AITKIN -- Aitkin County Master Gardeners and the University of Minnesota Extension Service-Aitkin County will host two experts in ornamental and native grasses 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 5 at Hazelton Town Hall in Aitkin.
Candy Barthel is a landscape professional from Cass County. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a degree in environmental horticulture. She will speak on the uses, selection and care of ornamental grasses.
Tavis Westbrook is a lead restorationist with Prairie Restoration's Munger Farm in Cloquet. He has worked with native and prairie species since 1996. He will speak on landscaping, cultivation and identification of native grasses.
Both speakers will have slides and dried plant samples.
Cost of the class is $15, which includes refreshments, handouts and publications. Contact Peggy at the University of Minnesota Extension Service-Aitkin County at (218) 927-7321 for more information or a registration form.
Registrations are due March 21.
Ornamentals and natives are low-maintenance alternatives to traditional green turf. With their striking foliage, these grasses provide interest during the winter months when most annuals and perennials are buried under snow cover. They offer shelter and forage for a large variety of wildlife, including butterflies. And their varied foliage adds color, height and texture to any landscape.
But consider this: Ornamental grasses in 4-inch pots often start at $5 each and native prairie seed easily can run to $140 per pound. Minimize the costs and maximize the benefits by getting the information needed before beginning an ornamental grass project.
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