The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was the ultimate outdoor setting for the second annual Toast & Taste in the Garden on June 24.

The sweet smell of roses in bloom greeted attendees who meandered along paths lined with layers of deep blue and purple flowers in lush green surroundings.

The floral color scheme for the season is to represent the summer's major exhibit: "Waterosity," which includes the work of 10 artists meditating on the subject of H2O. "It's to help people think twice about all the environments when using water," said Mary Meyer, the arboretum's interim director. To make the green point, everything used at the event, from biodegradable containers to food waste, was to be recycled or composted.

The event was conceived by Kathy Murphy and Megan Dayton, who brought together 21 restaurants, seven wineries and four breweries. "We really expanded the footprint into the gardens with booths out there to make more of an experience," Murphy said.

Indeed, you could sample a hearty portion of raw tuna from the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant, a rhubarb crumble with vanilla bean ice cream from Birchwood Café, a full-size slow-roasted pork sandwich from Brasa -- even a Mumbai cracker, a taste of what's to come at the soon-to-open OM. The wine tastings included one test that had you guess the origins of French, Spanish and Minnesota reds. The local label featured the Marquette grape, which was developed at the arboretum.

It truly was a feast for all of the senses.

Sara Glassman • 612-673-7177