AT THE RICE COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS in Faribault, an unexpected oasis brings nature into a setting of buildings, grandstand and roadways. It’s a welcome respite, this Rice County Master Gardeners Teaching Gardens.
On a Sunday in early July, Randy and I packed a picnic lunch and set out for the fairgrounds garden, a place we haven’t previously lunched. There we settled onto a fountain-side shaded bench, the soothing rush of water creating a peaceful ambiance.
Afterwards, I ambled through these gardens, admiring the plants and blooming flowers. Clematis climbing an arbor. Sedum. Hosta. Lilies and roses and Pig Squeak. Masses of milkweed for monarch caterpillars. Eggplant, prickly pear cactus, Mugo pine and much more.
If you’re into gardening, and even if you’re not, this compact garden patch showcases a wide variety of plants that are beautiful to behold. Some are grown as seed trial plants for the University of Minnesota.
There’s a seed library, too, with packets of seeds tucked into a tiny red house similar to a Little Free Library.
Strategically-placed signs identify plants and provide information about gardening in general. This is, after all, a teaching garden.
But for me, these gardens proved primarily a spot to retreat for a bit, to immerse myself in a place that feels restful, soothing, calming. Connecting to nature, whether in a natural or cultivated setting always, always renews my spirit.
TELL ME: Have you found a similar oasis mini garden where you live?
Please check back for more photos from this lovely teaching garden in additional posts.
© Copyright 2022 Audrey Kletscher Helbling