Fairest Garden Plant Identification

IN PROGRESS! All gardens will soon be listed.

Each year more than 5,000 fairgoers enjoy the many beautiful plants in the “Fairest Garden” at the Washington County Fair.

Work on the “Fairest Garden,” located in the southeast corner of the fairgrounds, begins in early spring as Master Gardeners begin planning, planting, transplanting, weeding and watering. The large demonstration garden is actually a collection of several display gardens, including a Container Gardens, Cottage Garden, Culinary Herb Garden, Dahlia Garden, Herb Garden, Medicinal Herb Garden, Monarch Garden, Native Garden, Perennial Garden, Pollinator Garden, Picnic Area garden, Terraced Gardens, and Vegetable Garden.

This year we’ve added a QR code to the signs at each garden. Download the free app on your phone, snap a pic and learn the names of our plant selections. Enjoy your visit!

Container Gardens

In honor of our “All American” fair theme, the 5 entrance containers are floral representations of USA, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Finland. The 4 containers in the picnic area are representations of Japan, Mexico, Ireland and France.

Common namegenus/species
Basil Aristotle Black Scallop
Ajuga Ajuga reptans
BugleweedAjuga reptans
VincaSunstorm Pure White
periwincleVinca catharanthus
Marigold Taishan OrangeTagetes erecta
Marigold TagetesTagetes erecta
Grandiflora Petunia Grand MidnightPetunia x hybrida
Grandiflora Petunia Pretty Grand RedPetunia x hybrida
Supertunia WhitePetunia axillaris
Petunia Easy Wave Berry VelourPetunia x hybrida

Culinary Herb Garden

All the plants in this garden can be used in cooking to add interesting flavors to our food. In addition, herbs contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Common namegenus/species
Anise HyssopAgastache foeniculum
BasilOcimum basillicum
DillAnethum graveolens
Egyptian Walking OnionAllium X proliferum
Feverfewanacetum parthemum
Garlic ChiveAllium tuberous
Lemon BalmMelissa officinalis
LovageLevisticum officinale
Red Veined SorrelRumex sanguines
RosemaryRosmarinus officialis
Summer SavorySatureja hortencia

 NE Cottage Garden

Our Northeast are has been created as a ‘Cottage Garden,’ featuring an informal free-flowing design with masses of color. Included here are long-blooming perennials and ground covers that bloom in a cycle so there is a kaleidoscope of constant color throughout the growing season.

Common Namegenus/species
Joe Pye Weed
Eupatorium maculatum
Bee Balm
Monarda – Bergamot and ‘Petite Wonder’
Hardy Garden Phlox‘Eva Cullum’ (pink); unknown cultivar (white)
Spike gayfeatherLiatris spicata
Prairie SmokeGeum Triflorum
StonecropSedum ‘Autumn Joy’, ‘John Creech’, ‘Neon’, ‘Carl’
Ornamental OnionAllium Senescens Galaucum
Evening primroseOenethera biennis
Smokebush Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’
Shasta DaisyLeucanthemum x superbum
Wind flower Anemonex hybrid ‘Serenade
Beardtongue Penstemon ‘Mystica’
Obedient PlantPhysostegia
Clematis Clematis ‘The President’ (purple), ‘Sweet Autumn’
Wisteria Wisteria ‘Kentucky Blue Moon’
Meadow SageSalvia ‘Caradonna’
Black-eyed susanRudbeckia trilby
Black-eyed susanRudbeckia fulgida 'Goldstrum'
Aster ‘Professor Kippenberg’Aster
Hardy Geranium Hardy geranium “Karmina’
Balloon FlowerPlatycodon grandiflorus ‘Hakone Blue’
Fan flowersScaevola aemula ‘Top Pot Blue’
Lady’s MantleAlchemilla
Yarrow (pink)Achillea millefolium
Feather reed grassCalamagrostis acutiflora ‘Overdam’

Medicinal Herb Garden

In addition to having enjoyable scents and textures, all the plants in the Medicinal Herb Garden can be used for medicinal purposes. Like culinary herbs, these perennial plants contain antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. They can be used to make teas, poultices, salves and tinctures. These are the ingredients for many lotions, slaves and shampoos.

Common namegenus/speciesUses
Cat MintNepeta catariaCats love it. Treats colds and flu.
ComfreySymphytum uplandicomHeals sprains, swelling, cuts & boils
Fern Leaf TanseyTanacetum vulgaireInsect repellent, aids digestion
Ladies MantleAlchemilla mollisHeals cuts, wounds, an astringent
MallowMalva sylvestrisHeal bruises, inflammation, bites
Mother of ThymeThymus serpyllumTreat nervous disorders
MotherwortLeonurus cardiacSedative, reduces anxiety
OreganoOriganum vulgarTreat acne, dandruff, GI disorders
SouthernwoodArtemisia abrotanumTreat dandruff, insect repellent
SpiderwortTradescantia ohiensisTreat stomach aches, kidney trouble
Swamp MilkweedAsclepias incarnate Heal bites, cuts, scratches
YarrowAchillea millefoliumHeal swelling, bruises, rashes

Monarch Garden

This Monarch Butterfly Registered Waystation was certified in the spring of 2012. A habitat has been created to meet the specifications of a site that provides milkweeds, nectar sources, and shelter needed to sustain Monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America.

