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Email:  Evelyn (at)
GardenPossibilities.com

 

 



Some helpful articles scattered around the 40 or so pages here -

Coping with the 
dastardly Lily beetle.

Shrub Pruning Tips

Winter Garden Protection

Correct planting of 
new trees & shrubs

Increasing Drought Tolerance.

"Low"maintenance gardening?

 

 

Gardening classes with a difference!
                        ... teaching not just the when and how, but WHY.
 

Gardening is an endlessly rewarding craft that brings together old and young, rich and poor, philosopher and farmer, old world and new.  Few leisure pursuits bridge as many divides or has the potential for richer pleasures.   A gardener's education never ends - there are new curiosities and creative possibilities to explore with every turn of the season and year.   

The gardening lessons I've developed over the years have the goal of helping gardeners integrate the art of garden design with the science at work in the plants and the soil that supports them, without forgetting that gardening can be - and should be - tons of inspiring and creative fun, not "work"!     

Using a common-sense, but no-dummies approach, each lesson usually ends with a "now-I-get-it" moment that leads you to confident practical decisions and inspired design ideas to take home to your garden.   The underlying fact that even the smallest garden should be your own private playground, where endless creative possibilities and natural curiosities can be explored in real time, is the overall spirit of my gardening philosophy, and guides all of the lessons.   

Gardening isn't just about an
end goal, but is an on-going process that -

               - feeds the creative spirit,

                 
   - engages a curious mind,                          - and nurtures the soul.                   
     
 
The possibilities and rewards are endless!  Join us for 2019 classes.   
                                                                
Evelyn Wolf      

Gardening classes since 1995, where my passion for plants, gardens and the joy they can bring to our lives is always evident.
Evelyn Wolf,
Gardener

2019 winter classes & workshops Calendar

Registration for either our full 7 week course or just a workshop or two makes a great stocking stuffer for your gardener!  Classes run from Feb to April - perfect timing as an antidote to the LAWGBLAHS (Late Winter Gardener's Blahs)

All classes take place at our gardens in Queensville (East Gwillimbury), just north of Newmarket.

 


 

COURSES  Integrated series of in-depth lessons, combining  - instruction, discussion, demos, slide show, outdoor hands-on experience when possible, and detailed lesson notes to take home Maximum 8 participants. Courses usually run in late winter / early spring, before the active gardening season. 
(Different course options, below.) 

some basic tree anatomy & pruning talk for a local Horticultural Club
WORKSHOPS
 In-depth 2 or 3 hour lessons focused on hands-on learning, plus detailed take-home notes with further information on the topic.  Some are limited to just 6 participants.  Workshops run through the active gardening season at my display garden in Queensville, just North of Newmarket.  (Workshop topic options, below.) 

Questions, or to inquire about customized lessons or seminars geared to landscape crew training or presentation to your community group, email anytime. 
          Cheers!
Evelyn

 

2019 Courses & Workshops Calendar -
Register soon!  (Course class size is limited to 9 and workshops to 6.)

Feb       Mon

Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
 
 

 

   

 

1 2 3
4
 
 
5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12
 
13 
THE LIVING EARTH.  Good Garden Soil Workshop 5:00 - 8:00
 
14
 
15 16 17
18
Family Day
19
 
20


 

21
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 1     12:00 - 3:00
 
22 23 24
25 26
Perennial Garden Essentials, Day 1
5:30 - 8:30
27
 
28
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 2     12:00 - 3:00
 

 Six weeks is a lot to commit to without needing to miss a class or two for a winter vacation!  It's not a problem to join the alternate time slot though to make up a missed lesson.

 March       Mon

Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
   

 

    1 2 3
4 5
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 2      5:30 - 8:30
6

 
7
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 3     12:00 - 3:00
 
8 9 10
11

March break week
 
12

March break week
 
13 

March break week
14

March break week

 
15

March break week
 
16
 
17
 
18 19
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 3     5:30 - 8:30
 
20
 
21
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 4     12:00 - 3:00
22 23 24
25 26
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 4     5:30 - 8:30
 
27
 
28
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 5      12:00 - 3:00

 If these dates or times don't work for you, let me know - if demand warrants, an additional date may be added that may be just right!  Evelyn

April       Mon

Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
  1
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 5     5:30 - 8:30
 
