Self-taught gardeners transformed their suburban back yard from green turf into a colorful oasis to become winners of our Beautiful Gardens contest. Updated Jan. 21, 2014
There are some spectacular private gardens around the Twin Cities. We discover several each year in our Beautiful Gardens contest. From October to April, we'll bring you into one Beautiful Garden a month.
After decades of work, Alice Menge and Dick Sherwood’s backyard landscape goes up, up and away between their screen house and the two-story house in St. Paul..
A St. Paul couple have achieved the improbable: a lush, low-maintenance garden that fills every square inch of their yard.
Eileen Troxel and her husband, Bill, in the vegetable garden behind their St. Paul home. It produces edibles for her summer table and fodder for her food blog.
St. Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood is a long way from the French countryside. But Eileen and Bill Troxel have managed to create a little slice of Provence in their back yard.
This rose withstood a beetle infestation.
Two Plymouth gardeners combine their love for roses and waterfalls into a lavish landscape.
A large waterfall is the focal point of the front-yard garden, where Fluer mixes colors freely. “Nature doesn’t have a palette,” she noted.
Marcia Fluer, of TV news fame, now gets her hands dirty in her Golden Valley garden, a collaboration with her husband, a train hobbyist.
Diane Erdmann’s back yard is a serene haven of overarching branches, curved pathways, running water and an array of trees, shrubs and perennials. Fifteen years ago, it was a “blank slate.”
Starting with a blank slate 15 years ago, Diane Erdmann crafted spaces that fit in with nature – and the neighborhood.
Gardener Jeanne Thatcher at the gate leading to her back-yard garden. She accents with garden art, but sparingly. “I want flowers to be the emphasis,” she said.
Jeanne Thatcher went to college intending to become an art teacher. But teaching jobs were scarce the year she graduated, so she ended up becoming a medical lab technician instead.
Michelle Chambers Blair and Brian Blair's garden.
Rosanne and Steve Malevichin their enchanted garden.
Chuck and Petra Meinke have been landscaping their Apple Valley home for the past two decades.
Beautiful gardens: For the past two decades, a Minnesota couple have been creating a massive, European-influenced shade garden in their suburban yard.
Beautiful garden winner Kate Podobinski's Bryn Mawr garden
The garden of Jerry and Lee Shannon in St. Paul. This is the formal si...
Tricia Frostad's front yard garden in Chanhassen.
Beverly Moore's garden
Kevin Blaeser and Cooper Hipp's garden
Gardeners Richard and Shirley Friberg
The Fribergs of Roseville are tireless gardening overachievers. They host tours, they volunteer, and they're active in multiple clubs. And, oh yeah, they still find time to tend their awe-inspiring landscape.
Lake Elmo Beautiful Garden contest winner
An ambitious green thumb and her helpful husband team up to tend a winning garden in Lake Elmo -- and to collaborate on a humorous his-and-hers gardening book.
A Brooklyn Park garden
Sarah Buerkley transformed her Stillwater landscape
Tom and Anna Erbes in their garden
The Peden garden
Jennifer Baldwin Peden was the star in the garden. Her husband, Tom, was waiting in the wings - until a touring show took her away and inspired him to pick up where she left off.
Reclaimed street pavers line the beds
A Bloomington woman interweaves old-fashioned coneflowers, flowering shrubs and flagstone walkways to turn her turf-covered suburban back yard into a massive cutting garden.
A garden's beauty is always ephemeral. But as Jim Smith's flowers and foliage fade for the winter this year, it's especially poignant because Smith knows it's for the last time. Next spring, the Environmental Protection Agency plans to dig up his landscape and replace his arsenic-laced soil.
Master gardener Jane Horn and her husband, LeRoy
See highlights from all six winners of last year's Beautiful Gardens contest.
Artistic director in her work of art
A learn-as-you-go gardener transformed a small city lot into an imaginative, innovative garden.
Sun shines on Bob Sauer's garden
Marian and Larry Fischer
To Marian, the land near Waseca is her canvas, and flowers and foliage are her medium. Husband Larry is co-groundskeeper and crewman.
Lucy Pacieznik in her garden
The fragrant phlox spilling down the slope of Lucy Pacieznik's back yard in Apple Valley have their roots in a forced labor camp in Germany, where her Ukrainian mother first held her as a newborn in 1943.