American Swedish Institute

A Scandinavian influenced landscape in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The grounds around the Turnblad Mansion, including the Selma Lagerlof Garden, were designed to be a gracious extension of the museum. The outline of the curve of the veranda is repeated in the overall shapes of the perennial flower beads and the lawn.

Places to rest and enjoy the sunshine and to appreciate the mansions’s architecture are provided throughout the garden. The quite nook of the Selma Lagerlof Garden on the northern side of the mansion is approached through an allee of birch trees. Evergreens, periwinkle, and ferns grace this shady area.

Trees, shrubs, and perennials were chosen for their flowering and scent in spring; extended period of bloom during the summer; handsome foliage and color into the fall; and form throughout the winter.

Plants were selected that are familiar from the Old World as well as from contemporary Swedish gardens. Old favorites include evergreen, white birch, periwinkle, ferns, peonies, roses, white daisies, lady’s mantle, and violets, among others. Species were chosen that survive the demands of the local climate. A few New World species including bluestem, prairie dropseed, and various coneflower, were added to the plant palette.