Gardening and Garden Design Classes

Learn basic gardening skills, brush up rusty skills, or learn something new. Learn to design your home landscape and care for it.  Look for unique workshops, multiple-session classes, and inspiring lectures.

Use the class title to navigate to a detailed description or search for classes in our Active Network registration site.  Online registration can be accessed through either link.

Class Schedule
December-April 2018


Winter Botany | January 8, 9

This course reveals all of the characteristics that woody plants leave behind during the winter months. Learn how to use this information to identify woody plants to the species level. The Winter Botany curriculum focuses on use of dichotomous keys and familiarizing attendees with the technical terminology surrounding identification of plants in winter Instructor: Dr. Douglas DeBerry.  Contact Hours: 14

Beginning Botany for Gardeners | January 13, 20, February 3, 10

Learn about the ‘secret life of plants’ with instructor Jill Spear. This class introduces you to the way plants make food, grow, and reproduce.

Soils Series

Part 1: Properties of Soil and Life in the Soil | January 27

Instructor Karin Stretchko discusses the physical properties of soil, and explains that soil is far from inert, hosting a myriad of chemical and life processes.

Part 2: Organic Matter and Sustainable Gardening | February 17

Learn about organic matter in soil, including the process of decay, factors that affect organic matter content, managing it, and amendments to the soil with instructor Karin Stretchko.

Part 3: pH and Fertilization | March 17

Instructor Karin Stretchko covers soil pH and the many factors affecting it within soil chemistry, plant nutrition, and the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium cycles, including how to read fertilizer labels.

Winter Symposium and CVNLA Short Course: Gardening with Purpose and Passion | February 14, 15, 16

Three days of horticultural excellence for green-industry professionals and seasoned gardeners. On Wednesday and Thursday of this annual symposium, explore with green industry colleagues ideas about how we bring plants together to create more purposeful designs that deliver ecologically sensitive and sublimely beautiful environments. Friday is devoted to Pesticide Applicator Recertification.

Contact Hours: to come

Trees and Shrubs

Spring Pruning for Shrubs and Small Landscape Trees | February 17

Pick up tips on how to prune shrubs and small trees for good spring growth. Instructor Joel Koci of Arborcare, Inc., describes the basics of pruning, discusses appropriate pruning times for various woodies, and demonstrates techniques.

Roses 101 | February 24

Join the Rose Garden Horticulturist, Laurie McMinn, for this introduction to rose gardening. Learn best practices for pruning, spend time in the Rose Garden for hands-on demonstrations.

How Trees Work | April 14

Learn about the dynamics of tree life and their architecture as instructor Joel Koci explains their complex lives. Take a walk in the Garden with Joel to discuss various trees and how they function.

Beekeeping for Beginners and Advanced Beginners | February 3, 17, March 3

Participants will build beehives, learn about the many aspects of beekeeping, observe a bee hive up close, learn how to install and care for honey bees and get complete instruction about setting up their own apiary (bee yard). Instructor Jesse The Beekeeper from EastCoastHoney

Planning and Planting a Cutting Garden | February 10

With many people concerned about the carbon footprint of commercially produced flowers or simply trying to save money, there is growing interest in cutting gardens. Lewis Ginter horticulturist Laurie McMinn discusses how to plan and design a cutting garden that is attractive, colorful, fragrant, and useful!

Organic Vegetable Gardening | February 10

Learn the basics of vegetable gardening the earth-friendly way! Organic gardener Heather Veneziano discusses how to ‘go green’ with your garden, including soil amendments, plant maintenance and pest control.

Digging In: Tips and Best Practices | March 29, April 5, April 12 (DATE CHANGE!)

Instructor Beth Burrell helps you take your home landscape to new places in this class. Step-by-step advice on plants best suited for the Richmond area, site preparation, proper planting techniques, and the finishing touches are discussed.

Tree Care Symposium: Practices to Ensure Great Trees | March 22

This symposium looks at how tree populations are changing and considers approaches to selecting species adaptable to climate change.  We also examine practices for moving and planting trees effectively and review diagnostic practices.

The Beginner’s Perennial Garden | April 19

Perennials can provide almost year-round color in an easy-care garden. This workshop introduces you to hardy perennials, simple starter plans, and the basics of soil preparation. Instructor Beth Burrell

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