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Local club delights in joy of gardening

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The Alexandria Garden Club has a long history of planting flowers at Douglas County Hospital each spring. Members who helped plant at the hospital last week include (back row, left to right) Ceil Campbell, Margaret Anderson, Kathy Midtvedt, Mary Schmidt, (front) Neva Nickel, Bonnie Boseke, Linda Huebner, Glen Huebner (president), Gwen Foslien, Marggy Quern, Sieni Terry, Joyce Corle and Pat Pederson. (Lowell Anderson/Echo Press)2 / 4
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Kathy Midtvedt and Greg Schmidt, members of the Alexandria Garden Club, planted flowers to beautify the grounds of the Douglas County Hospital in Alexandria last week. 4 / 4

Since 1952, a local group gathers monthly to revel in the glories of gardening.

The Alexandria Garden Club (AGC) brings together people who delight in the dirt, sun and green of all-things-gardening.

Members come from all levels of gardening know-how, from novices to master gardeners, and meet to expand their knowledge, appreciation and pleasure for gardens.

Ceil Campbell of Alexandria is a longtime AGC member and said, “We have a fun active group.”

During meetings, guest speakers make presentations, a variety of gardening topics are discussed and there are also garden tours and other activities.

“The club is for anybody that loves gardening,” Campbell said. “Even if you don’t have a garden, you’re still welcome to join.”

Along with meetings, the club also works on several community projects.

Last week, several AGC members planted flowerbeds at Douglas County Hospital and Bethel Manor in Alexandria.


The AGC’s projects and goals include things like:

● Plant and maintain flowerbeds at Douglas County Hospital, Bethel Manor and Runestone Park.

● Judged vegetable and plant entries at the Douglas County Fair in the past.

● Donate to the Ken Anderson Garden at the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center; he was an AGC member.

● Partner with the local soil and water conservation district to provide sixth graders with spruce trees to plant at home.

● Host an annual spring plant sale.

● Send a member to staff the horticultural booth at the Minnesota State Fair.


According to the AGC’s history, after WWII, the Alexandria City Council hired a recreational director to get people of similar interests to form clubs.

Several ladies decided to form a garden club and held meetings at the public library.

They consulted the Evansville Garden Club, formed in 1935, but found their club was mostly social.

The new group wanted a study and learning club so the Minnesota State Horticultural Society was contacted and provided the club with information.

The first project was to beautify the main street in town with hanging baskets and petunias. The club’s plant sale raised money for the baskets.

Toting a ladder and pails of water daily became too much and the project was eventually abandoned, but the Alexandria Garden Club flourished.


New members are welcome to join. To join, attend a meeting. Meetings are held the second Monday of the month, March through December, at 7 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 221 7th Avenue West in Alexandria.

Guest speakers give presentations and a variety of gardening topics are discussed.

The membership fee includes a subscription to the Minnesota State Horticultural Society magazine.

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

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