One day a year, arboretum staff and volunteers clean and preserve a rare collection of sculptural furniture.
“The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum may get the most attention for its gardens — rose, rain and Japanese among them — but its trees are also a big deal. The Chanhassen preserve is home to all manner of buckeye and birch, poplar and pine, not to mention apple hybrid #1711, which went on to become the world-famous Honeycrisp.
Much less well known is the arboretum library’s rare collection of hardwood-crafted furniture, designed by the late George Nakashima, which makes the reading spaces feel rather like the outside has come indoors.
An enormous worktable, made from a sprawling slab of black walnut split vertically, retains the tree trunk’s natural contour. A coffee table sliced from a huge oak burl presents its gnarled whorls as a whimsical pattern.