Are you a brand new gardener or just beginning to seriously garden? Are you new to this area or just want to update your gardening skills? This is the class for you! It will cover techniques and information to improve your gardening know-how. Topics included are pruning, soil health, choosing plants, IPM, plant care, tools, maintenance, and much more.
25 Tips to Help You be a More Successful Gardener
From perennial foliage and flowers to shrubs and trees that brighten the March garden, learn about the plants that are proven to shine in early spring. John will bring live plant examples, fresh from Christianson's Nursery.
March Into Spring: Great Plants to Start the Season
This class is a beginner- to intermediate-level presentation about understanding the elements that cause bluffs to change and ways to protect your bluff by restoring native vegetation. Topics will include native plants, the role of vegetation in slope stability, and how to proceed toward a design.
Protecting Your Hillside by Restoring Native Vegetation
John Moritz will show you how he goes about creating his art and making his dreams and ideas become a reality so that you too can find ways to add that special touch to your yard.
Gardens and Dreams - Making Metal Art
This is an informative and inspiring how-to seminar with dozens of tips about tools and techniques to enable gardeners of all ages and abilities adapt and be resilient when their bodies don't work the way they used to. Learn how to garden for life in comfort, safety, ease, and joy.
You Can Garden for Life!
Mediterranean-style gardens are soothing, reminding us of blue seas, clear skies, and life at a slower pace. They are also water-wise, low maintenance, and attractive to birds and beneficial insects. This class, offered by a professional landscape designer and plant collector, will explain why Mediterranean Gardens are very suitable for the Pacific Northwest and how to design and maintain a highly-sustainable landscape using beautiful Mediterranean plants.
Mediterranean Gardens: A Sustainable Garden Design
Learn about the characteristics of our local groundwater resources and the risks they face, regulations designed to protect these resources, and how to find more information about groundwater in your particular area.
Understanding Island County Groundwater Resources
Learn how to use native plants in and around your garden to create a more diverse habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. Dr. Robert K. Pelant, founding Director of the Pacific Rim Institute, will share techniques in soil preparation, obtaining seeds or plants, choosing the right plants, planting/seeding techniques and timing, as well as various challenges four-legged browsers might bring. Some examples of local native plants will be on display.
Adding Native Plants to Your Field and Garden to Benefit Pollinators
Dr. Robert Pelant
You have an old fruit tree on your property that sometimes produces fruit. Maybe the fruit is pretty good—maybe not. What to do? Dan will take you through your options, including how to rebuild an old, neglected tree. Bring your questions!
Renovating Old Fruit Trees
Explore some small trees that are both beautiful and play well with other plants. Discover which trees do not overwhelm our modern landscapes, which trees are appropriate near structures, and which trees thrive in Pacific Northwest gardens without excessive care and fuss.
Small Trees for PNW Gardens
Want to know what is unique about each of the lavenders? And how to take care of your lavender plants so they are beautiful in your garden? This class will cover what you can do to keep your plants thriving—pruning techniques, location, companion plants, watering and feeding—as well as what you can do with the lavender once you’ve grown it.
Creating Lavender Gardens
Whether you have only one clematis or a dozen, you can always introduce one more. Learn about the different types of clematis based on bloom time and vigor and how they can be used to add vertical dimension to your garden. Learn how to match the right clematis for its chosen location before you go shopping. Learn tips about planting and some basic guidelines for pruning. Leave this talk ready to buy your next clematis.
Clematis: Selection and Design With the Queen of Vines
Judith Jones will provide an informative lecture on ferns for every garden setting, with a focus on ferns that thrive in Northwest gardens. Ferns for varying situations will be featured, including everything from part sun to full shade and from moist to dryish conditions. Participants are welcome to bring frond samples or pictures of ferns they would like to have identified.
The World of Fabulous Fronds
Learn how to preserve fruit in new and unusual ways. In this class, learn how to make fruit curds, caramel, and tangy fruit shrubs so you can enjoy your summer bounty year round.
Beyond Jam - CANCELLED
Tara Austen Weaver
Find out how to grow your favorite crops and what to do with your harvest. From A-Z, learn the successful vegetable varieties, as well as NW favorite annuals and perennials. Other topics include timing your harvests, food preservation tips, seed sourcing, and seed saving.
Food Lover's Garden
You can grow veggies that come back year after year. Some are commonly- known plants, others are not. Many are already in your garden being used as beautiful flowers and foliage. Meet and eat your asparagus, hosta, daylily, sorrel, sea kale, and more!
