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Wednesday, October 21, 2015


One of the most beautiful areas in Minneapolis is the Rose Garden, which is a lovely combination of flowers, walkways, and fountains. Across the drive from the Rose Garden is the Peace Garden and the Bird Sanctuary. Taken together, these three gardens create a very, meditative and reflective place to commune with nature.

Designed by park superintendent, Theodore Wirth, and built during 1907-08, this is the second oldest rose garden in the United States. The garden features over 4000 plants and 250 species on a one-acre plot, and can, at the height of its season, boast over 60,000 blooms. Two fountains are located in the garden including the Heffelfinger Fountain, which once graced the grounds of the Villa Montalto near Florence, Italy, and was donated to the Park Board in 1944 by Frank Heffelfinger.  This fountain is noted for the cherub surfing on a dolphin that adorns the top.  The cherub is surrounded by saytrs, and human faces that grace the fountains pedestal, depict the progress of age.

The Heffelfinger Fountain.

Just north of the Rose Garden is the Peace Garden and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary. The sanctuary is named for Thomas Sadler Roberts, who was a founding member of the Minneapolis Young Naturalist Society, as well as the American Ornithologists’ Union and a member of the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union.  Primarily, the Bird Sanctuary is for migratory songbirds in the spring, but throughout the rest of the year, it is also a quiet nature walk, in the midst of a busy city.

Connie and Cynthia were having way too much fun at the Bird Sanctuary.

The quiet, peaceful, style of the Bird Sanctuary, blends perfectly with the Peace Garden next to it. The Peace Garden’s Zen-like nature is both calming and reflective, and the two gardens together, are truly beautiful.

Minneapolis offers many wonderful opportunities for people to enjoy, and commune with nature, and the Rose Garden, along with the Peace Garden, and the Thomas Sadler Roberts Bird Sanctuary, are three of the most beautiful places to do that.

***What are some of your favorite public gardens?

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