Tag Archives: University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota Trial Garden 2017

My next posts are going to be mainly photos.  I’ve been taking many so far this summer.  Many are from my walks either about campus or in my neighborhood.

This post contains photos of the trial garden at the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus.  It’s a perfect place to take a break at work and I walk there periodically throughout spring, summer and fall.  Have a look-see of some early summer blooms and plants, even a bunch of grapes. I didn’t know the vine that grows there is a grape vine. I wonder how those grapes taste.

I hope you’ll come back next week to see more summer blooms.  Enjoy!!

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Minnesota Landscape Arboretum – a summer visit

Most folks here in the twin cities know about the Arboretum and I had heard about it but, for some reason, I didn’t make it out there until I had been living here 25 years. I finally got to see it in person last year.  Since I work for the University of Minnesota I get emails from all kinds of different departments and luckily for me, the Landscape Arboretum was in that stack. I took advantage of the employee discount and became a member last year.  It is well worth the price.

What caught my eye last year in one of the emails was a garden tour.  I asked my friend Ruth if she’d be interested, she said yes and we had a marvelous time.  Ruth and I were just commenting on what fun that was last year and we decided to go again next year.  It’s a tour of fabulous gardens near the Arboretum.  I wrote about it so do check out the link to see more gorgeous blooms and plants from the southwestern suburbs of the twin cities.

We have been trying to go back to see more of the Arboretum because we didn’t get a chance to last year.  After our garden tour we got treated to a nice brunch on their patio and it was a bit warm and we were tuckered out from our busy morning so decided to come back another time. Well, it took almost a year to get back but we were so glad that we did!!  Oh my goodness, it takes your breath away.  Beautiful plants and flowers everywhere and it goes on for miles.  There are many gardens surrounding the visitor center that are easy to get to on foot.  Click here to see the map.

There are many types of gardens to explore: roses,  lilies and day lilies, herbs, annuals and perennials. There is a Japenese garden that we didn’t get to. We checked out the wildflower garden. It must have been between bloom times as we didn’t see any wildflowers but we did see a handful of turkeys! After wandering around on foot, we got in the car and explored even more on the 3 mile drive. There is a trolley that you could ride as well. There are more gardens in these outer areas of the Arb and I’d like to go back to see the Sculpture and Maze gardens. It’s utterly amazing all the plants and trees that are there! You really can’t see everything in one visit, so return I must.   It is now on my “must do” list for twin cities visitors.  There’s a reason it won the best botanical garden contest recently.  Please have a look at what we saw on a summer afternoon in July.  I hope you’ll enjoy!

First some roses, clematis and some annuals and perennials too.

I took some photos of the grounds as well.  There were rows and rows of gorgeous lilies of all types and just general beauty everywhere.

Now for the rest of what I selected to display.  I took 86 photos so I had to trim it down a little.  If you’ve never been to the Arb and you live here, do make it a point to visit.  I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.  And if you’re visiting the twin cities, same instructions. You won’t be disappointed! Check out more information at this link.  There is so much to explore there and I can’t wait to go back again.


Filed under Gardening, Minnesota

The last day of the original Bell Museum, U of MN, Minneapolis

Ever since hubby talked to a U of MN employee at the fair last summer about the Bell Museum, we have been planning to go before they closed on December 31, 2016.  A couple of times our plan was foiled by the weather, but New Year’s Eve day was our very last chance and we made it!!  To say I was impressed is an understatement.  I had no idea there was this gem of a museum at the University of Minnesota.

Before you get into the building the antiquity of the place hits you.  The front doors look to be original to the nearly 145 year old structure.  The James Ford Bell Museum of Natural History opened on March 1, 1872 after the Minnesota legislature approved this:

“An Act to provide for a geological and natural history survey of the state…” and in turn, that “natural history and geological specimens be prepared, and a museum to be established at the university.”

You can read a little more about the museum at this link  although I’ll warn you that I’ve tried to play their video about the history of the museum twice and it’s not there.

There are two floors with the world famous  3D dioramas that depict scenes of typical animals in Minnesota. They are so realistic and in looking at the photos, they look like portraits but those are life-size imitations of real animals.  There is a mezzanine that displays other exhibits but we skipped it that day.  There is an auditorium on the lower level and a room with items you can touch, the Touch and See Discovery Room.  And I was surprised to see a Rainforest Gallery with live plants and trees.

