Saturday, March 2, 2013

It's Time To Sign Up For Savvy Gardener Classes


The 2013 Savvy Gardener spring class schedule has just been announced. These classes are brought to you by the Saving Water Partnership, Cascade Water Alliance and their affiliated water utilities. The purpose of these classes is to teach people how to create beautiful, sustainable and even edible landscapes, while conserving water. The classes cover a wide range of topics from composting to plant selection. There are classes for beginners and for experienced gardeners.

Classes are held throughout the Seattle area. And all of them are FREE! You do have to register, however, because class sizes are limited.

Here are a few of the classes that will be offered between March and June this year:

  • Edible Landscapes for the Homeowner
  • Grow Your Own Food Forest
  • Sustainable Veggie Gardening
  • Native Splendor in the Garden
  • Wildlife Friendly Gardening
  • Natural Yard Care
  • Drip Irrigation 101
  • Transform Your Dry Shade Into Lush Beauty
  • Sustainable Garden Design

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

How Will Your Garden Grow in 2013?

What are you going to do in the garden this year? This is the time of year to read, dream, make plans, change them, write lists, draw sketches, and stare out the windows at your garden. While you are imagining all the wonderful things to come, you are laying the groundwork (so to speak) for a successful gardening season.

Here are resources that will help you decide what you want to do when those first perfect gardening days of the year arrive.

Steve Solomon's book Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades is a classic. Vegetable gardening is different in our Maritime climate than in other parts of the country, so general gardening books aren't that useful. Let this book be your guide to the plant varieties and techniques that will work here. Just as importantly, Solomon explains care of the soil, including composting, fertilizing and efficient water use. Healthy soil = healthy produce.

What seeds should you plant? Consider those from Botanical Interests, a Seattle Garden Ideas affiliate. They sell GMO-free seeds, many heirlooms, and their seed packets are so full of useful information, you'll want to keep them around for reference. Visit their website for helpful articles, special sales and occasional contests.

If you are a visual learner, you may find the help you need at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show. This is the show's 25th year of providing gardening inspiration with stunning display gardens, seminars and so much more. The show runs February 20-24 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

For gardeners who like a "calendar" approach to planning, the Maritime Northwest Garden Guide is ideal. The content is arranged month-by-month, listing what to do each month and including tips on when to plant seeds, soil amendments, organic fertilizers, pest control and lots more. I wish Seattle Tilth would release a new edition of this valuable little book, but you can get used copies on Amazon for just $12.99.

Are you planning to add raised beds or compost bins this year? Visit Eartheasy.com, a Seattle Garden Ideas affiliate, for how-to information, inspiration and products for sustainable gardening. Remember, they plant a tree for every order placed!


In my design practice, I have used my copy of The Pacific Northwest Gardener's Book of Lists so much that it is literally falling apart. I have to tape pages back into it every time I look something up. This book is just what it says, a collection of plant lists for just about every conceivable condition. Wet, dry, full sun, shade, annual, perennial, ground cover, tree, shrub - they're all there. This guide will really help you choose the right plants for the right places.

OK, it's time to get started. There's something so uplifting about garden planning. Enjoy the process.

Related posts:

When Is the Right Time to Prune?
It's February and Time to Prune Roses
Ready To Take Out Your Lawn?