Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Fairy tale garden in Northfield inspires July 16, 2014

MAGICAL. ENCHANTING. DELIGHTFUL.

All those adjectives fit the gardens of Susan and Dale Kulsrud who’ve created a fairy tale world outside their south Northfield home.

 

One example of the fairy tale magic tucked into the Kulsruds' gardens.

One example of the fairy tale magic tucked into the Kulsruds’ gardens.

 

From streetside, you’d never guess this corner lot would hold such garden charm. So when my husband parked our van and we crossed the driveway past the Corvette to the side yard during the Northfield Garden Club 2014 Garden Tour, we were surprised.

What a delight.

The side yard garden featuring Dale's handcrafted trellis sculpture.

The side yard garden features Dale’s handcrafted trellis sculpture.

 

First the side garden with an array of flowers—including magnificent towering delphiniums—grabbed my attention. But this plot includes much more than plants. An impressive wood sculpture trellis crafted by Dale defines the space that includes other works of art.

 

The garden shed, Valhalla.

The garden shed, Valhalla.

 

Art. It’s everywhere in this enchanting yard where a garden shed of Dale’s design and crafting anchors a rear corner.

I almost hesitate to dub this building a shed given its appearance and name, Valhalla. The name is an apparent tribute to the family’s Scandinavian heritage. Valhalla is a hall for the slain in Norse lore.

 

Shade-loving plants fill the Valhalla garden.

Shade-loving plants fill the Valhalla garden.

 

With the use of carefully chosen shade-loving plants like hosta, King Kong coleus, ivy, impatiens, begonias and more and the integration of garden art, the Kulsruds have created a fantasy world in their backyard.

 

A view of the garden behind and to the side of Valhalla.

A view of the garden behind and to the side of Valhalla.

 

The area surrounding Valhalla calls for an inchworm pace with multiple pauses to examine the details. I literally lowered myself to nearly lying down at some points to take in and photograph the scenes created here. Kids would love this mini world of surprises tucked in among the plants:

 

I placed my camera on the ground to photograph this cat napping among hostas and impatiens.

I placed my camera on the ground to photograph this cat napping among hosta and impatiens.

 

A jolt of color among hosta.

A jolt of color among hosta. Perfect.

 

Some of the art is more serious, like this bust.

Some of the art is more serious, like this bust among flowering hosta.

 

Garden gnome humor.

Garden gnome humor.

 

The stuff of fairy tales...

The stuff of fairy tales…

 

Looking down into a fairy garden.

Looking down in to a fairy garden created in a bird bath.

 

A ground level view of the gnomes' rocky woodland home.

A ground level view of the gnomes’ rocky woodland home.

 

My favorite scene could have come straight from the pages of a Scandinavian storybook with a gnome house situated against a tree trunk and the resident gnome sweeping his front stoop. It’s absolutely magical.

 

Impatiens spill from a tipped pot.

Petunias spill from a tipped pot.

 

This entire yard enchants with plant life and art complementing each other. Flowers and accent plants spill from pots and window boxes, mingling with all that art.

 

Impatiens and butterfly art add color to a plant situated along a walk way.

Impatiens and butterfly art add color to a planter situated along a walk way.

 

I left undeniably inspired.

CHECK BACK FOR MORE POSTS from the Northfield Garden Club 2014 Garden Tour.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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20 Responses to “Fairy tale garden in Northfield inspires”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    What a great garden. Great art. Love gardens and gnomes.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    The only thing missing is the grand floral fragrance that, I’m sure, permeated the enchanting greenery.

  3. Lanae Says:

    On our way to the Redwing garden walk we saw signs for Northfields garden walk maybe next year. The Redwing garden walk was wonderful. Waseca has their garden walk Sunday August 3, 1:00-5:00 with a free will donation. Start at the Bailey Lewer Historical house for maps.
    Also dear sister the picture with the blue bunny has petunias not impatiens.
    Love ya

    • I thought you were going to Rochester, not Red Wing. Wherever, I’m glad the garden walk was wonderful.

      I’ve made the correction on the impatiens/petunias. I apparently had impatiens on the brain. Thanks for the catch.

      Love you, too, sister.

  4. Thread crazy Says:

    Such a beautiful garden. With cooler temps and some rain ours could look a lot like that. Beautiful…lots of work too but well worth it.

  5. WOW – Amazing – Love the Garden as well as the Art Aspects – thanks so much for sharing 🙂 Happy Hump Day!

  6. Jackie Says:

    You really captured the beauty in this garden Audrey! I especially loved the fairy garden in the bird bath and gnomes rocky woodland home…so clever! This husband and wife team do a great job of complimenting each others talents 🙂

  7. Beth Ann Says:

    Love the new trend of fairy gardens although I am not sure I would want one in my yard . The one in the bird bath is awfully cute. I have seen a lot of these in the past couple of years and especially at Lakeside—they seem to be the in thing to do.Fun.

  8. Katie S Says:

    What a beautiful garden! I cannot imagine how many hours they have spent designing, developing, and maintaining this. Wow!


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