2

STOP THE TORTURE! Shrub Pruning Workshop.
5:00 - 8:00
 
3
(skip)
4 5
GET GROWING!
Beginners course,  Day 1,   1:00 - 4:00
6
7

 
8
Perennial Garden Essential course,
 Day 6     5:30 - 8:30
 
9

 
10
Perennial Garden Essentials course, Day 6     12:00 - 3:00
11 12
GET GROWING!
Beginners course,  Day 2,   1:00 - 4:00
13
14 15

 
16

 
17
 
18
Good Friday
19
 
20
21
Easter Monday
22
 

 

23

 
24
 
25 26
GET GROWING!
Beginners course,  Day 3,   1:00 - 4:00
 
27
28

 

29

 
30
GREAT PLANT COMBINATIONS Workshop 5:00 - 8:00
 
   
 Courses - a series of integrated lessons, combining - instruction,  demos, lots of Q&A, a slide show, and detailed lesson sheets to take home.   Lessons are designed to build on each other rather than stand alone, for a more thorough learning experience that ties together the many elements working together in your garden. 
PERENNIAL GARDEN ESSENTIALS or "Think Like a Plant!" 
 A comprehensive course on Perennial and Shrub gardening.  
6 lesson course, 1 per week
2019 Dates -
   Feb 21st - April 3rd Thurs. afternoons 12:00 - 3:00
OR -   Feb 26th - April 8th Tues. evenings 5:30 - 8:30
(see above calendar for exact dates - there's some "skip" weeks.)
$365.00 (+hst)   maximum 8 participants. 

Gardening involves thousands of details and choices, but there are basic facts in the natural world which everything follows from. This course covers these essentials thoroughly, with an entire detailed lesson devoted to each important topic from soil care and shrub pruning to creating a personalized design.

This is our comprehensive course we've been running for many years, that takes participants through all the important topics to design and manage a successful perennial garden.  This integrated series of 3hr lessons is designed to help gardeners understand that there are no hard and fast rules to follow, but instead facts to juggle as you come up with your own solutions to problems or right way of doing things that match available maintenance time, site conditions, and design tastes.  Lessons echo and overlap with each other, so it becomes clear how all garden choices and decisions are connected.  Complete with thorough hand-out notes to take home, this course will help you sort through all the conflicting advice out there and have you gardening with common-sense and confidence! 

Understanding plants' seasonal  life cycles ... soil care & mulching ... starting a new garden  ...  developing maintenance routines ... designing great plant combinations ... working with your own garden site's limitations and strengths ...  tweaking zone hardiness ... correct shrub pruning ... dividing perennials for either health or sharing ... lowering maintenance and water input ... appropriate plant choices ... pest control ... weed control ...
 FULL LIST OF TOPICS COVERED BELOW

A course for complete BEGINNERS.
GET GROWING!   Your New Garden.

3 lesson course, 1 per wk.
2019 dates - Sat. April 6th, 12th & 26th. 1:00 - 4:00
$155.00
(+hst)  max 10 participants.
If you're a complete newcomer to perennial gardening, you may find our main "..Essentials" course just too hard to follow.  Here's the course for you!    A thorough beginner's course to get you started down the exciting and creative path of gardening with perennials and shrubs.  The cost of the course will be quickly recouped by avoiding even just one of the many common beginner's mistakes!
 
From the basics of soil preparation and site appropriate plant choices, to creative design ideas to get your first garden going successfully, will be covered.    Starting right helps you avoid many years of problem fixing.  Lots of Q&A opportunities will address your particular garden issues, questions, or design challenges.  FULL DETAILS BELOW

LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE CREW CRASH COURSE TRAINING. 
Similar to my course "Gardening for Beginners" above, but focusing less on learning the horticultural details and more on general rules of thumb for what to do when, and the general essentials of garden care month by month.  The emphasis is on learning about the different types of plants and how/where/when to  - pinch for fullness and height control;  deadhead for continuing bloom;  basics of correct shrub pruning;  types of mulch and applying correctly;  identifying different weeds and which ones pose the worst control problems;  when and if fertilizer is needed;  etc.  ... the basic how-tos for tending a mixed perennial and shrub garden.  (I manage a garden services crew myself, so I understand where the usual knowledge gaps are, and how to cut through the technical jargon and get to the essentials.)

RETHINKING THE FRONT LAWN 
3 week course.  Fall 2019

Keeping a nice lawn means engaging in a costly, tedious, environmentally un-friendly, and on-going battle with grubs, fertilizers, lawnmowers, noise, and a weekly maintenance grind.  Why not reduce or eliminate that high cost green carpet and catch the popular wave of establishing a full front garden instead!

