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Archives for February 4, 2017

How to Build a Garden That Grows Forever – Popular Mechanics

Connor Stedman, an agroforestry specialist and ecologist at garden design firm AppleSeed Permaculture, uses a farming practice called permaculture that exploits natural relationships between plants to create a long-lasting garden that will grow without fertilizer. Here’s how to do it at home.


Place trees on the northern side of your garden, then try to arrange the rest of the plants in a descending order from north to south. This ensures that no tall plants are blocking the sun from shorter crops. Try planting pear (rose family), cornelian cherry (dogwood family), and pawpaw (custard apple family) trees together. All three produce edible fruit, but won’t spread disease to each other.


Directly underneath the trees, create a functional support system. Wild senna adds nitrogen to the soil and attracts beneficial insects, comfrey brings up nutrients from deep soil and is medicinal for burns, and anise hyssop can be used for tea.


Try highbush blueberries, gooseberries, and Nanking cherry.

Between-bush plants

In between the bushes, plant asparagus, which grows when the berries aren’t ripe, and yarrow, which is medicinal for colds.

Three Sisters

Plant corn on the eastern and western edges of the garden, where it won’t block the sun from other vegetables. Then plant pole beans and squash in the same bed, as American Indians did. The crops, known as the three sisters, are complementary.


Rule-of-thumb plants to keep together and apart: vegetables in the cabbage family (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts) like leafy greens and beets, but won’t do well with strawberries. Peas don’t get along with garlic. Corn, tomatoes, and potatoes shouldn’t be planted together because they don’t make sense geometrically. Try to rotate your vegetables each year.

This story appears in the February 2017 issue of Popular Mechanics.

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Sue Scholz: Gardening classes begin this month

There might be snow on the ground, but think about spring starting this month by attending workshops that teach gardening skills.

Are you getting antsy to do some gardening? Exercise the part of your brain that loves gardening by attending some winter classes at the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park and the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. L.E.A.F just announced four garden-related workshops for both novice and expert gardeners coming up in February and March. The Ridge Center has ongoing herbal workshops at which attendees make herbal products and there are two new workshops this month.

The L.E.A.F. workshops, which are from 7 to 8:30 p.m. are:

Feb. 15 — Garden Design Basics with Dan Dahlkemper
Feb. 22 — Raised Beds and Container Gardens with Ruth Benner
March 1 — Native and Invasive Plant Species with Jen Salem
March 8 — Growing an Organic Kitchen Garden with Lisa Baumgardner

The workshop speakers are well-versed on their topics. Dan Dahlkemper is a landscape architect with 36 years of experience. Ruth Benner is an extension educator for the Penn State Extension of Erie County. Jen Salem is a Penn State master gardener, the Ridge Center’s garden coordinator and originator of Go Native Erie. Lisa Baumgardner has been an organic gardener for almost 20 years.

Cost is $10, or $8 for L.E.A.F. Plus Members. Attend all four workshops for $35, or $30 for L.E.A.F. Plus Members. To register, contact or 453-LEAF. Visit

The Ridge Center has a number of herbal workshops coming up, and they are very popular. Herbalist Leslie Alexander will teach two workshops in February.

Feb. 11, 10 a.m., Herbs for the Heart: An Herbal Valentine’s Day. Learn about herbs that soothe the heart and bring joy and gladness.  Attendees will create delicious treats and gifts for loved ones. Cost: $30.
Feb. 18, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Foods Alive! A Day Devoted to Fermentation: Kombucha, Kimchee and Salads. Learn about fermented foods and their benefits, taste them and take some home. Cost: $50. Cost does not include lunch. 

Attendees must preregister by calling Beth, 833-6050. To see other classes in the series visit For questions call Jen Salem at 835-3056 or email, The Ridge Center is located at 301 Peninsula Drive.

Use this winter downtime to learn some new garden ideas. You’ll be glad you did.

