Last weekend, Nate and I spent our Labor Day at one of our favorite places…the Arboretum in Chanhassen. We love walking around the spectacular gardens, smelling the wonderful aromas of the roses and the fragrant herb gardens. Each summer they highlight an artist and have a theme with exhibits throughout the arboretum. This year’s theme was Kaleidoscopes. It featured 15 interactive garden kaleidoscopes made by a metal artist from Door County, WI, named Robert Anderson. Anderson said that his wife collects kaleidoscopes and he thought it would be neat to add them to gardens. This was his inspiration.
The kaleidoscopes of varying heights allow everyone from children to adults to be able to enjoy them. Intricate prism designs create interactive, living sculptures. They are encased in bold, ingeniously designed sculptural metal frames and attached to container gardens planted by Arboretum staff. The kaleidoscope feature is activated by slowly turning the large bowl-shaped containers and thus, creating dramatic ever-changing flourishes of colors and shapes.
Every one of them was painted in such bright colors and were quite large in size. At first, Nate and I were only looking through the kaleidoscopes and then we saw some children spinning the planters and then we had our “ah-ha” moment and said, “Oh, that’s what your suppose to do.” We laughed and then gave it a try. So much cooler than just peeking through and getting one color. By spinning it, you get bursts of colors and those neat designs that kaleidoscopes give you. Such a creative idea~
As we walked around looking for all the kaleidoscopes, we got to enjoy all the colors of summer that were still in bloom. We were surprised at how many roses were still bursting from the rose garden. As soon as we walked into that section, that wonderful smell hit us. It just makes you feel summery and happy.
One thing we always notice out here are the unique types of planters and how they are filled to the brim and some even bursting over. I get so inspired by these and vow to have my planters look like this someday.
Our favorite flower garden out here is always this flourishing one filled with sweet potato vines, coleus, black-eyed susans, and many other types of climbing vines and flowers. We love to come here and sit on this bench and dream it’s our backyard…or imagine how can we turn our backyard into this, when we get home.
Amongst the flowers our here, there are some sculptures to see as well. This was a new one that was right out front as we arrived. I thought it was so neat and I actually read the little sign about it because I recognized the lampposts. They are from The Lion, the Witch, and Wardrobe. I loved that movie. I usually leave the reading up to Nate and have him tell me what it is we’re looking at. ha~ He was surprised when he saw me walk up to the sign. I heard a “Whoa…what are you doing?” then a laugh from both of us. I took a picture of it so you all could read it as well. You’re welcome.
As we walk along the paths each year, we always come across some funny looking plants or ones with silly names. This year we saw this one and it made us giggle. They truly looked like eye-balls staring up at us. This would make a great Halloween planter.
Another strange plant we noticed, was this tomato plant. It was called a Dark Chocolate Tomato. Hmm…I would love to try this sometime. I am going to have to ask Mark & Peggy if they grow these and if so…I’m all over it!
The rest of the time was spent looking at all the colorful scenery around us, feeling the gorgeous weather, taking pictures, and just enjoying our day together.
I hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend~