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Secret spaces let imaginations flourish (02/23/2006)
Minnesota Landscape Arboretum's Secret Gardens Exhibition Inspires Creative Exploration, Cultivates Youthful Dreams of Adventure and Discovery

Remember life as a child, when you could sneak away to your secret place tucked among the trees or nestled just beyond your backyard - the one nobody else knew about - and let your imagination take flight? Did you pretend your hidden place was a pirate ship? An enchanted forest? A wonder-filled world of monsters and heroes? This summer, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is recreating the playful, adventure-filled days of simpler times with its Secret Gardens Exhibition, June 3 to September 10.

Inspired by the popular 1911 children's classic The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the Arboretum's Secret Gardens Exhibition will encourage visitors to explore special, private corners of the natural world and engage in hands-on learning, imaginative discovery and environmental understanding"”all while providing an escape from the hustle-and-bustle reality of life. The juried exhibition features 20 uniquely designed and interpreted secret places located throughout the Arboretum's 1,047 acres of gardens, plant collections and natural areas.

From whimsical to wonderful, some of the secret spaces may spark the imagination or engage the senses. Others will induce a sense of solitude and serenity. But all of the nearly two dozen gardens and architectural structures on display at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will elicit distinctively personal responses from an estimated 160,000 children and adults who will walk, play and dream among the Arboretum's branches and boughs.

The Secret Gardens Exhibition includes exhibits such as: "Whispering to the Trees," designed to delight the child in all of us as we tell our secrets to the trees; "Under The Oak: Secret Dreams, Forgotten Pastimes," which invites children to use branches, vines, stones, cones and other natural materials to build whatever their imagination can dream up; and "Sensory Secrets," draws in visitors to find the source of water flowing where small fountains and tiny gardens are revealed.

The Arboretum will offer a sneak preview of its Secret Gardens Exhibition at the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show, March 1 - 5, 2006. Designed and sponsored by Gertens of St. Paul, the 20'-by-50' exhibit will give visitors a sense of escape and discovery that the summertime exhibition will explore. In the Arboretum's booth, attendees may register for a chance to win a $50 Gertens' gift card (two winners drawn daily), an Arboretum Family Membership valued at $55 (one winner drawn daily), or the Grand Prize of complete landscape design services by Gertens.



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