The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a picture-perfect setting for a photo symposium led by award-winning photographer Craig Blacklock on June 16. "Conservation Through the Lens" explores the power of photography to connect people with the natural world and includes technical presentations and optional small-group sessions (for a fee) with Blacklock. The event is from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is geared for photographers of all skill levels. Cost is $70, $60 for arboretum members and includes lunch and arboretum admission, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska. Register at or call 952-443-1422.

Grants for growing

You could get $500 to start a community garden in your neighborhood. The Wedge Natural Food Co-op and Gardening Matters are giving nine local gardens mini-grants of up to $500. Applicants must demonstrate a project goal or need for their community garden. Special consideration will be given to gardens that serve low-income people.

The community garden must be planted in one of the following neighborhoods: East Isles, Elliot Park, Loring Park, Lowry Hill, Lowry Hill East, Phillips (Midtown, West and Ventura Village) and Whittier. Applications are due June 11. Go to for more information.

Festival of perennials

Gertens experts will solve your perennial problems and offer garden design tips at the free Spring Perennial Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 9 and 10, 5500 Blaine Av., Inver Grove Heights. Seminars on eco-friendly gardening, shade plants, butterfly gardens and other topics are scheduled throughout the day. Call 651-450-1501.

Learn gardening

Master Gardeners will share their expertise and the latest horticultural information on a variety of gardening topics at nine free programs in June at Hennepin County libraries. Topics are "Small Space Vegetable Gardening," "Growing Berries in Minnesota," "Edible Landscapes," "Low Input Lawn Care," "Growing Herbs in Minnesota," "Best Plants for Tough Sites" and "Rain Gardening."

For times, dates and locations, go to and type "Master Gardener" in the search box or call your local library.