the huge variety of colors, shapes, sizes and textures.

25. Sign up for the Fall Color Trail Run

Register by Sept. 16 to secure your preferred t-shirt size for the Fall Color Trail Run on Oct. 7-9. Pick your course (1k, 5k or 10k), start time (between 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) and date (Oct. 7-9), and experience the changing season at the Arb. This event is staggered over three days to prevent overcrowding of the trail space and maximize enjoyment for all participants. We will mark the routes along Wood Duck Trail, Prairie Trails and Dog Commons, so runners and hikers can enjoy the trail run/hike at their convenience. Registration is $35 for Arboretum members, $50 for non-members, and $15 for children age 15 and younger.

%d bloggers like this: