ND Institute for Regional Studies publishes Collins gardening book
Posted on 4/17/2012
The North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies, housed at NDSU, has published a book of work by one of the region's best-known garden writers, Dorothy Collins. Collins, who died in 2008, produced about 2,800 gardening articles and many more thousands of news articles as a local journalist from 1957 until her death. Collins was a staff writer originally with the Moorhead, Minn., Daily News, which merged with the previously titled Fargo Forum shortly after she began as a reporter.
The book, "Flowers Between the Frosts: How to Grow Great Gardens in Short Seasons," features 93 of Collins' best articles. The columns consider a variety of subjects of interest to gardeners in the Upper Midwest, including annuals and perennials, fruits and vegetables, houseplants and flower shows, and Mr. Greensnoop - the irascibly lovable gardening elf that occasionally hectored Collins about her gardening mistakes.
"I think the strange twists which the seasons take in our northern climate are what make growing interesting here," she wrote. "Sometimes, I think, we don't appreciate these things half enough." Collins' optimism facing the challenges of cold-climate gardening spanned a writing career of more than a half century. And yet, her gardening expertise was a sideline to her news work.
At the Fargo Forum, Collins forged a professional career in journalism at a time when few women worked as newspaper writers. Even fewer still worked in hard news. Collins broke the taboo to become one of the first women in the region writing hard news in the latter part of the 1960s. In 1976 she became the newspaper's first - and only - female Minnesota editor. The year before, she won the Carol Marx award from the Minnesota Presswomen for her contributions to journalism, and also in 1975 her contributions to the region saw recognition as she was named a YWCA Woman of the Year.
The book includes six full-color pastels by Moorhead artist Clare Hauck. It is available for $14.95 at the ND Institute for Regional Studies - 105 Putnam Hall at NDSU - or by contacting Nancy Nelson at 701-231-8338 or www.ndsu.edu/ahss/ndirs/publications. It also will be available in area stores. More information and an excerpt can be found at www.rossfcollins.com/flowers.
For more information and an excerpt, go to www.rossfcollins.com/flowers.
All profits from the sale of the book will help to fund student scholarships through the Dorothy Collins Memorial Endowment.
About the Institute: The North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies was established in 1950 to serve the area with books and other activities of regional interest. It publishes about four books a year. The director is Kent Sandstrom.