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.
Workshops & Events
All events take place at our shop at The Newton, 300 W. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85013. 602.279.9510
Sunday, January 7, Noon. It’s that wonderful season when we are blessed with an abundance of home-grown lemons. It’s great to have fresh lemons, but what to do with all of them? If you’re looking for new, creative uses for your bounty, you’ll love this workshop. Hobbyist cook and professional grower Gregory Ware will share his knowledge about growing lemons in the desert plus delight you with recipes for creating homemade Limoncello and Preserved Lemons. The class will be capped with a sampling of Gregory’s Limoncello and a slice of his tasty Limoncello Cake. Everyone will get lots of ideas and recipes for using lemons and will take home an eight-ounce bottle of divine Limoncello. Plus you’ll have the best practices for growing lemons. This is a two and a half-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, January 14, 11 a.m. Our resident mosaic artist Dave Jarvinen has come up with a delightful garden turtle project. You will start with a plain, ceramic turtle base and then have lots of fun adding beautiful colors and patterns to the shell and head. You’ll never have trouble finding this turtle in your garden or out on the patio! This workshop includes all supplies. We recommend you bring a lightweight pair of gloves – gardening gloves work well – to buffer your hands when cutting your mosaic pieces. This is a five-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
January 19, 20, 21 – We have invited the very talented and award-winning artist Helen Shafer Garcia to join us for a weekend series of three classes in early 2018. Helen, who is from San Diego, is a painter, mixed-media artist, a specialist in book arts, and a creator of amazing art journals. Her watercolor illustrations have graced the cover brochures, garden articles and advertisements of numerous international resorts and magazines for more than 25 years. Awards include four San Diego Press Club First Place Awards of Excellence in Illustration for San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine. Her works and articles have been published in Southwest Art; Cloth, Paper, Scissors; San Diego Home and Garden Lifestyles, and Studios magazines. Helen holds a BA degree in Fine Arts and currently teaches college level watercolor and acrylic painting. She is a signature member of the San Diego Watercolor Society and teaches watercolor and mixed-media workshops such as Art Unraveled, Art and Soul and others across the U.S. and internationally. Southwest Gardener’s Lynn Town has taken many classes from Helen. She is a wonderful artist and teacher. We feel certain that you will enjoy one or more of her workshops.
Friday, January 19, 10:30 a.m. For her first class, visiting artist Helen Shafer Garcia has created an incredible book project. First you will learn about working with colored pencils on vellum, plus drawing flora and fauna using your own designs or some of Helen’s lovely antique designs from around the world. No drawing skills needed, we promise. Helen will guide you through the process and there will be images to transfer. Then you will paint with wild abandon using bright acrylic paints on heavy stock paper. You will learn to combine the translucence of your illustrated vellum art with the pages that you painted with acrylics by using a simple book binding technique. The end product will show a charming combination of bright colors peeking through your hand-colored illustrations. You will complete two or three illustrations and still have many pages for additional drawings or journaling. The colored pencil set will be yours to take home for future projects. Plan on a six-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, January 20, 10:30 a.m. A new year seems like the perfect time to create a beautiful strand of Prayer Flags that highlight your hopes and wishes for the future. Guest artist Helen Shafer Garcia will guide you through the process of creating a set of prayer flags. You will start by hand carving a set of stamps using your own simple art or you can copy some of Helen’s delightful designs. You will then take a ready made strand of nine muslin flags and paint the background using an acrylic process. To complete your flags you will use your newly created stamps. The flags will be strung on sturdy cotton cording and will proclaim your joy and dreams for the coming year. Take home a set of beautiful flags plus your handmade stamps. Plan on a six-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, January 21, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Helen Shafer Garcia’s watercolors are enchanting and her incredible love of plants and gardening shines through in many of her paintings. Helen’s watercolor classes are a wonderful combination of learning to look at things in a new way and relaxing to let your inner artist speak to you. In this workshop, she will start by demonstrating a simple drawing technique called contour drawing. You’ll learn how to paint using the dropped-in watercolor process. This process is user friendly and adds color intensity to the paintings. All artistic levels are welcome in this class! Class includes a set of watercolors, a brush, a water soluble pen and an art pad that will be yours to take home with you. This is don’t miss opportunity to dive into a beloved art form. Plan on a six-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.
