ON-SITE CLASS DESCRIPTIONS
Registration for Saturday Classes is now closed.
Gardening in the Shade — The Delights and Challenges
Learn more about the kinds of Pacific Northwest shade and what you can grow that fits your conditions, even the very challenging dry shade under conifers. Extensive plant list will be included.
Yeah, but Why? An Explanation of Best Pruning Practice
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Have you ever picked up a pruning book and felt completely bewildered? Do you feel intimidated by all of the seemingly conflicting advice you've received about how to prune your trees and shrubs? Do you ever wonder what the results of your actions will be? In this class, we will look at the reasons behind the instructions you have received, from the plant's point of view.
Winter in a Vase: Enhance Your Off-Season Cutting Garden — Includes a Floral Demonstration
Bringing nature into the home provides joy and delight on any day of the year. Don't stop creating botanical arrangements during the dark days just because the flowers are done! Nature is still full of beauty. Learn how to create a lovely display with foliage and branches, and get ideas for how to incorporate plants for cutting into the garden. You just may be surprised by the beauty that is available to you!
Looking for the perfect rose variety or how to keep them happy and thriving in our maritime Pacific Northwest climate? Come receive expert advice on choosing and successfully growing roses in our challenging climate. John will cover all aspects of growing fabulous rose plants. The class is comprehensive and appropriate for any level of gardener who is interested in selecting and growing roses.
Fronds & Ferns = Fabulous
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.
Bench Grafting Fruit Trees
Learn how to graft your own fruit trees and other fun stuff.
Learn About those Insect-Eating, Fertilizing Bats
Bats are among a gardener's best friends, helping to maintain a healthy ecosystem. Meet the nine species that live in Island County. 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.
Growing Backyard Grapes
Washington is famous for its wine production, but there are so many more possibilities for growing grapes. This session will discuss the many options available to grow grapes in the backyard. It will discuss establishment, training, pruning, and varieties for the hobbyist and enthusiast!
Propagation Methods to Expand Your Garden
Plant propagation is based on knowledge of the anatomy of plant tissues... phloem, xylem and meristem. Recognizing where you find these in different plants and whether the bits are actively growing or not will allow you to apply that knowledge to most plants. Not everything can be vegetatively propagated, but most plants and shrubs can be. Once you understand the basics, you can have all sorts of fun propagating.
Water-Wise Gardening Techniques
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Learn how to protect the plants you love in these warmer summers. Water wisely, take care of the plants you have, embrace new options, and transition to a more drought tolerant garden.
Bees in Your Garden - Beekeeping
This class will cover the basics of the equipment and costs necessary to install bee hives in your garden. It will also review the activities and needs of bees over the various seasons, including which plants have an abundance of pollen and nectar necessary for their survival. And, lastly, an understanding of the weather issues endemic to Whidbey Island will be covered, as they deeply affect the success of beekeeping here. Craig Fuske, from the Whidbey Island Bee Club, will be available to answer advanced questions on bee activity.
Landscaping with Vegetables
Vegetables are pretty too! Learn to incorporate more edible crops into your existing landscape to provide interest, color, attract pollinators, and grow your own FOOD! We’ll discuss the top 5 easy care perennial vegetables every landscape should include, plus several unique and unusual edibles you will surely love. You will also learn how to grow, care for, harvest, and eat your new edible landscaping!
Sorry, SOLD OUT
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.
Botanic Nomenclature for 'Fraidy' Cats
Are you intimated by botanical names? Most of us were at one time. This class will help you get accustomed to the language of horticulture; it is not an in-depth study. We will begin with an overview of classification and then discuss species names and meanings. Knowing these will help you garden in many ways. Trust me, you will become comfortable with the rest of the language. Familiarity with this language is especially important as "common names" are not exact. For instance, one day you might ask for a lotus and be handed several different plants!
Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott
Resilient Gardens and Landscapes – What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why
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This seminar will explore why so many garden and landscape plants fail. The most common reasons are (1) improper soil management, (2) inadequate root preparation, and, (3) poor planting and aftercare. You will learn what gardening products and practices to avoid, how to properly prepare and plant perennials, trees, and shrubs, and finally, how to care for both plants and soils to create a long-term, resilient landscape.
