It’s winter, so go to gardening school


Continuing with today's educational theme here at the Rant, here's some great opportunities coming up soon that readers have written to me about in response to a recent post.  From East to West: 

Sponsor/Location: Berkshire Botanical Garden Here's the link
When:  Saturday, 2/14
What:  Their roster of great lectures and workshops starts off with the
famed Daniel J. Hinkley talking about "Plants for your 21st
Century Garden." Only $35 for a 2 hour lecture.  Many other programs – organic
vegetable; perennials; small fruit and berry; pruning; hardscaping and info
about a Horticulture Certificate program – see more here.

Sponsor/Location:  Frelinghuysen
When:  Jan 22 (snow day Jan 29)
  Ken Druse will be giving his first
talk based on his newest book, Planthropology

Sponsor/Location:  Phipps Conservatory
When/What:  Many times, many events (Here's the link) Including the 2009 Western PA Gardening &
Landscaping Symposium featuring, among others,
Tracy DiSabato-Ausk talking about high impact low care garden plants.
Also, talks on Green Roofs by Dr. Robert Berghage, and Water
Sustainability by Marcus de la Fleur.   

Sponsor/Location:  Bowman's Hill  Wildflower Preserve
When:  2/19
What: Land Ethics Symposium

Sponsor/Location:  Green Springs Garden  Here's the link.
When/What:  2/14 Low-Impact Development Strategies for Homeowners.  They're known for their excellent programs; whole carloads have been known to schlep down from Maryland to partake.

Sponsor/Location:  Brookside Garden 
When/What:  Feb 27, Water-Wise Landscapes, this year's Green Matters Symposium (they're great).
Check it out – as well as their whole catalog of courses and workshops in the right sidebar.

Sponsor/Location: Wisconsin Garden Club Federation Annual Convention, Cranberry Country Lodge
April 17-18
What:  Wisconsin Garden Club Federation Annual Convention (including Renegade Gardener)
Cranberry Country
Info: Judy Pitcher (715) 359-0291

Sponsor/Location:  Olbrich Botanical Garden
When/What:  Feb 19, Incredible Edible Gardens., including Fritz Haeg, author of "Attack on the Front Lawn"

SAN FRANCISCO, CA:  (Expensive and Cheap Options)
Sponsor/Location:  San Francisco Botanical Garden ($110-125)
When/What:  Feb 7, Water-Wise Gardening  Here's the info.

Sponsor/Location: Garden for the Environment   ($10-15)
When/What:  Many, including Jan 17, Organic Gardening; Jan 31, Herbal Medicine, Feb 7, Urban "Composting, Feb 14, Fruit Trees, and so on.  Bargains!  Here's the info.

like Homestead Gardens in Maryland have free or cheap workshops and seminars.  Check out these for only $5. Check your favor garden center's website for details.


  1. The Western Mass Master Gardeners ( are holding their spring symposium at Frontier Regional High School on Sat. March 21. The keynote speaker is the noted landscaped designer and writer Julia Moir Messervy. I am giving a presentation on worm farming. I’ve been told it doesn’t matter that the cold killed my worms this winter. Even my basement dips below 50 degrees.

  2. We offer distance learning continuing ed courses in the Department of Horticutlure at Cornell, where I work. Our organic gardening course filled up quickly. But we still have openings in our upcoming botanical illustration course:

    We also offer a course in plant propagation. Visit the website and email the contact there if you’d like to be notified of future courses:

  3. Thanks for digging up that affordable gardening class information offered by Garden for the Environment Group located in the San Francisco Bay area.

    I love living in the San Francisco Bay Area but the cost of continuing education classes at the S.F. Botanical Garden and at other local gardening associations is out of control.
    When gardening classes cost $ 125.00 to $ 150 and upward in $175 dollar range for a one day class you have to ask yourself who can afford these classes ?

    Yeah , yeah, don’t give me the whiny spiel that the money raised goes to support the Arboretum.
    I know that, but if other botanical gardens can offer classes for an affordable amount to the general public, the S.F. Bot Garden should also be able too.
    Not to mention that a simple membership this year is $ 60. buck-a-roos. – Ouch. .. guess who is not going to renew their membership this year.

  4. Ughh, I’m with you Michelle. I love Strybing, but that place needs to take a seriously hard look in the mirror. They have people in management who don’t even care about gardening. And the Board is just plain clueless. It’s no wonder their programs are so out of touch. The kids at the Garden for the Environment have 10 times as much know-how and heart. They should be in charge. YOU should be in charge.

  5. Yikes… $60 is a lot of money right now. The 10% discount at local nurseries adds up over a year tho’–at least does for me; I don’t have a license to shop wholesale. (How much do those cost?)

    As I understand it, SFBG foresees having to charge admission sooner rather than later. (In which case, I will re-up.) Public access to major gardens is an important topic; these places can inspire people to become gardeners. Well, presumably!

    I mean, Bay Area public gardens have certainly been an ongoing inspiration to me, but who knows about anyone else.

    But as Susan points out, they are vital centers for education regardless.

  6. Okay, I wrote the penultimate content, but my friend here wrote the one before that. We’re having our own little garden rant at my place tonight, and intoxication is definitely happening. The by-line information got held over to my comment.

  7. Anyone know the skinny behind the cancellation of “Horticulture”‘s annual symposium? I was getting ready to sign up for it today at the Lewis Ginter Botanical garden, only to find it no more…the dates were all scheduled and the speakers lined up for the usual venues. Now, poof!

    Too bad, because in the past, its been a fun and inspirational day in the middle of February, when one needs gardening a great deal.

  8. Thanks for posting Ken Druse’s talk at Frelinghuysen Arboretum. This is an under appreciated venue with a great speaker and a private tour of Greenwood Gardens in Short Hills before it closes for major infrastructural work. If you’re in northern NJ – don’t miss it!

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