MacMillan Garden

An English-styled memorial garden at the Arboretum.

Chaska, Minnesota

This garden celebrates the life and horticultural interest of Sarah Stevens MacMillan. The circular design features a central greensward and gives identity and form to the space. Bluestone capped brick retaining walls reflect the rich detailing of the Snyder Building enclose the space and connect it to the original building.

The terminus of the lower wall is punctuated with a replicated copper lamp on a large timber, that repeats the lamp post form used elsewhere on the Terrace. Crushed gravel was used in the walkway, edged with a red brick border consistent with the brick edged pathways of the Arboretum. Three teak benches provide seating and a comfortable, welcoming image to the garden.

The pastel color scheme of the perennial flowers reflects the preferences and tradition expressed in Sarah MacMillan’s garden at their residence. Flower cultivars with fresh, cool colors; lilac, white, purple, and pink, were selected, while avoiding hot colors (red, orange). This harmonious color palette goes well with the grey siding and bluestone color of the Snyder Building and adds to the distinctive character of the space.

Shrub rose hedges at the top of the wall provide a secure edge to the space and add color during the early and mid-summer. A wide variety of perennials are utilized to give continuous bloom and color from early spring to late fall.