Tricounty News

Horticulture Education Day March 24

By Janelle Daberkow,

U of M Extension

The 15th annual Horticulture Education Day will be held Saturday, March 24, in the Peter Engel Science Building on St. John's University Campus. This educational event is sponsored by the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners of Stearns County. This event is a great opportunity to start making plans for spring as well as to gather with fellow gardening enthusiasts. Stearns County Horticulture Education Day is a full day event that runs from 7:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. and includes presentations by horticulture professionals, Master Gardeners and various gardening specialists. Registration and check-in will begin at 7:45 a.m. with first session starting at 8:30 a.m.

The day will begin with a general session address from Karen Oberhauser, Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at the University of Minnesota. Karen will present the Monarch Mission: Travel from the Midwest to Mexico. This session will discuss one the most beloved of garden visitors, the monarch butterfly, and possible threats to their migration due to the changing environment. In a keynote address, Lynn Steiner, a well known author from the Upper-Midwest, will speak about Using Prairie Plants in the Garden and Landscape. Lynn will also be available to autograph any of her many book titles, including her February 2012 release Rain Gardens: Sustainable Landscaping for a Beautiful Yard and a Healthy World.

Participants will also be able to choose from a series of concurrent sessions that include: Butterfly Gardening; Edible Landscaping: Using less common perennial fruits for Minnesota; Orchids; Healthy Lawns; Lilies You Will Love; Introduced, Invasive and Inconvenient Plants; Planning, Planting and Tending a Rain Garden; Tree Selection; and The Best of Everything: Plant Suggestions for a Lower Maintenance Border.

The cost for the day is $30, and attendance is by pre-registration only. To obtain a complete brochure and registration form, call Stearns County Extension at (320) 255-6169, or (800) 450-6171, or visit the following links:, under the "Hot Topics" section, or by searching the University of Minnesota Extension website at, and clicking on Horticulture Days.

Registrations must be received by Friday, March 16. The registration fee includes a box lunch with your choice of ham, turkey or vegetarian sandwich on the famous St. John's University Johnny bread, as well as morning coffee and rolls, afternoon snacks and beverages, session materials, and the possibility of winning a gardening door prize. Vendors will also be present during the day and provide an opportunity for participants to shop for garden-related products. Please consider joining us on March 24.