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Published July 08, 2010, 12:00 AM

Eh? Garden secrets

Garden secrets

It’s not too late to sign up to see some of the best gardens around.

There are still openings for the 15th annual Secret Garden Tour, sponsored by the Duluth Garden Flower Society.

The tour, from 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. July 17, will feature seven gardens in the Duluth area, from rustic country gardens to meticulously maintained urban ones.

Participants have a choice of being chauffeured to the different gardens by air-conditioned bus with lunch at Brighton Beach thrown in, all for $35. Or you drive yourself with the map provided and no lunch for $17.

(Eh? recommends the bus tour. It’s less hassle.)

To register, go to www.dgfs.us to download a sign-up form to send in. Those without Internet access can call garden society President Tom Kasper at (218) 590-1337.

Edible landscape

Speaking of gardens, UMD is embracing the “edible landscape” idea to teach students and others about food systems, healthy eating and sustainability.

Inspired by the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden in front of San Francisco’s City Hall, several edible gardens have been created on campus this year. Raised gardens in large rectangle plots rimmed with burlap-covered straw bales are taking root by the Life Science Building. Among them, the Salsa Garden containing — what else? — ingredients for making salsa. Then there’s the “Three Sisters Garden” containing corn, squash and beans.

Volunteers work on the gardens on the weekends, weeding and watering. Total cost for the project was $5,000, with most coming from the Campus Beautification Fund.

“This is just the first year, so we are kind of making it up as we go,” said Candice Richards of the UMD facilities management department.

Much of the produce will be used in cooking workshops for students.

But the gardens have a bonus benefit, helping to control the temperature of the rooms below the concrete surface.

“It will be really interesting to see if it works and really cools the site off,” said Peggy Dahlberg, UMD landscape supervisor. “We will keep careful records and hopefully it will lead to the removal of the concrete slab and to making a completely green roof.”

Lakeside, the city

Did you know Duluth’s Lakeside neighborhood was once a city in its own right? It even had its own mayor for a time in the latter half of the 1800s.

You can learn all about it from noon to 1 p.m. July 15 at the Ruth Maney Room at the Depot.

In his lecture, “When Lakeside was a City,” Mark Atkinson will focus on the period from the 1850s to 1893 and share historic photos and documents. He’ll also talk about the inaccuracies he’s found in his research on the area’s history. The event is free. Participants can bring a bag lunch, with coffee provided.

For more info, call Julie Bolos at (218) 733-7568 or e-mail julie@the historypeople.org.

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