All class recordings (purchased with the workshop ticket) will be available for 3 weeks after the event, unless otherwise noted in the Class Descriptions.
Tips to Help You be a More 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, IPM, plant care, tools, maintenance, and much more.
Changing Times, Changing Gardens
As Bob Dylan noted, “the times they are a changin’ ”. The impacts of climate change are visible in our gardens and landscapes. Plants are under stress due to rising temperatures, less typical rainfall, and increased pest and disease problems. Growing seasons are less predictable, affecting pollinators and other birds and wildlife that depend on plants for food and habitat. It is clear that we need to make modifications in how we garden into the future, including changes in plant selection, irrigation and landscape management. Find out what you as a gardener can do to change with the times and make the transition successful in your garden.
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 seed to harvest, and will include the latest varieties and trends.
The World of Fabulous Fronds
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.
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.
Vegetable Gardening in the Drizzly Pacific Northwest
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!
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.
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.
March Into Spring: Great Plants to Start the Season
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.
Incorporating Four Seasons of Beauty into the Garden
In this class, we'll use the idea of a fresh flower arrangement as a lens to analyze the four-season appeal of your garden. We'll start with a quick and fun refresher of a few simple design principles, and then go on to think about plant layout and combinations. You'll learn my tricks to “dissect” your plant groupings to make sure they earn their keep, as well as get tips for adding plantings/layers to your garden to create four seasons of interest. We'll cover maintenance techniques for preserving the beauty of the life cycle of your plants. Since we will be talking design as well as plants, this session is suited for experienced gardeners looking to deepen their understanding of design principles, as well as someone starting out and looking to familiarize themselves with basic design concepts.
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.
Dr. Robert Pelant
Adding Native Plants to Your Field and Garden to Benefit Pollinators
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.
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.
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.
Dr. Frank Caruso
Plant Pathology and 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. Photos of common diseases in the area will be shown and discussed.
Japanese Maples-the Tree for all Seasons
Come and explore the world of Japanese Maples. These are truly trees for all seasons and are perfect specimens to utilize in PNW gardens. Some of the best varieties will be shown, highlighting options in size, growth habit, sun vs. shade locations, spring foliage, fall color, and container growing. We will also discuss cultural requirements including siting, planting and maintaining specimens in both the landscape and containers. A brief overview about insects and diseases will be included. Join this class and catch "Acer palmatumitis" - the contagious addiction to all things Japanese Maple!
Water-wise Approach to a Changing Climate
Learn how to design and install drip irrigation systems for landscape beds, orchards, and vegetable gardens.
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. This class will feature 10 basic traditional design forms as well as information about mechanics, containers, and conditioning plant material, plus photos of advanced designs.
Your Garden in Pots
Take your container gardening game to the next level. Get insight into what to consider when selecting a container. 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.
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.
Dr. Joseph Sheldon
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. It is recommended that you have a copy of Merrill A. Peterson's Pacific Northwest Insects, published in 2018 by Seattle Audubon, as the instructor will reference it frequently.
Use and Care of Rhododendrons and Azaleas in Your Garden
Topics include how to grow and care for rhododendrons and azaleas, pruning, feeding & mulching, how to choose the best-suited varieties for home gardens in our area, where and when to plant, and how to incorporate them into diverse landscapes. Frank will describe how to combine other trees, shrubs, and plants with rhododendrons and azaleas to create a beautiful, four-season landscape.
The Food Lover's Garden
Find out how to grow your favorite crops and what to do with your bounty. From A-Z, learn the successful vegetable varieties, as well as NW favorite annuals and perennials. Other topics include crop rotations, timing your harvests, pest management, building soil, seed sourcing, and seed saving. We will save time for questions from the participants about their problems and possible solutions.
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.
Deer Resistant Garden Design
Learn eight key strategies to create a beautiful fence-free garden that thrives despite the deer. Discover the importance of a strong design, non-edible focal points, and be inspired by plant combinations that you will love but the deer won't.
Note that this class will not be recorded.
Protecting Your Hillside by Restoring Native Vegetation
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.
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!