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Cold weather not a deterrent to local gardening enthusiasts

Posted: Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cold temperatures, frozen ground, little sunlight winter can be a tough time for those with green thumbs.

But there is a seed of hope.

The Central Peninsula Garden Club's monthly meeting, today at 7 p.m. at the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Building, serves as a way for growing enthusiasts to stay active during the off season.

"It's keeps us going until we can dig in the dirt again," said Marion Nelson, the club's vice president and program chairperson.

Nelson said the monthly meetings serve a broad spectrum of the local growing community.

"We currently have 151 paid-up members, who are vegetable gardeners, flower gardeners, container gardeners and others," she said.

With such a diverse membership, Nelson said she tries to keep the subject matter for the speaker series equally diverse. So far the presentations have been well attended.

"We started last spring and have had amazing turnout from the beginning. We typically have between 50 and 100 people show up, and we've had standing room only for a few of them," she said.

Nelson said she is expecting another good turnout for this evening's presentation by Ron Sexton of Trinity Greenhouse on Kalifornsky Beach Road, who will be speaking and showing images about the gardens and plants of Ireland, where he visited in August.

"It'll be interesting. As a greenhouse owner, he focused on plantings and plant species. Not just how gardens were planted, but what was in them. He noted the different species," she said.

Nelson said Sexton also has lots of images of an Alaska gardening favorite.

"He has lots of images of hanging baskets and some of what they use is different. Some of it is stuff you'll never see here in Alaska," she said.

Sexton also visited gardens at different ends of the economic spectrum.

"He has images of formal plantings around castles, and some from private gardens, and he'll be explaining about how very careful they are there about maintaining species of plants and shrubs native to Ireland," Nelson said.

While the monthly meeting is free and open to the public, annual membership dues to the garden club are $20 and support club activities. Also, members can take part in planting workshops and other special functions, Nelson said.

For more information on the Central Peninsula Garden Club or its monthly speakers series, call 283-4632.

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



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