A bee gather nectar from a zinnia in one of the flower gardens at Glensheen Mansion Tuesday morning. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com

DULUTH, Minn. — Attention, gardeners and lawn owners: Weeds may not be a bad thing.

“A yard that is full of dandelions is bee heaven,” said Dr. Stephen Hedman, master gardener and retired biology professor at the University of Minnesota Duluth.

Creating a space for bees can be helpful to any garden landscape, and times are tough for the species. In January, the rusty patched bumblebee was added to the endangered species list. When pollinators are threatened, so is our food, said Bob Olen, longtime county extension agent and co-host of “Great Gardening” on local public television.

There’s more to creating a pollinator-friendly yard than dandelions, and the program “Creating Your Eco-Friendly Landscape” will dig into the topic from 5:30-8:45 p.m. Tuesday at First United Methodist Church. Tickets are $25, and this is part one of the two-part Spring Gardening Extravaganza.

For this session, master gardener Catherine Winter will discuss bees and pollinators; Tom Kasper will speak on flowering perennials; Dan Schutte will share how to establish native plants; and Olen will talk small-space vegetable gardens and low-input lawns (they require less fertilizer, water or care). Other topics on Tuesday: pollinator-friendly fruits and lawns, and tips for creating and prioritizing plants in a small-space garden.

Seeds, soil and spotted winged drosophila

Part two of the Spring Gardening Extravaganza is “Living Off the Land: Your Edible Landscape” on April 25, and it tackles seeds, soil and spotted winged drosophila.

Two years ago, no one heard of the spotted winged drosophila, but today it’s one of the most frequent questions Olen is asked. It is a common fly that tackles ripe fruit and has presented challenges to the homeowner and the food industry in Minnesota…