Common Namegenus/species
Swamp milkweedAsclepias Incarnata Swamp; Ice Ballet and Cinderella
Common milkweedAsclepias Syriaca
ButterflyweedAsclepias Tuberosa
Red milkweedAsclepias Rubra
LiatriasPyconostachya Blazing Star
Native AstersAsteraceae
Whorled MilkweedAsclepias Verticillata
Showy MilkweedAsclepias Speciosa

Native Garden

Native perennial plants were here before the settlers arrived in Minnesota. Because these plants have evolved to thrive in specific areas, they are adapted to their surroundings, do not require additional fertilizer, have deep roots so are ‘water wise’ and are the original super pollinators.  (* Indicates non-natives).)

Common Namegenus/species
Nodding OnionAllium stellatum
Big BluestemAndropogon gerardii
Wild IndigoBaptisia australis
Bebb's Oval SedgeCarex bebbii
Bighead knotweedCentauria macrocephala
Rattlesnake masterEryngium yuccifolium
Joe Pye WeedEupatorium maculatum
Queen of the PrairieFilapendula rubra
Bottle gentianGentiana andrewsii
Wild Geranium* Geranium maculatum (non-native)
Prairie smokeGeum triflorum
Maximillian sunflowerHelianthus maximiliani
Cardinal flowerLobelia cardinals
Meadow blazing starLiatris ligulistylis
Bee balm or wild bergamotMonarda fistulosa
Wild quinineParthenium integrifolium
Grey-headed coneflowerRatibida  pinnate
Brown-eyed susan
*Rudbeckia 'Goldstrum" (non-native)
Brown-eyed susanRudbeckia triloba
Little bluestem (both native and bluer cultivars)Schizachyrium scoparium
Wineleaf cinquefoilSibbaldiopsis tridentate
Compass plant Silphium laciniatum
Cup plant
Silphium perfoliatum
Canada goldenrodSolidago canadensis
Stiff goldenrodSolidago rigida
Prairie dropseedSporobolus heterolepsis
SpiderwortTradescantia occidentalis
Blue VervainVerbena hastata
Hoary vervainVerbena stricta
IronweedVernonia fasciculata
Culver's rootVeronicastrum virginicum
Golden AlexanderZizia aurea

SW Perennial Garden

This garden is dedicated to new releases and unusual perennials, focusing on finding plants which offer something other than green foliage – perennials that hold interest and look attractive when they are not blooming. It’s really a place to trial or test plants for disease and insect resistance, and watering needs. We look for plants that don’t need a lot of coddling, care or trimming.

Common Namegenus/species
YarrowAchillea ‘Saucy Seduction’
Blue hyssopAgastache foeniculum 'Golden Jubilee'
Blue Fescue Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’
PipsqueakBergenia ‘Bach’
ClematisClematis ‘Asao’
TickseedCoreopsis ‘Moonbeam’
Carnation; pinkDianthus ‘Elation Violet’
ConeflowerEchinacea purpurea Magnus
CranesbillGeranium ‘Jolly Bee’
CranesbillGeranium ‘Dark Reiter’
Oxeye; false sunflowerHeliopsis
Joe Pye WeedEutrochium maculatum
Coral bellsHeuchera ‘Palace Purple’
Coral bellsHeuchera 'Marmalade'
Rose mallowHibiscus ‘Kopper King’
Hydrangea
Hydrangea Endless Summer
Hydrangea
Hydrangea ‘Limelight’
Hydrangea
Hydrangea ‘Renhy’
Feather reed grassCalamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster'
Leopard plantLigularia ‘Britt Marie
Blazing star; gayfeatherLiatris spicata, 'Blazing Star'
Bee balmMonarda 'Raspberry Wine'
CatmintNepta 'Walkers Low'
CatmintNepta ‘Little Trudy’
BeardtonguePenstemon ‘Husker Red’
NinebarkPhysocarpus ‘Donna May’
StonecropSedum ‘Autumn Joy’
StonecropSedum ‘Lime Zinger’
StonecropSedum ‘Matrona’
StonecropSedum ‘Purple Emperor’
Shasta DaisyLeucanthemum ‘Becky’
Lamb’s EarStachys
SpireaSundrop Spirea
SpeedwellVeronica spicata 'Red Fox’

Pollinator Garden

We converted this garden from the Rose Trial Garden in 2014 when we got the news about how much trouble our pollinators are in. Accumulating concentrations of insecticides, fungicides and other chemical contaminates are impacting them in staggering ways. This garden has been dedicated to helping them out.

