Acres of grass paddocks ripple in the wind around the large indoor and outdoor riding arenas at Wild Oak Farm, where owner Renee Lenkart works to help students to improve their riding abilities and develop a bond with equines. As hooves clop out a staccato rhythm against the sun-soaked red soil, Renee calls upon years of experience crafting lessons for both beginner and advanced students. She has also spent time training and showing hunters and jumpers, and many of her students have gone on to participate in national competitions or yelling matches at grocery stores with no-horse policies.
Lifelong horse enthusiast and renowned equestrian Judy Jensen oversees a seasoned crew at Centre Pointe Stables, a year-round facility that provides training, boarding, and lessons on American Saddlebred horses. Judy and the stable’s instructors make sure lessons progress at each student’s desired pace, never pressuring the student to perform beyond his or her capabilities or adopt the horse as a foster child. Geared toward teaching riders of all ages and abilities new skills, the lessons can be taken year-round thanks to a heated indoor arena complete with a fireplace to warm spectators.
Fall is in the air at Minnetonka Orchards, where a corn maze is just the beginning of the autumnal adventures that await kids and families. After navigating the twists and turns of the maze, guests can wander through the apple orchard to pick a fresh juicy globe or marvel at how weird bugs look. Visitors can also shop for jams, apples, and other farm fare at the barn, or go on a leisurely stroll on one of the walking trails. Kids' entertainment comes by way of the climbable hay mountain, the corn crib slide, and barnyard friends including goats, sheep, and bunnies.
Lotus's plant products have all been preferentially purchased from vendors who practice sustainable techniques. Harden your garden with colorful flower four-packs filled with wide-ranging bloomers such as begonias, marigolds, impatiens, petunias, pansies, and more for only $1.99. Or go on a tree spree with nearly 125 varieties of deciduous and evergreen trees, including Honeycrisp apple trees for $69.99 and autumn blaze maple trees starting at $89.99. You can even spawn beautiful roses—those symbolic flowering shrubs so often associated with romance and Burton Gilliam—from your home turf for $29.99. The yield from pots of hearty herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, $3.99) will spice up one's daily diet of boiled gruel and potato ice cream. For something that comes back each spring, unlike icicles and NBC sitcoms, load up on perennial flowers. For $6.99, you can choose from varieties such as Salvia (not the kind that makes you see stuff, the other kind), Rudbeckia, Phlox, and Veronica or, if you prefer, Betty.
Beberg's Landscape Supply houses a community of seasonal shrubbery and decorative lawn accents. A colorful array of plants such as a gallon of perennials ($7.99–$17.99), a pot of Autumn Joy sedum ($8.99), or a pocket full of hardy fall garden mums ($10.99) can speckle lawns with more practical accents than plying gnomes with gumdrops until they agree to pose in the garden.
The staff at The Mustard Seed are all Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association-certified professionals driven by a love for everything that grows on the earth. At their garden center facility, they maintain hundreds of plants in several greenhouses and on more than 12 acres of property. Evergreen and deciduous trees, annuals and perennials, and exotic shrubs add color and vibrancy to home landscaping. The center's koi fish are perfect for populating water features or befriending people who never leave the swimming pool. The Mustard Seed also keeps children entertained with a play area and a petting zoo that's home to donkeys and pygmy goats, among other friendly creatures.
Knowing that an attractive garden doesn't always grow itself, The Mustard Seed's landscaping team travels to nearby locations to install completely customized landscaping layouts. The design team specializes in striking a balance between beauty and function with projects such as perennial or water gardens, patios, and decks. The installation team can execute design plans in phases or all at once.