Think outside the garden box and learn how to apply basic design rules and how to prepare a garden that's lower-maintenance with lower water needs.   In step-by-step lessons we’ll first showcase the many design possibilities through a slide show and deconstruction of different looks and styles;  review some of the reasons a full front garden is a desirable option over turf;  and cover all the practical matters of creating your full front yard garden such as - soil & site analysis; bed preparation; design rules to follow; planning for reduced water needs; lower-maintenance; low-water plant choices; etc. 

This short course is the first step down the path of establishing a truly unique front garden that virtually looks after itself compared to turf!  FULL DETAILS BELOW

 



 

Workshops  - In-depth 2 or 3 hour lessons, focused on hands-on learning when possible or live demonstrations, plus detailed take-home notes with further information on the topic.  Maximum 6 - 8 participants.  Workshops run through the active gardening season at my display garden in Queensville, just North of Newmarket.  These workshops run outdoors, when possible, at our display garden in Queensville

Shrub & Small Tree Pruning. 
STOP THE TORTURE!    
3hr  demo / hands-on / slide show / plus 24 page booklet hand-out to take home. 
2019 Dates -  April 2nd, 5:00 - 8:00   $85.00 (+hst)   max 6 participants. 
 
A thorough lesson on shrub and small tree pruning. Limited to 6 people.
 
One of the true arts of gardening, correct pruning is a rewarding and creative investment in time, with results that can't be bought at any price - beautiful, healthy, mature plants strutting their very best stuff. 

How to prune completely depends on why you’re pruning, and why you’re pruning leads to when to prune.   All these how’s, why’s and when’s are covered in this essential skill workshop. 

Pruning is probably the most misunderstood, and usually incorrectly executed garden task. The haircut trim that all too often passes for pruning is exactly the wrong way to prune and leads to weak, twiggy, non-flowering, plants with “bare legs”, and often a long slow diseased death.  ...AND, for most shrubs, the traditional fall timing of this haircut trim is exactly the worst time for any pruning - correctly done or not!  In other words, the “haircut” trim is literally plant torture!  Through hands-on demos, you’ll learn how to prevent tree defects; maintain a shrub's blooming power and natural shape; rejuvenate an old hedge; restrict a large plant to a small size; or even create your own unique topiary. 
 MORE DETAILS

Designing GREAT PLANT COMBINATIONS Designing plant partnerships for an all season garden "wow" factor.    3hr slide show / demo / hands-on.
2019 Dates - April 30th 5:00 - 8:00
$55.00 (+hst)   max 8 participants
The huge assortment of plants available today is overwhelming, and it's easy to end up with a cluttered mess instead of the beautiful spring-to-fall garden you envisioned.   Designing a planting that has something of interest happening in all seasons, while balancing your favourite's list and your site conditions, can be a brain numbing exercise. 

But there are design formulas to follow that will help you to create partnerships that "wow", to make any garden bed's beauty greater than the sum of its parts. 

In this workshop you'll learn how to think of your plants in complimentary partnerships through a hands-on mix 'n match demo, a slide show of  plant combinations that work well, and learn about hard-working plants for any design.  Most importantly, you'll learn WHY particular partnerships work so you can duplicate the ideas using your own favourite plants.  I'll have a wide assortment of potted plants on hand to demonstrate the design rules-of-thumb.  MORE DETAILS  

 

LIFTING & DIVIDING PERENNIALS
 3hr, hands-on demo, with take home lesson sheets - PLUS, at least 6 different plant division pieces to take home to your garden.  Limited to 6 people
Whether you’re rejuvenating an old Iris or simply want to multiply favourite plants to spread around a larger area or share with friends, dividing perennials gives them renewed vigor and is an inexpensive way to expand your garden.
In this workshop we’ll go through different types of root systems, and how to determine the best timing for dividing particular plants.  A hands-on demonstration of different perennials to show exactly what you’re looking for when dividing their roots, and how each is correctly planted.  How to purchase healthy potted plants and their correct planting is also covered.

