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.
Macrame Plant Hanger
Saturday, June 1, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Take a step back in time to the groovy 70’s when you join Diana Herman to create the 2019 version of macramé. She will take you through a macramé primer that includes basic knots, determining cord lengths, and finishing techniques. Your 24-inch hanger will be made from synthetic cord which means it will last for years and creates a more formal look to your decor than the macramé of years passed. Your macramé planter will be beautiful above a kitchen sink, in the bathroom, or hanging in an outdoor patio nook. Everything you need is provided (including the pot). Plan on a three-hour class.
Learn To Grow Microgreens & Sprouts
Sunday, June 2, Noon. With the temperature going up, cool season greens in your garden have bolted but you can still grow tasty sprouts and microgreens indoors. Many consider these tiny seedlings to be nature’s own “superfood.” They have been in salads and stir fries for years, but most of us have no idea of the wide variety of tastes and textures that can be harvested all summer. Even better, they pack a powerful nutritional punch. Join local grower Gregory Ware to learn about microgreens and sprouts. You’ll learn safe, clean growing techniques, the best herbs and veggies to use, and tips for how to include them in your everyday diet. Each participant will go home with a tray for microgreens, a jar for sprouts, and plenty of seeds for your first harvest. Plan on a two-hour class.
Chili Peppers, Hot Sauces & Tongue-Tingling Tidbits
Saturday, June 8, 11 a.m. We are so fortunate to live in the Southwest with year-round access to a selection of chili peppers that offer a wide range of flavor. It can be daunting to know how to handle and cook with the many varieties available. Our favorite pepper expert Tanya Chakravarty will be here to help raise your chili IQ. Tanya will start by identifying the many types of chili peppers, how to use them, and the range of heat to expect. Then she will share her tips for handling fresh peppers, roasting and skinning, and the best way to freeze them. Tanya will demonstrate some of her favorite recipes for making salsa and hot sauces. Of course, there will be sampling and everyone will take home two homemade hot sauces. Plan on a two-hour class.
Hotter Than Hades Plant Sale
Sunday June 9, Noon to 3 p.m. This is the plant sale for all the hard-core gardeners who don’t let the heat stifle their gardening efforts. Gregory Ware will be here with a selection of organic, heat-loving transplants. You’ll love these goodies in your garden and they will love the heat. Check back to this page a few days before the sale for a list of what you’ll find..
Mosaic Garden Turtle
Saturday, June 15, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Our resident mosaic artist Dave Jarvinen has come up with an inventive design for a garden turtle. You start with a ceramic turtle base to which you add a your own mosaic design to create a beautiful shell. You’ll never have trouble finding this turtle in your garden or out on the patio! The workshop includes a variety of shimmering glass tile and all additional supplies. We suggest you bring a lightweight pair of gloves (gardening gloves work well) to protect and cushion your hands when cutting the glass for mosaic. As with all mosaic projects, some hand strength and dexterity are needed. Plan on a six-hour class.
A Shirt To Dye For
Sunday, June 16, Noon. It is amazing how fun and easy it is to create one-of-a-kind clothing using basic T-shirts and bleach. Textile artist Alice Sweeney will be teaching you how to create “altered” shirts with bleach, Soft Scrub, stencils, and stamps. Alice will explain how these different tools work on fabric. You will practice techniques and get a feel for the process on test fabric that she provides. Then you will design and bleach your print onto one or two shirts. You will need to provide your own 100% cotton T-shirts, and rich, dark colors work the best. (Think navy, black, deep purple, deep red, dark green). What a super fun way to start summer in shirts you’ll never see on anyone else! Plan on a three-hour workshop. .
Metal & Glass Mosaic Patio Lantern
Saturday, June 22, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. Check out the Metal & Glass Votives below. Nancy McIntosh’s striking glass and metal art has been popular for years at Southwest Gardener. We are very happy she’s agreed to add her talent and creative nature to our workshops with this substantial metal and glass patio lantern. This workshop incorporates one of Nancy’s sleek, modern metal structures with an 8 by 8-inch glass block. You will mosaic your own design on both sides of the block using a selection of pre-cut glass shapes in a variety of colors. This project requires minimal nipping and cutting, so hand strength isn’t as much of an issue as regular mosaics. Nancy will help you epoxy the pieces to the glass. After a quick drying time for the glue, you will grout the mosaic to make it last. This project includes everything: a prepainted metal frame, a glass block with a generous space in the bottom (for inserting your own light string), glass mosaic pieces, glue, grout, and the use of Nancy’s tools. Plan on a five-hour workshop.
