St. Anthony Park homes on water garden tour

Two St. Anthony Park homes will be on the Minnesota Water Garden Society’s 21st annual Water Garden Tour Thursday, July 28, and Friday, July 29, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

St. Anthony Park residents Norm Bailey and Deb Bordsen and Alden and Rebecca Tetlie will open their gardens to the tour.

The 2018 tour has 11 sites filled with water gardens, waterfalls and streams, as well as “nonwater” gardens. The tour is self-guided and includes sites in the northeast metro: Mahtomedi, St. Paul, Mounds View, Lino Lakes, White Bear Township, Maplewood, Stillwater and Lake Elmo.

The home of Bailey and Bordsen, built in 1880, was the residence of Minnesota Gov. William Marshall and Bordsen’s childhood home. She and her husband moved into the home in 1997. When they added an addition off the back of the house, the motto for the backyard renovation was “less grass and more gardens.” In 2001, the waterfalls and pond were professionally installed. The garden includes a variety of perennials, trees and shrubs. Koi and goldfish overwinter in the pond with the use of a livestock heater. Don’t miss the garden art “Larry’s palette,” created at Bordsen’s father’s workshop, and her mom’s irises planted close by.

The Tetlie site is an example of how to transform a steep backyard into a place of beauty. It is a favorite gathering spot with a northwoods-like waterfall connecting two small ponds. Bruce Johnson designed and built the water features at both of the St. Anthony Park homes. He kept things natural with the use of large flat stepping stones to cross the lower pond to a patio area.

Tickets for the tour are $15 in advance and $20 the days of the tour. Children 15 and under are free with a paid adult. Visit the Minnesota Water Garden Society’s website,, for tickets, garden descriptions, directions and a detailed map. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 612-803-7663. This year’s tour is sponsored by the Pond Co.

The Minnesota Water Garden Society is a nonprofit organization that holds monthly meetings with presentations on a variety of subjects, sells water plants and fish, holds pond parties at members’ homes and sponsors a site at the Minnesota State Fair. For more information, call 612-803-7663.

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