Cleveland Home and Garden Show

The Great Big Home and Garden Show is happening now until Feb. 12 at Cleveland’s IX Center. See 16 gardens with movie themes such as Finding Dory, The Wizard of Oz, The Godfather and Mary Poppins. The show is located at Cleveland’s IX Center, 1 I-X Center Dr., Cleveland, OH 44135. Cost: adults, $15; children 6 to 12, $5; children 5 and under, free. Seniors can pay $11 at the door Monday through Thursday. Visit to order adult tickets online to save $3. Call 440-248-5729.

Builders Association of Northwestern Pennsylvania’s Home Show

Feb. 24 to 26 at the Zem Zem Shrine Club, 2525 W. 38th St. Penn State Extension master gardeners will be on hand to answer gardening questions. The event also includes home and garden vendors and a kids’ Lego building contest. Cost: $4. Hours are Feb. 24, 12 to 8 p.m.; Feb 25, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Feb. 26, 12 to 5 p.m.

Win $200 for youth gardening

Every year Erie County Council of Garden Clubs awards $200 a year to an Erie County nonprofit or school that gardens with children. Contact the civic charity chairman, Pat Ptasick at 734-1554, or email for an application. The deadline is Feb. 14.

Erie County Council of Garden Clubs board meeting, Feb. 15, 10 a.m., Whole Foods Co-Op community room, 1341 W. 26th St. Lunch is off the menu or bring a bag lunch. RSVP to Lynn Jackson at or 833-1675.

Garden club meetings

Gospel Hill Garden Club, Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Wesleyville Borough Hall, 3421 Buffalo Road. Members will create aluminum and copper garden markers. Bring items to use as garden stakes and a list of plants to label. Guests and new members are always welcome. Call Jane Hume, 899-5982.
Heather Club of Edinboro, Tuesday, 2 p.m., Edinboro Manor, 419 Waterford St., Edinboro. Members will assist the residents in creating a Valentine floral arrangement. Call Carol Klonicki, 397-8477.
Waterford Garden Club, Tuesday, 7 p.m., Asbury United Methodist Church, 23 W. Second St., Waterford. Members will create Valentine gifts to give to local shut-ins. Call Cindy Matta, 602-0866.
Presque Isle Garden Club, Wednesday, 10:30 a.m., Asbury United Methodist Church, 4703 W. Ridge Road. Master gardener Linda Williams will talk about spiders. Call Jan McLaughlin, 476-7259.

Sue Scholz is a member of the Presque Isle Garden Club. Send garden news to

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Things (like roses) are looking up for visual interest in gardens

Every garden needs a reason to look up.

“Stand back and look at your garden,” advised world renowned rose expert and author Stephen Scanniello during a recent visit to Sacramento. “You need vertical elements, something that draws your eyes up.”

Instead of a flat lawn surrounded by waist-high shrubs and ankle-topping borders, landscapes with more varied plant heights seem to have greater depth and visual interest, he said. It’s a trick that he’s used to great effect in dozens of gardens, both public and private.

“I don’t install a garden and walk away,” Scanniello said. “I take care of them. That allows me to see how they mature.”

President of the Heritage Rose Foundation, Scanniello visited Sacramento to lead pruning demonstrations at the Historic City Cemetery for the third consecutive winter. For most rose varieties, local gardeners should try to get their pruning done by Valentine’s Day, he said.

“Roses love to be pruned,” he said. “The biggest mistake you can make is not pruning them at all.”

Scanniello, curator of the New York Botanical Garden’s Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden, often uses climbing roses to grab attention – especially overhead or as backdrops to other plantings. Roses can be trained to grow up walls or trees as well as trellises.

“I use clear cables for training,” he said. “That way, you just see the roses, not the wires.”

In his garden designs, Scanniello likes physical structure such as free-standing arches, tripods or arbors – something for those roses to climb – but he’s not only interested in roses above people’s heads.

To encourage more blooms at eye level, Scanniello crosses canes back and forth around poles or supports, prompting the canes to push out buds at lower points. He prunes canes to different lengths so they’ll flower at varied levels, too.

“You can smell them as well as see them,” he said.

Scanniello also shared some other garden design tricks of his trade. Wisteria, for example, offers both fragrant spring flowers and a place for other plants to climb.

“I use wisteria for structure,” he said. “It’s a very woody vine and becomes its own trellis as it ages.”

That wisteria “trellis” can support other vines that flower when the wisteria is not in bloom. That adds more vertical interest, too.

Climbing roses tend to bloom in waves; a lot at one time and then none for months. To help fill those gaps with more flowers, Scanniello recommends planting clematis or other blooming vines on the same trellis as a companion to the climbers.

And sometimes, climbing roses work as ground covers, too. To cover slopes, Scanniello trains climbers to grow down and out, not up.

“They need staking to stay on the ground, but they’ll flower like crazy.”

What temperature is just right? Tell us

Do you like to chill at home? Or do you prefer toasty surroundings?

For an upcoming story, we’re asking our readers about their thermostat habits.

What temperature do you usually set your thermostat in winter? How about summer? Have you made any changes in your habits to save energy and money? And does this choice of temperature cause any conflicts in your household?

We want to know! Please e-mail your answers – along with your name, hometown and daytime phone number – to; put “perfect temperature” in the subject line. Or mail your response to: “Prefect Temperature” care of Debbie Arrington, Sacramento Bee, 2100 Q St., Sacramento, CA 95816.

Deadline for response is Wednesday, Feb. 15.

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BBIA Expo in Hamilton Shows Off Ideas for Better Homes

bbia expo
Three aisles of booths await you. (Fullerton Photo, Townsquare Media)

It’s a winter tradition.

The annual Bitterroot Building Industry Association’s Home and Ranch Expo brings homeowners, contractors, builders and others together for what turns into a Saturday of people brainstorming on how to make their homes better.

The BBIA 2017 Expo opened Friday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. for an evening session. But Saturday is the big day at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds Event Center, with hours from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Angela Previte, Executive Officer of the BBIA, said the show again this year has a wide range of services and products.

Walking through the aisles, I saw everything from cabinets to hot tubs, financing to landscaping.

The show has over 70 vendors and admission is $2 or two cans of food. There are free items for those who attend and plenty of advice and help from local businesses.

Get in out of the weather and enjoy!

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Some must-sees at the Great Big Home & Garden Show, which …

CLEVELAND, Ohio — If you need a dose of spring, you’ll find it at this year’s Great Big Home and Garden Show, which opened today at the I-X Center and runs through Sunday, Feb. 12.

Here are some must-see highlights at the show.

Alice in Wonderland: The first thing show goers see is the Petitti Garden Center’s display that creates an Alice in Wonderland garden. Four outdoor seating areas  surround a large, moss-covered teapot that spouts soap bubbles and pours water into a giant teacup. Tea lights are suspended from overhead branches, and pink flamingos hide in ferns and spring bulbs. Alice would feel right at home in this garden.


Great Big Home Garden Show

What: Celebrity guests, Blockbuster Movie-themed Garden Showcase, Ultimate Smart Home and more.
When: Friday, Feb. 3 to Sunday, Feb. 12 Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3; 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 4; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 5; Monday-Friday, Feb. 6-10, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 11, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 12, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Where: I-X Center, Cleveland.
Tickets: $15 adult, $12 online, $11 for seniors [Monday-Thursday only], $5 children 6-12.

Garden Showcase: A corridor of lighted arches and two long water features — each decorated with dolphins covered in greenery — leads visitors to the Garden Showcase, which offers 16 movie-themed gardens created by top area landscapers.

Be sure to stop by Landscape Design Associates’ garden based on the the movie “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.” In this garden, stone steps lead up to the home of a hobbit – small human-like creatures who like to live in snug burrows. This hobbit home has a round wood door, a grass-covered roof and lights shining in the window. Another flight of stone stairs leads to an outdoor kitchen with bent-willow furniture, a bar and wood table. Stone mushrooms that look like morels are scattered through the landscaping.

Landscape Design Associates Inc. owner Ken Kushmider said he wanted his garden showcase to be based on something mythical and magical. “It’s right out of the movie set,” said Kushmider said, whose company is in Copely. “I just loved this house; the round door just spoke to me.”

Another standout garden is based on the movie “Finding Dory,” with a feature that has jets of water leaping over colored lights that change hues. This garden showcase was designed by Williams Landscaping and Pavers in Columbia Station, Ohio. Other gardens took ideas from “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Godfather,” Jurassic Park,” “The Secret Garden” and other favorite flicks.

Tips on renovating your home: HGTV’s “Masters of Flip” host Kortney Wilson will appear on the Main Stage at 6 p.m. today and again at noon on Saturday. She’ll share tips she’s learned from renovating and flipping houses, such as how to add value to your home through DIY projects and landscaping.

Other celebrity guests are Scott McGillivray of HGTV’s “Income Property” and lifestyle expert Kathy Ireland.

Sunflower Idea Home: It’s unusual to have a two-story house at a home show, but Valley View-based Blossom Homes pulled it off in the Sunflower Idea Home, which is part of the Garden Showcase.

The home has 2,800-square-feet of living space, including an eat-in kitchen that opens into a living room, combined master bath and walk-in closet, and 2 1/2 baths. The master bath has a freestanding soaking tub and large walk-in shower.

It was designed with the average homeowner in mind, said Roy Weaver, general manager of Weaver Furniture in Sugarcreek, Ohio, which supplied all of the furniture in the home.

Weaver pointed out that the living room end tables were made from wood reclaimed from an old barn, and the dining room table is distressed brown maple. The warm wood furniture blends well with the cream, tan and beige decor throughout the house.

Model military planes: Shopping for gifts or unusual decor is part of the fun at the Great Big Home and Garden Show. Garden State Helicopter’s handmade mahogany models of military planes, military helicopters and other aircraft would be perfect in a veteran’s man cave.

Multiple coats of lacquer give the pieces a high sheen, said salesman Wade Wheeler. The company is based in Bend, Oregon. Among his top sellers are models of a Blackhawk helicopter, the Wright brothers airplane and the space shuttle. All of the airplanes and helicopters are $49.

Goat milk soap: When Eddie Jackson’s parents started making and selling goat milk soap and lotion as a home business, “I thought It was dumb,” Jackson said.

But sales were strong, thanks to the rising trend toward natural products. Jackson started working on the business called Fresh Fancy from the Farm full time about six months ago. “I want to make it the next Old Spice,” said Jackson, who is from Millington, Maryland.

The company’s soap and lotions are made from all natural ingredients and help ease a variety of skin conditions, Jackson said. He sells a wide variety of scents, including orange blossom, lavender and sea island cotton.

There’s even a soap named Monkey Farts, made with fruit and bubblegum scent. “It’s a crazy name, but people love it,” Jackson said.

The Great Big Home Garden Show includes more than 600 exhibits, a Blockbuster Movie!-themed Garden Showcase, a 6,200-square-foot Ultimate Smart Home and more. Here is a link to schedule highlights.

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Gardening trends for 2017: Natural landscaping, dye gardens and more

Like paint colors and fashion, gardening trends come and go.

For 2017, gardening trends range from clean, healthy living with fewer chemicals and more organic food to “sound-scaping” with trees to buffer sirens and birds to bring song.

“We see a lot of growth in the coming years for gardening,” says Katie Dubow, creative director at the Garden Media Group.

“Whatever you’re growing, wherever you’re growing it, the ability to garden year-round just makes this category so much more relevant. And access to healthy food, year-round, will be a game-changer.

“Uberizing is my favorite trend. In the next two years, experts estimate people will carry an average of eight subscription services. Do you know the two biggest reasons people don’t garden? Time and knowledge. The delivery model can solve both of those and get more people gardening.”

Here, more gardening gurus share their thoughts on 2017 gardening trends:

▪ Know your food. The important millennial market force that wants to grow their own food, teas, cocktails, beer and medicine is expect to continue, according to Tish Llaneza of Countryside Gardens in Hampton, Va.

“New technology makes growing 365 days a year easy, affordable and convenient,” she says.

For instance, indoor gardening – growing under lights in soil, hydroponically or aquaponically – is becoming more common. From growing arugula to bok choy, clean fresh food will be available to plant, pick and plate every season. From herbal tea gardens on the window sill and healing herbs under lights to vitamin-packed microgreens on the kitchen counter, medicinal gardens are blooming indoors.

