“Fragrances of Spring” at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum: A Plethora of Plants with an Array of Personalities

Yum! Just take a quick look at what the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has in store for its Spring Flower Show and your taste buds ignite and nose twitch with delight. Fragrances of Spring: Essence of Paradise, which opens Friday, February 2 (which also happens to be Groundhog Dog), includes nine floral vignettes throughout the Oswald Visitor Center arranged into such delectable categories as balsamic, spicy, sweet, honeyed, fruited, rose and violet. Let’s delve into those categories a bit.

Balsamic, according to the exhibition’s description, includes the essence “found in leaves that contain essential oils such as menthol, eucalyptol, balsam, camphor, and wintergreen,” meaning this category includes plants like “lavender, rosemary, and yellow birch.” Spicy refers to “scents such as clove, cinnamon, pepper, anise, nutmeg,” and plants will include “carnations, anise hyssop, clove currant, [and] Korean spice viburnum.” Honeyed means “almond-like, yeasty, and musky,” with feature plants like sweet alyssum, mushroom, and melons.”

What a way to spring forward into the warmer months of scent, sound and sensation. And that’s not all. This annual celebration of flora’s fabulousness also includes, this year, an 18-foot-by-18-foot, English-inspired conservatory designed and built by Conservatory Craftsmen, a family-owned business in South Minneapolis. Inside this picturesque glass house are 300 orchids. Moreover, interspersed throughout the floral exhibition are 40 works by Paul Granlund, a Minnesota sculptor best known for bronze sculptures that integrate human and abstract forms. Among the pieces on display are many that have never been seen publicly.

The Arboretum has programmed an array of events that dovetail beautifully with the art, arrangements, and architecture on display. Throughout the run, which concludes February 28, events including four-course Traditional Teas (Feb. 2, 8, 9, 23). Fragrances of Spring: Essence of Paradise also opens with an advance preview Thursday, Feb. 1, 5-7:30 p.m.

It’s the perfect opportunity to get a bit out of town and escape Super Bowl madness with family and friends. The show is free with gate admission, $15 for non-members, free for kids 15 and under. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Call 952-443-1400 for more info.

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