Discover Duluth: Western Garden Tour '09Matthew R. Perrine takes a peek at Ray and Sharon Picconatto's lower Smithville garden, while Jana Peterson explains what the Western Garden Tour is all about.
By: Jana Peterson, Budgeteer News
Note: This article originally appeared in the Spirit Valley Days 2009 supplement to the July 12, 2009, edition of the Budgeteer.
Over the past eight years, the Western Garden Tour has spotlighted 53 different area gardens, 19 of them more than once. This year’s tour will include eight gardens, and not all of them are located in West Duluth.
“There are so many beautiful gardens throughout the whole city,” said Darlene Johnson, who helps the Norton Park United Methodist Church organize the annual tour for Spirit Valley Days. She added that Ray Picconatto’s garden (pictured) overlooking the St. Louis River has been a part of every garden tour. “His garden is so special, so full of color. It’s a treat to go.”
The gardens featured in the tour vary enormously. Some are almost parklike in size and beauty; other gardeners somehow turn a 25-foot lot into an outdoor paradise. Some feature native plants and perennials; others, like Picconatto, create riotous color with annuals they grow from seed every year.
One thing is certain: The gardening tour is a great way to get ideas for your own garden.
“It’s interesting to see what people do with their piece of property, especially because a lot of times you can’t see them from the front of the house,” Johnson said, adding that Duluth boasts more than 30 different gardening groups. “There is an awful lot of interest in gardening in this part of the country.”
The tour starts with a continental breakfast between 9 and 11 a.m. July 18 at Norton Park United Methodist Church, 436 N. 79th Ave. W. Tickets and a map for the self-guided tour may be purchased at the breakfast for $8. Gardens will be open for visitors from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Questions? Call 624-5995.
“Discover Duluth” is an ongoing photo series by Matthew R. Perrine that highlights points of interest in and around the region. For more photos from this set, click on the accompanying photo galleries.