Donation of the Park
The home and 13.2 acres were donated to the City of Edina by Morton and Katherine Arneson in the late 1970s. Prior to that time, the Arnesons used their property as a commercial tree nursery.
Today, the park’s 28 gardens are maintained by the Parks and Recreation Department.
Begin your tour of Arneson Acres in the Terrace Room on the ground level of the Arneson house. The gardens surrounding the stone terrace were planted by the Cloverlane Garden Club, part of the Edina Garden Council. Showy annuals are planted each year against a backdrop of perennial daylilies.
Walk out the door of the Terrace Room and down the driveway to the greenhouse. The Arnesons, avid gardeners, donated their property with the stipulation that the City build a greenhouse for the purpose of growing the annuals and perennials that the City plants in its parks and more than 100 public spaces.
On the west side of the greenhouse, you will find a woodland garden. This area had become infested with the noxious weed buckthorn. The buckthorn was removed in the spring of 2004 and replanted with native woodland flowers donated by the Edina Garden Council. You will find trillium, ferns, trout lily, wild lily-of-the-valley, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, columbine, bloodroot, Virginia bluebell and many others. These will be at their showiest in April and May.
West of the greenhouse, you will also find the North Star Lily Society's "Minnesota Hybridizers' Lily Garden," which was dedicated in 2007. The garden contains lilium hybridized and registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in Great Britain by dedicated lily enthusiasts here in Minnesota. The garden is dedicated to the memory of their passion for lilies. This garden is maintained by the North Star Lily Society and will offer future educational opportunities for the Society and the gardening public.
On the east side of the parking lot, you will find a daylily garden. More than 800 clumps of tetraploid daylilies were donated by Marion Hagerstrom, a daylily breeder, for this area. The rainbow display of color will be at its peak in mid-July.
Across the parking lot and through the opening in the Miss Kim Lilac hedge, you'll find the gazebo, which is surrounded by newer introductions of annuals. The gazebo is 36 feet in diameter and its interior was constructed using pine, put together in tongue and groove. There are five pillars from the former Wooddale School that were incorporated into the gazebo interior. The floor is made of peach and burgundy colored concrete. The roof is made out of cedar shakes. The gazebo was donated by the Edina Garden Council.
From the gazebo, you will proceed into the formal gardens. This area consists of 18 gardens. The middle beds are planted in annuals that are changed each year to a different color theme. The outside of the formal gardens have four 120-foot perennial beds. In 2009 and 2010, the perennial beds were completely redone. Today, you will find new varieties of perennials along with daylilies donated by Edina resident and daylily hybridizer Karol Emmerich. Bloom times in the perennial beds start in April and ends in late October, weather permitting. This area can be rented out for graduations, weddings, anniversaries, formal gatherings, birthday parties and garden tours. In the center of the formal gardens is a fountain, which was donated by the Edina Garden Council 2006.
Continuing along the perimeter, you will find a Hosta glade under the shade of conifers. Hostas were donated in 1995 and again in 2011 by Savory’s Gardens, a family-owned Edina business established in 1946 by Robert P. Savory.
The perennial borders contain a wide variety of perennials, which put on a dazzling display May through the fall. Watch overhead for hawks and songbirds.
The south end of the gardens are flanked by a semi-circle of crabapple trees, which bloom profusely in early May. To the east is a daffodil garden, which will be at its peak in late April. Further south is a woodland garden surrounded by white oaks. Note the entrance to the Memory Garden is an arborvitae arbor that you will walk through as you enter the garden. Here, visitors can rest on the benches surrounded by azaleas and magnolias, which bloom in May. Also featured here are Northern Red Bud, viburnums and euonymus. In fall 2011, the Minnesota Peony Society will add a number of hybrid peonies to the Memory Garden.