Pruning Spring-Blooming Shrubs for Optimal Bloom and Year-Round Beauty
It can be more than disappointing when flowering shrubs don't bloom as expected. In many cases, well-intentioned pruning gone awry may be the culprit. Learn how to make the right cuts at the right time for optimal bloom and year-round beauty on popular spring flowering shrubs.
The Rot Walk: Choosing Your Path to Perfect (or Imperfect) Compost
Fast or slow, with food waste or without, with pathogen and seed destruction or not, compost happens. The trick is finding a system that will be practical for you. Hear the advantages and disadvantages of active and passive composting, vermiculture and digesters. Learn the basics of how to manage each of these systems to produce a product you can harvest. As a bonus, find out how you can impact climate change by doing something so simple as composting.
Travis Furlanic will leave you with the knowledge you need to safely enjoy the many varieties of mushrooms that grow wild on Whidbey Island. Whether for food, medicine, art, or a leather alternative, as well as for the beauty and diversity in their appearance, wild mushrooms are a never-ending source of fascination.
Before You Call the Landscaper, a Designer, or Go to the Nursery
Before you begin the process of designing your garden, you need to understand what you hope to accomplish. We will look at garden styles, outdoor entertaining, maintenance, water needs, budget, and plants so you can communicate your desired outcome to the people who will work with you on your garden creation. If you have a clear idea of what you want your garden to be and what needs you have, then you are more likely to get what works for you.
Renovating a Mature Garden
The class will focus on how to renovate a mature landscape garden by identifying which plants should be pruned, which plants should be moved, and which plants should be removed and replaced.
Wet! Mud, Mire, or Ponds
The class will present some basics on pond building, installation, and problem solving. Plants for ponds, wetlands, and soggy areas will be discussed, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. Attention will be given to problems or questions of attendees.
Introduction to Drip Irrigation
Learn how to design and install drip irrigation systems for landscape beds, orchards, and vegetable gardens.
Raised Beds for Home Gardens
Topics include a discussion of situations where raised beds are beneficial (shallow soils, high water tables, contaminated soils, high risk of runoff, improved accessibility, gardening with children), choosing soils and framing materials for raised beds, considerations for gardening in raised beds, and drawbacks of raised beds.
Dr. Frank Caruso
Plant Pathology/Disease Diagnosis
The basic concepts of plant diseases will be discussed: causal agents, symptoms and signs, disease development, plant susceptibility and resistance, and disease management. Fresh specimens will be available for examination.
Beauty Can Be a Beast: Ornamental Escapees and Noxious Weed Control
Eradicating invasive weeds can become a full-time effort for gardeners and homeowners. Over half the plants listed on the Washington State Noxious Weed List are ornamental escapees that have had a profound negative effect on our environment and communities. In knowing how to identify, control, and prevent their spread, we can protect our beautiful PNW.
Your Garden in Pots
Take your container gardening game to the next level. Get insight into what to consider when selecting a container and learn a few design principles that will have you thinking about your plant selections in a new way. Receive loads of tips—and even learn some soil science—to give your container gardens the very best foundation for rocking success.
Embrace Vertical Gardening with Vines
Learn how to embellish your garden with the remarkable beauty and diversity of vines. Using great photos and a friendly speaking style, Laura Watson showcases the amazing variety in color, shape, bloom time, and growth habit of vines that do well in the Pacific Northwest—wisteria, clematis, passionflower, and more. Get details about their care, information about pruning, and recommendations for easy vines to try. Receive an informative and detailed handout to take home.
Directly from your Garden: Formal Flower Arranging
Focusing on plant materials that come directly from your garden, this class is for the novice or intermediate who would like to learn about floral designs for home and competition. Featuring 10 basic traditional design forms as well as information about mechanics, containers, and conditioning plant material, this class includes on-site designs plus photos of advanced designs.
Tara Austen Weaver
Tending the Berry Patch
How do you make sure your berries stay healthy and productive over time? In this seminar, learn how to tend and prune strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries for abundant and ongoing harvests. Other topics include how to renovate strawberries, easy ways to make sure your blueberries get the soil pH they need, and tricks for demystifying raspberry pruning.
Kelly Ann Nickerson
In this introduction to herbal honeys (also known as miels or electuaries), explore the virtues of honey as a solvent in herbal preparations, the applications for herbal honeys in the home, and the formulation of recipes for the home medicine chest, with a focus on immune-modulating herbs. Herbal honeys are shelf-stable and delicious. This class will include a presentation, samples, and a recipe handout to take home.