This is a two-part workshop. Saturday January, 27, 10:30 a.m. & Saturday, February 10, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. This Garden Totem workshop is one of our most popular projects. Musette Young and Deb Betz, have created new, exciting designs for this class. Your own handcrafted totem will make a big statement in your 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 on February 5 to 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. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, February 3, 10:30 a.m. Stitch your way into the world of contemporary embroidery art with mixed-media artist Linda Arandas. We are excited to welcome her to Southwest Gardener. Linda has a notable talent for botanical stitch pictures. For this workshop she has designed a cactus sampler that we hope will become the first of many artful stitching projects for you. Linda will demonstrate five basic stitches and a few tricks that will start your embroidery journey. Using Linda’s techniques you will be ready to stitch lots more for yourself or as gifts. No experience is necessary. Once you master the process there’s a calm, meditative quality to embroidery. (It’s a bit like a modern-day quilting circle.) All of your materials – hoop, needle, fabric and plenty of floss – are included. This is a two-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, February 4, 11 a.m. Ceramic artist Yvonne Allen has created a new project that is truly a showstopper. This stunning flower plaque is perfect for indoor or outside use, and could even be incorporated as a focal point in a tile installation. Yvonne will demonstrate the basics of working with slab clay, including techniques for adding texture. After designing and creating your own style flower plaque, you will apply glaze layers to add color. The finished plaque will measure approximately 5 inches by 11 inches. Yvonne will take the plaques to be fired in a kiln and your finished project will be ready for pick up about a week later. This is a four-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, February 11, Noon. Local grower Gregory Ware produces some of the best tomatoes plants in the Valley. In this very popular workshop he’ll share planting tips, information on where to plant in your garden, how to fertilize and how to select the best location for your tomatoes, and how to avoid blossom end rot. You’ll also get tips for growing in containers and some of the lore and legends behind the many tomato varieties that Gregory grows. Best of all, you’ll select two tomato plants from his many varieties to take home. This is a two-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, February 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. After years of working at the Sonoran Desert Museum in the Hummingbird Aviary, ornithologist Nancy Biggins was so frustrated with battling bees on the hummingbird feeders that she decided to design her own. The result is a line of completely drip-free, bee-proof Copper Hummingbird Feeders perfect for desert hummingbirds. We’re happy to announce that Nancy will be at our Hummingbird Open House to answer all your questions about these wonderful creatures (like, “where did all my hummingbirds go?). She can talk about migratory seasons and patterns, eating habits, predators, you name it. With 25 years of professional experience, Nancy is full of good information and loves to share. Her feeders are a favorite at Southwest Gardener, too. On the day of the open house all of our hummingbird feeders will be 20% off. Come meet Nancy, talk about your experiences with hummers and check out Nancy’s feeders. The birds absolutely love them.
Sunday, February 18, Noon to 3 p.m. OK tomato lovers, this is the plant sale you don’t want to miss. Gregory Ware grows some of the best, most interesting tomato varieties and Southwest Gardener is the only place you’ll find them. You’ll find heirlooms, some from Native Seeds Search, as well as modern and non-GMO hybrids with fruits in a variety of sizes and in a rainbow of colors. We are proud to say we think these are the best tomato plants you can get. Mid-February is tomato planting season, so now is when you should get your transplants into the garden. Gregory’s transplants are all organically grown, acclimated to our desert climate and ready to take root. Come early for the best selection. He often sells out.
Friday, February 23, 10:30 a.m. Design a an elegant wall cross that will be an eye-catching work of art suitable for outside on your patio wall or inside your home. The iron frame design combines rustic charm with the polished look of sparkling glass tiles that burst with color. You finished cross will measure approximately 12 inches wide by 16 inches tall. All materials are included. We recommend that you bring a lightweight pair of gloves – garden gloves work well – to buffer your hands while cutting the glass. This is a six-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, February 24, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. This was a breakout hit workshop in 2017 and we’re still getting requests for it, so it’s back on the schedule. Come make a collage portrait for any critter you love. Learn to use torn and cut paper – magazine pages, maps, sheet music, etc – to create a strikingly realistic portrait of your favorite pet. There is no drawing skill needed for this project. You will need to bring an 8” by 10” photo of your favorite pet – you can print one at home from your computer or take a photo to a copy center such as FedEx/Kinko’s or Staples and have one enlarged. From that large print, we will show you how to use all kinds of paper to create a portrait that catches your “baby’s” true personality. This is a six-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday February 25, 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. 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. SIGN UP NOW.