Food reigns important with Americans, who now demand to know what is in and on their food – and where it comes from, Llaneza adds.

“The demand for organic, locally sourced food now far exceeds the supply,” she says.

▪ Natural landscaping. Landscaping is an expensive investment, whether you do it yourself or have someone create it for you. Your yard is also a natural reflection of the world where you live, so make it as natural as you can. Natural stone gives you the best of both worlds: value for your money and longevity in looks and feel.

Beautiful hardscaping, such as stone, will last a lifetime, says Peggy Krapf of Heart’s Ease Landscape Garden Design in Williamsburg, Va. An added bonus is it doesn’t need water and deer never eat it.

Natural also goes well with mixing old with new and repurposing objects in the landscape, adds Krapf.

“Containers can become water features, fences can become areas to display collections, a child’s wagon can become a portable garden and old broken pots can be partly buried in the ground with flowers spilling out of them onto the ground.”

▪ Less grass. It isn’t always easy to eliminate the lawn in a yard, especially on a large property, Krapf notes.

But there are many ways to minimize the amount of turf grass used. Create large planting beds, exaggerate wood lines and natural areas, and create patios and walkways can all reduce turf in the landscape.

“In small areas, ground covers and low growing plants can take the place of grass, often in addition to stepping stones and pathways,” she says.

▪ Attract pollinators. Whether you’re trying to attract pollinators to your yard or add more diversity to the overall species count in your neighborhood, sustainability experts are now urging home gardeners to consider which plants and planting combinations will provide continued food and shelter to wildlife, long after we humans have wrapped up the gardening season, according to Randy Schultz, a gardening public relations specialist in New Mexico.

For instance, American Meadows offers many types of flower seeds and flowering plants that attract pollinators to your yard and garden. Bee the Change seed packets contain an assortment of wildflower seeds that bring hummingbirds and bees. On a similar note, the Monarch Magnet Perennial Garden attracts and supports monarch butterflies.

▪ Do and dye. And natural dye gardens are a thing, according to Elton. The do-it-yourself spirit now extends to growing plants to dye your own textiles and clothing. Whether it’s using marigolds for a golden yellow or cosmos for a bright orange hue, it’s just one more way to enjoy your garden.

▪ Succulents continue to be popular for busy gardeners because they have great form and color and require little maintenance. Many new varieties are entering the market.

▪ Hop to it. Growing your own hops is a natural step for the beer enthusiast who wants to experiment with the freshest, most local ingredients possible, according to Grace Chapman Elton, horticulture director at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond, Va. It’s also fun to watch hops grow; however, you do need to have ample space and provide a structure for support for the prolific flowering vines.

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Upcoming home & garden classes: bird-friendly gardens, natural dyeing, landscaping

A weekly roundup of home and garden classes, tours and more.

Create a Bird-Friendly Garden

Birds can bring color, life and song to your garden. Lauri will review plants that are favored by both local and migratory songbirds, as well as their other shelter needs. Then you will have the chance to create a plant list suitable for your garden conditions. Instructor: Lauri Lawson, Niche Gardens.Dates: 2 Tuesdays, February 7 14, 6:30-9 p.m. Course meets for 2 sessions.Location: Doris Duke Center.Participant limit: 15.Information/registration: 919-668-1707 or for Home Horticulture Certificate elective credit (5 hours each). 2/14 6:30-9 p.m. Feb. 7 and 14. $43-$60 per session. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

The Natural Dye Process: Indigo

Students will learn the process of dyeing with natural indigo, a centuries old dyestuff that produces a beautiful spectrum of blue. Participants will learn about and practice the three major components of the natural dye process- scouring, mordanting, and dyeing. They will have the opportunity to experiment with various resist dyeing techniques and exposure times. Participants will use cotton material for the dye process, and each student will get to dye and take home a skein of wool or alpaca yarn. A $30 materials fee is due to the instructor at workshop. Instructor Diana Cathcart. 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Feb. 11. $27 plus materials fee. Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St., Durham. 919-560-2787,

