Our schedule of events is rich with opportunity, and it 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.
Workshops & Events
Classes are held at our shop at The Newton, 300 W. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85013. 602.279.9510
Saturday, June 24, 10:30 a.m. Artist Yvonne Allen has put her talents to work to create an eye-catching sun face. Each mosaic sun will feature Yvonne’s signature handmade tile facial features. Cheeks, eyes and brows, lips and nose will define your sun’s personality and mood. You’ll complete your project using a selection of colorful hand-glazed ceramic tile to fill in the face, sun rays and sky. The size of the completed sun will be approximately 12 inches in diameter and your sun will be ready to hang. Enjoy a day of mosaic art while learning basic mosaic skills. All materials and tools provided. This is a six-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, June 25, Noon. Chutney, mustard and flavored vinegar can turn a regular meal into a bowl full of flavor and zest. They add personality and boldness to everything from meat to tofu, vegetables and fruit. Grains love them and you will, too. Our favorite cook and gardener Gregory Ware will be here to show you how to combine simple ingredients to create these flavorful and wholesome condiments (no preservatives or extra chemicals). Whether you are planning a meal of hamburgers on the grill or a grain-based vegetable entree you will find that the right condiment can turn an ordinary meal into a remarkable feast. Gregory will demystify the process of making these tasty condiments. He’ll also share ideas for changing them with different herbs and fruit for seasonal dishes. We will sample a lot and you will take home many recipes and tasty ideas. This is a three-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, July 8, 10:30 a.m. Hummingbirds are fascinating. Their beautiful colors, incredible strength and soaring antics are amazing. Here’s an opportunity to add your own splash of splendor to the garden with a colorful mosaic hummingbird sculpture. In this workshop, you will apply shimmering glass tiles to a sturdy custom metal mosaic base. The design choice is yours. This is a great project to learn the basic technique of using glass tiles to mosaic. Your finished sculpture will measure about12 inches tall by 15 inches wide. It will adorn any outdoor or indoor space. This is a six-hour workshop. All materials included. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, July 15, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Enjoy the lazy days of summer and join us in creating a mixed-media collage of your favorite pooch. You will learn to use torn and cut magazine pages, maps and miscellaneous papers to create a strikingly realistic portrait of your pup. No worries, there is no drawing skill needed for this project. Just bring an 8” by 10” photo of your furry friend and we will show you how to use recycled paper materials to make a realistic rendering. It helps if you have a few photos on hand the day of the class. Your finished portrait will express the true spirit and character of your pet. This is a six-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, July 16, 11 a.m. SOLD OUT. Ceramic artist Yvonne Allen has designed a hand-made tile project that becomes a virtual bouquet of garden stakes for your garden or potted plants. First you will make up to eight large tiles from clay in shapes that reflect nature. Think flowers, birds, butterflies and more. Yvonne will bring her collection of wood and letter stamps so you can add lively texture to your tiles and inspirational words to the back. Then you’ll apply colorful glazes to each shape and create wire stems. Yvonne will take your tiles to be kiln fired and return them for pick up here. You will assemble them easily at home. This is a four-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, July 22, 10:30 a.m. It is berry season and time to make jam! Gregory Ware will be putting on his chef’s hat to share his secrets for making award winning jams. He will take you through every step to jam making, including tools, choosing the best berries, cooking secrets, transfer to jars and then safe preserving practices. Gregory has won many blue ribbons at the Arizona State Fair for his jams and jellies. You won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn his tips and secrets for creating tasty jams. Everyone will go home with a 4-ounce jar of his homemade berry jam, and we will do a lot of tasting, too. This is a two and a half-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, July 30, Noon. These adorable little bird’s nests look like they were plucked right from a tree. The process of molding simple wire and beads into a realistic nest is a talent you can use to make gifts for all the special people in your life. It’s not too hard to learn and it’s even a bit relaxing. Craft artist Alice Sweeney will take you through all the