Because winters are cold and the growing season is short in Minnesota, optimal months to visit most outdoor gardens will be from June to September. There are exceptions. Some gardens may feature woodland plants with early spring displays or collections of plants such as ornamental grasses which can be at their peak into October and even November. The other weather-defying exceptions are the glasshouses, which can be visited all year.
For ease of planning garden visits, the state has been divided into 4 regions. The majority of the Minnesota public gardens listed on this website are located in the greater Metro area (within the 10 counties that surround the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul). To find the public gardens located in any of the regions, click on the regional map or go to the "Find a MN Public" garden drop-down box in this pages' upper right-hand corner and select the region of interest.
A public garden sometimes has a specific focus. It may feature only roses or it may interpret a garden-style associated with Japan or it may be a preserved garden from a by-gone era. For this website, Minnesota public gardens have been sub-categorized to help visitors interested in locating specific varieties of gardens. Identifying icons have been assigned the categories listed on the left of this page.