Noted gardening expert to give workshop on small flower gardens

Alpena Garden Club will host noted landscape designer, author and teacher Janet Macunovich in a special workshop set for June 1 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Alpena County Library conference room. The topic of her presentation is “Designing the Small Flower Garden” and it will include all the basics of design with special points for beginning gardeners and those who are downsizing a garden.

Macunovich, along with her husband, Steven Nikkila, are gardening experts who came to the profession in 1981. Their kids were young and it was tough to make ends meet, but they were determined to maintain their family arrangement of one wage earner and one full-time child rearer. So they turned a gardening hobby into a seasonal weekend job.

By 1988, the part-time work had grown on them, and stretched into the off-season in the form of writing, teaching and illustrating. It took them back to college, showed them the working side of hundreds of gardens and connected them with dozens of gardeners, so they stepped it up to full-time.

They don’t count, but they guess they have now worked in over 700 gardens and had three books published by others, plus five more produced on their own. They have written a gardening Q&A for The Detroit News for 13 years, hosted three years of talk radio and ran a gardeners’ school for 12 years, plus accepted speaking gigs in places like Alpena.

Gardening vendors will be featured at the upcoming event. The Alpena Garden Club also will have a wide variety of door prizes and Chinese raffle items that include flower arrangements, bird feeders, gardening tools, hanging baskets, gardening gloves and numerous gift certificates.

Refreshments also will be served at this free event. To reserve a spot, call 356-9589. For more information about Macunovich, go online to