This website refers to the 2018 Workshop held last March.
Mark Your Calendar - Whidbey Gardening Workshop - March 2019
Session A 10:45-12 noon

A.1 Twenty-Five Tips to Make You a Better Gardener

You may be new to gardening in the Pacific Northwest or an experienced, long time resident, but there might be tips and skills that can increase your success. Our gardens are always evolving and changing, as well as our interests, needs and abilities. Here are some ideas that will help you be a better, smarter gardener. The handout will include more than 25 tips. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Diana Wisen

A.2 Pet Friendly Gardening

Does your dog do the diggy do? Does your cat squash your petunias? Are you wondering whether what they are nibbling will cost you a vet bill? This class provides ideas for making your garden a place where you can enjoy your pet's company rather than worry about what they are destroying of your hard work. We will also explore what plants are most likely to pose a health risk to your furry family members. Kate Rowan

A.3 Island County Groundwater, Is There Enough Water for Your Garden

Learn about the genesis and function of our aquifers and aquitards. You will also learn about the risks to our water resources, such as contamination and over use, and how government agencies work to protect our water resources. The course will provide details regarding local groundwater availability and issues. Doug Kelly

A.4 The Fragrant Garden

Gardens should appeal to all senses. A garden with seductive fragrance would be a place of love and romance. Nurseryman, plant collector, and landscape designer Everett Chu will offer a show-and-tell session on the use of many plants for all-season enjoyment. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Everett Chu

A.5 Permaculture Techniques for the Backyard Garden

The goal of permaculture is to minimize inputs and maximize relationships among plants, animals, environment and people. Learn the basics of "system thinking" to create efficient and abundant gardens that integrate human needs with the natural ecosystem. Carey Thornton

A.6 Keeping Up in the Garden I: Small Trees and Shrubs

This is a two-part class for enthusiastic gardeners who want to simplify their garden work so they can spend more time outside relaxing. The focus is on choosing and planting great plants with multi-season interest that do not require a lot of fussy maintenance to keep them looking great. Many of these plants have the additional bonus of requiring less water for their upkeep. Trees and shrubs create the backbone of the garden and if chosen correctly they are easy to maintain. Good plant choices keep pruning needs at a minimum while maximizing season interest. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. June Davis

A.7 The Finer Points of Garden Design

Using proven design strategies, we will explore and discuss subtle ways to bring new and interesting dimensions to the garden and to make the most of your landscape whatever its size. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Frank Simpson

A.8 Bring Design Into Your Garden

Large or small, complex or simple, gardens are still guided by a balanced design. Learn about good structural plants to create the bones for a garden which features low maintenance or fussier plants depending on your desire. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Mary Fisher

A.9 Late Winter Jewels - Hardy Plants That Shine in Winter

Hardy flowering and foliage plants brighten the garden in winter. John Christianson will bring in plants to showcase the winter garden possibilities. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. John Christianson

A.10 Ornamental Grasses for Year Round Interest

An overview of the types of grasses and where you might want to use them and why. There will be a power-point presentation and handouts on examples of the very confusing carex family. Vanca Lumsden

A.11 Pots with Pizazz - How to Plant Containers for Year-round Interest

This class will provide tips and tricks for creating high-interest container designs that dazzle all year round. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Tobey Nelson

A.12 Why and How to Grow and Propagate Peonies

This class will introduce a wide array of peony forms, varieties and other characteristics not familiar to many home gardeners. It will also show you how to propagate your peonies in order to increase your enjoyment of these over the centuries much admired plants. Bill Cromley

A.13 Pest Management (Vertebrates) - Recognizing, Understanding and Living with Them in Your Garden

Learn about some of the vertebrate animals that live in and around our gardens and hear suggestions for dealing with wildlife conflicts. Dave Pehling

A.14 Sustainable Principles in the Garden and Orchard

Gary will demonstrate how he manages his large organic orchard and vegetable garden using his farm animals and how they all tie together. Gary has 22 fruit trees and 13 large raised beds, 35 chickens, ducks and a herd of milking goats. Gary Ingram

A.15 Introduction to Plant Propagation

Basic vegetative plant propagation will be demonstrated, including building of a small plant propagation chamber for the home. In addition, a quick review of the basic rules of starting seed at home for Spring plantings will be covered. Deb Mitchell

A.16 Eating from Your Garden Year Round

With our temperate maritime climate and a little work and inventiveness, it is possible to get vegetables year round. Learn when to start cold weather crops, how to protect them from frost, and which varieties are best suited for cold season growing, Linda Bartlett

A.17 Raised Bed Vegetable Gardening: Soils and Season Extension

Learn to maximize the production of your small garden, bed by bed. Creating more fertile soil can make all the difference. Your favorite vegetables will flourish if cultural requirements are met first and foremost. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Anza Muenchow

A.18 Tricks of the Trade: Vegetable Gardening Made Easy

If you are not getting the results you have expected or if you think you are working too hard, you need this class. Dave Thomas

