'Dynamic' author, speaker to attend central peninsula garden club

Posted: Thursday, April 30, 2009

Anyone who thinks fishing groups in this area are serious about their favorite pastime, should check out a Central Peninsula Garden Club monthly meeting, which regularly draw an average of 100 people per event.

"It's not a dozen women sitting at the kitchen table sipping tea. This is a serious deal. We have 275 members, which is the largest general garden club in the state. At our last meeting we had 130 people attend, and 95 people at the meeting before that," said Marion Nelson, founder of the club and its current vice president and program coordinator.

Nelson said the upcoming speaker for the Master Gardeners Guest Speaker Workshop-Central Peninsula Garden Club should also be a big draw, as it will be Tracy DiSabato-Aust, a well-known gardening speaker and author who has been called "the sexiest woman in gardening."

"She's very dynamic and she's an international garden planning speaker. So, it's quite an opportunity to have someone like this come to our area. We're happy for the opportunity," Nelson said.

DiSabato-Aust has extensive experience from all across the United States and abroad, working for more than 30 years in the gardening industry, speaking for more than 25 years and designing for more than 20 years.

Her experience includes stints at Longwood Gardens in the United States, The Montreal Botanical Garden in Canada, the Kalmthout Arboretum in Belgium, and Knightshayes Court in England.

She earned a B.S. and M.S. in horticulture from Ohio State University. Her first book, "The Well-Tended Perennial Garden," is referred to by many as "the bible for perennial maintenance." DiSabato-Aust has also written two other books: "The Well-Designed Mixed Garden," and her 2009 release "50 High-Impact, Low-Care Garden Plants."

"Her books are available locally at River City Books, and we'll have all three at the workshop for purchasing and signing," Nelson said.

DiSabato-Aust will be speaking on a variety of topics relevant to Alaskan gardeners.

"Whether it's a huge or small garden, she has information and design ideas that translate to all gardens and their challenges. People can look forward to learning a lot," Nelson said.

DiSabato-Aust's presentation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, at Kenai Peninsula College in rooms 108 and 109 in the Ward Building.

The workshop is open to everyone. Workshop cost is $10.

For more information contact Marion Nelson by e-mail at mmkn@ptialaska.net or by phone at 283-4632.

Joseph Robertia can be reached at joseph.robertia@peninsulaclarion.com.

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