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.
Ceramic Flower Hanging Tile
Sunday, July 21, 11 a.m. Ceramic artist Yvonne Allen’s showstopper project is this stunning flower plaque which works well indoors or outside, 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 in two weeks. This is a four-hour workshop.
Saturday, July 27, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Join Southwest Gardener’s Lynn Town for some cool summer fun and learn to make a spunky bouquet of poppies that are handcrafted from copper. These flowers might look complicated, but they are actually quite easy and they pack a punch of color. In this class you will learn to cut and manipulate both copper and aluminum tooling foil. We will use alcohol inks to make each flower unique. Everyone will make three poppies and a set of leaf accents. Plan on about a three-hour class.
Seeds & Sunflowers Mixed Media
Saturday, August 3,10:30 a.m. In this class artist Linda Arandas will share her seeds of inspiration and encourage your creativity to grow. This is a mixed-media workshop that includes sketching, watercolor pencil painting, pen and ink, collage and stamping. You will be guided to create your own sunflower illustrations that can be sent as a greeting card, framed for your home or glued into your garden journal. Plus you’ll design an assortment of botanical bookmarks. All materials are provided. Join us for this artful and inspiring three-hour class. .
Fruity Craft Cordials To Sip & Stir
Sunday, August 4, Noon. Farmer’s markets and grocery stores are bursting with luscious summer fruits that can be used to create liqueurs, cordials and shrubs, the secret to many tasty craft cocktails. Our favorite mixologist Gregory Ware will demonstrate how to make flavorful fruit cordials. Next he’ll teach you to create rich Irish Cream and Kahlua. Class will be capped-off with a tutorial on making shrub. What IS shrub? (Hint: Not a landscape plant.) Shrub is an acid based concoction of fruit, berries, and more that can be used in cocktails or are as a refreshingly tart non-alcoholic drink. There will be sampling, recipes and much fun. This is a two and a half-hour class.
Mosaic Agave Leaves
Saturday, August 10, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. So many of you asked that we offer the Mosaic Agave class again, so here it is! Mosaic artist Dave Jarvinen has built upon his original agave project to create a striking three-dimensional mosaic agave leaves that you can plant as sculpture. In this class, Dave will demonstrate how to create agave leaves using a pre-coated mesh along with two-inch porcelain tiles. You will cut, shape and build between five and seven free-form agave leaves. Each leaf is about 14 inches long and 3 inches at the widest point. Next you’ll mosaic the leaves using a variety of agave-colored tiles. The goal is to grout the tile before the end of the workshop. If you don’t make it that far, you will go home with instructions and grout so you can do that on your own. The agave leaves will need a few days to cure and then can be “planted” directly into your landscape or into a pot. All class materials are included. Mosaic experience is helpful for this six-hour workshop.
Soil Prep: Everything You Need To Know Before You Plant A Garden
Sunday, August 11, 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. (Seriously, this is the way to prevent so many common gardening problems that can occur.)
Cactus Rock Garden
Saturday, August 17, 10:30 a.m. Take time this summer to plant an adorable cactus rock garden that is sure to thrive all year. Our favorite rock-painting artist Stephanie Tomich is back to teach you to paint as many as five cacti that will be planted into a pot. This is a new design from Stephanie. She’s an expert on rock painting and you’ll learn the best types of paint to use, painting techniques and sealing to protect the design. Plan on four hours for this project.
Prickly Pear Happy Hour
Saturday, August 17, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. OR 4 p.m. August is prickly pear fruit season so the time is ripe to whip up a batch of frosty beverages that celebrate this colorful food. Come enjoy a fruitful happy hour with Tanya Chakravarty. While you are here, Tanya (who has become somewhat of an expert in this local delicacy) will show you how to prepare your prickly pear fruit by cooking off the glochids, juicing and straining techniques, and she will share her favorite recipes. Of course, it wouldn’t be a prickly pear happy hour without enjoying a prickly pear drink! Choose from a prickly pear lemonade or margarita or maybe try a sampling of each!
Fall Tomatoes, Peppers (& more) Plant Sale
August 18, Noon to 3 p.m.This is the plant sale for gardeners who want to grow a second season of tomatoes, something that’s very doable in the desert. Gregory Ware will be here with tomato transplants, mostly early varieties to ensure you get fruit that ripen in fall’s short days. There will be many medium to small size tomatoes, with a few exceptions. There will also be a selection of eggplant, tomatillos, ground cherries, and pepper plants. Many of these transplants do well in large containers. All have been outside, in the all-day sun, heat and wind. They are ready to grow. And if we get no frost, these tomatoes will go through the winter. Start prepping your soil – fall planting is only weeks away! Read our TIPS FOR GROWING FALL TOMATOES.
Elegant Brass Garden Mobile
Saturday, August 24, 10:30 a.m. Yvonne Allen has created another beautiful project for your garden, patio or even inside your home. You’ll use brass sheet metal to create your own contemporary art piece that can be hung as a mobile or wall art. Using tools and techniques for working with metal, you’ll hand cut the shiny brass into elegant geometric shapes.Then you’ll add texture to the brass using sanding and hammering techniques, creating the components to create one-of-a-kind look. The final step is to connect the pieces, adding recycled glass beads for a pop of color. Class materials need to be pre-ordered, so sign up will close no later than August 15. This is a three-hour workshop.
Starting From Seed
Sunday, August 25, Noon – There are lot of benefits to starting a garden from seed, and the fall garden is a perfect way to start. Homegrown seedlings will be better acclimated to our desert climate, you are guaranteed your plants are grown organically, and there are many interesting varieties available by seed that you won’t find as transplants at garden centers. This is the perfect time to master the ins and outs of seed gardening from local grower Gregory Ware. He’ll explain techniques specific to seed gardening, how to avoid common mistakes, how to choose quality seeds, and everyone will plant one seed starting tray (total of 72 starts). You will choose season-appropriate seeds for your tray using a $10 store credit from Southwest Gardener. Our biggest gardening season of the year starts now – time to get growing!