Sow the seeds of knowledge with these gardening courses – Metro US

Sow the seeds of knowledge with these gardening courses

The green shoots of spring have Halifax gardeners stretching out their green thumbs, and there are plenty of classes that can teach greenhorns how to create a perfect garden.

Ann Li Huestis has been the gardening and garden design instructor at the Nova Scotia Community College for 10 years. Her class “helps homeowners especially to maximize the potential of their outdoor space.”

The key is not more plants, but better placed plants, she says. “People in my class love plants and so they’ve been buying plants and buying plants and buying plants. One day they wake up and the plants are there, but something is not quite right.”

The solution is design, Huestis says. “To me, it is a matter of reshuffling them, of putting them in the right place and making them look beautiful if you compose the whole scheme. It looks better than willy-nilly here and there.”

By studying the lay of the land and how light falls, Huestis helps gardeners get it right.

“A lot of people aren’t too intimate with their yard. They know to put in plants, but they really haven’t studied the space and the exposure well.”

Level 1 starts April 21 and Level 2 gets underway May 7. Go to nscc.ca for details or call 491-4911.

Gardening expert Niki Jabbour will offer a series of lectures at the Spring Ideal Home Show from March 27 to 29. The host of the radio show The Weekend Gardener will deliver six talks.

“I’ll be speaking on two topics over the course of the weekend,” Jabbour says: “Kitchen gardening — how to grow your own organic food, the number one gardening trend for 2009, and landscaping with ornamental grasses.”

Go to masterpromotions.ca/spring-ideal-home-show for details.

Meanwhile, the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design is offering a “Ceramics in the Garden” course from April 28 to June 16. Instructor Amélie Proulx will help students explore the possibilities of making ceramics objects for the garden or inspired by gardens. Through demonstrations of hand-building techniques, students will have the possibility to build objects such as lanterns, fountains, planters, sculptures, architecture ornaments, or anything the student wants.

Registration begins this week via 492-2524 or 492-2522. Course information can be found at craft-design.ns.ca.