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Tangletown Garden and Art Tour Untangles Horticulture

By Lavender July 2, 2010

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Interview with Scott Endres

Scott Endres, co-owner with Dean Englemann of Tangletown Gardens in Minneapolis, took time from preparing his own garden to chat with Lavender about the Tangletown Garden and Art Tour on July 24.
Tell us about this year’s tour.

This will be our sixth Tangletown Gardens Garden and Art Tour. We will showcase seven gardens in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Each year, we choose a different region of the Twin Cities, then select gardens that have passion and personality, choosing a diverse roster that includes something for everyone.

Photos by Hubert Bonnet

What’s the turnout like? Do you expect it to grow?

Attendance has grown every year since 2005. Last year, 1,600 guests toured the gardens—a definite record-breaker.

Ticket-holders pick up detailed programs at 9 AM at Tangletown, then kick off with coffee and pastries from Wilde Roast Café. After the tour, they return for an evening of celebration.

Individual gardens are transformed into outdoor gallery spaces displaying the works of dozens of talented regional artists. We’re lucky to have St. Paul’s Grand Hand Gallery, Minneapolis’s Gallery 360, and Swan Song Gallery of Maiden Rock, Wisconsin, helping us curate the spaces.

Refreshments will be offered courtesy of Tangletown Gardens in all the gardens, plus, as always, St. Paul’s Solo Vino will offer wine tasting throughout the afternoon. This year, the Chef Shack will be roaming St. Paul with their delectable fare, so no one misses a beat of the day’s excitement.

The gardens close at 4 PM, but the fun continues at Tangletown’s evening celebration, where ticket-holders mingle with the gardeners, artists, and Tangletown team members. Chef Scott Pampuch of the Corner Table, and Chefs Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer of the Chef Shack, will use their culinary skills to prepare the best of the season’s produce from Tangletown Gardens Farm. While sampling the food and sipping wine and champagne from Solo Vino, visitors will enjoy the distinctive sounds of Tambuca.

What is the beneficiary?

So far, thanks to moneys procured from the Art and Garden Tours, we’ve been able to benefit numerous causes, including restoration of a magnificent bronze Japanese urn for the Minneapolis Park Board; scholarships through the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association; sponsorship of Minnesota Public Radio; garden partnerships with the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, The Museum of Russian Art, the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Park Board, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota; and countless other charities and nonprofits.

How would you answer the cry, “Oh, I can never have a garden this grand!”

Nobody goes to an arboretum or botanical garden expecting to implement that scale at home, but one can be inspired. Even with a few containers, there are basic principles and elements of design to consider. Any effective windowsill box has a focal point, contrasting textures, and complementary color themes.

When did you start gardening?

I grew up on a farm in rural Southern Dakota County, with lots of vegetable and flower gardens to tend. For me, this was fun—the best work to be had on the farm. I was exposed to passionate gardeners, my mother and grandmother, who infused lots of love and care into their plantings. Many of the plants then seemed exotic, but they were really the basics—geraniums, marigolds, sweet alyssum, vinca vines, and green spikes—the essential first steps in finding my own voice in design. I still treasure the sensuous, lush experience of going to the greenhouse, and being surrounded by beauty.

Fortunately, I now have access to the highest-quality plants in the entire region, grown right at our very own farm. For us, diversity is really important, but while we have the newest varieties, we also carry some of the tried-and-true varieties that have evolved over time. When thinking about carrying a new plant, sometimes, our own gardens become our experimental playing field. This way, we can find out firsthand whether the plant is going to be the absolute best for our gardeners.

Dean and I, as well as our Tangletown team, feel so lucky to be able to advocate beauty every day. It makes going to work very unwork-like.

Tickets, $25 in advance, can be purchased at Tangletown Gardens and Gallery 360 in Minneapolis, Solo Vino and Grand Hand Gallery in St. Paul. They are $30 at the door.

Tangletown Gardens
5353 Nicollet Ave., Mpls.
(612) 822-4769
www.tangletowngardens.com

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