Valentine’s Day Card/Gift Making Event

Join us to make Valentine’s Day gifts and cards for your friends and loved ones! Drop in or stay the whole time. We will have projects available for kids and adults. Some of the prepared projects will include: Cards, Embroidered Cards, Paper Flowers, Trophy Wine Toppers, Leather Heart Keychains, Leather Bookmarks and Scrappy Jewelry. All materials will be provided. 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 11. $10. The Scrap Exchange, 2050 Chapel Hill Rd., Durham. 919-688-6960

Caring for Your Landscape

Suddenly the landscape is planted and you are faced with garden maintenance! In this class, we will take you through the steps of establishing a new landscape, watering, plant staking and plants’ nutritional needs. Then, we’ll consider long-term maintenance tasks, including pruning, weed control, fertilizing and pest control. 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Feb. 18, 25 and Mar. 4. Dates: 3 Saturdays, Feb. 18 – March 4, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. Course meets for 3 sessions.Location: Greenhouse classroom.Participant limit: 15. Information/registration: 919-668-1707 or Qualifies for Home Horticulture Certificate required course. 2/18 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Fee: Gardens members $70; general public $90. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Road, Durham. 919-684-3698,

Two-Day Watercolor Class

For Beginners Advanced Students. Have you always thought it would be wonderful to be a painter, but have had little success? This is the opportunity to make it happen. I am an active, hands-on, clear instructor who will demonstrate and guide you individually through every step as we work together to complete a masterful, ready-to-frame watercolor. You will learn the “tricks of the trade” to create magical effects. I am confident that you will have a blast and walk out with a beautiful, professional-looking painting. There will be a 1 hour lunch break each day. A $35 materials fees is due to instructor at the first class meeting OR please check the DAC website for supply list if you plan to purchase your own supplies.Fruit on LaceThis is a lovely still-life composition of fruit sitting on a lace tablecloth with cheerful sun shining through a window onto the subject. In particular, you will learn to paint folded fabric with intricate lace, distant foliage, and wallpaper patterns. This is a 2 day workshop. Instructor and artwork by Carol Liz Fynn. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Feb. 18 and 19. $125 plus supply fee. Durham Arts Council Clay Studio, 1058 W. Club Blvd., Durham. 919-286-4238,

Photoshop Bootcamp

Our Introductory “Level 1” Photoshop workshop is ideal for both those new to Photoshop and more experienced users who want to dramatically improve their skills and abilities in a one-day workshop format. Students must have a basic knowledge of PC Windows or Mac. Computers provided. Lunch on your own. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 18. $125. Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St., Durham. 919-560-2787,

Youth Art Classes

Join local artist, author, environmental educator, naturalist, and children’s illustrator Bob Palmatier in this unique nature illustration lesson. Bob will bring live native frogs and salamanders for the artists to observe and recreate on paper or canvas.Two 60-minute classes will be offered, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Feb. 18. For ages 8-12 years old. Registration is required, visit to register your child. A $10 fee per person/per class includes supplies and instruction, payable via cash or check at the start of your session. 2/18 11 a.m.-2 p.m. $10. FRANK Gallery, 109 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill. 919-636-4135,

Mounting Air Plants to Scrap Wood

In this Living Art Series workshop you will learn how to creatively attach air plants to scrap wood! This class will combine reuse and living art. You will also learn about how to care for air plants. All materials are provided (including plants). 12-1:30 p.m. Feb. 19. $25. The Scrap Exchange, 2050 Chapel Hill Road, Durham. 919-688-6960

Basic Botany and Plant Growth

How does a plant grow? How does it manage water and nutrients? What factors influence the production of flowers and fruits? This course will explore these questions and more using a combination of lecture and hands-on approaches. Previous participants have commented that Alec’s enthusiasm and skillful instruction make the topic come alive. Instructor: Alec Motten, associate professor, Duke University Department of Biology. Dates: 4 Tuesdays, Feb. 21 – March 14, 6-9 p.m.Participant limit: 15. Course meets for 4 sessions.Information/registration: 919-668-1707 or as a Home Horticulture Certificate required course. 6-9 p.m. Feb. 21. Tuesdays (Feb. 21-Mar. 14), $120-$150. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Forum: Ergonomic Gardening and Tools

