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Pomme de Terre Garden Club helps beautify downtown Morris

Members of the Pomme de Terre Garden club, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, help maintain gardens in downtown Morris near the library and the post office. The club meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Morris Public Library.

MORRIS – The next time you walk down the sidewalk in front of the Morris Post Office, take a minute to look at the gardens in front of the building.

This space, along with the gardens on the mall in front of the Morris Public Library, are maintained by members of the Pomme de Terre Garden Club as one of their service activities in the community.

Over the last 60 years, the club as evolved from being strictly a social group to an organization committed to helping in the community.

“Some people, when you say 'garden club' they sort of sniff and think of ladies with a big tea party,” said Cathy Anderson. “We have our good times, but we really work on education.”

“I think, in years past, some of the garden clubs were tea parties and older ladies, social, and we've tried to get away from that to be something worthwhile,” said Evelyn Lindstrom.

The club hosts plant sales in the spring and fall – perennials and chrysanthemums and the spring and perennials in the fall. Proceeds from the sale are used for scholarships, donations to the West Central Research and Outreach Center and support for the 4-H horticulture programs, said Lindstrom.

In addition to their service work around the community, the members of the garden club also tour gardens in Stevens County and neighboring communities.

“It's always fun to visit other people's gardens because you get ideas for how to do your garden,” said Lindstrom.

“You go home with a gazillion new ideas,” concurred Anderson.

The Pomme de Terre Garden Club is a member of the “Heart of the Prairie” 10th District Horticultural Society and the Minnesota State Horticultural Society.

This year, the 19 members of the club hosted the yearly convention for the 10th district in April, a project that meant lining up speakers and a venue to host gardeners from across the region.

Featured speakers at the convention included Steve Poppe of the WCROC Horticulture Garden, University of Minnesota, Morris faculty Margaret Kuchenreuther and Heather Waye and Jill Stevens, a master gardener from Benson.

The Pomme de Terre Garden Club meets the fourth Thursday of each month at 5:15 p.m. at the Morris Public Library. Each meeting includes a speaker that is open to the public before the business portion of the meeting.

For more information about the club, contact Nancy White of the University of Minnesota Extension at 320-208-6575.