Session A 10:45-12 noon

A.1 25 Tips to Make You a Better Gardener

You may be new to gardening in the Pacific Northwest or an experienced longtime 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. Diana Wisen

A.2 Wrestling with Weeds: Weed ID and Integrated Vegetation Management

What weeds do I have in my yard and how can I effectively get rid of them? A challenge to achieving healthy habits in our yards, forests, and fields is the presence of invasive weed populations. Noxious weeds destroy biological diversity, decrease forage, increase erosion, and decrease land values across Island County. We will explore our most prevalent invaders and provide hands-on experiences with tools and techniques for specific invasive species. We will also look at management principles in which landowners may control invasive plant species and improve native habitats. Seth Luginbill

A.3 Creating Captivating Gardens

Learn how to create a sense of mystery and intrigue in your garden using light, movement, portals and much more. Using examples gleaned from her recent coast to coast travels, noted designer, teacher and author Karen Chapman will offer a plethora of ideas for injecting a little magic into your own personal landscape. Karen Chapman

A.4 Landscape Design - Where Do I Begin?

Sometimes it can be so hard to know where to begin with the design of your landscape. This workshop will cover some basic principles of landscape design that have proven successful through the ages, and guide you to apply these principles to everyday small and large landscape design projects. We will review some design examples and analyze what makes them work. Frank Simpson

A.5 Water Features in Landscape Design

Water embodies an elemental counterpoint to everything else in the garden yet it is often used poorly. From waterfalls to birdbaths to fishponds, each choice brings technical demands that can frustrate and overwhelm the beginning aquatic gardener. Beginning with a survey of the aesthetics of water features in gardens: sight, sound and smell, we will explore fish and plant options and care as well as resources for the questions and problems that arise. We'll also begin to explore the technical specs necessary to achieve a satisfying harvest of all that water can bring to the garden. Samuel Mitchell

A.6 Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Grasses and bamboos are often misunderstood garden components, but George Lasch will show how beautiful and useful they can be in our region. George Lasch

A.7 Slow Flowers Centerpieces - Floral Designs From the Garden

This floral design demonstration is loaded with info and tips for the home floral designer. While creating an eco-friendly arrangement, Tobey will share all sorts of tips and info about what to cut from the garden and to condition it for use; basic principles of design; ideas for plants to incorporate into your garden for cutting; and she'll talk about the importance of working foam-free and with locally grown flowers. You'll learn about the Slow Flowers movement, and you will go away with lots of ideas, inspiration and even a few floral design tricks! Tobey Nelson

A.8 How to Select, Grow and Prune Clematis, the Queen of the Vines

Whether you have one clematis or a dozen you can always introduce one more into your garden. Learn about different types of clematis based on bloom time and vigor and how they can be used as companion plants. Learn tips about initial planting and subsequent growth and training. Learn some basic guidelines for pruning and that pruning rarely kills a clematis. Leave this talk ready to buy your next clematis! Marilyn Glenn

A.9 Sowing Biodiversity: Gardening and Land Management for Native Pollinators

Pollinators are essential to both our food supply and to the perpetuation of natural ecosystems. Unfortunately pollinators face significant threats. This talk will introduce native bee ecology and the habitat systems that can support them such as meadows and hedgerows, habitat restoration methodologies, and how to access additional resources to support pollinator conservation projects. Case studies will be provided, and all topics will be discussed against a backdrop of visually stunning photos. Eric Lee-Mader

A.10 Healing and Tending "Wet Lands"

Land in the Pacific Northwest must always relate to water -- whether rain or runoff or wetlands, tidelands or old creek and streambeds. If in the past such "water features" were too often suppressed or deemed unsightly, today we recognize water as an incredibly valuable common resource. Scott Freeman and his partner, Susan Leopoid (granddaughter of Aldo Leopoid, who bequeathed us "the land ethic"), committed themselves to the rehabilitation of Tarboo Creek on the Olympic Peninsula, a story retold in their book Saving Tarboo Creek. Their inspirational model for community restoration of a wetland and the renewal of a salmon stream can be inspirational for any and all of us to spend as much time rehabilitating "water features" as tilling the soil. Scott Freeman

A.11 Firewise Whidbey Style: Living with Wildfire in Our Unique Bioregion

When it comes to wildfire does Whidbey come to mind? Although most of us would venture to our neighbors east of the mountains, Whidbey's unique wildfire regime has sculpted this landscape like all its other natural processes. The next time wildfire happens here, will you be prepared? Come learn from Kelsi Mottet, Whidbey Island Firewise Coordinator, about wildfire science, its unique history on Whidbey Island, and ideas for how you can adapt your landscape to living with wildfire Whidbey style, while meeting your other conservation and land use goals. Kelsi Mottet

A.12 The Lost Art of Seed Saving

This class will provide an introduction to seed saving on common vegetables and socioeconomic importance of the pastime. We will cover a wide range of botanic concepts and practical techniques including pollination, space and equipment needs, plant physiology, patents and much more. Nathaniel Talbot