Gardening is the number one pastime in the U.S. More than 400,000 outdoor garden tool-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms each year. Master Gardeners John and Charles discuss ways to protect yourself from potential gardening hazards.Instructor: John Harrelson and Charles Murphy, Durham County master gardeners. Location: Doris Duke Center.For membership information, please email pre-registration necessary. 2/21 6:30-8 p.m. Feb. 21. Free for members-$25. Lecture fee: Forum members free with $25 annual membership. $10 per meeting for non-members, payable to Durham Garden Forum. Parking is free after 5 p.m. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Landscape Plants for N.C. Gardens: Winter

Expand your palette of plants with information from this class. Each season this class covers another group of approximately 60 plants suitable for North Carolina gardens. You will learn identification skills and design use and understand the culture of each plant. The fall program focuses on plants that shine in autumn and late-blooming perennial flowers. Winter introduces plant silhouettes and evergreens. Each student receives a digital portfolio of plant photos. Class time is primarily spent outdoors. Instructor: Jan.Little, director of education and public programs, Duke Gardens.Winter session: 3 Wednesdays, Feb. 22-March 8, 3:30-6 p.m. Course meets for 3 sessions.Participant limit: 15.Information: 919-668-1707 or as a Home Horticulture Certificate required course. 2/22 3:30-6 p.m. Wednesdays (Feb. 22-Mar. 8) $90-$110. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Garden Maintenance

Sponsored in partnership with the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service: Durham County Center.To garden is to weed: There is no other way around weeding, but there are tricks to the trade, and it is possible to cut down on the number of weeds without resorting to chemicals. Other important garden maintenance tasks, such as dead heading, dividing, and light pruning, will also be discussed.Instructor: Kit Flynn, Durham County Extension master gardener. Location: Doris Duke Center.Free events but registration is required at 919-668-1707. No parking fees after 5 p.m. 6:30-8:30 p.m. Feb. 23. Free events but registration is required. Sarah P. Duke Gardens, Anderson St. and Erwin Rd., Durham. 919-684-3698,

Encaustic Painting and Collage Workshop

Learn the fundamentals of Encaustic painting and collaging with hot wax in this two-day weekend workshop! Encaustic is an intoxicating beeswax-based medium that smells like honey and falls somewhere between painting and sculpture. This affordable weekend workshop includes two ready-to-hang canvases and unlimited encaustic medium. You can choose to attend both days or one day. Demonstrations will be held at the beginning of each workshop day. You’ll learn painting, collage, translucent layering, surface texturing, sgraffito carving and more. You’ll explore layer-building techniques using different fusing tools to create unique surfaces. At the end of the workshop, you’ll have 2 completed pieces of art. We’ll discuss proper care and cleaning of encaustic art for archival purposes. You will learn safety procedures, ventilation and proper care for art pieces and tools. And you’ll get the opportunity to interact with other students and their ideas, as we all learn from one another. A $40 Provided Materials fee is due at the beginning of the workshop (check or cash). The suggested materials for this workshop are available at a 20% discount througha local Durham art supply store. More information will be sent to you as the workshop date approaches. Please check the DAC website for the suggested materials list. Instructor and artwork by Libby Lynn. 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Feb. 25-26. $75-$130. Durham Arts Council, 120 Morris St., Durham. 919-560-2787,

Family Winter Walk

Chase away the winter blues with a hike through the Arboretum’s Winter Garden. Meet at the Bobby G. Wilder Visitor Center, and then we go out into the Winter Garden which is filled with beautiful evergreens, winter flowers and sweet fragrances. After our walk, we’ll warm up inside with a good book and a fun winter craft. Please come dressed for the weather. This program will be outdoors. 2:30-3:30 p.m. Feb. 26. $5 per child. Register online to save your spot. JC Raulston Arboretum, 4415 Beryl Road, Raleigh. 919-515-3132,

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