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Garden bus trip with master gardeners

On Thursday, August 5, the Douglas County Master Gardeners will once again sponsor a Garden Bus Tour. Come join us for an exciting day visiting several garden sites across the Twin Cities area. The bus loads at 7 a.m. at the Kmart parking lot in Alexandria and departs at 7:15 a.m. Bring coffee or your beverage of choice.

The first stop at 9:45 a.m., is Lyndale Park. The Lyndale Park Gardens include the Lake Harriet Rose Garden, the second-oldest public rose garden in the United States; an annual all-American selections display garden, which features exciting annual varieties, as well as color combinations; a peace garden exhibiting unusual conifers and alpine plants, a perennial trial garden, which serves as one of Minnesota's three public perennial trial gardens; and a hummingbird/butterfly garden, planted by neighboring schools' students. Take a tour on your own or with a member of the Minneapolis Men's Garden Club, which maintains the perennial border.

The second stop, at 11 a.m., is at Lyndale Bachmann's Store for some garden shopping. If you have never visited Bachmann's, hold on to your hat! Bachmann's was founded as a vegetable farm in 1885. Four generations later, Bachmann's remains family owned with a continued focus on "quality, variety and fresh ideas." The Lyndale store includes a section devoted to vintage items, repurposed artifacts and artisan-made décor: "Items rich in character, beauty and one-of-a-kind personality." You will find flowers, items for your yard and garden, gifts and "hidden vintage treasures" at Lyndale Bachmann's.

The bus will arrive at the final destination, The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, at 12:45 p.m. Bring a picnic lunch, or eat at Arb's Tea Room. Each day, the tea room serves "delicious lunches including a variety of homemade soups, salads, fresh bakery items, grab and go items and a daily hot- dish special." Special menu items feature organic foods as well as produce from the arboretum's own gardens.

This year's summer exhibition is Powerhouse Plants. This exhibit features:

•Incredible edibles: Discover a delicious bounty of ideas on how to eat fresh and grow your own.

•Amazing art: Featuring the five winners of a juried art competition, with works that celebrate the link between people and plants.

•Bio-energized: Experience energy from the ground up, in a series of lively vignettes and demonstration plantings of energy crops. See how people are tackling the challenge of green and growing renewable energy.

The bus leaves the arboretum at 3:15 p.m., with an estimated return time to Alexandria of 6 p.m.

Tickets are $30 ($10 for a U of M master gardener: please bring MG nametag) and includes admission to the arboretum.

For more information, tickets and reservations, call the Douglas County Extension Office at (320) 762-3890. Pre-registration is required. Don't forget your camera.

Until next time, happy gardening!

"It pleases me to take amateur photographs of my garden, and it pleases my garden to make my photographs look professional."

- Robert Brault