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Annual plant sale brings unusual varities of familiar flowers

Catherine Grant likes peculiar plants. The adjunct Dakota County Technical College teacher makes it a point to fill the school's greenhouses with unusual varieties of geraniums, impatiens, zinnias and more.

They are common plants, but not the varieties you'll see anywhere else. It's what makes the DCTC horticulture club's annual plant sale special. The club will hold this year's event May 10 and 11 at the DCTC greenhouse.

"It's wild and crazy and so much fun," said Kim Bloomquist. Bloomquist is the former president of the horticulture club.

Horticulture students will be available during the sale to answer questions and to help select plants. Students will also put together mixed containers for shoppers on the spot, including patio planters and hanging baskets.

The club will offer healthy, locally grown plants. Plants available will include a wide variety of annuals for sun, annuals for shade and some vegetables including pumpkins, kale and squash.

The plants go quickly, so Grant recommends people come early to have the best selection.

"The sooner you come, the better," said Grant.

Not just a fundraiser

The sale serves students at the school in several ways. The students plan, plant and grow the 5,000 plants throughout the year. The hands-on-experience prepares them to work in production greenhouses after they finish at DCTC, Grant said.

Next week will be the culmination of nearly a year worth of work on the students' part. Flowers in the greenhouses are starting to bloom, which Grant said is perfect.

"The goal is to time everything right," said Grant.

The greenhouse program has 20 to 35 students. They are working to boost the program's numbers so they can do more in the future.

The plant sale also raises money for the horticulture club. The club uses the proceeds to benefit students in a number of ways. Bloomquist said the club provides scholarships to students, provides field trips and membership in the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association.

Bloomquist said she has gained invaluable experience as part of the program and horticulture club.

"It's amazing. I've learned so much information," said Bloomquist.

The sale

The sale will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 10 and 11 at the DCTC greenhouse. From 145th Street go south on Akron Avenue and follow the signs to the green house. Shoppers can park near the greenhouse for easy loading.

For more information email Catherine Grant at

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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