A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Home Gardener's School - Fall Edition

There are very few events that I am willing to get up early on a Saturday morning for. An entire day of gardening classes is a great incentive! This session was "craft-y" in the morning and "garden-y" in the afternoon. I just made up those words.

My first class was on dried and pressed flowers. I am not at all artistic but I know the teacher so I knew there would be a lot more to it than just making pretty pictures with dried flowers. The teacher was none other than the Head Hatter herself. She gave a fascinating lecture on drying flowers, pressing flowers and which flowers AND foliage (who knew?) can be dried/pressed most successfully. She dries flowers from the Display Gardens at Rutgers Gardens and then sells them both in bunches and as potpourri at their sales. A real pro! Then we got to the part where I actually had to choose and glue flowers and foliage. Sheer torture for this un-artistic (made up that one too!) soul.

Next up was a class on making herbal soaps. Herbal soaps? Never heard of them but I am now growing more herbs in my gardens so I thought it might be interesting. It was more than interesting. And more than lavender. I had no idea so many different kinds and combinations of herbs could be used or their many soothing/defoliating/anti-bacterial qualities. I was so inspired by the lecture that I may actually attempt the cinnamon/clove combination for the holidays. Now my bathroom can look AND smell great for Christmas. The teacher for this course is also a volunteer at Rutgers Gardens.

Lunch break and then the afternoon started off with a class on houseplants taught by the woman who runs the Floriculture greenhouses where I worked and lost seedlings and befriended Beatrice the cat. And where I rooted cuttings from two jade plants that are doing surprisingly well as is the snake plant that one of my Master Gardener classmates gave me. It's definitely time I learned more about caring for houseplants. What did I learn? That I over-water and over-pot. And I need to divide my spider plant. You can divide them? Who knew?

My last class was on "water in the landscape". No surprise why I signed up for that one. Unfortunately, it was a how-to class on installing ponds and waterfalls rather than the aesthetics of water in the landscape. I will never, ever attempt a pond. Waaaaaay too much work and too much money. I'll stick to a birdbath.

I've added another cat blog to my sidebar. A new kitty has joined our family. He's blogging the experience at Furry Kitty Butt. The resident Maine Coon is ranting, er, blogging his side of the story at Poopy Coon Feet. Yes, I have very unique nicknames for my pets. Kinda makes you wonder what I call my friends, doesn't it?


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