You’d be amazed at just how many divisions can be made from just one overgrown patch of daylily, hosta, coral bell, Iris, Dahlia, or ornamental grass!   You’ll take home dozens of new starter sized plants from the plant divisions we'll be creating, and gain the know-how you need to create hundreds of dollars worth of new plants from the ones you already have. MORE DETAILS

THE LIVING EARTH.  Garden Soil Health
a 3 hour workshop. 
2019 Dates - February 19th 5:00 - 8:00
$65.00 (+hst)   max 8 participants
Most garden problems are rooted in incorrect soil preparation, neglected soil health, or lack of attention to the effects on a garden's soil of the many garden products we routinely apply. 

Learn more about the fascinating world that is the life cycle underground in your garden, and how to maintain soil health. 

The role of organic matter and choices;
Various approaches to starting a new bed; 
understanding pH; 
different mulches and deciding which is best; 
weed/pest control;   fertilizing; 
compost, triple mix, top soil, loam ... what's the 
difference and why it matters to choose correctly; 
determining your soil type and how to improve it.

If you have time for no other class, this one is a must!  Everything starts with the soil, and mistakes or neglect here can, at best, cause a garden to be much higher maintenance than necessary and, at worst, cause costly plant stress and death. 

 

ORNAMENTAL GRASSES. 
Choices, Designing with, and Care.   a 2 1/2 hr workshop.
  From adorable 8" tufts of steely blue fine textured leaves, to giant 10 foot stands of massive plumes that stand tall over the snows of winter, ornamental grasses offer tons of dramatic impact in any garden.  Essential for winter interest in any design or garden size, it's hard to imagine any garden without at least a few!

They have very different design roles and care needs than flowering plants though, and it's difficult to judge their potential beauty from a pot at the garden center in spring.  So this workshop first goes through the unique design attributes of different grasses with a slide show of the many photos I've taken over the years, and then we'll do some hands-on work to learn how to care for them and divide their roots for renewal or sharing.  Not all grasses will work in all sun/soil conditions, so we'll also talk about the best choices for different site conditions - shade/dry/moist/etc, and debunk some of the common myths about their care.   I'll also have live potted samples on hand to show you, and you'll go home with a few starter pieces that will result from a demonstration on how to divide them.  

The GOOD, the BAD, and the WEEDY. 
What exactly is a "weed"? 
2hr slide presentation and live demonstration.

In my experience the worst "weeds" are among the plants I've purchased over the years at the garden center!   This workshop offers a hit-list of the "be careful what you wish for" plants that are too aggressive for average garden conditions.  But we'll also talk about having your cake and eating it too! - that is, how to keep aggressive plants under control, or highlight where their aggressive nature can be put to good use. 

I wish I had a dime for every time I've heard a new gardeners say "well, they wouldn't sell it if it wasn't an OK plant, would they?".   Well ... yes ... they would ... and they do!   No one is trying to ull the wool over your eye though.  What is an aggressive "weedy" plant for one person is an excellent groundcover or erosion control plant for another.  The marketplace is full of plants that will quickly be out of control under most garden conditions, leading to years of weeding out stray roots or thousands of seedlings.  This workshop covers not only the plants to avoid, but of course, or common garden weeds and how to control them too. 

LAWN CARE THE NATURAL WAY
a 2hr workshop. 
 How to build and maintain a healthy and beautiful lawn without chemicals and excess water.  
Lawn products have reached the level of precision science by now, making the promise of drop dead gorgeous, golf green perfection, sound easily achievable.  It's great to want a nice lawn of course, but it's this quest for "perfect" that comes at a high cost to the environment and your available maintenance time. 

We'll first discuss how some of our traditional lawn maintenance habits actually ENCOURAGE problems, then lay out a sensible, fully organic routine to follow for a healthy lawn you can feel good about wiggling your toes in.

- corn gluten for long term weed control
- thatch - a natural amount is healthy but excessive fertilizing and some of our other bad habits lead to thatch build up that cause problems.
- understanding insect control and how to prevent problem outbreaks.  Grubs in particular can devastate a lawn but there are easy things you can do to prevent damage.
- natural growth patterns of cool season vs warm season grasses.
- alternatives to traditional turf.

 
Creating a DROUGHT TOLERANT GARDEN
a workshop. There's more to creating a drought tolerant garden than just selecting plants from a drought tolerant list.  And what does "tolerant" actually mean?  The word implies that the plant would prefer more water but will do OK with less. 

This seminar will discuss how to go beyond "tolerant" and showcases the plants that NEED dry conditions, not just tolerate them, and how to create the conditions they need.  We'll also discuss the many ways you can increase the drought tolerance of a standard mixed perennial garden instead of installing expensive watering systems, and how to grow your plants to be tougher and hardier.  There's no need to completely give up your water needy plants -  learn how to toughen them up so they'll be able to endure drought conditions when they hit. 

