Two prominent experts in their fields will be featured speakers during the 39th annual Horticulture Night at the West Central Research and Outreach Center gardens on July 30.
Mark Seeley is a professor in the University of Minnesota's Department of Soil, Water, and Climate, where he has worked since 1978.
He has done weekly commentary for Minnesota Public Radio and written the weekly newsletter "Minnesota WeatherTalk" since 1992.
Michael L. Heger is owner of Ambergate Gardens near Chaska. Heger worked for more than 15 years at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Mike is also the author of "Perennials A to Z", a series of articles that were originally published in Minnesota Horticulturist and coauthor of "Growing Perennials in Cold Climates.
Seeley's extension educational programs relate weather and climate's impact on Minnesota agriculture, transportation, energy, tourism, and natural resources.
Seeley edited a successful series of children's books called the "Amazing Science Series" and recently authored a 200-year history of Minnesota weather called "Minnesota Weather Almanac."
He has been awarded the Sigma Xi Science Communication and Education Award, the MnDOT Research Partnership Award for his work with the deployment of living snow fences, and most recently the Extension Director's Award for Distinguished Faculty
Heger and his wife Jean started Ambergate Gardens in 1985, while he was still employed at the Arboretum. In 1988, Ambergate became a full time business that is a retail, mail order and walk-in business devoted entirely to herbaceous perennial flowers. It also offers a line of wholesale containerized perennials to local designers and landscapers.
Heger is active in numerous plant societies and trade organizations related to perennial flowers. He has lectured on a wide variety of gardening topics throughout the northern tier of states.
Most recently, he has served as a consultant for the "Midwestern Garden Book," which will be published soon.