Vegetable Gardening in the Drizzly PNW
Whether you have been vegetable gardening many years or are just starting out, come join us for some tips on growing food west of the Cascades. With more than 20 years of experience on both a small and large scale, Cyndi can help you figure out why some things work in your garden and why some things just don't. Stop blaming your gardening skills or fighting the weather—instead, learn how to make Mother Nature work for you!
Learn how to revive a variety of shrubs that have lost their aesthetics or vigor due to a history of malpruning or age. Best pruning techniques, tactics, and timing for a variety of shrub types will be covered.
Mulches in Annual Gardens and Perennial Landscapes
Topics include functions of mulches, organic mulches for permanent landscapes, growing-season and winter mulches for annual gardens, cover crops as a replacement for winter mulches, and cover-crop residues as mulches.
Bats: Good Friends to Gardeners
Bats are among a gardener's best friends, helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Learn about these fascinating and useful mammals and how to create an attractive environment for them so that they can do their best for you.
Creating an Herb Garden
If you've long suspected there were other herbs besides chives and oregano that could be easily grown in your home garden, this is the class for you. Like any plants, herbs need the right environment to thrive, and some of us just need the right information so we can thrive as herb gardeners. Learn about common perennial and annual herbs and how to care for them, which ones are best kept in containers, which ones make great additions to your landscaping, and much more.
Colorful, Hardy Succulents for Year-Round Interest
Discover ways to enjoy bright colors in those sunny, dry, challenging garden areas every month of the year. What do you do when sempervivums flower? How do you divide jovibarbas vs sempervivums? Learn the answers to those questions and others as Dixie discusses growing challenges, siting, and common diseases, and gives examples of hanging succulent baskets for continuous summer color.
Creating a Meditation Garden
The garden is the transition zone between Nature and Nurture, a sacred place where we directly interact with Life and steward it to the best of our ability. This class will teach you how to create a meditation garden, your own sacred place, coming alive through the art of listening. The practical elements of design, selecting the right location, and choosing the best plants will be covered.
Landscaping Over a Septic Drain Field
Your septic system and drainfield represent a substantial investment, and proper landscaping choices can protect you from damaging that investment. This class will discuss basic septic system and drainfield maintenance, including what to plant to ensure a healthy drainfield—and what to avoid—to save yourself considerable time, effort, and money.
Use and Care of Rhododendrons and Azaleas in Your Garden
Topics include how to grow and care for rhododendrons and azaleas, how to choose the best-suited varieties for home gardens in our area, and how to incorporate them into diverse landscapes. Specific examples from Meerkerk Gardens will demonstrate how to combine other trees, shrubs, and plants with rhododendrons and azaleas to create a beautiful, four-season landscape.
Backyard Insects Common on Whidbey Island
This class will overview the common insects found in gardens on Whidbey Island, both harmful and beneficial. Special attention will be given to pollinators and their conservation. Important identification resources will be highlighted.
Dr. Joseph Sheldon
Incorporating Four Seasons of Beauty into the Garden
Use the idea of a fresh flower arrangement as a lens to analyze the four-season appeal of your garden. Learn tricks to “dissect” your plant groupings to make sure they earn their keep. Get tips for adding plantings and layers to your garden to create four seasons of interest. Learn some maintenance techniques for preserving the beauty of the life cycle of your plants.
Let Dave show you why everyone should love dahlias and have them in the garden. He will discuss varieties, soil conditions, locations, sun and water needs, propagation, storage year after year, and more. This will be a hands-on class with emphasis on what to do with dahlias the minute you get back to your garden.
Peonies—Why Should Every Garden Include Them?
This presentation will answer that question and then help you choose which peony is right for your garden. It will also show you how to grow your peonies successfully and how to increase your enjoyment through an easy method of propagation.
How to Choose the Right Houseplant and the Ten Golden Rules for Success
For some people, houseplant growing can be baffling. In this class, you will learn to choose plants that thrive by matching your needs with the needs of the plants. Find out which plants clean the air in your home, which can tolerate different light conditions—from no or low light to high light—and much more. Our goal is to make you a successful houseplant grower!
Growing Tomatoes in the Pacific NW: Tips, Tricks, and Trials
Learn the basics about how to grow great tomatoes in our challenging Pacific NW climate. The class will cover everything from seeds to harvest and will include the latest varieties and trends.
Winter Gardening—Fresh Vegetables in the Depths of Winter
In this class, we will look at how to grow your own winter vegetables. Special techniques, varieties, and other considerations will be addressed, with plenty of time for questions and answers at the end.
Growing Wine Grapes on Whidbey Island
The class will cover how to plant and grow wine grapes on Whidbey Island. It will address several of the challenges faced with cooler-climate grapes and best practices for maintaining a sustainable crop.