Gardens and Collections

Click on a letter on the map to view the description.

  1. Melva Lind Interpretive Center - This facility, named for an educator, historian, scholar, and administrator at Gustavus Adolphus College with a love for the Linnaeus Arboretum, features educational displays and meeting space. It is open weekdays during the school year, 8:30 a.m.-noon, and by appointment. The Melva Lind Interpretive Center is available for rental.

    *Informational Kiosk
  2. Linnaeus Sculpture - This sculpture was created by the late Paul T. Granlund, who was sculptor-in-residence at Gustavus Adolphus College 1971-1996. The bust of Carolus Linnaeus takes the shape of a linden tree, and the back of the head includes impressions of Linnaeus's beloved garden in Uppsala, Sweden.
  3. Johnson Waterfall Garden - The David and Delores Johnson Waterfall is located adjacent to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center and provides an attractive focal point for photos, conversation, or quiet reflection.
  4. Thornberg Garden - Color graces this garden, from spring-flowering bulbs to chrysanthemums in the fall. It provides a great example of how to plan a perennial bed with year-round beauty at your home.
  5. Greater Gustavus Hosta Garden - This garden showcases more than 20 varieties of hosta plants.
  6. Evelyn Gardens - The Evelyn Young Gardens comprise two small gardens of perennial flowers, shrubs, and small trees that provide color and interest throughout the seasons.
  7. Swenson White Garden - White is the theme for this garden, which includes annuals, perennials, and shrubs. Woody species include dogwood, viburnum, potentilla, magnolia, plum, and mock orange.
  8. Lind Rose Garden - This formal garden includes rose bushes selected from Canadian varieties for their ability to withstand Minnesota winters.
  9. Thompson Herb Garden - This garden includes culinary, medicinal, and fragrant herbs, as well as herbs important to Native American cultures and herbs of biblical significance. Enjoy the beautiful textures and aromas.
  10. Swedish Garden - This garden is being redeveloped to incorporate native Swedish and Minnesota plant species.
  11. Meditation Gardens - This site will be developed to include a Swedish labyrinth, a peace circle from Native American tradition, and a Japanese garden.
  12. First Ladies' Lilac Walk - A fragrant spring walk, this collection of lilac bushes was planted in honor of the First Ladies of Gustavus Adolphus College.
  13. Presidents' Oak Grove - Each president of the College is honored in this grove with an oak tree. Featured oak species include swamp, white, red, pin, and bur.
  14. Gilbert Teaching Pond - Named for Jim Gilbert, former College naturalist and executive director of the Arboretum, this pond provides "wet" teaching opportunities and is a great place to ponder your reflection in the water.
  15. Alexis Memorial Bluebird Trail - The Alexis Trail is named for the longtime professor of English who was an avid birder. Watch for the residents of these houses.
  16. Uhler Prairie - Prior to European settlement, the Gustavus campus was tall-grass prairie. Prairie restoration began in 1988 in what was then an old field. Now you can visit a restored tall-grass prairie, full of beautiful flowers and grasses typical of this region of Minnesota.
  17. Johnson Prairie Overlook - A quiet place to sit on glacial boulders, the Johnson Prairie Overlook provides a perch to observe the prairie in all seasons of the year.
  18. Borgeson Family Cabin - Built in 1866 by Swedish pioneers, the cabin was moved from Norseland (a nearby farming community) to the Arboretum and restored in 1986.
  19. Basset Orchard - A grove of fruit trees stands west of the cabin, as does a kitchen garden that features heritage fruits and vegetables.
  20. Gamelin Linden Grove - Trees from both the Old World and the New World display the variation in the genus Tilia, linden or basswood.
  21. Esbjornson Ironwoods - These small understory ironwood trees provide a place of refuge to observe nature.
  22. Natural Meditation Area - This area was designed using Chinese elements and feng shui concepts to foster inspirational and intuitive introspection and is a quiet place in the coniferous woods to find solitude.
  23. Jones Northern Forest Ponds - Located east of the conifer forest and dedicated to Bruce and Susan Jones, this one-and-a-half acre pond features aquatic and semi- aquatic plant and animal species.
  24. Steuer Wetland Preserve - Named for former First Lady Loreli Olson Steuer, this preserve is a collection of five wetland ponds within Linnaeus Arboretum, a restoration of "prairie potholes" that dotted the landscape over a century ago.
  25. Coneflower Prairie - This 70-acre prairie was seeded with over 120 species of grasses, sedges and wildflowers in 2008.