Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Garden tour IV: Artscapes, landscapes & even a vineyard July 15, 2016

Like a scene out of a storybook.

Like a scene out of a storybook.

I CAN’T BEGIN TO IMAGINE the time invested in establishing the flowerbeds, the artscapes, the vegetable gardens, the vineyard, the everything that makes DeAnn and Randy Knish’s property so uniquely impressive.

Garden tour guests visit under a towering oak.

Garden tour guests visit under a towering oak on a brilliantly sunny summer afternoon.

Situated west of Faribault, this rural acreage is surrounded by trees that include a sprawling oak in the front yard and a two-centuries-plus aged walnut in woods bordering a creek. The waterway runs pea soup green from nearby Roberds Lake.

Shrub sculptures and art divide vegetable gardens.

Shrub sculptures, art and a path divide vegetable gardens.

When I arrived at the Knish property during a recent The Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour Garden and Landscape Tour benefiting Full Belly, a Faribault soup kitchen, I didn’t know where to begin exploring. There was so much to see:

Sculptures abound in the gardens.

Sculptures abound in the gardens.

Perennials fill flowerbeds.

Strategically placed art enhances perennial beds.

A mirror

A mosaic framed mirror and gnomes are incorporated into the plantings.

A lily bursts a brilliant hue into the gardens.

A lily bursts a brilliant hue into the gardens.

Balls add a playfulness to perennial beds throughout the landscaping.

Balls add a playfulness to perennial beds throughout the landscaping.

This happy elfin face made me smile.

This happy elfin face in a petunia bed makes me smile.

Old-fashioned Holly Hocks rise to the summer sky.

Old-fashioned Holly Hocks rise to the summer sky.

The oversized jacks and balls draw the eye to a place to kick back on Adrionack chairs.

The oversized jacks and balls draw the eye to an inviting spot to kick back on Adirondack chairs.

I set my camera on the ground to photograph this perspective of a fairy garden.

I set my camera on the ground to photograph this perspective of a fairy garden.

Once I finished my self-guided tour and photo shoot of artscapes and flowerbeds, I boarded a golf cart for a ride across the creek and up a hill to the two-acre vineyard.

Touring the vineyard.

Touring the vineyard.

Here, the Knishes grow red grapes for Cannon River Winery in Cannon Falls about 30 miles to the northeast. Their grapes go into GoGo Red wine, a pound of grapes per bottle.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources inspected this tree and estimates its age at 200-225 years, one of the oldest walnut trees in Rice County.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources inspected this tree and estimates its age at 200-225 years, one of the oldest walnut trees in Rice County.

While there was no wine to sample, I was pleased to learn of the Faribault connection to a notable regional winery. And I was pleased also for the opportunity to tour this beautiful place in the country on an equally beautiful summer Sunday afternoon in southern Minnesota.

FYI: Please check back for my final post in this five-part garden tour series.

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18 Responses to “Garden tour IV: Artscapes, landscapes & even a vineyard”

  1. Dan Traun Says:

    Wonderful garden. Garden’s are a lot of work, but it is worth it.

  2. Beth Ann Says:

    Another fun garden to explore. I especially liked the mosaic mirror picture and those jacks are perfect there. I could definitely see sitting with a good book in those chairs.

  3. Beautiful Captures 🙂 I want to just move in and make myself at home. Happy Weekend – Enjoy!

  4. I love those hollyhocks

  5. Jackie Says:

    Such a beautiful place to visit, you captured so many fun things about these gardens, I especially like the mosaic mirror, and the giant jacks…very cool.

  6. chlost Says:

    Such fun places to explore, these gardens you’ve visited. I drive by some places and wonder at the time and effort it must take to keep a garden. I have just a small one and it often is neglected. There is a gorgeous shade garden of several acres just outside of Watertown MN along Hwy 25. Our granddaughters eagerly await seeing it as we drive with them to our place. If you get a chance, check it out, too.

  7. hotlyspiced Says:

    What a shame you were unable to sample the wine! This is certainly a very beautiful property with stunning grounds that looks so serene. And it looks like you were there on a superb summer’s day as well xx


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