In July I attended my first Garden Bloggers Fling in Minneapolis, MN. Our first stop on the tour was the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. Tour guides asked us to split into groups according to what we wanted to see. I was instantly mesmerized by the lush green surroundings of the forest and quickly chose the fast paced group that would allow me to see as much of the gardens as possible.
On the hike through the woods we came upon this rustic cabin, which is now the visitor center. The center once served as Eloise Butler’s office, the name sake and first curator of the park in 1911. Eloise was a retired botany teacher who dedicated much of her life to adding native and new plants to the garden. The current gardens contain over 500 types of plants and over 100 types of birds.
Ferns were abundant in the woodland part of the garden but the pretty texture of these northern maidenhair ferns really caught my attention.
Within 10 minutes of starting our tour of the garden I realized I had stopped to look, listen and enjoy for so long that I had gone from the fast paced group, to the slow group, to the no one but me group.
I am a sucker for anything covered in moss. The woodlands in this park didn’t disappoint. There were plenty of logs, rocks and forest grounds covered in lush green velvety moss.
We saw this beautiful buttonbush that was growing in the lower wetland area of the woods. It was covered with the pretty pincushion like white flowers. This shrubs was large-reaching around 12′ tall and around 8′ wide. I’ve wanted to add one of these to my yard for awhile now and seeing one in person just confirms it for me. I may use the new variety called sugar shack buttonbush which only grows 4′ wide and tall.
Dew covered everything that morning which made the experience all the more magical.
Black eyed susans are one of my favorite flowers. They were in full bloom during our visit to the gardens. There were large expanses planted in the sunny areas of the wildflower garden.
A big section of the wildflower meadow was made up of baptisia or false indigo. Unfortunately the blooms were finished when we visited but it was amazing to see such a large area of it. I would love to visit the meadow in late spring or early summer to see it in full bloom.
The wildflower meadow was expansive with many trails that wound around through the meadow. Cup plant, black eyed susan, butterfly milkweed, culvers root and many others were blooming throughout this gorgeous meadow.
Toward the end of our hike through the woods and meadow we happened across these turks cap lilies in full bloom. The lilies stood about 7′ tall and were a beautiful site to behold in the middle of the wildflower garden. They used to be a more common flower to find in the wild but have been diminished due to roadside mowing.
This garden was a magical place to me and was such a wonderful way to kick off the tour. It reminded me so much of my grandma and great-grandma’s love of wildflowers and native plants. It reminded me of my childhood growing up in the country, in the woods. It reminded me take time to slow down, admire the little things you come across in gardens (and in life too) and to just simply take time to enjoy.