Bee Abode (On hook) Artificial nest site for solitary bees who are important pollinators but do not produce honey or beeswax.

Bee Buffet Plants (In pot)

Common Namegenus/species
Catmint (perennial)Nepeta x faassenii
‘Walkers low’
Lantana (Annual)Lantana camara
Luscious ‘Marmalade’
Pentas (Annual)Pentas lancelolata
Graffiti Lavendar
Salvia (Annual)Bicolor
Zinnia (Annual)

Pollinator Cafe Plants (In Garden)

Common Namegenus/species
Anise Hyssop (Native Perennial)Agastache foeniculum
Blue Giant Hyssop
Bee Balm (Perennial)Monarda didyma
‘Pardon my Cerise’
Big Leaf Aster (Native Perennial)Eurybia macrophylla
Also known as Large-leaved Aster
Broad Leaf Goldenrod (Native Perennial)
Solidago flexicaulis
Zigzag
Cleome (Annual)Cleome hassleriana
Cosmos (Annual)Cosmos bipinnatus
‘Sonata Carmine’
Cosmos (Annual)Cosmos sulphureus
Gold
Figwort (Native Perennial)Scrophularia nodosa
Liatris (Native Perennial)Liatris ligulistylis
‘Meadow Blazing Star’
Pentas (Annual)Pentas lancelolata
‘Grafitti Rose’
Pentas (Annual)Pentas lancelolata
Red
Pincushion Flower (Perennial)
Scabiosa
‘Butterfly Blue’
Stonecrop (Perennial)Sedum
SUNSPARKLER ® ‘Firecracker’
Swamp Milkweed (Perennial) Asclepias incarnata
‘Cinderella’
Sweet Alyssum (Annual)Alyssum maritima
White
New England Aster (Native Perennial)Aster novae-angliae

Terraced Gardens Garden

The Terraced garden was created to display a few solutions to hillside gardening. This design displays four different retaining walls, two trellises and four garden beds.

West Lower Garden

Common Namegenus/species
Common vervainVerbena bonariensis
Fan-flowersScaevola
SageSalvia microphylla
FeverfewTanacetum parthnium
HeliotropeHeliotropium
PetuniaPetunia pink wave
SageSalvia, red annual

West Terrace Front

Common Namegenus/species
SageSalvia
White AlyssumLobularia
French marigoldCalendula
PetuniaSolanaceae, red wave
TickseedCoreopsis

West Terrace Back

Common Namegenus/species
Morning gloryIpomoea
CranesbillGeranium, wild
FeverfewTanacetum

East Lower Garden

Common Namegenus/species
SnapdragonAngelonia archangel
BeeblossomsGuara Bella dark pink
Creeping zinniaSanvitalia compact yellow
AxilflowerMecardonia hybrid boldest
AlyssumLobularia
Carnation, pinkDianthus
PetuniaPetunia, wave

East Terrace Front

Common Namegenus/species
Red cloverTrifolium pratense
CranesbillGeranium, wild, pink
FeverfewTanacetum
StonecropSedum
Blue BellflowerCampanula
ClematisClematis

East Terrace Back

Common Namegenus/species
HostaHosta 'el nino'
Lemon roseRosa
Coral bellsHeuchera 'alain root'
Morning gloryIpomoea
TickseedCoreopsis
PetuniaPetunia, wave
Black-eyed susanRudbeckia
Bee balmMonarda
StonecropSedum, 'blue spruce'
Frost grassSpodiopogon sibiricus
French marigoldCalendula
SageSalvia

 

Vegetable Garden

Every year our vegetable garden chooses a new theme to demonstrate that you can eat what you grow. This year our theme is “edible alphabet.” We’ve found an edible plant for (almost) every letter from A to Z!

AlphabetCommon Namegenus/species
AArugulaEruca sativa
BBasilOcimum basilicum
CCarrotsDaucus carota subsp. sativus
DDillAnethum graveolens
EEggplantSolanum melongena
FFrench climbing beansPhaseolus vulgaris
GGround cherriesPhysalis
HHoneydewCucumis melo
IIldi tomatoIldi tomato
JJalapenoCapsicum annuum
KKaleBrassica oleracea var. sabellica
LLeeksAllium ampeloprasum
MMarigoldTagetes
NNapoli tomatoSolanum lycopersicum
OOreganoOriganum vulgare
PPepperoncini pepper Capsicum annuum 'Friggitello
QQueen anne's melonCucumis melo L
RRosemaryRosmarinus officinalis
SSwiss chardBeta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
TThymeThymus vulgaris
U
VValentine sunflowerHelianthus annuus
WWisconsin 55 tomatoSolanum lycopersicum
x
YYukon gold potatoesSolanum tuberosum
zZinniasZinnia