   

 

Course Details -
Perennial Garden Essentials, 6 week course, 1 class per week.
Our comprehensive course that will lead you to growing with confidence.

" Think Like a Plant! "

 A 6 lesson course (3 hrs each lesson) that takes us through all of the what's, why's and how's of establishing and caring for a mixed perennials & shrubs garden.  In-depth, integrated lessons, with plenty of time worked in for lots of Q&A, plus take home notes with deeper detail.  The goal is to have you gardening with confidence as you work through the ups, downs, and the many choices of - design, maintenance and troubleshooting, whether you're gardening with perennials, shrubs, trees, or just a fresh planting of annuals each spring. 

Gardening involves thousands of details and choices, but there are basic rules in the natural world which everything follows from.   This class covers these essentials thoroughly, with an entire lesson devoted to each important topic.    By the end of the course you’ll understand why such and such is done in the garden, not just when and how.     Armed with this background knowledge, you'll have the confidence to make the thousands of individual decisions on products, plants, and methods that go into creating a healthy beautiful garden that satisfies both the eye and soul.    (... and the budget too!).   EVERYTHING you do in a garden is interconnected.  Once you've completed this comprehensive course, you'll understand how one action leads to another, and how to make decisions that make sense for your particular goals.   ... 

... ABOUT ME:  I've been running this course for over 15 years, and have received many accolades on my unique approach to teaching what can sometime seem like a complicated topic.  Underlying each lesson is not just standard horticultural knowledge, but my own decades of experience.   I caught the gardening bug while in my 20's and, (at the risk of dating myself), it's now a few decades later, yet my enthusiasm for the possibilities of plants and gardens continues.  Over the years my incessantly curious nature led me to research every success and failure to learn from it.  Then came operating a garden specialty bookstore where each curiosity could be thoroughly explored.  More hands on experience came my way over the past 12 years through my garden design and maintenance service launched in 2006, where I've been exposed to different garden conditions and design tastes that helped me learn more about all the variables of sun, soil, and plant choices, balanced with different garden styles.  In a nutshell, I'm a garden nerd!  That's really the only way to say it.   To this day, I still get a rush of excitement when meeting a new plant to play with, or a new garden to play in.  My approach to teaching is just as much about instilling an excitement over the gardening experience as it is about teaching common-sense how-tos.

... ABOUT THE COURSE:  A non-dummies approach with integrated lessons that focus on helping gardeners really understand some of the basic plant science at work so common-sense decisions fall into place without confusion.   There's lots of conflicting advice and information out there in the gardening marketplace, and this course helps cut through the jargon and arms you with what you need to know to make the right choices for you, your own garden's site conditions, and your available maintenance time.   Once you're at the end of the course and out in your own garden this season, you'll be able to juggle all the facts and variables yourself and have all the ammunition to feel confident about what to do and the choices you make.   An agenda of topics covered is below.

(Email anytime if you have questions about whether this course is right for you.  I cover a lot of ground in it, (pun intended!) but I do my best to avoid getting bogged down in technical information you're unlikely to need.)  Cheers!  Evelyn Wolf

... TOPICS COVERED  (each lesson has its own detailed take-home notes offering additional information) -
The Language of Plants.
What exactly is a Perennial, Annual, Bulb, Shrub, etc. and why it matters to know.  This may sound like a somewhat irrelevant and boring topic, but without at least a basic understanding of plant and gardening terminology, no one would ever be able to build on their knowledge.  Understanding how the plant groups differ determines everything that follows for their best care.  So this is the lesson that starts us off right!

Hardiness Zones Hardiness zones and what determines a plant's hardiness ... what it means to your plant selection and positioning in your garden, it's care and handling, and how to push its zone hardiness boundaries.

Thinking Like a Plant. 
Plant life cycles and how each plant’s personal growth/dormancy routine dictates the ebb and flow of energy, nutrition needs, and why they grow differently at different points of the season.  This lesson provides many "ah ha" moments where participants begin to understand what's behind some of the occurrences in their garden and how to customize a maintenance routine to get the most blooming performance and all-season beauty out of their plants.   Successful gardening is 100% about advance planning, not reacting to events, and this lesson makes clear all the natural forces we're working together with and how to plan accordingly. 