I had no idea there was so much in this museum and I’m so glad we finally got there.  Hubby actually had been there as a child so it was fun for him to relive some of his younger days.  He said it looked exactly the same too.  The new museum will be on the St. Paul campus, where I work, and is scheduled to open in 2018.  One day I happened upon the construction webcam.  It’s fun to watch the time lapse movie.

Below are some of my favorite photos from our visit:



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STSS building tour – University of MN, Minneapolis

The other day we were treated to a tour of the Science Teaching & Student Services (STSS) building on the East Bank campus of the University of Minnesota, otherwise known as my new employer.  Can I just say how much I love it there?!?!!  I do, I do!!  It’s so important to have the right job.  But that is a post for another day.

The tour was arranged by our director and there were about 18 of us that went and we all had a great time.  We went in different groups and the group that I was in just happened to be the four newbies to the team, with me being the second newest.  I didn’t bring a lunch that day so we went to Chipotle to eat before heading over the Washington Avenue bridge to arrive at the STSS building.  It’s about a 20 minute walk door to door.

A slightly off photo of our destination:

Check out this video that I found about the building when it opened several years ago.   It replaced an old science building and the foundation from that building remained and materials recycled to create this new one.  As the video says, it’s one of the greenest buildings on campus using the latest in sustainable heating and cooling.  The entire west side of the building (seen here) is made of glass that contains a convection system of ceramic window dots called frits.  These frits heat the building in winter.  All of the administrative offices are on this side, facing west, while the classrooms, study areas and meeting places are on the other side.

There are many student services here including student account assistance, One Stop student services, career services, undergraduate academic and advising services and an interview center.  There are also what I referred to as “the classroom of the future” and the video calls them the same thing.  There are ten of these Active Learning Classrooms featuring large round tables, switchable laptop-based technology, fixed flat-panel display projection systems, a central teaching station that display table-specific information and a 360 degree marker board around the perimeter of the rooms. (copied from the information handed out at the beginning of our tour)

As if all of this wasn’t interesting enough, check out this cool piece of art hanging from the 5th level ceiling and attached to the ground floor. It’s within the main staircase, called “A-spire” and was created by Minnesota-based artist Alexander Tylevich.  Looking down:

Looking up:

When it was time to return to work we headed out the door to walk back over the Washington Avenue bridge.  One can’t help but notice the unique architecture of the Weisman Art Museum directly across from STSS.  I recently visited the museum and have a post about that at the link.  Do check it out.  I really enjoyed that museum and I think it’s time to pay another visit.

We had walked on the uncovered part of the bridge on the way over so we decided to walk in the covered portion upon our return.  Inside the walls are covered with painted “posters” advertising all sort of clubs and services on and around campus.  Here are a handul of those.

All in all a very successful and interesting adventure.  What a treat to get to visit other parts of campus.  If you have the chance to visit, do check out this building.  As soon as you step in the doors you feel like you’ve been transported to the future.




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our adventure to Coffman Memorial Union, U of MN

My daughter and I ventured over to the east bank campus of the University of Minnesota last weekend to do a little shopping.  As a new employee of the university I received a 25% off coupon to use at any bookstore.  It expired at the end of June and I needed a new sweatshirt to wear to the cabin at the end of this month so I took Miss M with me and we had a fun and successful shopping trip.  I also wanted to try my parking key card because I should have reciprocal parking privileges for the lot we needed to park in.  And of course my key card worked so we got to park for free!!

This particular garage is under ground and the Gopher Way is attached to it.  Gopher Way is a series of tunnels connecting all sorts of buildings at the University.  And the university is so progressive with its lighting.  They must have sensors in them to know when people are near.  When you enter the doors to the tunnels the lights come on to guide you and then dim behind you as you move along.  I wonder what the energy savings are for this lighting.  I think it’s pretty darn cool!!

There are helpful signs along the way:

It’s a fairly short walk to Coffman and we end up at the bottom of these stairs:

At the top of the stairs we’re greeted with this huge M:

Then up the escalator to ground level:

And then the bookstore:

We had such fun checking out all the clothing!!  We ended up buying a sweatshirt for each of us, a t-shirt for each of us and Miss M bought two books as well.


Filed under Minnesota

Random photos from my new job

stone arch from wbob
east bank u of mn from wbob


Filed under Minnesota