Looking for new design ideas and inspiration? Join your colleagues to tour seven design sites in Minneapolis and nearby suburbs. This year’s tour features MNLA award-winning landscape design projects. The stops are sure to inspire and the event will provide great networking opportunities. Bring back ideas to implement in your own designs and share your ideas with your peers!
8:00am– 8:30am - Check in/Registration at Wagner’s Garden Center & Greenhouses
8:30am – Buses load to tour sites
3:30pm – Return to Wagner’s Garden Center & Greenhouses
Air conditioned bus tour includes: morning coffee and lunch provided mid-day at Davanni’s Pizza in Golden Valley.
Linden Hills Arts & Crafts
Design by: Phillips Garden, Inc.
inden Hills was a new build, providing a blank canvas for the landscape. The client desired a landscape and gardens that matched the style of the architecture and blended with the character of the neighborhood. Since the client had a strong passion for gardening and writing about garden related topics it was important to create gardens and spaces that supported that interest. To do this we created planting schemes that allowed for adding and developing the plant palette. Other highlights from this project included spacious ornamental gardens, production gardens with corten steel raised planters, mixed media stone walls, bluestone terrace, and a custom corten steel water feature.
Murray Nguyen Residence
Design by: Mom’s Landscaping
The exterior space of this 30’s Mediterranean style house in the Lake Calhoun area no longer fit the architecture or desired use of this young growing family. The long and narrow L shaped backyard provided opportunities to fulfill their desires, but also presented design challenges to fit everything in while keeping some lawn area for the “kids to play on.”They were looking for a more exciting space that would provide entertainment areas including an outdoor fireplace, a large kitchen and dining area all in keeping with the style of the house. The designer felt strongly about creating a space that would strengthen the connection to the house while complimenting the architecture by using natural materials like wood and stone. By placing the fireplace in the southeast corner, it provided a beautiful anchor to the garden entry and also screening from the street. Various evergreen, deciduous and perennial plantings were used for screening, balance, interest and color. The second phase included a custom build playhouse that was nestled into the corner below a large clump Ash Tree complete with slide, and low voltage lighting. This area provided a nice location that was easily accessible, very “parent” visible, and had low impact on the recently completed phase one.
Aspen in Minnesota
Design by: Stonepocket, Inc.
The design intent was to keep the bones of the backyard with the fieldstone walls, general layout of patio space, and all the mature trees to then be able to concentrate on creating a connection between the natural environment and living space. The old pergola was removed and the team started on the footing for the new fireplace and pergola. A 14 x 16 cedar pergola was designed and built as a 'kit' from a sustainably run mill in Idaho. The pergola is on 28-inch high stone columns with Indiana limestone caps. The pergola is tied into a fireplace that is 17-feet high and 12-feet wide that was constructed using Fond du Lac, Chilton, and Bluestone. Mass plantings of Monarda, Heliopsis, Asceplias, Salvia, and others were planted in the sunnier front sections of the hillside to provide color. Existing roses, irises, and daylilies help fill in some voids, along with annuals. The upper slope entered into more and more shade so Cornus, Chelone, and Corylus were planted toward the woods. The water feature running through the hillside also was in need of attention. The entire waterfall was rebuilt and our firm now manages the system both with aquatic plants and algaecide. Lighting was added to the path leading to the backyard and to the hillside to be able to enjoy the backyard scenery at night.
Bryant Avenue Project
Design by: Field Outdoor Spaces
This design transformed a blighted patch of grass next to a parking area into a plant-rich and ecologically sound pocket courtyard for a 4-unit brownstone in the Wedge Neighborhood of Minneapolis. The landscape features a permeable patio installed above an 8' x 8' french drain that takes water from the roof of the building. The patio doubles as the snow storage area for the driveway in the winter. One of the central design challenges was achieving visual separation from the parking lot while still maintaining open access for winter snow storage. The solution was to install two 7' corten planters to separate the area, and two large custom built corten pots that can be removed in the winter. Another challenge was how to cover the large 6" PVC storm sewer pipe and overflow. Matching the themes of the space, a triangular corten art piece was designed and custom built, then filled with trap rip-rap. A dry creek bed drains water from the overflow to the edge of the permeable patio surface. The planting design focused on choosing plants that create multiple layers so it feels like you are sitting in the middle of a natural space. The grasses and shrubs match the surrounding landscape. One of the highlights of the space is the low-voltage landscape lighting that not only makes the space usable in the evening but also provides a calming view when tenants come home.
Design by: Stonepocket, Inc.
‘To be part of the landscape’ by interacting with the space through gardening, attracting wildlife with native plants, and relaxing with family and friends were the client’s main requests on this site. Also, to correct the drainage swell to prevent the lower patio from being washed over during every rain event. The clients are avid vegetable gardeners but the existing garden was becoming shaded by the poplar forest, browsed by deer and rabbits. Four 6-foot long by 3-foot high and 30 inches deep corten steel planters provide enough produce for the entire family. Heirloom tomatoes, swiss chard, peppers, lettuces all grew amazing well in the composted manure and automatic irrigation system. The use of native plants that tolerate heavier clay soils has brought monarchs, moths, hummingbirds, finches, and a host of other species. Water consumption was reduced since much of the original lawn was removed and composted. The gardens only get supplemental water through a drip irrigation system when there is a period of drought. All water from the roof is collected and run out to existing lawns. No herbicides are used in the garden since the mulch and frequent visits prevents weeds from establishing. One of the first phases was to install screening to hide the hot tub when sitting on the deck or in the four season porch. The three-panel screen of corten steel now serves as the backdrop for a seating area that they enjoy from spring until fall. Drainage on the lawn was corrected by re-grading and directing the flow into a dry-creek bed of limestone. With the creek flowing through the native garden, a pleasing backdrop has been created to be enjoyed throughout the seasons.
Design by: Phillips Garden, Inc.
Bigger is not always better and that is certainly the case with this space. This intimate courtyard measures 21-feet by 24-feet and is situated between the clients’ home and home studio. Highlights include and 12-foot by 12-foot sunken patio, corten steel seat wall, and beautiful, textured gardens providing a serene gathering space.
Design by: Ground One Enterprises of MN, LLC
The design challenge was how to transform the blank slate of the backyard into an entertaining oasis for a family of six and their myriad friends and extended family, while respecting the early architecture of this 1923 Tudor Home. The program included a swimming pool, dining patio, lounge areas, pool house, fireplace, and gardens. Turning the swimming pool at an angle created the illusion of more space and offered unique smaller spaces within the backyard. The fireplace was integrated into a series of dry-laid Fond du Lac limestone terraces that retain the sideyard. The terraces and the perimeter of the pool are planted with a lush collection of ornamental trees, shrubs and perennials to soften the hardscape and create layers of interest. Landscape lighting is incorporated throughout the landscape to extend entertaining well into the evening, as well as providing additional visual interest during long winter nights.
Note that the sites here may not be toured in the order listed.