2018 Course Schedule

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Ellen Ashley’s Hands-On Gardening Classes

2018 Course Schedule

Click for a printable schedule: 2018 Course Schedule

Each class is 2-hours plus Q&A, 2-4pm unless noted.  Each of the 9 courses will be taught twice: once on Thursday & once on Sunday.  Maximum 15 students per class uncles noted. (I will add more class dates if there is demand.)  Research-based course materials will be provided for each course.

Classes will be offered as a complete program for one-time fee of $295 per student.

  

Course #1 – Greensboro Arboretum, March 11 & 15

Pruning guidelines & demonstration: (90 minutes) Bad pruning is the #1 mistake of homeowners and landscapers alike. Good pruning can transform your landscape into a thing of beauty. Improper pruning, including pruning at the wrong time, can destroy bloom buds, disfigure plants, invite disease, and do permanent damage to an otherwise healthy plant. Whether you do it yourself or hire it out, it is important to know what to do!

Instruction will include an overview of essential tools, and pruning demonstrations of roses, nandina, conifers, azaleas, camellias, spirea, weigelia, clematis, grasses, fruits and more. (If you don’t know what plants you have, you may recognize them when you see them in my landscape.)

Deterring furry pests in the garden:  (30 min) Deer, rabbits, moles & voles – if you plant it they will come! Gardening can be an exercise in futility if you do not have the “varmints” under control.  (30 minutes)
I will have organic Deer & Rabbit repellent available for sale at this class.

 

Course #2 – Greensboro Arboretum Classroom OR Caldwell Building at Tanger Bicentennial Garden (This class can be >15.)  March 25 & 29

Soil Science and Why Organics Matter:  Organic gardening is a process, not a product, and it all starts with the soil. This class is a prerequisite to ALL other classes.  You will learn the importance of soil, why pH matters, how to take a soil test, how to create new planting beds and rejuvenate existing ones, organic soil amendments, nutrient balance, and the role of microorganisms.

You will receive Soil Test Kits from the NCSU Extension Service and instruction in how to use them.

There will be an outside “show and tell” of the most cost-effective organic soil amendments, where to buy them and how to use them.

 

Course #3 – Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, Kernersville, April 15 & 19

Edible Gardening – Fruits and Vegetables: What to grow and When to plant

There are beautiful ways to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs in your home landscape. You will learn about:

  • The easiest, low maintenance fruits that are beautiful in your home landscape and small enough to fit anywhere. (Special blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, figs, Japanese persimmons and more.)
  • Edibles that make a beautiful addition to your flower border.
  • Spring veggies, herbs and flowers including asparagus (a beautiful, edible perennial), potatoes, onions, lettuce, arugula, beets, peas, spinach, parsley, cilantro, dill, edible flowers and more.
  • Planting schedules for spring, summer, fall.
  • When and how to sow seeds vs planting seedlings.
  • Where to buy seed, transplants, plant supports and fertilizers.
  • How to read a seed catalog and a seed packet.
  • Various types of organic fertilizers and the real meaning of those N-P-K numbers on the bag.
  • Essential tools that make gardening easier.
  • How to plan for your summer garden, including veggies and flowers from seed.

Course #4 – Ellen Ashley’s home, 8140 Witty Road, Summerfield, NC – April 26 & 29

The costly demise of most garden plantings are a direct result of improper planting. We will address an array of misconceptions about planting techniques. You may be very surprised!  This class will demonstrate:

  • Proper planting techniques for planting shrubs and trees for successful growth, even those sometimes fussy azalea and rhododendron.
  • How to prepare a new planting bed.
  • How to interpret your soil test reports.

This will be a “hands-on” outdoor class held at the site of my brand new home, still under construction. It will be the perfect demonstration of how to deal with hard packed red clay, the problem that most intimidates would-be gardeners in the Triad.

 

Course #5 – Greensboro Arboretum or Gateway Gardens (walk about), May 6 & 10

Learn about the best varieties of shrubs and trees that take you far beyond the 20 common plants you find in the average landscape

This Interactive outdoor walk  will focus on how different trees & shrubs can be used to create a low-maintenance landscape with beauty and color. You will see how plants look at maturity (vs. in a nursery pot) so you understand their size and features. We will discuss individual plants and various cultivars available.

Choosing “the best” plant depends on its requirements for light, water, and soil (including pH), and whether it will grow to be the right size, shape and color to fit your landscape design.  Shade lovers will wilt and burn in the sun and require lots more water. Sun lovers get leggy and lose their color in shade, attract bugs and disease.

