Events Information

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.

Knotted Necklace, Macrame Bracelet

Friday, November 16, 10:30 a.m. Join us for a relaxing craft project with our textile expert Alice Sweeney. This workshop will teach you two key techniques: Basic knotting which you will use to make a graceful necklace, and macramé which will be used for create a bracelet. Bead pearls will be part of the design so you can add bling to your jewelry. The result will be an enchanting and strong lightweight necklace and bracelet set. This is a skills and project class that will entice you to create additional pieces at home. Both  layer well (create a colorful dozen for your wrist!) and make wonderful gifts. Plan on a three-hour workshop.

Cornucopia Of Fresh Flowers

Saturday, November 17, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Here’s one way to deliver an abundance of smiles this Thanksgiving. Tina Nestor from Create Yours will be here to help you craft an original fall flower centerpiece for your holiday table. (Or this could be your contribution to the party!) Tina is a master with flowers and will share loads of good information about the best flowers to use in this season and setting, flower care for long-lasting beauty, and floral design. All flowers, supplies, and instructions are provided so you can create your own expression of gratitude and excitement for this beautiful season. Plan on a two-hour class.

Holiday Cookie Make & Take

Friday, November 23, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. What better way to get into the holiday spirit than with a bit of cookie decorating? Come and join Gregory Ware to learn techniques for creating wonderfully decorated cookies. Gregory will bring his fresh-baked gingerbread people cookies and provide tools for decorating. This is a perfect post-Thanksgiving activity for you, family, and out-of-town guests. Plus, the mess stays out  of your kitchen! This is a make-and-take event, so no prior registration is required. You can walk in, pay the cookie fee, and the next available spot at the decorating table is yours. We’re guessing it will take about 15 minutes to decorate two cookies  – each are about three inches tall. You could nibble them right away or maybe you’ll want to hang them in your holiday tree. Cost: $5.50 for two cookies.

Whimsical Holiday Charms

Friday, November 23, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Artist Julie Haymaker is back with an original holiday project that could become a keepsake ornament for this year, your favorite piece of seasonal jewelry, a beautiful addition to a  a holiday present, or a heartfelt custom gift for the extra-special person on your list. Julie has created a lively series of designs just for Southwest Gardener from her trademark “shrink plastic.” We took one of Julie’s classes earlier this year and were blown away by our results and humbled by the technical steps we learned. (There’s way more to this than cut, draw, bake.) Using her art skills, Julie will help you create background designs to your project with inks and rubber stamps. She’ll teach you simple drawing techniques to create detail and shading. All materials and tools will be supplied. You will create three one-of-a-kind “wow” ornaments in this three-hour class.

Ceramic Tree Village

Saturday, December 1, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Just in time for holiday decorating, Deb Betz and Musette Young have created a fun clay project to spruce up your winter décor. In this workshop you will learn to create a trio of trees using slab and pinch clay construction, stamps and pretty glazes for color. Your trees will be taken to a kiln for firing. Then each will get a base made from a rough-cut branch that will help it stand tall and stable. Your small forest of firs will be delivered to Southwest Gardener for you to pick up one week after the workshop. These trees are so neat you could leave them out all year! Plan on about three hours for this project.

Gingerbread House (& Hot Cocoa, Too!)

Sunday, December 2, Noon.‘Tis the season for holiday fun. Everyone’s favorite elf Gregory Ware will be here to help you create an adorable gingerbread house that will be as much fun to look at as it is to eat. As many of you know from his previous classes, Gregory is an amazing cook and baker. In this workshop, elf Gregory will prebake his tasty gingerbread and assemble a house so that you get to focus on the fun part – decorating. Gregory will show you piping and icing techniques, and will provide all the frosting and candies you’ll want to fulfill your gingerbread fantasy. To top off this sweet afternoon our neighbor First Draft Bar will whip up hot cocoa to enjoy during your time in Santa’s workshop. This is a perfect activity to share with a child, so let us know if we can provide two chairs when you sign up. Bring your imagination and plan for about two hours of sweet fun.

Southwestern Mosaic Ornaments

Sunday, December 9, 11 a.m. Dave Jarvinen is back with some mosaic fun for the season. In this workshop you will create eye-catching copper-backed glass mosaic ornaments to use now or hang in your home all year. Dave will provide patterns for three southwestern designs: a boot, cactus and chili. Each ornament measure approximately two inches by three inches.You will learn to make an armature for hanging, nip and fit glass tiles, and mosaic assembly. The glass pieces will need to fit tightly together, so please bring a pair of tweezers for detailed work. This workshop will last about four hours. 

Classic Holiday Centerpiece

Sunday, December 16, Noon.  Why wait for Santa? Give yourself the gift of flowers this Christmas. Along with those flowers, you’ll also receive lots of information about flower care and floral design from Tina Nestor of Create Yours, LLC. Tina is a Certified Master Florist with more than 25 years of design experience. She’ll start the festivities with the scents of natural pine and a great selection of hardy holiday-appropriate flowers, and then walk you through all the steps needed to complete your own fresh flower arrangement that includes candles and holiday accents .Everyone always tells us they can’t arrange flowers, but after each of Tina’s workshops they are confident and amazed at their talents. Give this a try – it’s fun! Your arrangement will be a notable bit of holiday cheer in your home – or a jolly gift for someone else. Plan on a two-hour workshop.

Ceramic Garden Totem

This is a two-part workshop. Saturday, January 5, 10:30 a.m. and Saturday, January 19, 10:30 a.m. 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. 


Garden Greetings

Sunday, January 6, Noon. We received an enthusiastic response from the participants of Linda Arandas’ first card-making class, and many of you have requested she returned. So, we’re thrilled to start off the New Year with Linda teaching a mixed-media class on creating desert and botanical-themed cards. (We know you all send cards because we sell tons of them!) She will teach techniques using watercolor pencils, pen and ink, and collage to create lovely illustrative art on card-stock paper. Your artful greetings will be worthy of framing, to the delight of the friends who receive them. Each participant will make a set of three cards to keep and will leave with the skills to make many more. This is a relaxing way to learn these delicate art forms that you can use in other projects. All class materials are provided. Plan on about a three-hour class.

Mosaic Serving Tray

Friday, January 18, 10:30 a.m. We are so fortunate to live in a climate with many days that are perfect for outdoor entertaining. With the patio season beckoning, mosaic artist Dave Jarvinen has created a colorful and sturdy mosaic serving tray project that will add a bit of style to your next poolside happy hour.  Dave will show you how to use porcelain tiles to mosaic a 10” by 12” tray. All materials and tools are included. Your design is framed well by the wooden tray frame with handles. This is certain to be a conversation starter at your next gathering! Plan on a six-hour class.


When Life Gives Your Lemons, Head To The Kitchen!

Sunday, January 20, Noon. It’s that wonderful season when we are blessed with an abundance of home-grown lemons. If you’re looking for new, creative uses for your bounty, you’ll love this workshop. Hobbyist cook and professional grower Gregory Ware will teach you how to make two lip-smacking good lemon delicacies – limoncello and preserved lemons  – while he offers a primer on lemon tree care. There are several ways to make these goodies and Gregory will go over the differences. Class will be capped off with a tasting of Gregory’s limoncello (the same recipe that was served at our holiday open house!) along with a slice of his rich limoncello cake. Each participant will go home with recipes for using up surplus lemons along with a nice 8-ounce bottle of limoncello.

Pet Portrait Collage

Saturday, January 26, 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.