Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Winter is here, although snow has been mostly missing in action. The soil outside is frozen enough so that you aren't going to get much gardening done. So from now until sometime in April, you can tend to your houseplants or attend classes, lectures, demonstrations or full-blown courses to get your gardening fix.
There are a lot of options, and there are going to be even more. For some reason -- I'm blaming the unusually warm fall -- a lot of organizations had not completed their schedules when I started contacting people the week after New Year's Day.
In almost all cases, pre-registration is recommended, if not required.
One place you can take classes is your local garden center. If you have a nursery or garden center that you use, get on its mailing list. That way, you will be up to date on any offerings or changes at the business.
Skillins Greenhouses, with locations in Falmouth, Brunswick and Cumberland, has regular programs at 10 a.m. Saturdays at all three locations.
This Saturday, the topic is "Orchids and Their Care," and the class is free. At the Cumberland location only at 201 Gray Road, the class will be on how to grow native orchids such as lady slippers. If you are more interested in growing tropical orchids indoors, go to the other two locations.
On Jan. 28, classes on flower arranging will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at all three locations, and there is a fee of $15 to cover materials. At 10 a.m. Feb. 18, free classes at all locations will be on windowsill gardening.
Go to skillins.com to check out any additions.
Longfellow's Greenhouse in Manchester (longfellowsgreenhouses.com) has several programs, and plans more.
At 1 p.m. Saturday, the free program will be houseplants with Shellie Harding, Longfellow's in-house expert. At 1 p.m. Jan. 28, Harding will teach participants how to make a terrarium. There is a $20 fee, but you get to build a terrarium.
It's not really gardening, but on Feb. 4 and 5, Longfellow's will hold its annual Cabin Fever Art Show and Sale. And on Feb. 12, Mary Lou Hoskins of Green Care in Hermon will present a program on orchids.
O'Donal's Nursery in Gorham had not set up its programs by my deadline, so check out odonalsnurseries.com.
Botanical gardens, public gardens, nature parks and arboretums also offer classes.
McLaughlin Gardens in South Paris has a number of free programs scheduled through the winter at 4 p.m. on select Wednesdays.
Edith Ellis of Sunnyside Gardens in Turner will speak on "The Bones of an English Garden" Feb. 15; Tom York of York's Hardy Rhododendrons in Bath will speak Feb. 29; Brett Thompson of The Worm Wiz in Bowdoinham will promote "global worming" at 4 p.m. March 7; Steve Palmer of Plainview Farm in North Yarmouth will speak on hostas March 21; and Jeff O'Donal of O'Donal's Nurseries will speak on the history and current status of barth daylilies on April 4.
McLaughlin Gardens will also conduct a trip, for which there is a charge, to Winslow Farm in Falmouth for a container-gardening workshop. For details, visit McLaughlingarden.org.
Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., Augusta (vilesarboretum.org), has not set up its winter schedule yet, but it will be holding its 12th annual Super Bowl Sunday Table Tour on Feb. 5. It's not a gardening event, but for $25 -- $20 for members -- participants will hike, snowshoe or ski over groomed trails through the arboretum grounds and taste culinary treats from a number of Augusta businesses.
Merryspring Nature Park in Camden (merryspring.org) is an old hand at these events, and has talks at noon most Tuesdays. The cost is free for members; $5 for non-members.
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