Virtual Garden Tour: Zone Pushing in St. Paul

With so many garden tours canceled again in 2021, we’re offering a virtual garden tour of a fabulous garden featured in a recent article in Northern Gardener. Author Gail Brown Hudson is your guide to Marcus Phelps-Munson’s St. Paul garden, filled with tropical plants, striking foliage and spot-on design.

bromeliads on virtual garden tour

Marcus has a large bromeliad collection.

Marcus is a California transplant to Minnesota and loves plants that have interesting leaves, variegation or great fragrance. A self-proclaimed “zone pusher,” he overwinters many plants in his house or garage. “When we go out to California, I bring an extra suitcase with me,” he told Gail.

In this special virtual garden tour, Gail will walk you through the garden, sharing 100s of images of plants and design elements, and offering horticultural information about the garden. Most of these images did not appear in the magazine article. Gail followed Marcus through the seasons in his garden.

Marcus will join Gail for this tour and you’ll hear his tips for growing plants that are one, two, three, even four zones warmer than Minnesota in a cold-climate garden.

stone path through urban garden

A plant-lined path through the garden.

More About the Garden

Marcus and his husband, Gary Epperley, moved from the Seattle area to a lovely red brick home next to Como Park a few years ago, and brought many plants from their Seattle garden with them. They built a garden in the Northwest from scratch and were not about to give up all of their beauties.


Leaves of Arisaema ringens

The garden offers a dizzying mix of zone-appropriate perennials, “zone-pushing” perennials, and tropical and annual plants in the summer. Low brick walls and two small patios flanked by the house and detached garage provide a shady and sheltered area for dramatic tender foliage on display.Some plants live in pots outdoors, including exotically striped and multi-colored bromeliads.

Besides bromeliads, Marcus has unusual plants, such as shieldleaf rodgersia (Astilibodes), cobra lily (Arisaema ringens) the hard-to-find shredded umbrella plant (Syneilesis aconitifolia), and a subtropical voodoo lily with a flower that smells like dead animals (Amorphophallus konjac).

The tour costs just $5 for MSHS members and $10 for nonmembers. Register today for this one-hour information-packed virtual garden tour.




1 Comment

  1. joe landsberger on June 2, 2021 at 12:35 am

    In “tribute” to COVID, in 2020 I started a Website diary of my plants that have developed over 40 years. Perennials in April, in May, in June, in July, in September; through the months: ground covers, shrubs, trees; houseplants and installations and art. Many are from zones 5 and 6 that have thrived even though I have pushed its boundaries. There are hundreds of entries, er, plants…

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