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Summer Guide 2020: Gardens

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis.

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minneapolis. Brian Peterson/Star Tribune

Public gardens are an easy way to enjoy nature while also social distancing. Head out to one when you need a break from life's bullshit.

But first! Here are some quick links to other Summer Guide resources:

Camping

Hiking

Golfing

Where to canoe, kayak, paddle board, and more (plus rentals)

Bike trails and rentals

Ready to rebuild? These groups and businesses could use your help

Black-owned/run arts orgs in the Twin Cities to support right now (and always)

Black-owned restaurants in the Twin Cities to support right now (and always)

GoFundThem: Where to donate to save Twin Cities restaurants

Farmers markets

Classes and workshops

And now, onto the gardens:

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Fifteen-acre preserve offers bird walks and trail hikes. Guidebooks provide information on more than 50 sites in the garden. Open 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Tues.-Sun. through Oct. 31. Theodore Wirth Pkwy., south of Glenwood Ave., Minneapolis, 612-370-4903; minneapolisparks.org.

Lowry Nature Center

The preserve is home to deer, raptors, beaver, otters, butterflies, trumpeter swans, and osprey, and Lowry offers nature programs for children, school groups, and families. 7025 Victoria Dr. (Carver Park Reserve), Victoria, 763-694-7650; threeriversparks.org.

Lyndale Park Gardens

This 61-acre park features a rose garden with 250 varieties, a rock garden, a bird sanctuary, and the Peace Bridge, built from stones recovered from ground zeros at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan.Garden is open daily from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., with the park open daily from 6 a.m.-midnight. 4124 Roseway Rd., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.

Maplewood Nature Center

This park includes nature trails, an educational visitor center, and outdoor natural play area. 2659 E. 7th St., Maplewood, 651-249-2170; maplewoodnaturecenter.com.

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory at Como Park

Conservatory features hundreds of plants from throughout the world, as well as an outdoor Japanese garden. 1225 Estabrook Dr., St. Paul, 651-487-8200; comozooconservatory.org.

Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

Outdoor sculpture and topiary park, open 365 days a year from 6 a.m. to midnight. The Garden is a partnership between the Walker and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board. 726 Vineland Place, Minneapolis, 612-370-4929; minneapolisparks.org.

Minnehaha Falls Pergola Gardens

The gardens overlook Minnehaha Falls, part of Minnehaha Regional Park, with garden hours from 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m., and the park open from 6 a.m.-midnight. 4801 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis, 612-230-6400; minneapolisparks.org.

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge

This 34-mile preserve is home to fish, coyotes, foxes, beavers, and a variety of birds and amphibians, with open trails throughout the refuge . 3815 American Blvd. E., Bloomington, 952-854-5900; fws.gov.

Noerenberg Memorial Gardens

Formal flower gardens along the shore of Crystal Bay on Lake Minnetonka, featuring a blend of perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and vines. Open from 8 a.m.-sunset May through October. 2865 Northshore Dr., Wayzata, 763-559-6700; threeriversparks.org.

Normandale Community College Japanese Garden

This two-acre suburban oasis features a waterfall, lagoon, strolling paths, and immaculate landscaping, with a self-guided tour brochure available on site, open from sunrise to sunset year-round . 9700 France Ave. S., Bloomington, 952-352-8200; normandale.edu/japanesegarden.

Richardson Nature Center

Trails available throughout the Hyland Lake Park Reserve. 8737 E. Bush Lake Rd. (Highland Lake Park Reserve), Bloomington, 763-694-7676; threeriversparks.org

Tamarack Nature Center

This 320-acre habitat for heron, turtle, mink, and muskrat with outdoor trails throughout the grounds. 5287 Otter Lake Rd., White Bear Township, 651-407-5350; co.ramsey.mn.us.

University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

A thousand acres of public gardens, including annual and perennial display gardens, plants developed for northern climates, natural and native areas, and demonstration gardens. Visit their website to reserve a reservation. 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska, 952-443-1400; arboretum.umn.edu.