Metal & Ceramic Sunflower
Sunday, June 23, 11 a.m. Artist Yvonne Allen has combined her love of ceramics with her passion for working with metal and found objects. This eye-catching sunflower wall-hanging will be a welcome addition on a patio or inside your home. Each flower will start with a rustic metal base. Then, participants will create the flower center from a selection of metal found objects from Yvonne’s collection. You are welcome to bring your own small metal objects to add special meaning to the project. As a final touch, everyone will attach handcrafted petals and leaf tiles.The finished piece measures approximately 8 by 11-inches. Plan on a three-hour class.
Saturday, June 29, 10:30 a.m. It’s been done for centuries in Asia and has been a trend in Europe for years. Now, silk painting has become popular in the US. Painting on silk fabric delivers elegant results. Artist Jackie Lindmark will be joining us to teach everything you need to know about creating fabulous designs on silk using the resist method of painting. Choose from either a dragonfly or butterfly design. Jackie will take you through the process of mixing and blending your own colors. Participants each receive a kit that includes a stretching frame, a set of three dyes with color charts for mixing custom colors, a bottle of Resist, a paint brush, and one 6” by 23” piece of silk. These tools and supplies will be yours to take home after the class. Don’t wait to sign up! Registration for this workshop ends June 14 so that supplies can be ordered. Plan on a three-hour class..
Embroidery Flower Sack Towel
Saturday, July 6, 10:30 a.m. Traditional flower sack tea towels are are super absorbent and offer lint-free drying for dishes or hands. They are also perfect for embroidery. When embellished with a beautiful hand-stitched design, these towels become an artful tool – pretty and practical! Local artist Linda Arandas is going to teach you embroidery using a design with a southwestern twist. She specializes in botanical art and desert themes are popping up everywhere from housewares to clothing. Come learn the basics of embroidery with this fun cactus design. Your supplies – towel, embroidery hoop, thread, needle, etc – are provided as part of the class and you’ll take everything home at the end, including your newfound love of stitching so you can color your entire world. This workshop will last about three hours.
Glowing Mosaic Mushroom
Saturday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. We had so much fun with this class last year that we asked mosaic artist Dave Jarvinen to do it again. This is the perfect class for mosaic beginners or those who want to do minimal nipping and cutting. You will use special glow-in-the-dark pebbles to make your own fanciful mushroom that will look beautiful in your garden day and night. These colorful stones are embedded with a phosphorescent powder that absorbs the sun’s rays and then glows for several hours at night. You will learn the basics of mosaics without the mess of cutting or nipping. (Easy on the hands!) This is a three-hour workshop.
Sunday, July 14, Noon. This is berry season so it’s prime time to make jam and jelly. Homemade captures the naturally fresh flavors of fruit and lacks all the additives of store-bought brands. Gregory Ware will be putting on his chef’s hat to share his secrets for making award-winning jams. He likes to say “I’m going to teach you the secrets to jam that Grandma didn’t.” This isn’t as difficult as you think, but it’s something that is best learned from another person. You’ll go 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. 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 three-hour workshop, with time for all questions.
Steel & Glass Votive Set
Saturday, July 20, 10:30 a.m. Metal and glass artist Nancy McIntosh is back with another project that incorporates her custom-made metal art and glass mosaics. In this workshop you will design and assemble two substantial glass votive holders that fit neatly on top of Nancy’s hand-crafted metal bases. To design the votives you will work with a selection of pre-cut glass shapes in a variety of colors. This project requires minimal nipping and cutting, and Nancy will help you epoxy the pieces to the glass. After a quick dry time for the epoxy glue, you will finish your project by grouting. The project includes two metal votive stands, glass votives, mosaic glass pieces, glue, grout and the use of Nancy’s tools. Your finished pieces will stand 13 inches and 11 inches tall and each will be about 6 inches square. This workshop should last about six hours.
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. 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.