Horticulture club to host Gardening Saturday March 25

Submitted Photo A scene of a backyard garden of a NoAH Garden Club is a reminder that spring is just around the corner. To encourage people to start their gardening plans, the club is hosting its annual Gardening Saturday March 25.

A Minnesota peony farm owner will be the featured speaker at the annual Gardening Saturday hosted by NoAH Garden Club on March 25.

Becky Swenson is the co-owner of Swenson Gardens, a peony farm in Howard Lake, Minnesota, where she and her family grow more than 10,000 plants in hundreds of varieties. The farm specializes in peonies that don’t flop over and colors not typically found in garden centers.

Swenson Gardens is considered the world’s largest chemical-free peony farm and ships thousands of bare-roots to gardeners across the country every fall. It also is one of the world’s largest hybridizers of new peony varieties.

Gardening Saturday also will feature three other speakers, as well as vendors and door prizes. More than 15 vendors will be displaying items such as fused glass, horseshoe art, watercolor greeting cards, ironwork art and freeze-dried treats. Other vendors will offer North Dakota-grown garden seeds, houseplants and gardening accessories.

The vendor room is free to the public. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Grand Hotel.

Registration to take in the speakers, breakfast, lunch and snacks is $40 in advance or $45 at the door.

Swenson will speak at 9 a.m.

Keith Knudson, recently retired as an instructor in the horticulture department at Dakota College in Bottineau, will be speaking at 11 a.m. to provide tips on backyard, hobby greenhouses.

Seena Hagen, sales representative for BFG Supply, which supplies local greenhouses, will talk about new plants and where horticulture is headed in the future. She speaks at 1:15 p.m.

Dorian Waller, assistant nursery manager and landscape designer at Lowe’s Garden Center in Minot speaks at 2:45 p.m. He is an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist and municipal specialist who enjoys pushing the limits of the variety of trees that will grow in North Dakota.

To register, contact Julie at 624-5252 or mail name, address, phone and email with payment to NoAH Garden Club, P.O. Box 522, Minot, ND 58702.

This is the third Gardening Saturday hosted by the club. NoAH President Pete Hugret of Minot said the first-year event at North Central Research Extension Center drew so many people that it was moved to the Grand Hotel the next year. The event skipped a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but drew a crowd last year despite coming off a spring blizzard.

The Northwest Association of Horticulture (NoAH) was established in 1985 to assist gardeners and organizations as a community service. Its projects over the years have included plantings at Habitat for Humanity homes and the Ward County Historical Society; plantings at the Scandinavian Gardens; sponsoring and planting Memory Trees for past members and their families; working with test garden plots at the research center; helping the city with its trail clean-up projects; and maintaining plants at the Amtrak Depot. The club has donated to a greenhouse being rebuilt at Minot State University. Numerous gardening books have been donated to the Minot Public and Ward County libraries.

A major project has been the creation of the Dr. Charles and Ruth Hoffman Scholarship Fund at MSU. The scholarship is awarded each year to a student studying one of the life sciences. NoAH has provided scholarships through the years to students at Dakota College Horticulture in Bottineau and to Minot High School FFA students.

NoAH meets the second Thursday of the month at 6:30 p.m. at Vincent United Methodist Church from fall to spring. In the summer, the group visits home gardens and greenhouses and holds its summer plant auction in Oak Park. Gardeners interested in NoAH are welcome to attend a meeting. Membership is $15 a year, and members receive discounts at area nurseries.


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