By Elaine Dunn


On an uncharacteristically cool and breezy evening on July 16, hundreds of garden lovers congregated at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen for the 2014 Toast & Taste event.   

This fundraiser was hosted by the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Foundation.  Guests enjoyed delicious finger foods  such as Korean glazed pork belly with radish, smoked beef brisket kabobs, beef tenderloin crostini and more, prepared by the arboretum catering and many Twin Cities restaurants.  Wines and beers from local wineries and breweries flowed freely.   


The garden setting was, of course, superb.  With the June rains, everything was lush and green; and the blossoms, colorful.  Hostas and herbs, roses and rhododendrons. How can it be more perfect?  An addition of a Chinese garden, that’s what!

Groundbreaking for the new attraction will take place before snow falls and completion is anticipated for 2015.  Perhaps in time for the 2015 Toast & Taste!

The new Chinese attraction is designed to enhance visitors’ experience. It will include traditional features such as a scholar room, teahouse, circular entry, additional plantings and water design elements. In addition, there will be a Chinese Garden Walk. According to the arboretum’s brochure, the walk is designed to offer “a transition between the hectic everyday world to a peaceful and tranquil environment. Named for Fred and Jennie Hsiao, through a generous donation by the Hsiaofamily, the garden walk will offer Arboretum visitors a place of respite as it winds around a wetland pond and landscape dotted with weeping willows, peonies, day lilies and garden plantings and vegetation with origins in temperate Asia.  The Hsiao Garden Walk will lead to a bridge and reception pavilion, so one can pause and experience the natural landscape in harmony with water and beauty of nature.”  The path is also accessible from an adjoining path from the existing Three-Mile Drive.

Anyone interested in offering financial support for the Chinese Garden project or other enhancements as possible naming opportunities, please contact Frank Molek, Arboretum director of development, at 952- 443-1433 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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