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
August-December 2019

Grasses, Sedges, Rushes | August 5, 6

This course is for the disgruntled multitudes who would like to gain a better understanding of grass, sedge, and rush terminology, classification, nomenclature, and most importantly, identification.  In addition, those already proficient in plant identification will find this course to be a useful refresher.  Emphasis is on native or naturalized species in Virginia, and the use of dichotomous keys in technical plant manuals and regional floras.  Instructor: Dr. Douglas DeBerry

Vines and Groundcovers for Virginia Gardens | September 19

Vines and groundcovers add height, structure, and layers of interest to gardens while providing settings for showier plants.  Instructor Beth Burrell reviews the use of these plants in the landscape and provides suggestions for use in our area.

Plants for Pollinators: Fall | September 21

Learn how to support honey bees and other important pollinators in your own yard through companion planting and pesticide-free practices. Elise Benhase looks at plants providing support to pollinators in late summer and early fall.

The Beginner’s Perennial Garden | October 3 (date change!)

This workshop introduces you to hardy perennials, simple starter plans, and the basics of soil preparation. Instructor Beth Burrell (The Giving Tree) shares her years of experience as a landscape designer—including how to create a garden on a site with bad soil!

Herb Garden Basics: Herbs in Winter | September 28

World traveler, herbal expert and self-professed foodie Mark Ragland provides techniques and tips for harvesting, preserving/drying and overwintering herbs in your garden for winter.

Perennials to Plant Now | October 10

Fall is prime time for planting perennials. Learn which perennials, from full sun to shade, are tested performers in our area. Beth Burrell discusses site conditions and care for exciting combinations that will enliven your own garden paradise.

Fall Container Workshop | October 19

Garden horticulturist Dean Dietrich, responsible for the many spectacular container plantings in the Central Garden, helps you create your own container garden emphasizing color and texture combinations.

Building Good Garden Soil | November 2

Everything starts with the soil! Find out how to build your soil for spring gardening. Learn the characteristics of basic soil types, and how to analyze your own soils, including amendment techniques, drainage, and more.  Instructor: Karin Stretchko

Training Young Trees: How to Select, Prune, and Grow | November 9

Selecting the right tree for the right place, planting it correctly and pruning it properly are all essential elements in developing a tree with a strong structure and desirable shape. Most people are reluctant to prune simply because they are afraid to make mistakes. Certified Arborist Jim May share how he has made all of those mistakes over the last 40 years and will show how to avoid the most common ones.


The Winter/Spring 2020 season of classes will publish on December 4, 2019.

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