Friday, January 24, 2014

Garden Classes I’ll be Taking This Year

As you know, I love taking classes or workshops on various garden topics each year. My schedule has been more tight the past year or so due to the web design night classes I’ve been taking and will continue to be so as I work towards my certificate. I will be fitting in a few interesting one-day workshops at Longwood Gardens.

Ideas for Impact
Longwood has been doing this full day of garden lectures the past few years in February to “dig” gardeners out of their winter blues. Each year they have different topics and you can do either the two morning sessions or the two afternoon sessions or the whole day. I’ll be doing the morning session this year where their plant experts talk about their favorite plants and where I will get some ideas for creating more curb appeal – learning to create “a more ecologically-friendly and welcoming suburban landscape.” I have only done minor adjustments to the front yard since we moved into this house, with thoughts of doing more. We have a small front yard, though, and could use some ideas. To be honest, I wonder if anything I come up with be doable with all of the enormous tree roots we have in our front yard. It will be a fun morning, though, on a cold winter day.

Vertical Gardening
Vertical gardening and green walls are a big trend right now. I am interesting in learning more about it, how to create one, what kind of plants work best, and how to care for it. We will learn those things in this class, plus take a look at the green wall at Longwood (which is really large and impressive), and plant a small vertical garden of our own. I am really looking forward to this class. I have to wait until May, though.

Handmade Soaps From Horticulture
Alas, I may not get to take this class. It is so popular I am on the waiting list. This class is about learning the basics of “the cold process method of soap making using vegetable oils and herbal additives.” You get to make a batch of soap and bring it home. I always thought it would be cool to learn how to make soap using herbs from the garden. This class isn’t until November, so the fact that it’s already full is an indication of how popular their classes are at Longwood Gardens. You always have to sign up early because they fill up fast. I thought I was early, but apparently not early enough.

There are other classes I would like to take that just didn’t work with my schedule. One in particular I am really sorry I won’t get to take. I have taken some classes in botanical illustration and watercolor and really enjoyed it and have always wanted to take more. (See my “Favorite Classes” post to see a few of my drawings.) Unfortunately, most of them are during the day during the week. Guess it must be popular with retired folks! They are finally offering evening classes March-April and September-November. Unfortunately, I know I will have a lot of homework during those months. It’s too bad they aren’t offering them during the summer because I plan on taking a break from my web design classes this summer.

Longwood Gardens really has an amazing number of classes and workshops throughout the year. I look forward to getting their class catalog every January. The Morris Arboretum offers classes, too, but lately I have found more of interest at Longwood. There is one class I’m considering this year at the Morris Arboretum on making a miniature table garden out of ferns, moss, other small shady plants and wood. That could be fun.

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