With summer jumping into full swing, you can consider adding the Japanese Garden at Normandale Community College to your summer bucket list!
The garden is actually open year round, so if it doesn’t make your list this summer, you can plan to visit another time. There is no admission charge and you can find a self-guided tour brochure inside the square shelter located in the garden.
Occasionally the Japanese Garden is closed for special events, so be sure to check the website before you visit.
Normandale Community College’s Japanese Garden was built by the Bloomington Affiliated Garden Clubs. Plans for the garden began in 1967 when the college campus was still being developed. The garden clubs raised the funds to build the garden while the college donated two acres of land, including a portion of Green Heron Pond.
From the groundbreaking ceremony in 1972 to the dedication ceremony in 1976, many individuals and companies donated money, time, and materials to construct the garden.
Step by step, the swampy area behind Normandale Community College was transformed into a beautiful Japanese Garden. A photographic history tells the complete story below, including the original hand-drawn blueprints by chief architect Takao Watanabe, a professional garden architect from Tokyo, Japan, who was critical to the success of the project.
More than 300 plants, shrubs, and trees have been placed in the Normandale Community College Japanese Garden. Because of climate differences, they are not plants that would be used in gardens in Japan. The architect and gardeners chose Minnesota-hardy plants that can survive extremely cold winters.
The Garden does, however, exemplify the restrained use of flowering plants that is traditional in Japan. Variations in tones and textures of green predominate, and woody plant materials are trimmed or pruned to specific aesthetic goals. The paths have been tarred to make the garden more accessible.
The Japanese Garden is easily accessible on the campus of Normandale Community College, located at 9700 France Avenue South in Bloomington, Minnesota.
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Laura is a former high school English teacher turned avid deal shopper following the birth of her first child. Now she’s a work-from-home mom of six which keeps her plenty busy!
Laura grew up in southern Minnesota and has called the Twin Cities home for over fifteen years. On the off chance she gets some free time you’ll find her with her nose in a book, spending time with family and friends, or enjoying a hot cup of coffee.