Duluth's living on displayFor 45 years, the Woman’s Club of Duluth has been hosting the Homes and Gardens Tour — an event featuring some of the area’s most distinctive residences and the landscapes that surround them.
For 45 years, the Woman’s Club of Duluth has been hosting the Homes and Gardens Tour — an event featuring some of the area’s most distinctive residences and the landscapes that surround them.
This year, the tour will ask participants to step up — or better, to ride up on the elevator — to explore
a loft-penthouse in Canal Park.
“It’s two stories high with an open skylight, and a recently added three-season porch facing the bay,” Toni Meierhoff said of the 5,000-square-foot space where she and her late husband Bill resided for nearly a quarter of a century. The unit located on the seventh and eighth floors of the Waterfront Plaza was the first condo on Canal Park.
For many, the hillsides of Duluth offer stunning views of Lake Superior, but Meierhoff says she’s convinced that hers is one of the best.
“I have a beautiful, stunning view, and a close one,” Meierhoff said. “Many people have views, but I’m right there in downtown.”
Though the penthouse — 24 years old, but recently renovated — is in the heart of Duluth’s tourism district, it’s still a great place to call home, she said. “It’s fun to show people how I can live beautifully in an upscale, busy part of town.”
Besides the Canal Park condominium, visitors will be able to get a rare look into a local bonsai garden during the annual fundraiser tour, which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on July 18.
“This tour provides a unique opportunity for people to see beautiful architecture and gardens,” Gina LaFond, one of the organizers of the tour, told the Budgeteer. “It gives the public access to look at people’s homes for decorating and gardening ideas.”
Terry White has been working with the art of bonsai gardening for several years, but not always in Duluth.
“One of my hobbies growing up was model cars, planes, and ships. I loved to be very detailed, making planes look real with grease marks, rust, and bullet holes,” White told the Budgeteer. “As an adult I started landscaping and the two interests of gardening and modeling inter-
twined and became an interest in bonsai.”
He started bonsai gardening in 1993 in Paynesville, Minn. and moved to the area eight years ago, carrying his passion with him.
“It has been a hobby of mine especially since I’ve moved to Duluth,” White said. “Trees and nature have the greatest appearance of age. It’s all about making a small tree look like a mature one — the older, the better.”
Regular gardening takes a heap of dedication and patience and that’s no exception for the art of bonsai.
“I’m most proud of my patience — bonsai is the art of patience,” White said. “This garden doesn’t happen over a summer, but over years and years.”
And years and years is no exaggeration.
“I have a ponderosa that’s 375 years old and a cedar tree that’s probably 250 to 300 years old, as well as several trees over 100 years old,” White said. “Bonsai is all about aesthetics and beauty — a rugged beauty. Gardening is the appreciation of everything beautiful.”
A new addition to the Homes and Gardens Tour, White said, “It’ll be fun to see people enthusiastic and see gardeners
appreciate the effort I’ve put
And these two showcases are just a sampling of the tour’s
“The tour is great because people are able to go at their own pace and go to as many or few places as they want,” LaFond said.
Registration is required and included in the $30 cost is not only the tour, but a lunch at the historic Woman’s Club mansion, which is located at 2400 E. Superior Street. Maps and directions to each tour site are provided. No photography of the houses is permitted, but photography of the gardens is welcome.
If You Go
WHAT: Duluth Woman’s Club annual Home and
WHEN: Wednesday, July 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: The tour is self-guided, and includes lunch at the Duluth Woman’s Club, 2400 E. Superior St.
WHY: A fundraiser for the Woman’s Club
HOW: Reservations are required. Call (218)724-3168 or visit the website: www.duluthwomansclub.com
COST: $30, includes lunch at the Duluth Woman’s Club. Cash or checks accepted.