The Living Earth.  A thorough look at the underground soil ecosystem and it's importance to a healthy garden ... repairing or working with the soil you have ... long term soil care that offers plants what they need, when they need it ... compost, organic matter and composting ... understanding pH (soil acidity or alkalinity) and what it means to the availability of nutrients ... mulching choices ... fertilizers.

Lawn Care.
Routine maintenance, and organic methods for weed control and general health. 

Stop the Torture!   Shrub pruning.  A lesson in the botany of woody plants and how they react to pruning ... how to make healthy cuts ... working together with their instinctive response to pruning to achieve particular goals such as size reduction or topiary ... when and how to prune a shrub completely depends on why it is being done in the first place.  Here's all the How's, Why's and When's that you need for beautiful, healthy shrubs.

Creating Great Plant Combinations.
This is a topic that could take all 6 evenings in itself, but we'll discuss some basic design rules to guide your creative explorations.  Working with your site conditions ... form & texture ... balance and scale in overall landscape design ... creating fabulous all-season plant combinations ...

Pests & Diseases. Good guys and bad guys—achieving pest control, not elimination is the goal. Organic protection and pest management techniques.

Early Spring / Late Fall to-do list.    A walk through the season detailing all the different things that should be on your to-do list regularly to keep ahead of problems.

General Garden Maintenance. Identifying wish-list factors that determine how much work you need to do—low-maintenance/natural? manicured perfection? ... different types of care and their goals or end results ...  manipulating perennials - shorten floppy plants,  deadheading, stagger or delay bloom, prompt repeat bloom, preventing late summer foliage decline, weed control, lawn maintenance.

Now what!  Pulling together all the pieces and learning how to apply the information learned to some real world scenarios through exercises, lots of Q & A, and some hands-on work out in the garden.   Your questions, photos, and particular problems addressed.  General discussion where I’ll follow where your questions lead with explanations and help you connect the dots. 

Moving, Dividing, or buying Plants. Different types of root systems, how they’re best divided, and when ... demonstrations of a few different types.  New perennials can cost anywhere from $5.00 to $20.00 or more—which ones are worth it and why such a difference ... how to select a healthy plant at the garden center ... best moving or dividing time... 

                            
                                                          

 


 

GET GROWING!  
Your New Garden - a course for BEGINNERS.
3 lesson course, 1 per week.  2 1/2 hour lessons. 

A thorough beginner's course to get you started down the exciting and creative path of gardening with perennials and shrubs to establish your first permanent garden.  The cost of the course will be quickly recouped by avoiding even just one common beginners' mistake! 

There's tons of details to learn before you can dig-in with confidence, but first things first.  As with any learning curve, there are basic skills to thoroughly understand before anything else will stick.  This course is designed to thoroughly cover all the basics you'll need to know to grow your knowledge and successfully start your first garden.  As much as weather allows for, we'll be out in the garden for hands-on demos, and there will be lots of Q&A time available to address your own garden concerns.  Here's the main topics covered -

The Language of Gardening. What exactly is a Perennial, Annual, Bulb, Shrub, etc. and why it matters to know.  Without a thorough understanding of how the types of plants differ, its hard to decide which to choose for your first garden.  So this is the lesson that starts us off right.   ... types of plants ... plant "hardiness" ... winter protection ... mulches, soil, pH, tools ... full sun/partial shade/ ... products on the market and when/how to use them ...

The Living Earth.  Sandy loam?  Hard clay?  Beach-like Sand?  Good-enough drainage?  Analyzing the soil type you have and how to improve it to grow the plants you want or to choose plants accordingly.  What's the difference between "triple mix" ... "top soil ... compost ... how your mulch choices matter ... when to add organic matter ... using fertilizers ...

Step by Step through starting your first garden.   Pulling together what you've learned so far into a common-sense approach to starting a new garden.  ... preparing your soil ... where to put your garden ... choosing and spacing plants correctly ... planting design rules-of-thumb ...  growing vegetables for your dinner table ...

General Garden Maintenance. Choosing the right type of garden and plants that work well with your available maintenance time ... tips to lessen necessary maintenance ... weeding and identifying your enemies ... deadheading ... lawn maintenance ... the best plants for success as a beginner ...

Shrub & small tree pruning.  Not as straightforward a topic as most beginners realize!  Correct shrub pruning is a major topic to get right for a beautiful and healthy garden for the long term.  We'll cover the main do's and don'ts to get your started down the right path.

