Master Gardener Noma Sazama brightens the world

By Marj Frew

Noma’s t-shirt says it all, “Easily Distracted By Plants.” Noma Sazama has a beautiful distraction in her flower and vegetable gardens at her home in Martin.

Noma is a Master Gardener, and has transformed each corner of her yard into an artistic creation that even Monet would love.

At her daughter, Barb Kuxhaus’ urging, Noma moved from her life-long home in rural Mission to Martin, in October of 2017. Noma’s love of plants and gardening was inherited from her mother, who also was a gardener.

About 20 years ago Noma had the opportunity to take a Master Gardener’s course through the Extension Service in White River. Ever since, she has been using her skills in her own yard, and helping anyone she can with gardening questions.

Noma still attends the state gatherings of the other Master Gardeners in the state. Their mission is to help answer questions of other gardeners, and teach others with garden related projects.

“I wish more people would plant a garden, because these fresh grown vegetables are so much better than you can ever buy in a store. And it’s good therapy! Being out working in the dirt is good therapy! You can take out your frustrations on those weeds,” she said with a chuckle.

“If someone grows up with parents who do gardening, they know how to garden, and they naturally know how good it is. If we can get more people interested, they would enjoy it.”

“I think a place without trees or flowers looks sad. This house sits here all by itself thinking ‘No one really loves me.’ A house needs flowers.”

Noma’s house is definitely loved, as it is surrounded by plants of every variety imaginable. “I always liked the pansies. They always look like they are so happy. Mom used to have them. In the winter when it would get cold, she would put a peach crate over them. A lot of times in the winter, when the snow had fallen, you’d peek under the crate, and the pansies would be growing. They’re tough little buggers!”

When visiting Noma at her home, her front garden can’t be missed. It contains a variety of colors and varieties of plants that bloom at different times of the season, so some plants bloom in the spring, some in the summer, and some in the fall. An herb garden also graces a space in her yard. Toward the back of her yard you will find a wide array of vegetables with a few flowers throughout the space.

Choosing a favorite flower for Noma was impossible. Each flower has its own qualities and characteristics. She likes the annuals that reseed. “God plants them and helps them grow!”

“I love them all. Each one has their attributes, like the pansies. Look at them smile at you all the time. The roses, they smell so nice, and the petunias are so easy to grow. Poppies are so beautiful, tulips are pretty. I really can’t say which is my favorite.”

As you drive past her house near the grade school, you can tell that her house truly looks happy.

A full color photo gallery can be found on the Booster Facebook page.

502 Second Avenue, Martin, SD 57551 • 605-685-6866 •