You will learn:

  • How to read a nursery plant tag.
  • Plants that deer don’t like.
  • Plants for screening and “evergreening” your property.
  • Shrubs for sun and shade.
  • Shrubs that flower in different seasons
  • Choosing plants for year-round interest (bark, structure, leaf color, texture…)
  • Plants as “structure” in the landscape

 

Course #6 – The personal garden of Dr. Graham Ray, May 17 & 20

Shade gardening is not for sissies! It means trying to grow things in a challenging environment. There are usually trees providing the shade so the ground is often root bound and dry as a bone. Then of course there is the lack of sun, an essential ingredient for photosynthesis!  You will spend 2 hours in the amazing garden of Dr. Graham Ray.  We will show you plants that thrive in this environment and discuss how to grow them successfully.  You will receive plant lists for future reference.

 

Course #7 – Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, Kernersville, June 3 (2-4pm) and 7 (10am-noon)

The Best Flowers for Summer Color

Annuals, perennials, biennials, bulbs and corms– what’s the difference?

The most reliable summer bloomers and when to plant them.
Spend your money wisely on deer proof, heat/cold tolerant, disease resistant, long blooming, and long-lived perennials. You may also want to know which ones are magnets for butterflies and hummingbirds. Many of these look bold and tropical, but are amazingly cold tolerant in the Triad.

 

Course #8 – Paul J. Ciener Botanical Garden, Kernersville, August 26 (2-4pm) & 30 (10am-noon)

Garden maintenance, Seed Saving & Bug Identification

Garden Maintenance – This class will cover pruning and deadheading of spring and summer blooming shrubs and perennials, weed and disease control, bug identification and discussion of what to do about the bad guys & how to attract more good ones!   We will also discuss “preemptive pruning” of perennials to control size and help them hold up their heavy summer blooms.

Experienced gardeners rarely walk into the garden without gloves and pruners in hand. There are entire books written on caring for perennial gardens because plants are just different. You will learn how to rejuvenate your plants to keep your garden blooming beautifully through fall.

Seed Saving – Late summer is time to collect seeds from spring bloomers to sow now or save for next year.   Your garden is producing much more seed than you will find in 100 ordinary seed packets! I will show you how to collect seeds, dry them, and plant them for more blooms next year.

 

Course #9 – Gateway Gardens, October 11 & 14

Garden Design Principles.   Fall is the perfect time to look around your garden with a critical eye. The ‘bones’ of your garden can be seen when the leaves have fallen and the perennials disappear for the winter. This is an interactive garden walk-about to examine WHY a garden scene is pleasing to the eye.  Looking at specific components of the scene will uncover ideas that you can use in your own landscape design.

Learn how to add excitement to your Fall & Winter Gardens.  The Piedmont Triad is blessed with wonderful autumn leaf color. Make sure your garden has even more with fabulous Japanese maples, fall blooming camellias, asters, 6 foot tall ginger, helianthus, grasses, sedum and more. You will learn about keeping your winter garden beautiful with evergreens, berries, colorful bark, bulbs, stone and interesting textures.

Little tasks to do in fall: Harvesting the last of your herbs before frost, planting garlic & spinach, what seeds to sow in fall for spring flowers, and what to do with leaves.  Learn about frost protection to make the last of your fall vegetables hold weeks longer through the cold. All about the what, when and how much of “mulching”.

 

 happy-9-11-15Ellen Ashley
Educator, Speaker, Blogger, Gardening Enthusiast,
Garden Happy!  
www.LearnToGarden.net
336-541-5699 cell

Ellen is also available for speaking engagements
and private garden consulting.

5 Comments on 2018 Course Schedule

  • Ann Hart says:
    July 21, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Ellen,
    Could I be a guest and attend the Cut Flower Workshop on Wed July 30th.
    Thanks,
    Ann

    • admin says:
      July 27, 2014 at 3:10 am

      Ann,
      There is room now in the July 30 Cut Flower Workshop! I would be very happy to have you attend! Please call or email and confirm.
      Kind regards,
      Ellen 336-644-6072 ellen@learntogarden.net

  • Jim Mayer says:
    October 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    I NOTICE THAT YOUR CLASSES ARE WED, SAT, SUN. IS EACH DAY DIFFERENT OR DO WE CHOSE A DAY EACH WEEK?

    • admin says:
      October 6, 2014 at 12:33 am

      Jim,
      I teach each Gardening Course 3 times in order to keep the classes small and to give people more flexibility in scheduling. Choose one class date for each course. Courses are spaced a few weeks apart so that you will experience my gardens in 4 seasons. Additional garden tours will be announced throughout the year. Please don’t hesitate to call if you need more information. Ellen 541-5699

  • Katie says:
    January 24, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Hi there, I just saw your amazing deal on the News And Record Daily Deal. I’m very interested, and my husband may be as well. I would need to wait one or two weeks to get my next paycheck to cover the cost. Will this be a problem? Just wondering what the time limit was on this deal. Thanks!


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