A.13 Planning a Low Maintenance Kitchen Garden

It is all about growing good food. Finding a good site, preparing the soil, using raised beds, (cool season/warm season) timing on plantings, crop rotations and year-round gardens. Anza Muenchow

A.14 Beyond Jam: New and Creative Ways for Preserving Fruit

The Northwest produces wonderful fruit, and it is not hard to preserve it, but how much jam can one person eat? Join food and garden writer Tara Austen Weaver to learn three new methods to preserve your garden berries and fruit for the winter months. Tara Austen Weaver

A.15 It's the Berries and More

Learn about the production of small fruit crops in the home garden, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi and grapes. Topics covered will include cultivars, general production practices and pest identification and management. Jim Kropf

A.16 Secrets of Vegetable Companion Planting

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


Session B 1:00-2:15

B.1 Color in the Winter Garden

"Color in the Winter Garden" is a picture book of winter color available in the Pacific Northwest. Winter here can be dark, wet, gray and dreary, but because of our climate, we can also choose from a large number of plants that provide rich color, and eye-catching foliage and bark. Marsha Goller

B.2 Rain Gardens for the Pacific Northwest

The class will discuss what rain gardens are, why someone would build one, how to assess the site and feasibility, the design and creation, how to maintain it and how to spot and correct common mistakes. Zsofia Pasztor

B.3 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. Christina Pfeiffer

B.4 Drip Irrigation - Design, Installation and Maintenance

Take the work out of watering. Learn how to set up your own drip irrigation system. It is good for garden beds, deck plants, greenhouses, orchards and row crops. Drip irrigation reduces water loss and can be programmed to irrigate on your schedule. Bob Bryan

B.5 Foliage and Focal Points: Ideas for Gardens and Budgets of All Sizes

In this presentation, Karen Chapman will explain the importance of establishing focal points, a key component of good garden design, and analyze three areas where they will play an important role. We will explore the use of containers, structures, water features and artistic sculptural elements as focal points and discuss how to frame and enhance these with interesting foliage to create a memorable vignette. With ideas for budgets and gardens of all sizes, you will quickly gain the confidence and knowledge to transform your own landscape into a cohesive series of eye-catching scenes. Karen Chapman

B.6 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 enjoyments. Everett Chu

B.7 Garden Renovation - What to Keep, What to Add

In this class we will discuss approaches to changes in the landscape and options on how to decode and accomplish them. Lists of plants for difficult situations will be provided. There will be an accompanying slide show to illustrate points. Pat Roome

B.8 Pots with Pizazz

Take your container garden game to the next level! Get insight on attributes to consider when selecting a container. Learn a few design principles that will have you thinking about your plant selections in a new way. Get loads of tips - and even learn some soil science to give your container gardens the very best foundation for rocking success! Tobey Nelson

B.9 Hydrangeas Demystified

Hydrangeas, the garden stalwarts are continuing a renaissance across the globe. Join George Lasch for his opinions and humor as he discusses the main type and how to get the most out of them through pruning and maintenance. George Lasch

B.10 Delight in Every Season: How to Use Alpine Plants in Your Garden

Some alpine plants are great for rock gardens, others prefer wet conditions. And you can grow them here at sea level! Learn more about alpine plants, what makes them unique and how to feature and grow them in your garden for color and interest at varying times of the year. In this class you will gain helpful information about native varieties, ethical seed harvesting and some tips on propagation. Jumanji Moritz

B.11 Converting Your Lawn to a Prairie to Benefit Suburban Wildlife

Learn how to use native plants and convert part of your lawn or your small field into a more diverse habitat for pollinators and other wildlife! Dr. Robert Pelant, founding Director of the Pacific Rim Institute near Coupeville, Whidbey Island, will share techniques, rational and challenges in land preparation, obtaining seed or plants, choosing which plants to use, planting/seeding techniques and timing, as well as various challenges that Mother Nature may throw your way! Robert Pelant

B.12 Practical Permaculture - Home Garden Applications

In this class we will look at putting permaculture concepts into practice with real world examples that you can apply to your own garden. Learn how to use select plants and techniques to help your garden thrive. Eric Conn

B.13 Foraging for Edibles, Medicinals, Herbals and Teas

Learn about some common and easy to identify plants that you can harvest for food or medicine. Many plants thought of as weeds can be tastier and more nutritious than the cultivated plants growing in our gardens. Carey Thornton

B.14 Choosing and Managing Soil in Raised Bed Gardens

In this class we will discuss the pros and cons of raised bed gardens, and selecting and managing raised bed soils to reduce problems with infiltration, drainage, and fertility. Craig Cogger

B.15 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. Class will cover everything from seed to harvest and will include the latest varieties and trends. Marcia Dillon

B.16 Basic Fruit Tree Care and Maintenance

Whether planting a new tree or rehabbing one you have inherited on your property, this class will go over the basics - why and what variety to choose for where you live, and tips on when and how to grow, prune and maintain for optimal production. Dave Thomas


