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.
Pet Portrait Collage
Saturday, March 23, 10:30 a.m. 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, but you’ll need to bring an 8” by 10” photo of your favorite pet. A full-face portrait works best if this is your first collage. This can be a color print from a home computer or copy printed at a retailer such as FedEx, Staples or Walgreens. From that large print, Lynn will show you how to use all kinds of paper to create a portrait that catches your “baby’s” true personality. This is a popular class and we’ve seen gorgeous portraits of not only dogs and cats but birds, reptiles and bunnies. You choose! This is a six-hour workshop.
Ceramic Wall Hanging
Sunday, March 24, 11 a.m. SOLD OUT. Ceramic artist Yvonne Allen is back with a new project she’s calling “How Does Your Garden Grow?” In this workshop you will create a dimensional art piece that measures about 8 by 11 inches. Everyone will start with a slab that can be textured using a variety of wood stamps that Yvonne will provide. Then, using Yvonne’s patterns, you’ll craft seven to nine tiles using a garden theme – think flowers, leaves, bugs and/or birds. Then, attach the tiles to the base piece with clay and wire. The last step will be adding colorful glaze. Yvonne will take the pieces to be fired in a kiln and final assembly of the art. Your art work will be ready for pick up in about two weeks. This is a four-hour workshop.
Ceramic Garden Totem
This is a two-part workshop. Saturday, March 30, 10:30 a.m. and Saturday, April 13, 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 January 19 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. Note: The totem pictured was made in a previous workshop and is now “planted” in a home garden.
Sunday, March 31,11 a.m. Celebrate spring by letting your inner flower child bloom as you create your favorite buds in this new workshop. Ceramic artist Deb Betz will be here teaching you to make a bright bunch of ceramic flower stakes you can plant in your pots or garden beds. Using hand-building techniques you will “grow” as many as six flowers. After you’re happy with the designs it will be time to add colorful glaze. Deb will take everything to be kiln fired and she will attach copper stems. Your flower bouquets will be returned to Southwest Gardener for you to pick up in approximately two weeks. This is a three-hour class.
Saturday, April 6, 10:30 a.m. Mosaic artist David Jarvinen has a new mosaic cross project that features beautiful porcelain tiles. Dave will show you how to create your own design to fit inside the iron cross frame. You will learn tile nipping and fitting techniques. Then he will demonstrate how to break the tiles into manageable shapes to complete your background. The finished cross is suitable for indoor or outdoor hanging display. All materials are provided including the iron cross base that measures 8 by 12 inches. This is a five-hour workshop.
Warm Weather Edible Gardening
Sunday, April 7, Noon. As the days grow longer, the temperatures start to rise but gardening in our desert climate doesn’t need to be a challenge. Local grower Gregory Ware will be here to teach you to grow and care for a warm season garden. He will help you select appropriate vegetables and herbs for the season. You’ll learn about soil health, watering guidelines and tips for maximizing the growing season.
Warm Weather Veggie & Herb Plant Sale
Sunday, April 14, Noon to 3 pm. Not a week goes by that a customer doesn’t tell us what good luck they’ve had with Gregory Ware’s locally grown organic plants. This is a super time to slip some plants into the soil that will thrive in the warm months. Gregory will be at Southwest Gardener with organic, hearty vegetables. Come and pick up a selection of plants that will carry your garden well into the summer months. We will post a list of plant varieties you’ll find at this sale the week before it happens.
Artful Garden Journaling
Saturday, April 20, 10:30 a.m. Garden journaling is a pretty and practical way to keep track of gardening endeavors while allowing space for your thoughts about nature. You can keep track of gardening successes, wishes, and challenges. Or sketch birds and list your favorite flowers. Explore the expressive world of art journaling with mixed-media artist Linda Arandas. Linda will share samples of her own journals, many of which have been featured in national magazines. She will share her favorite techniques, tools, supplies, and tips for creating your own journal pages. With Linda’s encouragement, you will begin to explore the garden of your own creativity. Feel free to bring your own journal if you already have one but it is not necessary. Journal pages will be provided that can be inserted into a journal at your convenience. Plan on a three-hour class.
Sunday, April 21, 11 a.m. Ceramic artist Yvonne Allen has a ringing new project that sounds as good as it looks. She will teach you a variety of techniques for creating a set of three clay bells that can hang in your home or garden. Yes, you will make three bells in this workshop! Yvonne will take you through the steps needed to make bells using a slab technique. You can use stamps and hand carving to add designs to your bells, and then finish off the project with colorful glazes. You can also make ceramic beads to thread on the cord from which the bells hang. Yvonne will take your bells home to be fired in a kiln and return them for pick-up in about two weeks. Plan on a fun three-hour class.
Saturday, April 27, 10:30 a.m. Stress is inevitable. It’s a natural part of our daily lives, and it comes in many forms. Luckily there are just as many steps – often small but quite meaningful – we can take to help release pressure and manage it well. Certified herbalist Kerry Amann will be joining us to show you helpful ways for managing the stress in your life and create space for peace and balance. You will experience tools such as sound and movement therapies, herbal remedies, and more. Each student will have an opportunity to participate in several activities using a variety of tools to find ones that might work for you. Everyone will take a relaxation tea sample home, too. Come join us for a bit of play and peace! This workshop will last about two hours.
Sunday, April 28, 11 a.m. Ceramic artist Deb Betz was playing in her studio and brought us some cheerful ceramic sunflower stakes. Guess what? They sold immediately, to the first people who saw them, and that’s the story of how this class was born. This is your chance to learn from the master how to make a charming sunflower stake for your garden. Deb will teach your to build a flower that is about 10 inches in diameter (just like the real thing!) . You’ll leave a place for a stake in the base so it can be “planted”. Then you will add glazes and Deb will take the sunflowers to be fired in a kiln and assembled with a rebar stake. Your flower will be returned for you to pick up in about two weeks. Plan on a three-hour class. .