On the corner of 12 Avenue N and 18 Street N is an extensive assemblage of colorful flora, regional plants and cultivars.
This impressive garden on NDSU’s campus is just one of the many projects upkept by The North Dakota Extension Master Gardener Program. Master Gardner programs are organizations that provide intensive horticulture training to those interested in gardening. This program trains its students to be volunteers in the community; giving lectures, creating and upkeeping gardens, conducting research and more.
Heading the program at NDSU is Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension Specialist and Associate Professor. She is encouraging of people of all ages and interests to reach out and learn more about gardening in this region of the country. The Master Gardener program periodically holds events and gardening workshops that the public can attend to learn more. To enjoy their work in person, a number of their projects are open to the public, such as the sensory garden at the Red River Zoo or the NDSU Horticulture Research and Demonstration Gardens on campus.
This program is involved in a number of different initiatives. A new and exciting program they have been working with is about therapeutic horticulture. McGinnis shared, “I don’t think people understand the health benefits of working with plants. Studies show that gardeners score higher in all major health indicators.” The research community has just begun to understand how plants help our health and are planning ways to implement these studies to help people, whether that be gardening or just surrounding yourself with plants at home.
This program is incredible for the community and for those involved. Their research and beautification of the community is something we can all benefit from. If you’re not ready to become a Master Gardener, but you still want to be involved, we’ve compiled some information from their research to help you create the brightest garden on the block.
Plan your Garden
What are perennials?
A perennial plant is one that lives for more than two years. Perennials are often are used in troublesome spots in the yard, like areas that are too wet, dry, shady or have infertile soil. These types of plants are great for naturalizing a space or defining a planting bed. Note this North Dakota season’s of bloom schedule to plan your garden to be in full bloom no matter what month it is.
Seasons of Bloom
May to June
June to July
July to August
Achillea “Angels Breath”
August to September
Extended Season of Bloom
False sunflower, Oxeye
Hosta / Plantain lily
What are annuals?
An annual plant is one that completes its life cycle within one growing season and then dies. This means that they must be replanted each season you desire them. Often known as bedding plants, annuals supply beautiful pops of color and can be less expensive than perennials. Below is a guide to annuals for your North Dakota garden.
Plants for Shade
Dahlberg Daisy (light shade)
Lobelia (light shade)
Nemesia (light shade)
Nemophila (light shade)
Poppy (light shade or east shade)
Torenia (light shade)
Plants for Full Sun/Dry Locations
Plants for a Striking Flower Show
Good for Cut Flowers
Plants that Attract Pollinators
*Information from Annual and Perennial Flowers for North Dakota, revised by Barb Laschkewitsch and Esther McGinnis.
Visit ag.ndsu.edu/mastergardener to learn more.