“This is the time of year when people are getting cabin fever,” smiles Rosie Johnson as she bends over a deceptively spring-like floral arrangement on this chilly winter day. “Know what? Sales for seed catalogs spike around now too. We’re itching to garden.”
Johnson, neighborhood resident as well as horticulture project specialist for the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, is one of the instructors who will be chasing away the cold-weather doldrums with classes like “Extraordinary Florals” in February.
“When you pick up a bunch of flowers at the grocery store, it doesn’t mean you have to just plop them in a vase,” says Johnson, who is asking her students to do the former, but not the latter. Armed with scissors and a trusty Minyards assortment of florals, Johnson’s protégés will learn to execute a more professional arrangement in a container (provided) other than a empty peanut butter jar.
Another instructor, Leslie Finical-Halleck, the Arboretum’s associate director of Horticulture Research, says: “People want to get involved in gardening whether or not they’re up to getting outside right now. Class, studying, is one way to do that. It’s good to do this pre-spring – it’s a jump start.”
East Dallas resident Finical-Halleck will be teaching two new classes: “Perennials for the Metroplex,” a class based on research from the Arboretum’s trial garden, and “Beautiful Bulbs” (yes, there’s still time, although Finical-Halleck says they’ll probably move this one up to November next year).
One of the more off-the-beaten-path offerings comes from the Arboretum’s director of gardens, Dave Forehand: “Home Hydroponics.” Huh? Come on, some of you probably had some kind of school experiment where you sprouted something using only water. But what you may not have realized is that this principle has some practical applications, like growing produce when there’s ice outside.
“Many people like to try vegetables – I recommend quick-growing small plants like lettuce or patio tomatoes,” says Forehand, who says he’ll get all different kinds of takers for his spiel. “I’ll see a lot of experienced gardeners who are bored and want to try something different. There’ll probably be an assortment of science project kids. And then we’ll have people who have never done any gardening – who aren’t interested in digging in the dirt in the back yard.”
Finical-Halleck says the Arboretum used to offer this “dead of winter” salvation only during January and February, but now they keep the faith going through April, when spring has almost certainly arrived. The instructor feels a kinship with the throngs of pasty gardeners who will be crowding her classrooms for a first step toward the 2001 growing season. “When I was a graduate student in Michigan, I used to go for walks through the university greenhouses,” she says.
“I had to escape the gray skies.”
Jan. 27 & 31
Instructor: Leslie Finical-Halleck
It’s not too late. An investment in time now will bring you beautiful blooms this spring. Join Finical-Halleck, Associate Director of Horticulture Research at the Arboretum, as she shares research on bulbs tested in our own trial garden. This is a rare opportunity to see research results before they are shared with the general public. Learn which varieties will work best in Dallas, bed preparation, planting, maintenance, selecting perennial bulbs and color selection.
Instructor: Judy Fender
Judy Fender, Master gardener and water garden expert, will teach you the basics for setting up a water garden in your yard. You will learn about choosing a site, the many aspects of design to consider, different styles and materials and the role of plants in the garden.
TEXAS NATIVES WITH STYLE
Instructor: Gail Kahle
Learn to identify native trees, shrubs, and much more as Kahle, Richland College Adjunct Horticulture Professor, shows you how to incorporate native plants into your landscape. With greater understanding of the diversity found in natural plant communities, you can incorporate natives in a wide variety of garden design styles – such as habitat gardens, perennial borders, and Mediterranean or Japanese-style gardens. The class will begin by giving you the basics of native plant identification and continue with a tour of the garden to see these plants placed in the landscape. This class will include both indoor and outdoor components.
Feb. 7 & 2-10
GARDENS IN SMALL PLACES
Instructor: Rosie Johnson
If you have limited gardening space or an area in your garden that needs a garden touch, this class is for you. Container gardening can add just the right element to enhance any outdoor area. In this class you will learn container gardening basics including plant selection, soil types and selecting appropriate containers. Class will cover annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs that do well in containers. See what plant combinations work best for year-round appeal.
Instructor: Dave Forehand
You’ve heard the word, but you’re not sure what it’s all about. Meet the Arboretum’s Director of the Gardens, Dave Forehand, who came recently from Disney World. Dave has presented this program on the popular television program “Rebecca’s Garden,” and will give you the information you need to grow your own vegetables and flowers without soil. Find out why commercial growers are using this technique and why it might be right for you.
Feb. 13 & 2-17
Instructor: Rosie Johnson
Everyone loves a room full of fresh flowers, but who has the time? Let the Arboretum’s Horticulture Project Specialist show you how easy it is to turn a simple grocery store bouquet into something spectacular. Get professional tips and learn elements and principles of design that you can take home and use year round. Container will be provided. You will need to bring your own grocery store bouquet and clippers or scissors.