No firm date set yet, but this course will have
a May run date for 2018, on a weekday evening. 
Email to reserve your spot! 
Class size is limited to 10
.  
evelyn@GardenPossibilities.com

Cheers! 
                                                                  Evelyn

 


 

more details on the Workshops -

SHRUB PRUNING -  STOP THE TORTURE! 
3 hour hands-on workshop, lesson, & take-home 24pg lesson manual. 

From essential pruning in youth to establish a strong framework, to rejuvenating that overgrown lilac or sculpting a topiary, all pruning situations are covered in this in-depth workshop.

Pruning is probably the most misunderstood and usually incorrectly executed garden task. The haircut trim that often passes for “pruning” is the best example I can think of exactly how NOT to prune!  At best it leads to weak, twiggy, non-flowering plants with “bare legs” and, at worst leads to a long slow diseased death. The “haircut” trim method is literally plant torture!  After this workshop you'll clearly see why.

Most of the damage bad pruning causes stems from a misunderstanding about what happens within the plant when a branch is cut.  Pruning stimulates growth in the exact spot where the pruning cut is made, when most often the gardener is attempting to reduce growth.  The more you prune the stronger the plant will respond at the pruned spot, most often at the expense of growth elsewhere on the plant.  The result?  Weak, twiggy, non-flowering tips, with old, bare, and worn out branches at the base.

Quality trees and shrubs can cost a lot of money, but it's skillful training and knowledgeable pruning that makes the investment worthwhile by keeping them strong, healthy, sculpted and growing in a way you want.  Only with either a stroke of very good luck, or through proper pruning, will ordinary trees and shrubs become beautiful specimens.  An expensive Japanese Maple will be a pretty red leaved addition to your garden, but with skillful pruning it can become that gorgeous sculpture you see in pictures. 

This workshop helps gardeners understand what is going on when woody plants are pruned.  Learning to work together with the plants' predictable natural response is key.  Anything is then possible - espalier; topiary; a trained rather than grafted standard (small tree form); maximum blooming each season; accentuated natural shape; healthy full hedges without bare legs; trees with billowing grace rather than a dense mop top; a rejuvenated old shrub with dignity and maturity rather than having to rip it out for something new. 

The workshop focuses on shrubs but also covers the training of a young trees, and basic do's and don'ts when pruning larger trees.  Hands-on demonstrations and training videos are used whether we're indoors or out and a detailed 24 page lesson manual to take home will ensure that you'll have the information to review when you need it. 

P.S.  Last year I had a beautiful large Maple cut down for a client.  A split had developed, caused by a major branch that had been allowed to develop with very poor joint structure ("included" bark) and it was now threatening to break off and crash into the house.  If early in the tree’s life the owner had known what to look for and made just one small pruning snip, the tree could have lived a long life. What is “included” bark you ask? Just one of the valuable details you’ll learn in this workshop.  

 


 

LIFTING AND DIVIDING PERENNIALS
A 3 hour workshop

Whether you’re rejuvenating an overgrown Iris or want to multiply what you have to spread around a larger area or share with a friend, dividing perennials gives them renewed vigor and is an inexpensive way to expand your garden
In this workshop we’ll go through an overview of the different types of root systems, how to determine the best times for particular plants, and hands-on demonstrations of different perennials to show exactly what you’re looking for when dividing their roots.  You’d be amazed at just how many divisions can be made from just one overgrown patch of daylily, hosta, coral bell, Iris, Dahlia, or ornamental grass.  Ornamental Grasses in particular are very tricky to divide, and we'll be demonstrating at least one type.
You’ll take home a few starter plants
of your own from the demonstration plants, and gain the know-how you need to create hundreds of dollars worth of new plants from the ones you already have!

 


 

GREAT PLANT COMBINATIONS
A 3 hour workshop on designing complimentary plant 
partners and trios for all seasons.

The huge assortment of plants available today is overwhelming and its easy to end up with a cluttered mess instead of the beautiful garden you envisioned. In this workshop we’ll talk about how to think of your plants in partnerships or trios and demonstrate some classic examples of plant combinations that work well in any setting.   Learn how to take your garden from spring to autumn with something blooming or contributing at all times through creating good partnerships.  

Seeing a plant’s shape and form, not just flower colour; 
staging on slopes; 
colour combinations that sing;
foliage contrasts; 
creating vignettes with something for each season;