Thursday, July 25, 2013

Touring Delano, MN

Touring the city of Delano is a great way to spend a summer day. Delano is located 26 miles west of Minneapolis, MN. It is surrounded by a pastoral landscape that has rolling hills, wide open spaces with farms and horse ranches. The town itself has a population of about 5,400 residents with 11 churches, excellent public and private schools, several large recreation areas with parks, lakes and biking trails. There also is a vibrant artist community in the area. 

Reader Alert: I was so taken with the beauty of the town and the four stops we made throughout the day that I took some 87 pictures!  I tried to restrain myself as I composed this blog. 

The first stop was St. Peter's Catholic  Church. The structure is reminiscent of an old world cathedral in its neoclassical design and striking detail. 

We enjoyed hearing several compositions played on the piano.

One of the highlights of this tour for me was a visit to the home of Wally and Mary Ann Johnson at Idyll Acres. 
Here were gardens not to be missed. With over 275 varieties of hostas, over 40 varieties of iris and day lilies and many other stunning plants and woodland flowers it would be any photographer's dream to make a visit to the Johnson's house. 

As we approached the house the stunning displays of plants seem to unfold in every direction. 
The Johnsons were ready for us. And what a welcome they had for our group!

Yesterday's (July 24) Ever Ready blog posting was on repurposing items into garden planters. Well, the Johnsons brought that concept to a new level. Here are some of their creative DIY ideas.  
A wagon and a cart make attractive planters.

Creative use of an old sewing machine. 
Easy and inexpensive DIY project making a floor mat with rocks (use a rubber mat and adhere rocks to it).

The garden is an inspiration for a budding artist. 
This lady couldn't resist sitting "a spell" with a table all set for a garden tea.

Besides being a top notch gardener, Mary Ann is a potter.  She hand sculpted three totems by their front door. Each one had a different whimsical quality about it. This one was my favorite.
The second stop was lunch which is always an important part of any tour. It was at Apple Jack Orchard. I thought their signage was eye catching. Good way to use old tires.
And the last stop was wine tasting at a local winery called Woodland Hill. I could not pass up a purchase.

Exploring new places is an enjoyable way to spend a summer day.   

My only regret for the day was not having enough time to make a stop at the Peppermint Twist. It is a fun outdoor eating place for burgers, fries, shakes and cones. Peppermint Twist is a Back to the 50's drive-in where you drive through to pick up your food or order and have it served by car hops.  The restaurant also offers outdoor picnic tables, a dance floor and juke box and a play area called Teddy Bear Park.

Guess now I have another reason to return to Delano this summer for a visit. 


  1. I love Delano. Next time you go (if it's summer), stop for a raspberry shake at Peppermint Twist. Yum.

  2. Another town to add to my must-visit Minnesota communities. Thanks for the fun tour.