2013 Minneapolis Garden Awardees Revealed at Metro Blooms’ Garden Award Event
The top 2013 Minneapolis Garden Awards were presented at Metro Blooms’ Annual Garden Awards event on November 7, 2013.
The following award descriptions can be requested in full, as can contact information. Photos from the event and of these amazing gardens can be accessed on Metro Blooms’ Facebook page, as well as on the Metro Blooms website, www.metroblooms.org
Best Business Garden was presented to Northbound Smokehouse and Brewpub, Amy Johnson (manager) and Russ Henry (gardener) 2716 East 38th St. With a variance from the city, they were able to turn a small grassy area into a full-fledged garden patio with three French drains that redirect surface and ground water away from the area. Hops were incorporated into the patio design which includes raised planter boxes containing lime green sweet potato vines that also lend nutrition for the tropical plans and annuals within.
Best Business Raingarden was presented to the Lyndale Neighborhood Association, Mark Hinz, Executive Director. The Association has made its home in a historic two-story building for the past 15 years at 3537 Nicollet Ave. With help from volunteers and a planning grant from the MWMO, they hired an engineering firm to determine how to deal with run-off and to put long term stormwater management techniques into place. They incorporated permeable pavers, downspouts and four rain barrels that combined, capture 100 percent of their roof runoff and redirect it to their raingardens. The raingardens contain native plants that seed and spread themselves along with a combination of junipers, grasses, and flowering natives which attract pollinators.
Best Alley Garden was presented to Mary Knoblauch and Marty Carlson, homeowners, 2401 Russell Ave. So. With help from Martin Marko, of Euro Garden Design, the homeowners were able to make changes to their existing garden while breathing new life into this very visible garden. A major change came with a new retaining wall along the sidewalk which uses different sizes and shapes of stone to create a mosaic appearance. Terracing rows of vivid colored annuals add waves of brightness to the shaded background. Along the deck at the back of the home large window boxes of vining plants and colorful annuals help to complete the Best Alley Garden in the city.
Best Congregation Raingarden was presented to Mount Olivet Church, 5025 Knox Ave. So. The church and its’ surrounding campus is adorned by gardens of exceptional beauty. Although pristine in appearance, the gardens have their challenges for the gardener, such as a high water table and a peat bog underground, both of which have been problematic. The raingarden consists of a healthy swale that abuts a driveway and sports a variety of grasses, native perennials and pops of color from annuals. The church continues to create gardens and implements assertive recycling efforts to teach by example how to be good caretakers of our earth and water resources.
Best Shade Garden was presented to Cathy and Bob Broady, homeowners, 3852 Lyndale Ave. So. These wonderful shade gardens are in the boulevard spaces and the backyard. There is an artistic array of shade plants, shrubs, groundcovers and walkways. A variety of hostas, native plants and other plants containing a variety of hues and textures, along with stacks of rocks, provide many dimensions to the planting areas. Pots of annuals, coleus, and vines add color and winter creeper fills the space between the shrubs. The only green lawn area is the center of their backyard.
Best Hillside Garden was presented to Sheryl and Rick Erickson, homeowners, 5608 Girard Ave. So. This garden perches at the crest of a dauntingly steep hill. The hillside is a lush, North Shore-inspired urban forest, complete with dark, iron-tinged boulders, native birches and switch-back trails weaving their way through the plants, shrubs and grasses. The Ericksons worked with a landscaper, Field Outdoor Spaces to install hardscaping to tackle the front-bank project. Rather than using retaining walls, they worked with two different types of boulders and Chilton Stone. As stones were placed, they installed piping for irrigation under them. A dry streambed of stones and sedges channels water from one of the downspouts onto the hillside and into a compact raingarden at the top edge of the bank. The plants used needed to be low maintenance and shade tolerant.
Best Residential Raingarden was presented to Mary Nolte, homeowner, 5240 Beard Ave. So. This raingarden was started in the spring of 2003 to help alleviate the flooding problems in the Fulton neighborhood. The kidney shaped garden is filled with native plants forming a perfect blend of color and contrast foliage to make the raingarden as striking as her companion flower bed along the other side of the sidewalk. A second raingarden is viewable from the alley, containing native trees, shrubs and plants.
Best Residential Garden was presented to Wyn Huynh and Bob Zehrer, homeowners, 2406 Irving Ave. So. This property contains not a single blade of grass among the hundreds of types of plants and trees that populate it. What may appear as grass is actually a carpet of woolly thyme preventing erosion of the steep slope while providing fragrance and color. Unexpected surprises are contained within the garden, such as a masterful incorporation of water, pots, rocks, and tree stumps, interspersed with tropical plants that are started in the basement over the winter.
Best Corporate Raingarden was presented to Coloplast, 1601 West River Rd. No. The United States headquarters is housed in this company’s beautiful LEED Silver certified building along the Mississippi River in north Minneapolis. The large raingarden and green space that ties the complex together was designed 5 years ago by Damon Farber Associates and is intended to reflect the four seasons of Minnesota and its’ ecosystems as well as the flow of the river. A mixture of native grasses, ground covers, shrubs, stands of paper birches and other trees reap the benefit of the rain that runs from the downspouts and off the roof. Berms and undulating landscaping lends depth and dimension. In the back of the building, two large underground stormwater storage tanks collect surface run off from the city’s storm sewers. The back parking lot also has curb cuts to divert run-off to several small recessed raingardens.
Best Container Garden was presented to the African Development Center/Afro Deli & Coffee, 1931 So. 5th St. The patio and container gardens help create an inviting, relaxing gathering space in the busy Cedar-Riverside Neighborhood and are the result of the vision for the streetscape of the owner, Hussein Samatar, who passed away in August. The vibrant green, orange and black building housing the ADC and deli are complemented by the array of black, ochre and terra-cotta glazed pots edging the building, the massive black containers anchoring the patio and hanging planters in the shaded seating area. Flowering vines, curly willow twigs, and annuals crowd together in a profusion of colors reminiscent of the owner’s native Somalia. In the winter landscape firm Eufloria plants containers with evergreens and lights and the ADC and deli staff keep the containers watered, deadheaded and free of debris and trash year round.
Best Cottage Garden was presented to Cyn Bloom, homeowner, 3410 46th Ave. So. This garden is beautiful from spring through fall and the front yard and boulevard burst with greenery and colorful flowers. Window boxes are also filled with spider plants, tomatoes and herbs in the garden mix. The gardener likes to freely spread seeds around to see what will develop. The garden is a mix of perennials, wildflowers, shade-loving plants and hand built garden ornaments. Cyn’s garden is a delight to passersby, and welcomes bees and butterflies with their favorite plants, avoiding pesticide use.
If you’d like to recognize a gardener, you can nominate your favorite garden for a 2014 Minneapolis Garden Award online at www.metroblooms.org. Nominations for a 2014 award are due July 8.
For more information on a specific award winner or pictures of any of these award-winning gardens, please contact Barbara Speltz at 612-801-9321 or email@example.com.