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10:30 - 11:45

First Session 


Happy House Plants

With so many of us spending much more time at home recently, our houseplants are receiving much more attention. On social media too, houseplants are experiencing a renaissance, but a surprising number of experienced gardeners struggle to keep them alive. Join Ross as he tells you all you need to know to grow stunning plants at home. From watering to repotting, feeding to pest control, he will provide top tips and expert advice, together with his pick of the most indestructible houseplants. Also, if your plant is struggling, use the Q&A session to find out what’s wrong.

Quest for the Perfect Tomato

Tomatoes . . . the Holy Grail for all West-of-the-cascade gardeners. You will pamper them, cajole them, swear at them and spend hours online searching for one fool-proof promise of red, mouth-watering tomatoes hanging off the vine in late August.


Whether you have been vegetable gardening many years or just starting out, join Cyndi Stuart for tips on growing, not only tomatoes, but the other Sexy, Warm-Season Veggies, like peppers and eggplants as well. She will even tackle Heirlooms vs. new hybrids, and the grafted tomato so you understand the pros and cons of growing these prolific giants

How to Prune . . . so you don’t have to prune so often

 Does it feel like your pruning efforts have you going in circles?  Learn how to time and place pruning cuts on garden shrubs for a more moderate growth response, optimal plant health and display. Discover how to prune young trees for strong structure to reduce future pruning needs as they mature, and tips on other gardening practices that matter for pruning.  Pruning less often saves labor, energy, and reduces green waste volume.

The Everlasting Harvest: Growing a Year-round Edible Garden

Eat from your yard and garden all year. Join Lisa Taylor, author and garden educator extraordinaire, in a spirited discussion about growing vegetables year-round. We will explore the Maritime Northwest planting calendar and learn how to organize the garden to grow more food. We’ll identify varieties that thrive in our climate and add nutrition to our table. We will also investigate food preservation strategies so that thrifty gardeners can extend the harvest throughout the year.

Landscape Design – Garden Basics

This discussion is for folks with little to moderate experience in being responsible for a garden, yard, or property.  You may be unsure of how to approach the development and management and are overwhelmed by the amount of information on the internet.  More experienced gardeners would benefit from the different philosophical approaches that will be brought up.


In the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a garden nor landscape designer/architect.  I am a garden inhabitant having dealt with plants and the landscapes they grow in for over 50 years.  I have struggled with old existing landscapes and the scorched earth of newly cleared lands.  Of the multitudinous plants I have known and grown, some have thrived in spite of my care, some have perished for reasons, obvious or obscure.  My personal focus is on the plants and how to cultivate & enjoy them, yours may be on the hardscape.  


This is a discussion on philosophies or approaches to accomplishing your goals, not so much a list of plants that fulfill a design or recommendation that you need a spiky thing here, some low flat stuff there, some mauve flowers everywhere and rocks that look like they fell off a passing side-dumper.


We will discuss various approaches in either designing a new yard or managing an established space. Goal setting will be a primary outcome with an eye on how I see time and money as inversely proportional.


Please come prepared with a list of what activities you want to use your garden, yard or property for, as well as any positive or negative attributes like views of The Mountain or the neighborhood wrecking yard.  Plan to leave with “some” goals in hand and hopefully an understanding of a different approach to the entire process that will help you move forward.


12:15 - 1:30 

Second Session

Landscape Design – Intermediate. . . Recognizing and Preventing Problems

This session is designed for those with moderate gardening skills who have a landscape to manage or have inherited an existing landscape and are struggling to decide what to do with it and may be stymied by how to even approach the goal setting necessary for your success.   Not necessary to attend the Basic class as this session will skim those points and focus more on specific issues and approaches.  See full disclosure in Garden Basics.


My goal is that you begin to appreciate the value and need of preventing problems inherent in the design or plant selection and management in the first place and recognizing various solutions for existing problems and the mitigation of potential problems.

Hopefully you'll avoid most if not all of the following scenarios:*

  *  Rip it all out and replace it with:

        -a meadow and raise Rambouillet or Merino Sheep

        -a cookie cutter new house landscape that looks like a 1960s development

        -convert it to all raised beds and produce all of your own vegetables

  *  OR

        -hire an expensive designer/architect to plan and build your fantasy winners                can do this

        -do nothing and keep the blinds closed


Please come prepared with ideas for activities you want to use in your garden, yard or property.

Wonderful World of Trilliums

It’s all about trilliums!  What is the fascination people have for this beautiful wildflower?  Why does it hold a special place in the hearts of many?  Come and enjoy an interesting and unique talk on this endangered wildflower covering its evolution, descriptions and photos of the different trillium species, how to grow them in your own garden and even how to propagate them by seed or cuttings.  By the end of the talk you will be totally in love with trilliums! The talk will also include a visual tour of Cottage Lake Gardens, a two-acre private botanical garden on the eastern shore of Cottage Lake that grows all 50 species of the world’s trilliums and hosts the annual Trillium Tea, Talk & Tours each spring. 

Discover the UW Herbarium -The Power of Pressed Plants

The Otis Douglas Hyde Herbarium at the Center for Urban Horticulture collects and houses pressed plant specimens from the University of Washington Botanic Gardens and from the research of students, staff and faculty. It is a valuable storehouse of botanical DNA from the Seattle region, the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Herbaria of pressed plant specimens originally served as pharmaceutical references of potent poisons and healing remedies. Herbarium collections continue to provide scientists vital information about plants in our past and present environments, but they also document and represent a disturbing history that give us insights into the harmful racial divide that persists in the United States today. 

Rehabilitative Pruning

All may not be lost for those tired old shrubs.  Learn how to revive a variety of shrubs that have lost their aesthetics or vigor to a history of mal-pruning or age, and when plant replacement may be the better option.  Best pruning techniques, tactics and timing for a variety of shrub types will be covered.

Small Space Gardening: Grow More Food on a Tiny Footprint

Growing vegetables and fruit in small urban spaces is fun and easy. Join Lisa Taylor, garden educator and author of the “Maritime Northwest Garden Guide” and “Your Farm in the City; An Urban Dweller’s Guide to Growing Food and Raising Animals” in a lively discussion about growing vegetables vertically, in containers and raised beds. Learn how to reimage your garden and maximize your food production. Explore container and vertical garden basics for growing a diverse and successful edible garden. We will identify vegetable and fruit varieties that are best suited to small space gardening.