The Franklin Garden Club, in conjunction with the Franklin Public Library, will co-sponsor a program on “Gardening with Dahlias” on Tuesday, October 4, at 7:00 p.m. at the Franklin Library, 118 Main Street, Franklin, MA.
The program, open to the public free of charge, will be presented by Betsy Szymczak of Natick, MA, an expert in growing dahlias and begonias. This presentation features information on the history of dahlias, how to select dahlia tubers, where to plant, how to water and fertilize, and when to stake. Handouts will be available.
Szymczak is an avid outdoor vegetable and flower gardener who has a relatively small suburban yard. She started growing dahlias 10 years ago. Today, she is a member of the American Dahlia Society (ADS), as well as the Rhode Island, Connecticut and New England Dahlia Societies. She is an ADS candidate judge
In addition to growing dahlias, she also grows begonias. Eight years ago, she joined the Buxton Branch of the American Begonia Society (ABS).
This diverse genus of plants, not native to North America, quickly became another plant passion that satisfied her need to garden year-round. She is an ABS certified begonia judge and was recently named ABS Judging Co-Chair. Szymczak has judged begonia sections at the Philadelphia and Boston Flower shows and is a student judge for the Gesneriad Society. She also volunteers at the Lyman Estate Greenhouses.
Szymczak recently retired from 35+ years of teaching clinical microbiology at several Boston area colleges and universities.