Morrison County Master Gardeners to host gardening workshop

There is still time to register for the annual gardening workshop hosted by the Morrison County Master Gardeners Saturday, March 31, at the Morrison County Government Center in Little Falls.

The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. Participants will choose classes in each of three hour-long sessions.

Session one is the choice of “Strawberries” or “Growing Orchids.” The strawberry session presenters will be Polly and Dave Stish, owners and operators of Triple S Berry Farm. Both are retired teachers and have been operating their pick-your-own-berries business for 17 years.

The orchid session presenter is Jayme Henneck, a Stearns County Master Gardener. Henneck has been growing orchids since 1992 and has received awards for his orchids. He has given many speeches on growing orchids over the past several years.

Session two is either “The Many Faces of Hosta” or “Strawbale Gardening.” The hosta session will be presented by Diane Hansgen, a Stearns County Master Gardener and a perennial specialist at Thomsen Greenhouses in St. Joseph. She will pass on tips for creating the best growing conditions for plants, choosing the plants best suited for your location and will showcase some of the new varieties for 2012.

The presenter for “Strawbale Gardening” is Morrison County Master Gardener Jerry Wenzel. Wenzel is a retired science teacher who maintains a large butterfly garden and prairie restoration area at his country home. Strawbale gardening is a totally different concept in raised gardening.

Session three is either “Grapes” or “Peonies/Azaleas.” The presenter for the grape session will be Ken Nodo. He has been growing grapes for 40 years, 35 of those years in Central Minnesota on a small commercial vineyard. Nodo will share tips on growing, pruning and training grape vines.

The “Peonies/Azaleas” presenter will be Mervin Eisel, a retired educator from the University of Minnesota. Eisel spent about 34 years with the University in many capacities, specializing in plant materials. He has been a lifelong gardener in zone 3. His current specialty is hosta, peonies and azaleas.

Vendors will be on site during the workshop, offering plants, books, garden arts and birdhouses. The workshop will end around noon.

Registration is due by Monday. Payment is due upon registration and includes all course materials and refreshments. Contact Gloria at University of Minnesota Extension in Morrison County at (320) 632-0161 to request a registration brochure.