Fields of peonies are currently in bloom at Aspelund Peony Gardens, rural Wanamingo.
JUNE IN MINNESOTA BLOOMS peonies in shades of pink, burgundy and crimson, others white, bending, swaying in the wind, perfuming the air.
Such beauty in the many hues and fragrances.
Layered blossoms open to the warm sun, their beauty unsurpassed in the book of old-fashioned flowers, the bouquets of long ago brides—our grandmothers, our great grandmothers.
This sign along the gravel road marks Aspelund Peony Gardens & Winery.
A lovely pink peony up close.
At the bottom of the hill, rows and rows of peonies grow against a country backdrop.
In southeastern Minnesota, I’ve found a place where fields of peonies grow. Lovely in their beauty against a rural landscape. Aspelund Peony Gardens and Winery northwest of Wanamingo.
I love how this grey shed provides a blank canvas for the vivid peonies to pop.
Each June, Randy and I drive there to take in the loveliness. To enjoy and smell these flowers that once defined our community of Faribault as The Peony Capital of the World. No more. That title long ago gone, we now find fields of peonies a half hour away.
So many peonies…
I like to study the peonies from sweeps of flowers to single blooms.
Love these vivid shades…
Aspelund Peony Gardens sells peonies to the public, in the form of peony plants ordered now and tubers picked up in the fall for planting then. While meandering between the peony rows, I overheard many serious conversations about peonies. I come for the beauty and tranquility found in these acres of flowers.
The hilltop vineyard offers a grand view of the surrounding countryside.
In this rural setting I find a certain peacefulness in sweeping vistas of the countryside, especially from the hilltop vineyard.
Rascal, left, roams among those visiting the gardens and winery.
Look at that face. Rascal just makes me smile.
Rascal helps Bruce and Dawn Rohl at the check-out/peony ordering station.
Rascal the dog greets visitors by barking upon their arrival and then wandering among guests. He adds another layer of back-on-the-farm friendliness.
From the bottom of the hill, looking across the peony gardens toward the parking area and winery.
On this acreage, at this business, gardeners Bruce and Dawn Rohl—a couple as friendly and welcoming as you’ll ever meet—also craft wine. Randy and I wove our way from the peony gardens onto the tiered deck to order flights of wine, mine tasting of elderberries, raspberries, caramel, apples and cinnamon.
The tasting room, far right, opens soon, per allowances under COVID-19 rules.
One of my wine samples in a flight of four.
In the background you can see part of the tiered deck where guests can enjoy Aspelund wine at tables allowing for social distancing.
During our June 6 visit, only outdoor service was available due to COVID-19 restrictions. The small indoor tasting room reopens soon. I’d still recommend sitting outside to experience the rural beauty of this place. I’d also recommend wearing masks when passing near others and when ordering and getting your wine. The Rohls encourage masks. It’s the right thing to do for a couple who so graciously open their rural acreage (yes, they live here, too, in the attached house) and business to others.
An aged shed near the vineyard.
The next week, probably two, depending on weather, promises to offer excellent viewing of peonies in bloom. The garden is open from 4-7 pm weekdays and from 10 am – 4 pm weekends. The winery is open from noon to 5 pm weekends only. Check the Facebook page for any changes to those times. Above, all, delight in the flowers and savor the wine at Aspelund Peony Gardens and Winery, one of my favorite spots to visit each June in southeastern Minnesota.
© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling