Duluth gardeners show off their work for Spirit Valley DaysThrough the narrow stone walkways of a garden in the Smithville neighborhood of Duluth, the sound of birds chirping mixed with the smell of lilacs adds to the already beautiful view of carefully placed plants and flowers.
By: Sarah Alabsi, Duluth Budgeteer News
Through the narrow stone walkways of a garden in the Smithville neighborhood of Duluth, the sound of birds chirping mixed with the smell of lilacs adds to the already beautiful view of carefully placed plants and flowers.
Some of Duluth’s best-kept gardens can be seen on August 3 in ten different locations around the area as part of the Spirit Valley Days celebration. Now in its 11th year, the gardens are still attracting gardening elite from all over the Northland.
“This year the garden tour will be in memoriam of my daughter Linda who passed away last year,” said tour coordinator Darlene Johnson. Johnson says that as a result of Linda’s passing, the garden tours were canceled.
The Linda Johnson Rust Memorial Garden Tour will feature community gardens, private home gardens, and a garden at Enger Tower as part of the Spirit Valley Days celebrations. It will also include a memorial garden for Linda started by her younger sister Sue.
“We’ve been asking friends and neighbors if they wanted to donate a plant to the garden,” said Johnson.
Another gardener being featured in the tour, Diane Black, also planted a memorial garden for her late son.
“After the death of my son, gardening became a therapy for me,” said Black.
Other than Johnson’s newly added memorial garden, the tour will remain similar to past years, she says. The tours will begin at 10 a.m. Breakfast will be served at Norton Park United Methodist Church at 9 a.m. Muffins, fruit, juice and coffee will be served. Tickets, which include the breakfast, cost $10.
This year, there will be gardens in Smithville, Enger Tower, Hermantown and Esko. The tour allows the visitors to pick and choose which gardens they would like to visit and when. You can tour as many as you want until the tours end at 2 p.m., Johnson said.
The garden tour has been a staple of Spirit Valley Days since it started in 2001 as a church fundraiser.
“I knew people had so many beautiful gardens that no one knew about,” said Johnson. “It seemed like a fun thing for people to do. It turned out so successfully.”
And it has remained successful, Johnson says.
“2011 was our biggest year. We had 1500 people come,” said Johnson.
This event is rain-or-shine. Tickets can be bought at Norton Park Methodist Church the day of the garden tours.
If you go
WHAT: Garden tour and breakfast
WHEN: 9 a.m. breakfast at Norton Park United Methodist Church, 436 N. 79th Ave. West. Tours begin 10 a.m. and end 2 p.m.
COST: Tickets, which include breakfast, are $10
WHERE: Gardens are in Smithville, Enger Tower, Hermantown and Esko