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Williston REC Hosts All-America Selections Display Garden

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Petunia and ornamental sunflower display beds at the WREC summer of 2009. Petunia and ornamental sunflower display beds at the WREC summer of 2009.
African Marigolds in the display garden at the WREC summer of 2009. African Marigolds in the display garden at the WREC summer of 2009.
The Williston REC has been designated an All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden site.

Visitors this summer will have a unique opportunity to view a special garden at the North Dakota State University Williston Research Extension Center.

The Williston REC has been designated an All-America Selections (AAS) Display Garden site. An AAS site is a public or privately funded garden open to the public that grows AAS winner plants from seed in an attractive outdoor landscaped setting that beautifies the environment.

There are some 200 AAS Display Garden sites around the country but only three in North Dakota. The others in the state with the designation are the NDSU main campus and the International Peace Garden near Dunseith.

“The AAS has strict criteria that must be met in order to qualify,” says Lorna Bradbury, Williston REC horticulture research specialist. “For example, we have to allocate garden space to grow and maintain from 40 to 55 varieties of plants. We also need access to a greenhouse to start seeds before the plants are transplanted to the garden.”

Each year, the AAS program determines winner varieties to add to the list of seeds that may be sent out to the various garden sites.

“The AAS will send us approximately one-third vegetable and two-thirds flower variety seeds that have been designated AAS winners,” Bradbury says. “These include seeds of AAS winners for the current year and past four.”

One of the AAS criteria is having the garden open to the public and conducting an open house or field day. This year, the annual field day event will be held at the center on July 15.

“However, visitors can come at any time to tour the garden,” Bradbury says. “Visitors can take a self-guided tour or call ahead to arrange for a guided tour.”

People interested in horticulture will have many other opportunities while visiting the Williston REC.

“The center has extensive collections of trees, shrubs and perennial flowers for people to see,” Bradbury says. “One of our newest projects involves growing small fruits for the winemaking industry, and we’ve established a duplicate planting of some of NDSU’s huge collection of daylilies. The center also has mature shrubs available for touring so that homeowners can see what different varieties might do in a home landscape setting.”


NDSU Agriculture Communication

Source:Lorna Bradbury, (701) 774-4315, lorna.bradbury@ndsu.edu
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136, richard.mattern@ndsu.edu
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