Tour three wonderfully diverse private gardens of the Lake Minnetonka area, each reflecting the unique vision and interests of its owner.
Our first stop is the home of Heidi and Dan Heiland. This is the home landscape of a design professional with wide-ranging interests in therapeutic horticulture and sustainable landscaping. The gardens wrap around a two acre property with shoreline along Gleason Lake. They demonstrate wise stormwater management practices including a shoreline stabilization planting, rain garden and permeable paver drive. Vegetable gardening is in the front yard, where surplus can easily be shared with neighbors. For the wide variety of growing conditions, there are plantings for sun to shade, drought to wet and functional to fun, even including a flock of chickens of varied breeds. Although the gardens are well established, new and unique plants are added each season. The design features vignettes for every season, seeking to create beauty with blooms, foliage colors, texture and structure. Recycling, water efficiency and a diversity of flora and fauna are the priorities, for a “growing lab” that offers ongoing opportunities to learn and share.
Our next stop is the garden of Nivin MacMillan. These gardens have been crafted during the past 4 years on a property that had not previously been gardened for many years. Removal of 50 “weed” trees let the land reveal its natural form, guiding the planting of red twigged dogwood and willow around the pond or “slough”, hydrangea in shadier spots, and annuals, herbs and vegetables in full sun. The kitchen garden fronts a small storage building which serves as a chicken house and features a handmade fence inspired by one seen in the Lake Country of Italy. Color runs rampant here, while the color palette in front of the house is white, green and dark purple. Gardens facing the marsh feature pink, blue, lavender and white. As a garden should be, the resulting landscape has been a source of comfort and fun, both for its owner and those who visit.
Finally, the cheerful garden of Nancy & Jack Guldberg is located on an isthmus between two lakes, a unique site blessed with tranquil lake views in both front and back and making it the perfect setting for summer and winter fun for all ages. As purchased 15 years ago, the original landscape featured a large expanse of lawn flanked by giant maple trees. It offered sun, shade, wildlife and water in a gardener’s dream location, yet was free of gardens. It now features six gardens including a rain garden and a whimsical labyrinth garden inspired by the imagination of grandchildren, and over 200 varieties of perennials, annuals and shrubs, many selected to entice pollinators. The gardens in front feature phlox, hibiscus, hydrangeas and colorful annuals. Border gardens feature ornamental grasses, mums, phlox, ligularia and daisies. All landscape design, installation and maintenance has been completed by the homeowners.