Our schedule of events changes often. You’ll find many good, info-packed workshops to help you with your gardens, as well as terrific craft and foodie classes. Click on the SIGN UP NOW link on any individual workshop to register. Don’t delay because they fill quickly. This list is chronological.
Here’s how it works: Register online, in the store or by phone to reserve your spot; classes fill quickly. All workshop materials are included in the class cost, unless otherwise stated. Prepayment is required when registering; debit and credit cards are accepted. Click the link on the workshop or call 602-279-9510 to register.
Cancellation policy: No refunds or store credits will be issued if you can’t attend a class. Instructors work in advance to prepare materials and they are paid whether or not you attend. No exceptions. You are welcome to send someone in your place. Please let us know in advance.
Free Parking & Light Rail
- There is plenty of free public parking west of Southwest Gardener at 400 and 444 West Camelback Rd. Additional free public parking across Camelback to the south.
- Don’t want to drive? Take the Light Rail! It lets off at the Central Avenue/Camelback Park-and-Ride, which has hundreds of free parking spaces across the street from Southwest Gardener.
Fall Herb Pot
Sunday, September 22, 10 a.m. SOLD OUT. It’s a treat to step outside your door and snip fresh herbs for your next meal. It’s an experience we can all enjoy. Our resident grower Gregory Ware will teach you to plant, grow, and harvest a plentiful pot that includes all the herb basics: parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Gregory will share best practices so your organic herbs will flourish and can be harvested all season long. You’ll want to bring your gardening gloves (or purchase some here ). Soil, pot, plants are all provided as part of the fee. Everyone will take home an herb pot that will provide flavor for upcoming holiday meals.This is a two-hour class.
Sunday, September 22, 1 p.m. Yes, you can grow tasty, ripe strawberries in the desert. The key for success is plant selection and timing. Our grow guru Gregory Ware will be here to share his secrets for growing strawberries in the desert. Gregory will teach you about the best varieties for our climate, when to plant, care and fertilization information along with harvesting techniques. He’ll also answer that age-old question: Do I need to use a strawberry pot? You will plant a pot with three bare-root strawberry plants to take home. All materials are provided, and Gregory will have extra plants for sale if you want to expand your strawberry horizons. Plan on about a two-hour class.
Reverse Painting On Glass
Saturday, September 28, 10:30 a.m. Reverse Glass Painting is a pleasant way to create a beautiful piece of art. Artist and instructor Diana Herman will teach you a technique where you paint on a piece of glass and then view the image by turning over the glass. She will show you how to create a beautiful, framed purple iris using oil paint, pen and waterproof ink. Everyone will follow a pattern to ink the design onto the glass, then apply and blend the paint to create their masterpiece. After drying, the glass is reversed to protect the paint once it is framed. All materials are provided to complete the project including glass, a 5 by 7-inch white frame, and all needed art supplies. This workshop will last about three hours.
Yupo Art Nature Collage
Sunday, September 29, 11 a.m. Yvonne Allen has been playing with Yupo paper and that means she’s developed a creative new project for you. Yupo is a a synthetic paper, machine-made in the US of 100% polypropylene. It is waterproof, stain-resistant, durable and recyclable. This workshop starts with using alcohol inks to color the Yupo paper. There are tricks to this that can change the look and design of the color. Next you’ll cut the paper and use your pieces to create a collage. Yvonne will have templates for a sun, a flower and a bird, but you are encouraged to create a design of your own imagination. You will use the colored Yupo to create a collage on a 5 by 5-inch wood block. Paint pens will be available to embellish your design. Each participant will make two collage blocks. Yvonne will take your finished blocks home to apply a coat of resin which seals the artwork but also adds a thin, glossy surface for depth and polish. Once dry (in about a week) she’ll return them for you to pick up at Southwest Gardener. The finished collage blocks can stack, hang or sit on any indoor surface. Please bring your own scissors and dress to be messy. This is a two-hour workshop.
