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Dirt-O-Rama, June 2 - October 14, presented by Blue Bag Organics

Dirt-O-Rama Exhibit Opens Saturday

Get the real dirt on the surprising world beneath your feet during the "Dirt-O-Rama: Intriguing Tales from the Underground" summer exhibition, running June 2-Oct. 14 (free with Arboretum admission). Presented by Randy's Blue Bag Organics, Dirt-O-Rama will comprise three distinct display areas and a full round of special programming, including hands-on activities for kids and families. Here's a listing of what visitors will find at Dirt-O-Rama: 'Art of the Earth' Juried Outdoor Display, Compost Corner: Gardener's Gold, Real Dirt Lab, Clayhouse Project, and a display: Is Biochar Good for Home Gardens?

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Five Miles High photo
Photo by Beverly Bajus.


Gala in the Gardens, June 13Photo by Ken Evans.

Top 10 Plants Announced

Which plants changed Minnesota and transformed how we live today?  That was the big question behind a public education campaign led by the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. U of M Horticulture professor Mary Meyer spearheaded the initiative, partnering with the Arboretum, the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) and U of M Extension. After considering more than 100 different plants nominated by the public from early February through April 15, a panel of experts met to determine the final top ten. Plants were judged by their impact - both positive and negative - in six areas: environmental; economic or industrial; cultural/spiritual; historical; sustenance; and landscape.

The 10 Plants that Changed Minnesota are:  Apples, wild rice, corn, white pine, wheat, alfalfa, soybeans, American elm, turfgrass/lawn and purple loosestrife. Read more about these choices. What do you think of the list? Share your thoughts on the Arboretum Facebook page. Look for classes, games and stories regarding the top ten plants at the Arboretum and the U of M in coming months.


Art at the Arb

Be sure to visit the Arboretum's painting and photo exhibits during your next visit: Starting June 1, and running through August 31 in the Restaurant Gallery, the Arboretum, in collaboration with the Wilcock Gallery of Excelsior, is presenting the photography exhibit: "Five Miles High."  From five miles up in the air, Beverly Bajus has documented the earth's complex designs, intricate patterns in plowed farm fields, giant crop circles, rivers, streams, lakes and patches of trees.

In the Reedy Gallery, check out "Outdoor Majesty"an outstanding collection of original oil and watercolor paintings by top-rated artists. Exhibits are open year-round during building hours and are free with gate admission. 


Events, Gifts, Classes & Travel

Gala in the Gardens. Wednesday, June 13, 6-9 p.m. An evening you won't want to missbeautiful gardens, al fresco reception & dining, music and live auction. For more information,celebarb@umn.edu or call 612-625-9437 or register online. Proceeds benefit the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.  * Please note that the Three-Mile Drive will close to vehicle traffic at 4 p.m. on June 13 due to set up for the Gala.

Ladies Night Out at the Arb. Thursday, June 7, from 5:30-8:30pm. Enjoy a night out for the girls (guys welcome too!) to shop, eat, drink, and have some fun after work. Stroll the Arboretum terraces and surrounding gardens amidst vendors and enjoy music by the BZ Girls! Cash bar/appetizers available for purchase.  $10/$15. As an added perk, get 10% off at Arboretum Gift Store. (*rain location is the Oswald Visitor Center) Register today.

—Auxiliary Summer Garden Tours. The Auxiliary will host their 28th annual Private Garden Tours on July 15, 17 & 18, 2012. Guests travel onboard luxury air-conditioned motor coaches. Each garden will have on hand representatives from both the Auxiliary and the homeowners to answer your questions and share their experiences creating their lovely gardens. This is truly the crown jewel of regional garden tours. Read more and register online.

Toast and Taste in the Gardens. Thursday, July 26, from 6-9 p.m.  Presenting Sponsor: UnitedHealth Group.  Sample in-season, fresh, local cuisine from the Twin Cities' top restaurants and savor tastes from Minnesota wineries and breweries in the unparalleled garden setting of the Arboretum. Register today.

Orchids for sale year round! Purchase orchids and orchid supplies from Orchids Limited of Plymouth, MN in the Arboretum Gift Store. Orchids are $20-60. Supplies include: potting bark, fertilizer and humidity trays.

Spring Up Close and Personal: The Blossom as Watercolor Portrait Subject. Saturday, June 2, 9:45 a.m. - 4 p.m., $90 members/$95 non-members, Learning Center. Instructor: Georgia Kandiko. Register.

—Safe Plant Pest Control: IPM. Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., $35/$45, Snyder Building. Instructor: Dan Miller, a leading expert in IPM practices. Register.

Wine Treatments: Fining and Finishing Wine. Saturday, June 9, 9:30 a.m.-noon, $90/$95, Learning Center. Instructor: University Enologist Katie Cook. Register.

Hard Core Perennials: Riotous Spring Color. Saturday, June 9, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m., $35/$45, Snyder Building. Instructor: Paul Sotak. Register.

Books in the Garden with Toni McNaron. Wednesday, June 13, July 11, $77/$89, Snyder Building. Join Toni McNaron, University of Minnesota professor emerita of English, in this book-club series focusing on literature that explores gardens and nature. Register.

Travel: Northern India, November 4 - 15, 2012There are still openings for this adventure and garden tour.  See Old and New Delhi, Agra, Jaipur the Pink City and Udaipur.  Contact Anna Kamrow at Carlson Wagonlit.  763-852-8119 or akamrow@carlsonwagonlit.com. or contact Peter Olin at olinx002@umn.edu or 952-443-1412.

Note: The Arboretum and SummerHouse will remain open during road construction on Hwy.5 this summer. During road closure, please follow detours.

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