2023 MWGS Water Garden Tour Sites

Site A:  Jim and Sharon

Water Plants for sale at this site by MWGS

Jim and Sharon started water gardening in the mid ’90’s and continued adding features over the years. All of their water features depict what can be done on small lots like inner city lots. They currently have one large 300 gallon pond in the back, one deep winter “holding pond”, three 1/2 barrel container gardens and in the front yard a 25 ft stream with rapids to a small pond and bog area. These all fit within their extensive perennial gardens and landscaping. They are also charter members of the MN Water Garden Society.

Site B:  Stephan and Enit

This site not only features a 900 gallon pond with two streams and a waterfall but also an attractive use of rocks of all sizes and colors collected from around the world over many years to complement the design.  The double sized lot has a flower garden, shade garden and rain garden along with an additional small water feature in the front yard.  A patio, fireplace, fountain and step walkway complete this beautiful site.

Site C:  Paul and Bethany

Lake Bethany consists of two small ponds and one larger pond connected by streams and waterfalls.  The yard originally had only a slight slope, so the terrain was largely made possible from the excavation of the main pond.  All construction and landscaping has been done by hand by the homeowners, including a patio of random bluestone.  The ponds are home to fifteen types of water lilies, and part of the main pond has been transformed into a bog.   An above-ground pump moves water through the 6,000 gallon system.

Site D:  Richard and Anne

This tree shaded yard has evolved over the last 26 years to include several perennial gardens, paths, a stream with small waterfalls and a bog filtered pond with both koi and goldfish.  There are over 500 varieties of Hosta and a wide variety of perennial plants that enjoy the lack of sunshine.  The water feature was constructed by the homeowner and shows that a smaller pond can be just right.

Site E:  Steve and Pauline

On this totally private residential property you will find four separate water features: a large pond with a waterfall and fish, a pondless stacked stone grotto, a formal fountain with a pond, and a small pond. In addition, there are several container water gardens and a bamboo water deer scare. This site includes a wide variety of trees, evergreens, shrubs, and perennials in a comprehensive garden design. Other points of interest include: a greenhouse and potting bench, working antique pedestal sink in the garden, a garden dining patio with a crystal chandelier, rain barrels, espalier apple trees, tropical plants, and DIY garden projects. Be sure to take a peek at the creative use of a small space for the vegetable garden. 
ADDED BONUS:   You will be able to come back to this location Saturday evening from 8:30 – 10:00 pm to experience the water features and gardens illuminated after dark.  (Site E Only)

Site F:  Paul and Kathlyn

Paul and Kathlyn moved to their rural home on 5 acres in 2019.  One of the first projects they did was to create their pond.  They also turned a couple of acres into a wild flower and native grass meadow.  A local pond contractor came up with a larger pond design which includes a bog filtration system and a 25′ cascading stream with a waterfall.  Being able to salvage about 90% of their previous garden and pond plantings along with their 10 koi was a huge bonus.  The 7250 gallon pond measures 21’x26′ and includes two fish tunnels.  The original 10 koi even thanked them by spawning the following Spring of 2020 with about 50 new koi of amazing diversity.

Site G:  Bob and Therese

Inspired by Japanese gardens they visited while living in Hawaii, the water garden and associated landscaping include several elements from that heritage.  The garden focus is centered on a stream and waterfall which empties into a 2000 gallon pond.  Stone lanterns, a granite bridge, and an extensive rock wall (comprised of quarry remnants from the source for the old downtown Minneapolis streetcar line) provide character to the landscaping.  Koi add interest to the pond.  A small granite Buddha overlooks the waterworks and encourages you to meditate with him.  A deck provides a great vantage point to take in the full backyard landscape and views of the St. Croix valley beyond.

Site H:  Mary-Susan

There are 4 ponds on this property, each has been redone so many times, she has lost count.  The first pond is the oldest.  It started out lined in cement which eventually got covered in a liner, which has been changed a few times.  The pond is roughly 4×6 feet and is the only sunny spot on the property where water lilies can grow.  Pond #2 is about 10×10 feet and gets some sun and has a biological filter that is made out of a horse trough.  Pond #3 is currently 14×22 feet but she plans to tear it out and reinstall by July due to a massive invasion of tree roots into the pond.  Pond #4 is what she calls her toad pond.  It is relatively shallow and the local toads love it and spawn every year.  Sadly, the dog and deer also love it and knock over and/or eat any plants that are put in it.

As a warning, there are many bees on the property enjoying the flowers and plants as well.

Site I:  Gary and Mary

A 20′ x 25′ backyard pond abuts the patio allowing close up feeding of the many koi and a view of the many hardy water lilies. A split waterfall then tumbles 6 feet to a lower 8’x10′ pond where the water is pumped back up to a gentle waterfall by the patio. Several paths around the ponds and through the gardens showcase a large garden with a mix of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees, taking advantage of the wet, dry, sunny, shady, hilly and flat aspects of the terrain. Tons of Dresser trap rock, a variety of garden art/sculptures and an upper deck overlooking the ponds/gardens further enhance the experience. Check out the front garden and small pond by the front door with a variety of tropical water lilies.

Site J:  Greg and Laura

Greg and Laura moved to this house during the beginning of Covid, April of 2020.
It had a nice shaded backyard with several mature oak trees and a few big flower gardens.  But it was missing one important thing; moving water and the sound of waterfalls. Greg hired help to construct a 25’ stream that would look natural and blend in with the yard. It has a meandering look and ends with a 5’ vertical drop over three waterfalls, then disappearing into a sunken underground water basin ending right up next to the backyard patio. No mess with oak leaves in Spring or the worries of Luna, the English Springer Spaniel, from getting all wet from a pond.