Ceramic Garden Totem
This is a two-part workshop. Saturday, October 5, 10:30 a.m. and Saturday, October 26, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. This Garden Totem workshop is one of the most popular projects we offer. Musette Young and Deb Betz will teach you to design and craft your own garden totem. This is a statement piece for any yard or garden. In this class, you will build your own three-foot-tall garden totem from clay. This project includes five wheel-thrown pieces that you embellish and decorate. Then you form divider “beads” and flat discs to go between the main pieces. Musette and Deb will take you through the process of creating totem shapes, making a finial for the top, and the best techniques for constructing pieces that will fit over a rebar support post. Once you create the pieces, they’ll go off for the first kiln firing. Come back for part two of your class October 26 and you’ll glaze the totem pieces. Everything then goes into the kiln for a second firing. Musette and Deb will return your project, along with a three-foot piece of rebar so you can install your totem in the garden. Plan on two, four-hour classes.
Cool Season Vegetable Gardening
Sunday, October 6, Noon. Fall is our largest growing season in the desert southwest. Homegrown veggies taste better and recent studies show they are more nutritious. Local grower Gregory Ware will be here to share his considerable knowledge about fall and winter season gardening, choosing appropriate varieties, plant placement, pest issues, watering guidelines, and best practices for growing and harvesting. This is a very useful workshop for both first-time gardeners and seasoned growers. Everyone is encouraged to share experiences and ask questions. This is a two-hour class, but sometimes goes longer because Gregory wants to answer all your questions..
Day Of The Dead Mosaic
Saturday, October 12, 10:30 a.m. No bones about it, this new mosaic project by Dave Jarvinen is a lively way to celebrate Dia de los Muertos. This workshop includes a variety of patterns depicting skull portraits or full skeletons. Dave will show you how to embellish your chosen design with a variety of porcelain and glass tiles. The finished and framed piece will measure 8 by 10-inches. This project requires a bit of hand strength and some dexterity is needed.Grout and instructions provided to go, if desired. We recommend that you bring a lightweight pair of gloves. Plan on a six-hour class.
Fall Vegetable & Herb Plant Sale
Sunday, October 13, Noon to 3 p.m. – We are in the midst of the biggest planting season and grower Gregory Ware will be here with a truckload of his healthy, organic herb and vegetable plants. The transplants are grown here in Arizona and everything you find is ready to be planted now. Plus, Gregory will be here to answer questions and dive into “garden” talk. There will be a list of plants posted closer to the actual event.
Fall Feast: Craft Chili & Sourdough Bread
Saturday, October 19, 10:30 a.m. October brings shorter days, temperatures have cooled a bit and we’re all ready for a desert fall season. This feels like the right time to start thinking about cool weather foods. Two of our favorite cooks have partnered to bring us this tasty class. Chili cook-off Champion Tanya Chakravarty will show you the best way to use chiles from this fall’s harvest to make delicious red or green chili for a hearty meal. Plus, Tanya will share her technique for creating a quick pickled vegetable that is the perfect chili topper. While the pot simmers, baker extraordinaire Gregory Ware will show you how to prepare a sourdough starter and make his favorite bread. He’ll follow that with a demonstration on making fresh butter from cream – it’s the perfect combination! Everyone will go home with a live sourdough starter to use for your own recipes. We will cap off the day with lots of delicious sampling. This is a three-hour event. Come hungry!
Sunday, October 20, Noon. Textile artist Alice Sweeney has come up with a unique project where you will use the rays of the sun and natural leaves to make a scarf. The technique is called cyanotype and it’s a photographic process that produces a cyan-blue print. You’ll use a special fabric to transfer patterns from natural elements like leaves and flowers onto the fabric. When exposed to sunlight, striking patterns emerge on the fabric. Everyone will make one scarf that measures approximately 12 inches wide by 60 inches long. All class materials are included, even a selection of leaves, but you are welcome to bring leaves or flowers that you like. Plan on a three-hour class.
Lettuce Bowl Gardening
Sunday October 27, Noon. This is a class that fills up every season! Gregory Ware will teach you the best practices for growing fresh and tasty greens in a container you can keep right outside the kitchen door. You’ll learn planting and harvesting techniques that will ensure you enjoy three months of salads from just one planting. In this workshop you will plant and take home a generous mix of lettuces that will grow into a bounty of healthy meals. Fill your patio or balcony with pretty greens! This is a two-hour class..