Session B 1:00-2:15

B.1 Pruning Basics

In this class you will learn how to improve your pruning results through matching plant growth characteristics and pruning objectives with the right tools, pruning cuts and timing. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Christina Pfeiffer

B.2 Introduction to Drip Irrigation, How to Do It, What You Need, What You Don't Need

A brief introduction to the principles and practices of Low Volume, Low Pressure irrigation (DRIP). Basic principles of design for general landscape and garden (including raised bed) watering will be covered. Discussion will include benefits and drawbacks of different emitter types. If time permits a demonstration of the different drip system equipment and where to buy equipment at the best price will be included. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Jeff Thompson

B.3 Establishing a 4 Season Cutting Garden on Whidbey Island

An amazing variety of flowers that bloom in all seasons can grow on Whidbey Island. It can be difficult to know which plant varieties will do best in the many micro-climates and soil conditions that exist on your property throughout the year. A garden that is full sun and dry in June might be soggy and shady in April and September. This class will help you plan a garden that will give you gorgeous cut flowers and foliage throughout the year on Whidbey Island. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Melissa Brown, Benjamin Courteau

B.4 The Sinister Garden: Deadly Charms In Your Landscape

There is a dark side of nature despite all the abundance of food, flowers, fruit and other useful substances that plants provide. Some of the most poisonous plants are growing in our home landscapes perhaps, unbeknownst to you. They contain toxins that when contacting skin or being absorbed by the body cause direct harm to the human system. It will surprise you to learn what some of these are. Learn practical tips to protect your family. A list of poisonous plants you might have will be provided. Do you know what plant has killed the most human beings? Diana Wisen

B.5 Secrets of Companion Planting

Did you know that some plants grow better together? Improve the health and productivity of your garden by choosing plants that work together as companions rather than compete for resources. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Carey Thornton

B.6 Keeping Up in the Garden II: Perennials, Grasses, Ground Covers and Annuals

This is a two-part class for enthusiastic gardeners who want to simplify their garden work so they can spend more time outside relaxing. The focus is on choosing and planting great plants with multi-season interest that do not require a lot of fussy maintenance to keep them looking great. In Part ! we looked at the backbone plants, trees and shrubs; now we turn our focus to the embellishments that provide texture, color and seasonal interest. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. June Davis

B.7 Renovating the Overgrown or Uninteresting Yard

How can you renovate your overgrown or uninteresting yard? There will be a slide show with examples. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Pat Roome

B.8 Sustainable Design: Using Beauty To Protect Water Resources

Learn how rain gardens function to sustainably treat polluted storm water and recharge groundwater while providing an aesthetically pleasing landscape feature. Design elements and resources will be discussed. Matt Zupich

B.9 Care of Rhododendron

This class will cover the care and history of Rhododendrons, from propagation to pruning and everything in between. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Susie Reynolds

B.10 Gardening From the Ground Up

So you are beginning the great adventure of creating a new garden, or soon will be. This class will give you a way to start, some things you will need to know, and some things you will need to learn about yourself and your site. The instructor has created several gardens and made some mistakes that maybe you can learn from. Vanca Lumsden

B.11 Great Northwest Roses

Are your roses diseased and looking like something out of Morticia Adams' garden? Explore some great disease resistant varieties perfect for Pacific Northwest gardens. Eric Studebaker

B.12 Building a Garden for Pollinators

Faced with a new garden full of sun and no plants but a scruffy lawn, I decided to make it as sustainable and pollinator friendly as possible. So began the transformation from lawns and dirt to bugs and blooms, while also building in features to protect Puget Sound. It wasn't long before I abandoned pollinator lists and instead began visiting nurseries to let the pollinators select the plants they liked. Two years to maturity, endless visitors of beneficials and pollinators and the drama as they fight over the plants all while I drink my morning coffee. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Sharon Collman

B.13 Composting Using Worms

Come learn how fun and easy it is to compost using worms. One of the best parts of composting with worms is that anyone can do it, you do not need a lot of space. Participants will learn how to turn their kitchen scraps and other organic materials into a nutritious soil amendment for their gardens. You will also learn pros and cons of different bin styles, worm care, troubleshooting techniques and uses for the finished product. Join us for a wormy good time! Cori Carlton

B.14 Zero to 100! Deliberate Garden Design- Towards Wellness Through the Years

You or loved ones are getting older? Someone you care about is blind? Has dementia? In a wheelchair? Garden design tips with a goal towards optimal health for all ages - zero to 100 - will help you re-define gardening. Karen Benson

B.15 My Plant Needs Help! Diagnosis and Treatment of Common NW Problems

Learn how to diagnose common plant pests and diseases encountered in regional ornamental gardens, and treatment options that are effective and sensitive to our environment. Marcia Nelson

B.16 Intro to Basic Fruit Trees

Growing fruit trees is like playing chess, you have to think several moves ahead. This class will go over the basics, logic for choosing, growing and pruning your fruit trees. Deb Mitchell