Residential Garden Project: Japanese Dry Landscape Garden
Sorry, this class was cancelled.
A unique sandstone outcrop at a Bellingham residence became the source of inspiration for a Japanese-inspired garden in the karesansui (dry landscape style).
Follow the installation from its inception, creative responses to the unique site challenges, as well as adaptation strategies of the Japanese garden design traditions.
Plants for Winter Pizzaz — Foliage, Bark, Fragrance, Color, Bulbs
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Come and explore all the wonderful plants that provide winter interest in the garden. Fragrant flowers, colorful foliage, bark interest and berries can all add to a year-round landscape. We will discuss many options that add some pop in the winter months including evergreen shrubs, variegation, colorful conifers, early bulbs, colorful twigs/barks, fragrance and flowers of all kinds. Remember your landscape never needs to go totally dormant — add some pizazz for the winter!
Growing Backyard Blueberries
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Blueberries are an amazing fruit, but they are not for the beginning gardener. This session will cover some of the essential steps for establishment, pruning, and production. While this will be more focused on western Washington production, there will also be some comparison with eastern Washington production techniques for a more holistic understanding of the influences of climate on this management.
Deirdre Griffin LaHue
Diversity Underfoot — Exploring Soils and How to Manage Them
In this class you will learn about the diversity of soils we have around the world and in our area, as well as some simple tools to identify key properties that affect soil functions. We'll also discuss how to adjust soil management to enhance your soils and the plants grown in them.
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.
25 Tips AND MORE to be a Successful Gardener
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, integrated pest management, plant care, tools, maintenance, and much more.
Healthy Conifers as Dynamic Organisms
This is a basic class in conifer tree biology and ecology. The ecology of our native conifers will be covered with additional information on the use of conifers (native and hybrid varietals) in home landscapes. In these challenging times for plants, we will discuss the needs of conifers and things to consider when using them in landscapes.
Growing Gorgeous Peonies
Step-by-step techniques for planting, fertilizing, and deadheading peonies. Season by season care.
The Phases of Fruit Tree Management
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Most home fruit growers have difficulty with pruning and shaping their trees, bushes and vines. This class will give you the tools to de-stress and just enjoy growing fruit for your table. While the title says "Fruit Trees", we will answer questions for most any fruit topic and situation.
Food Lover's Gardens
This class will quickly go through the basics of growing fresh produce in your garden. Horticultural needs of common crops will be discussed, starting with your soil. Enjoy the fruits (and veggies) from your labors in the next growing season. The topic is broad and we will save time for questions.
Improving Your Success with Dahlias
Join me on a journey through the year to "Improve Your Success with Dahlias" Learn best practices for every month of the year.
Dahlia Growing is a year around activity or Obsession. January - December there is always something required to be done.
Get a peak at "How Dahlia got to where they are today". A little History and a Little Science.
Ideal Trees and Shrubs for the Pacific Northwest
Explore some small trees and shrubs that are both beautiful and play well with other plants. Discover which ones do not overwhelm our modern landscapes, which ones are appropriate near structures, and which trees and shrubs thrive in Pacific Northwest gardens without excessive care and fuss.
A Successful Succulent Garden
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.
How to Use Common Permaculture Practices
The presentation will cover the core principles of permaculture. Topics will include how to build soil, grow food in simple reliable ways in small spaces, and how to incorporate livestock safely. Food forests, edible backyards, simple raised beds, and Hügelkultur will all be discussed.
Sharon J. Collman
Building a Pollinator Garden: From Lawn to Blooming Exuberance
This class includes a lively look at the steps in making a pollinator garden. Beginning with a pathetic lawn, garden eating conifers and sheared boxwoods, and ending with terraced beds for flowering trees, shrubs and perennials. I'll cover a bit of floral biology, how plants entice pollinators, a selection of pollinator portraits and nest requirements, and ending with the flowers to attract them. The garden has a few water quality benefits to reduce stormwater runoff and keep the water on site. Mostly it will be a garden to enjoy the activities of bird, bees, butterflies, flies and beetles with a "beverage of choice".