Session C 2:45-4:00

C.1 Mulch and Mulching: Background, Benefits, and Best Practices

Local Landscape Architect Ian Horton (Working Landscapes PLLC, Mount Vernon) will describe the basics of mulch and mulching for the home gardener. This talk will review background, benefits, and methods of mulch application as well as comparison of locally available mulch types and their respective advantages. Ian Horton

C.2 Gardening on a Bluff Site

The class will discuss challenges of steep slopes and bluffs in general and more specifically, in the Pacific NW--what practices can help prevent failures or stabilize unstable areas, how to notice some of the most common signs of failures and who are the professionals (field of expertise) able to help assess and or design and implement solutions. Zsofia Pasztor

C.3 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. Christina Pfeiffer

C.4 Gardening in the Shade

Shade gardens do not have to be dull and boring. There are many plants that do very well in shade and some with variegated leaves that will lighten up the area. There are even plants that will do well competing with tree roots. You can create interest in the shade garden by using variety of leaf texture. Ellon Jarvis, who has worked the shade garden at the demonstration garden for several years, will help you in selecting the plants that will grow well in your type of shade. She will explain the different types of shade and how best to handle them. Ellon Jarvis

C.5 Small Space Gardening--Where There is a Will There is a Way

Gardening space seems to be getting smaller and smaller, compared to yards of days gone by. Whether you have a porch, patio or small yard space Marti Civarra, expert horticulturist & landscape designer, will help you with the best ways to get a big impact from a little space--including how to garden in containers, growing up instead of out--and more! Marti Civarra

This is a new class offering.

C.6 Small Trees for Modern Landscapes

Learn about good small trees that will not overwhelm your landscape--trees that provide structure, color, and form without being overly dominant. Eric Studebaker

C.7 Creating Your Own Ecological Garden

In this class you will learn ecological and permaculture techniques to increase the usefulness of your yard, attract wildlife by creating a healthy habitat, and reduce maintenance and inputs of chemicals all while restoring the ecosystem. Find out how by applying just a few or many of these principles, you can begin healing the Earth in your backyard and beyond. Lisa Miller

C.8 Beautiful Roses for Every Garden

We will cover different roses for different garden needs, shade or sun, climbers, shrubs, floribundas and old garden roses, colors and fragrances. A rose to suit every need! We will go over the history and development of the roses we all love. Cheryl Prescott

C.9 Embrace Vertical Gardening! Embellish Your Garden 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 NW -- wisteria, clematis, passionflower, and more. Get details about their care, information about pruning and recommendations for easy vines to try. Receive an informative and detailed handout to take home. Laura Watson

C.10 From Seed to Seedling to Seedbed

This class will cover the basics of vegetable propagation, covering such topics as variety selection and seed storage, seeding timing, temperature regulation, transplanting vs. direct-seeding, growing mediums, and seed-bed preparation. Raelani Kesler

C.11 Perennial Food Crops: Berries, Herbs and Vegetables

Plant once and harvest for years to come. Growing sweet berries, fragrant herbs and perennial vegetables are an easy way to incorporate food crops into your ornamental landscape or add interest to your annual veggie beds. Carey Thornton

C.12 Turning Your Property into a Wildlife Lover's Paradise

Imagine turning your garden into a year-round haven for birds, butterflies, pollinators, Douglas squirrels and a host of other delightful creatures. It is easier than you might think to put out the welcome mat for the birds and animals you want to entertain in your garden - no matter where you live or what size garden you have. The nature-loving folks from the Camano Wildlife Habitat Project will show you how to create a garden that is as inviting to wildlife as it is beautiful with simple techniques that benefit wildlife and help preserve and protect our natural resources. You will learn the four basic habitat requirements needed to sustain wildlife and how to provide them in your garden. You will also find out how to join a growing movement of folks in the Puget Sound region who are taking steps to become wildlife-friendly -- one yard at a time. Val Schroeder

C.13 Food Lover's Garden

Growing your favorite crops and what to do with them, successful vegetable varieties A-Z, timing your harvests, food preparation tips, NW favorite annuals and perennials, seed sourcing and seed saving. Anza Muenchow

C.14 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 considerations will be addressed, with time for Q and A at the end. Eric Conn

C.15 Quality Fruit Every Year

Slides and discussion are designed to help you consistently harvest quality fruit from your Pacific NW orchard. We'll touch on climate, soils, best cultivars, rootstocks, cultural practices, pests and diseases, with Q and A worked in. Dan Vorhis

C.16 Rhodies! Selection, Renovation and Care

Join expert, Susie Reynolds, for this interactive class and learn all about the history and care of Rhododendrons--reliable evergreen shrubs for spectacular spring color. Pick up tips on propagation and pruning, and everything in between...and bring your questions! Susie Reynolds

This is a new class offering.

[back to top]