Feb.17 & March 10
COMMUNITY GARDENS: It takes a village
Instructor: Dr. Don Lambert
Community Gardening is a very successful program in many cities in America. These gardens have different looks, styles and goals. Lambert is the Director of Gardens in Community Development and is the recognized authority on community gardening in Dallas. Learn all about the important role they play in renewing and growing pride in our neighborhoods. (Bonus: On March 3, Dr. Lambert will give guided tours of three of Dallas’ own community gardens.)
Feb. 21 & 24
PERENNIALS FOR THE METROPLEX
Instructor: Leslie Finical-Halleck
Perennials are a mainstay in the garden – they appear year after year adding color and interest. Based on research from the Arboretum’s trial garden, Finical-Halleck will tell you all you want to know and more about perennials. Through slides and detailed handouts you will learn which plants are proven winners in this area and how to care for these garden treasures. Topics include plant selection for all seasons, bed preparation, maintenance, companion plants and plant sources.
BACKYARD WILDLIFE HABITATS
Instructor: Alice Martin
As our community continues to grow, more and more animals are searching for new homes. Why not create a haven for wildlife in your yard? Alice Martin from the National Wildlife Federation will join us to show you just how easy it is. This program will teach the importance of habitat restoration in urban and suburban settings where commercial and residential development has eliminated many natural areas. This presentation will outline the four essential elements that are needed to attract hummingbirds, butterflies and other wildlife into backyard gardens. You will also learn some of the native plants that are essential to success in attracting.
Instructor: Eli Vega
Discuss various aspects of nature photography with award-winning nature photographer and educator Eli Vega. His images have been commissioned for brochures, postcards, magazines and cable television. Topics include film and equipment selection, composition and subject matter placement, locations for nature photography, and steps from the field to the portfolio. Learn how to take great pictures no matter what the conditions. It is recommended that you bring a camera, but it is not mandatory.
LANDSCAPING ON A DO IT YOURSELF BUDGET
Instructor: Dr. Steve George
Dr. Steve George, Landscape Horticulture Specialist for the Texas Agriculture Extension Service, will show you how to make your landscape look like it was done by the pros. A little direction and a few a few simple ideas are the only thing standing between you and the best looking landscape on your block. Learn basic design principles; which plants, shrubs and trees are best suited for the Dallas climate; and how to create an oasis in your own yard. Each participant can sign up for a 30-minute individual consultation with a member of Dr. George’s design team. Consultation times are determined on the day of the class. As the class fills up quickly each year, please register immediately.
Instructor: Steve Brainerd
Spring at The Arboretum means azaleas and you can learn all about this beautiful spring favorite from azalea expert Steve Brainerd, a landscape architect and past president of the Azalea Society of America. He will share professional tips on bed preparation, growing, pruning and propagating through slides and handouts. Then join him on a walk through the breath-taking display of color in our azalea collection (weather permitting). Admission to the garden included in class fee.
Instructor: Mark Chamblee
We have a very special new class on roses that is sure to sell out. Mark Chamblee of Chamblee’s Roses in Tyler, Texas, is the rose specialist the experts go to for answers. He will tell you about cultivars that do the best in North Texas as well as the best way to grow, care for and maintain roses. Then participants will be given a personal tour of the rose trial beds at the Texas A & M Research Center. This is a rare opportunity to view these rose trials, which are not generally open to the public.
Instructor: Gunter Schnetzinger
This class sold out in no time last year so you will want to register early. These lovely exotics are easier to grow than you might think. Gunter Schnetzinger, renowned orchid expert, will teach you how to select orchids for your growing conditions, basic care and tricks to get the longest lasting blooms. Take an educated chance with these amazing plants. You will receive an orchid in a 5″ pot to take home.
SOUTHERN LIVING GARDEN SCHOOL
Instructor: Richard Ludwig
9:30: Setting the Stage for a Magical Makeover
Everyone loves a makeover done by an expert. In this class experts from Southern Living will share landscaping lessons featuring favorites from the new Southern Living Plant Collection.
11:00: Color Where it Counts
Many Dallas gardens are beautiful at certain times of the year. In this class, Dr. Ludwig will share creative ideas for keeping your Southern garden in bloom across the seasons.
1:30: Dear Southern Living…
Get the answers to your gardening questions. Our garden experts offer advice and solutions for common Southern gardening problems.
Education Horticulture Specialist
The Dallas Arboretum