Good news, everyone! I, Jaron the marketing assistant and frequent veggie bandit, have the latest on the greens here at Glensheen. It is midsummer, and we have flowers galore, from the pollinator garden to vegetable garden.

The blob of yellow on her leg is pollen. Photo taken by Dan Hartman


Just like every year, we grow a large variety of vegetables and some fruits as well. To list a few, we have 19 different kinds of tomatoes, 4 kinds of onion, and 6 kinds of raspberries. Glensheen donates 2,000 pounds of produce annually to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank.

Check out these cherry tomatoes from last year. They were my favorite snack at work. Photo taken by Scottie Gardonio

Unfortunately, we are unable to package the raspberries, which means they are readily available for guests and staff to munch on. Head over to the vegetable gardens after your tour and slip into the raspberry patch to handpick a snack.

With five different raspberries, you can begin your journey as a raspberry connoisseur, and try one of each! Photo taken by Scottie Gardonio

This summer we have also added grapes and kiwis to the mix. Located in the back of the vegetable garden, four kinds of table grapes and some wee little kiwi vines are beginning to sprout. But some bad news, you don’t make wine from table grapes. My dreams of Glensheen wine will have to wait.

The flowers are in bloom with more to come as the summer goes on. Don’t miss out.

Pollinator Garden

This year Glensheen added a pollinator garden to the mix. This garden, located in our parking lot, featured lots of pollinator goodies like milkweed. While milkweed isn’t as pretty as a rose, it feeds monarch caterpillars.

Check out the monarch caterpillar and all the others on the milkweed plant. This was taken in our Pollinator Garden by Emily Ford.

We were super pumped to find a small army of monarch caterpillars devouring some milkweed. Now we are standing by, hoping a few decide to build their cocoons here.

A Monarch Butterfly from 2016. Hopefully the 2017 caterpillars will come back to visit as butterflies

Lettuce Patch

Every summer our gardeners spend an entire afternoon planting our lettuce patch in a new design. This summer’s new shape is a flower and a butterfly, in honor of our Pollinator Gardens. The lettuce patch is right next to the gardeners cottage and will use five different types of lettuce to create the image. Be sure to visit in a few weeks to see the patch at its full grown epicness.

One of the onions from 2016. Photo taken by Scottie Gardonio.

The Hammock Glade

A recent addition to the grounds, hidden between paths is a hammock glade. With a large number of stumps to sit upon and a dozen great hammock spots, the glade is a little secret at Glensheen.

Look at that fog, feel the mystery of Lake Superior. Photo taken by Dan Hartman

But don’t be intimidated! We don’t have a secret password or team of wolves guarding this quiet spot. Bring your hammock to relax after a tour or during one of our free community events. Imagine swinging in a hammock at one of our Concerts on the Pier.

The Bees

Bees! Fantastic, glorious, beautiful bees! Both hives are doing well. Each hive has been totally upgraded from our last update. With three deep hive boxes and two supplements, the bees are filling up over 50 frames in each hive.

Look at those hard working ladies! Did you know most of the bees are female?

We won’t take any honey this year, however, to help our young hives overwinter. By the end of summer, both hives will have filled their entire hive with honey comb. That will be their food supply during our long Duluth winters.

Taken at the start of the summer, the bees in their bee box and Emily proudly holding her new friends.

The Garden and Grounds Keepers

Who makes everything here look great? Emily Ford, the head Gardener, and her small army of UMD student grounds staff. They once spent an entire afternoon planting lettuce in a complex pattern.

Pictured left are the Glensheen Grounds Staff from around the 1920’s. On the right, our 2017 Grounds Crew reenacted the photo.

If you find yourself in love with the grounds, I wholeheartedly recommend our Grounds Tour, especially in July and August when flowers are everywhere, and the bees are buzzin’. And remember, our grounds are open to tour guests after any tour, from the Classic to the Full Mansion. For more information, check out and follow us on social media for the latest.

A pollinator doing the pollen gathering. Photo taken by Dan Hartman