steps needed to make a lovely bird’s nest pendant. Choose from silver, black or copper wire and a selection of egg-like beads. An elegant ribbon necklace is included and will complete your project or Alice will show you how to make a woven chain. This is a one and a half hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Friday, August 11, 10:30 a.m. Making a mandala is almost a meditative experience with the creation of a simple repetitive pattern that is beautiful and serene. Mosaic artist Dave Jarvinen has come up with a unique expression of mandala art using both glass and porcelain tiles. Your completed mosaic mandala will measure 14 inches square. It can be hung on a garden wall or you could even make it a small table top. This is a wonderful way to learn the basics of designing and assembling mosaics using multiple types of tile. This is a six-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Healthy Living: Create An Herbal First-Aid Kit
Saturday, August 12, 10:30 a.m. Clinical herbalist and educator Kerry Amann is back at Southwest Gardener with a new class on how to set up an Herbal First-Aid Kit. Kerry will go over herbs that everyone should have on hand for common daily challenges: upset stomach, colds, stress, headaches, allergies, and more. Kerry will review the best ways to use medicinal herbs and everyone will take home a set of “starter herbs” to help get you going in building your own herbal first-aid kit. This is a two-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, August 13, 11 a.m. Ceramic artist Yvonne Allen has created an exciting new project for SWG where you will design and build a custom tile wall hanging. This is a great opportunity to do some hand-building clay work. You’ll start with 4 square pieces of red clay, two each measuring 3.5″and 4.5″. You can add texture to the clay with any of Yvonne’s fun wood stamps and rollers. With more clay you can cut flowers, leaves, birds and hearts – anything you desire – then attach them to the base tiles. Finally, you’ll add colorful glazes to complete your truly unique tile work. The finished tiles are connected together with copper wire rings and hung from copper tubing. Yvonne will take your tiles home to be kiln fired and will return everything to Southwest Gardener for you to pick up. The finished hanger will be about 22 inches long. The workshop will last about three hours. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, August 19, 10:30 a.m. Master rock painter Stephanie Tomich has come up with a summer project with a new twist on mandala painting: Sea urchins! These beautifully detailed designs make them look like they might be a challenge but Stephanie will show you how to master a few simple techniques and you will create two sea urchins to take home. You will learn the best paints and tools to use, plus the best way to finish your rocks. Stephanie’s painting classes have a very Zen atmosphere. They are calm and relaxing. This is a four-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, August 20, Noon to 3 p.m. This is the plant sale for gardeners who want to grow a second season of tomatoes. Gregory Ware will be here with lots of tomato transplants, mostly early varieties to ensure you get fruit before the days get cold and frosty. And if we get no frost, these tomatoes will go through the winter. At this plant sale you will also find a nice selection of peppers, eggplant and other tomato relatives. Start prepping your soil – fall planting is on eight weeks away!
Saturday, August 26, 10:30 p.m. The process of taking raw wool fibers (aka wool roving) and turning it into a lovely felted flower seems almost magical. In this workshop Southwest Gardener’s own Lynn Town will teach the fundamentals of wet felting and you will create two flowers of your own design. This is a fun and messy art form, so come prepared to release your inner flower child. These flowers can be a pin to dress up a piece of clothing; we like them on a hat or purse, but let your imagination run wild. All tools and lots of wool roving in yummy colors are provided. Please bring two towels and a nice, sharp pair of scissors. You may also want to bring an apron. This is a three-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, August 27, Noon. The most important step for a successful garden happens before you ever plant. Soil preparation is the key to having a healthy, prolific garden, yet it is a step that many people bypass. Local gardening guru Gregory Ware will demystify the mystery of good soil. He will take your through every step needed to prepare for your fall/winter garden. This class includes packages of enough locally produced organic fertilizer and soil sulfur to cover a 100 square foot garden. You’ll add your new-found knowledge of building healthy soil plus your own organic material such as compost or manure, and you will be set to grow! Check out our blog post on soil and water then come to this two-hour class. SIGN UP NOW.