B.17 Build an Easily Managed Vegetable Garden

Learn how to clear land and build a raised bed, fill it with soil and mulch, lay drip irrigation and sow and plant crops. Pam Mitchell

B.18 Great Gardens Without Acreage: Growing Vegetables in Small Spaces

Want to grow vegetables but don't think you have the space? In this session, you will learn ways to grow abundant crops in very small spaces, including raised beds, containers, and even gutters and wheelbarrows. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Harriet Custer, Valerie Rose

Session C 2:30-3:45

C.1 Advanced Pruning Techniques

In this class you will learn how to correct past pruning mistakes, renovation pruning, structural pruning for young trees and large shrubs, and pruning tips for flowering shrubs and vines. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Christina Pfeiffer

C.2 Gardening on Whidbey is Different

New to Whidbey and challenged by our weather, soil, and wildlife? This class presents methods for responding to these challenges, and a discussion of alternatives recommended by local gardeners with a focus on vegetables. Annie Thompson

C.3 Identifying and Using Native Plants in the Landscape

Native plants offer great environmental diversity to your garden landscape. Learn why they are so valuable, how to identify the common ones and how to use them to improve your landscape. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Don Lee

C.4 Supporting Pollinators in Your Backyard

Increase the yield of your fruit trees and berry bushes by renting mason bees, one of the first native pollinators to emerge in the spring. Learn about the important role of wild bees in urban ecosystems and how easy it is to host non-stinging solitary bees in your backyard. Olivia Shangrow

C.5 Outsmart Pests: Organic Pest Management

Improve your garden by managing pests and problems -- without any pesticides. Come learn how to avoid chemicals by using organic practices to manage pest bugs, weeds and diseases. Carey Thornton

C.6 Understanding Your Garden Style

Before you call the designer, landscaper, or go to the nursery to purchase a cartload of cute plants, you need to understand your garden style so you can effectively achieve your goals. A garden should work with the style of your home, your entertainment needs, wildlife, water issues, maintenance considerations, pets and so much more. A well thought out plan can bring joy to your garden experience. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. June Davis

C.7 Japanese Garden Design

Designing a Japanese garden is about expressing our relationship with nature, except with much-magnified intensity. The garden's spiritual, aesthetic, and intellectual contents will be examined and suitable materials and techniques will be showcased. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Everett Chu

C.8 Sustainable Design: Using Beauty To Protect Water Resources

Learn how rain gardens function to sustainably treat polluted storm water and recharge groundwater while providing an aesthetically pleasing landscape feature. Design elements and resources will be discussed. Matt Zupich

C.9 Floral Jewelry

What is floral jewelry?! Learn about this new botanically focused trend, how pieces are made, and what the required care is. The instructor will have lots of samples on hand, and will demonstrate how she makes them. Tobey Nelson

C.10 Beautiful Plant Choices for Dry Summer Landscapes

Global climate patterns are undergoing change. How can we adapt our plant choices? This class will review some of the many plant choices that have adapted to dry summers. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Frank Simpson

C.11 Fuchsias and Pelargoniums

In this class we will talk about the different types of fuchsias and pelargoniums (commonly known as geraniums). Tips for caring for, propagating, and how to winter plants over to enjoy them for years will be discussed. Kevin Jones

C.12 Gardening Myths

Ever wonder whether that gardening advice you find on the internet or passed down from your ancestors is accurate or not? Have fun and learn the answer in this workshop that doubles as a game! Test your gardening knowledge and find what gardening advice is good, bad or yet to be determined. Cori Carlton

C.13 Whidbey Island Soils: How to Maintain and Improve This Precious Resource

In this class we will explore the types of soils on Whidbey Island and discuss some techniques to improve soil productivity by employing the soil food web. Gary Ketcheson

C.14 Water Wise Strategies for Dry Times

We will discuss how to manage our soils and water to better deal with our dry summers. Topics will include estimating soil water holding capacity, improving soil quality and resistance to drought, and managing storm water to maximize infiltration and retention. Rob Hallbauer

C.15 Quality Fruit Every Year

Learn what it takes to produce consistently high-quality fruit in your yard or on your farm using earth-friendly practices. Bring your questions! Dan Vorhis

C.16 Growing and Pruning Tomato Plants for a Better Harvest

Learn how to start tomato plants from seed, grow them under lights, plant them out in the garden, and prune them to two vines on a trellis. CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Pam Mitchell

C.17 The Food Lover's Garden

If you ever wondered, "Why grow it if you can't eat it?", then this class is for you. You know the rewards of growing your own food, but you may want to consider: how much, what varieties, how to take advantage of the small space you have for growing, what crops grow best in our climate, and how you can eat year round from your garden. These are the horticultural questions we will address. We will add lots of food prep ideas and recipes. Nettles pesto anyone? CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. Anza Muenchow

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