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.
Workshops & Events
All events take place at our shop at The Newton, 300 W. Camelback Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85013. 602.279.9510
Friday, July 13, 10:30 a.m. SOLD OUT. When we mentioned to mosaics instructor Dave Jarvinen that July feels good for a bit of Midsummer Madness, he brilliantly found glow in the dark pebbles and created this 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. SIGN UP NOW.
We Be Jammin’
Sunday, July 15, 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 two and a half-hour workshop, with extended time for all questions. SIGN UP NOW.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 20 – 22. We grew up chasing fireflies during humid summer nights. There are none to be found in the Sonoran desert, but a Glow in the Dark insect plant stake might be the next best thing. This weekend with every purchase of $30 or more on any goodies in the store, we’re giving away one stake (a $12.50 value). You can choose from one of three cute styles: butterfly, dragonfly, or hummingbird. A touch of phosphorescent crystal in the wings absorbs light during the day and glows into the night. They will add a touch of magic to your garden. Offer is good while supplies last. (Offer does not apply to workshop registration.)
Light Blub Insect Stakes
Saturday, July 21, 10:30 a.m. After this class, you will never look at a light bulb the same way. Lynn Town will take you through all the steps to make magical insects using upcycled light bulbs, a bit of wire, metal tooling foil and a secret ingredient that you can get at any hardware store. You will also have the option of decorating the bulbs with markers, alcohol inks and even a touch of glow-in-the-dark glue – so you’ll have fireflies! You will make three houseplant-size stakes to take home. (And then you’ll make more!) This is a three and a half-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Friday, July 27, 5 to 8 p.m. By this point of the season we’re a bit crazy from heat and dust, so let’s crank down the ac, crank up some tunes and enjoy a midsummer madness party. On Friday, July 27 between 5 and 8 p.m. we’ll spread out the nibbles and drinks for you to enjoy. Gregory Ware will be here with his very tasty limencello creme liqueur along with splashes of non-alcoholic, fruity shrub. (He’ll be teaching a class on shrub in August.) Best of all, while you eat and sip you can save 20% off everything in the shop . For the early birds, this is a good time to get a jump on holiday shopping. For the everyone else, you’ve earned a mid-summer garden treat. The event and sale are just this one evening, so stop by and let’s toast the endurance it takes to survive this extra sunny season.
Saturday, August 4, 10:30 a.m. Artist Yvonne Allen debuted this project here in May and it was so popular she has agreed to do it again. This is an opportunity to create a handsome chime using a a variety of materials. You will start with an iron piece that will be the top of the chime and to that you’ll add a piece from Yvonne’s handmade porcelain tile collection. Then you’ll use copper wire to form three bell hangers (strands) from copper wire, bright and shiny glass beads and sweet-sounding bells. Your chime will be substantial enough to endure high winds but gentle enough to catch light breezes. This is a three-hour project. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, August 5, 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. Summertime is the perfect season 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) using Gregory’s custom soil. You will choose season-appropriate seeds for your tray using a $10 store credit from Southwest Gardener. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, August 12, 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, berrty Cordials & Shrubies, 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. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, August 19, 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 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, exposed to extreme 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 eight weeks away! EVENT DETAILS.
Mosaic Cat Or Dog Sculpture
Friday, August 24, 10:30 a.m. Mosaic artist Dave Jarvinen has a cute new project that is the perfect way to spend one of the Dog Days of Summer. In this workshop you will mosaic a friendly puppy or sweet kitty sculpture – it’s your choice. Dave will demonstrate the basic skills for covering your sculpture with a selection of beautiful porcelain tiles. Class includes all needed supplies and a nice variety of tile colors. Grouting your project is optional, so if you choose grout you’ll get a lesson and grout to complete the project at home. We recommend that you bring a lightweight pair of gloves to wear when cutting tile. This is a six-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Includes a tool kit to take home and make more!
Saturday, August 25, 10:30 a.m. All dogs deserve at least one pet tag that was made especially for them, so unleash your creativity and learn to make your own custom metal pet tags. Southwest Gardener’s Lynn Town will train you in the basics of metal stamping (it’s tricky), provide humorous copy suggestions, then review finishing techniques on metal work. Then you’ll paws to practice. Once your stamping skills are fine-tuned, you’ll make three pet tags. There will be a selection of tag shapes and sizes from which to choose – for all shapes and sizes of pups. Tags could hold basic ID info with name and phone contact, or they could reveal a sassy saying to fit your pet’s personality. You could even attach a tag to a chain as jewelry for humans. Best of all you get a doggie bag with a basic metal stamping kit (a $45 value) to take home. The set includes uppercase alphabet stamps, an ergonomic stamp hammer, and a steel stamp block. This is a three-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.
Sunday, August 26, 11 a.m. Yvonne Allen joins our Dog Days of Summer celebration with an adorable ceramic plaque design with the theme that a dog or kitty makes a house a home. You will start by creating a clay house-shaped base using slab construction. After selecting your dog or cat design from Yvonne’s patterns you’ll cut the design from clay then decorate your artwork using pet-themed stamps and letters. Then to add colorful glazes to your design. Yvonne will take your plaque home to be kiln fired and will return it to Southwest Gardener for you to pick up in about two weeks. The finished plaque will measure approximately 11 inches long by seven inches wide. This workshop will last about four hours. SIGN UP NOW.
Saturday, September 1, 10:30 a.m. We couldn’t let the Dog Days of Summer slip away without offering this popular workshop. Learn to 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. You will need to bring an 8” by 10” photo of your favorite pet – you can print one at home from your computer or take a photo to a copy center such as FedEx/Kinko’s or Staples and have one enlarged. 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 six-hour workshop. SIGN UP NOW.