Learning Garden for Horticultural Science - UMN



On the northern end of the St. Paul Campus of the University of Minnesota


Run by

University of Minnesota Department of Horticultural Science

Date Established

Date Established


Students of the Horticulture Department


Nearly 3 acres


No admission fee

Peak Season


Peak season (notes)

Fall - ornamental grasses and prairie area
Spring - wildflowers in Mullins Woods



Garden Type



  • Parking – nearby metered spaces 
  • Picnicking – some tables nearby 
  • Limited accessibility – wood chipped paths through most areas 
  • Herbarium – 8th fl. of the Biological Sciences Building on campus


This good-sized garden consists of 15 different elements and encompasses about 120,000 square feet. All parts of the garden are used by University of Minnesota students and staff for educational purposes and trial studies, but the written information available in the kiosk and the signage on the majority of the plants make visits informative for the general public as well. Most areas have wood chipped paths. Landscape features such as walls, patios, arbors and trellises are included on a scale that translates to individual home landscapes. Two of the 15 elements of the garden are the good-sized Mullins Woods (on the southwest corner of Folwell and Gortner) containing many varied woodland plants and the trial gardens situated around both Alderman Hall (the Horticultural Building) and the greenhouse’s headhouse on the east side of Gortner Avenue. 

The showiest portion of the garden is the large area containing the outdoor classroom and pergola, the perennial sun and shade plants, the water garden, the texture garden, the sustainable garden, the Minnesota garden and the information kiosk. Adjacent and just west on Fowell Avenue is a long, narrow restored prairie area containing plants native to the Midwest. Adjacent and to the north on Gortner Avenue are a low-maintenance turf trial area and a grass I.D. section. Even further north, on Gortner Avenue, are the last two elements of the garden, the annual and perennial trial areas.

Seasonal visits:

  • spring - wildflowers in Mullins Woods
  • fall - ornamental grasses and prairie area
Garden photos
front of the garden with sign
flowers in the foreground with a building and path in the background