a sunny debut: workshops in the garden

PRUNING, DIVIDING, EDGING, MULCHING, AND WISECRACKS were on the program yesterday when Bob Hyland and I began Season 2 of the workshop series we’d debuted in 2009, renewing our long-ago teaching partnership. But this year, we tried something different: We met for breakfast and class time in my garden, before caravanning over to his Loomis Creek Nursery—where all last year’s events were held—for the second half. The recap, and the rest of the year’s schedule:

I wasn’t prepared for how energizing the experience of actually teaching in the garden would be. (That’s me in a mass of Hylomecon and Stylophorum, top photo, talking about how to get Eranthis to colonize; below Bob and I are crawling around repairing messy edges of a bed).

I have loved being a Garden Conservancy Open Days tour host for a dozen or so years; it’s so valuable to see how people see your garden—how they move through it, what attracts their attention. But even after all that experience with “company,” this was something special.

Doing the show-and-tell was great fun, especially because the group of 30 students came prepared with questions that really got us thinking (and making matching arm gestures; we may become twins by season’s end). Thanks to all who attended, and I hope to see some of the rest of you at the season’s remaining classes.

Thanks also to Erica Berger Photography for the pictures of me and Bob.

Upcoming Workshops

(My entire 2010 schedule including tours and lectures is here.)

Saturday, May 30 (Memorial Day Weekend), 11am-1pm–Contained Exuberance: Container Design Workshop at Loomis Creek Nursery, with Bob Hyland and Margaret Roach. Learn to design and maintain exuberant pots with flowers, foliage, edibles, and woody plants; $18/person with $5 Loomis Creek Cash coupon good toward next nursery visit. ***Registration details below

Saturday, June 19 (Father’s Day Weekend), 11am-1pm–Summer Gardening 101 at Loomis Creek, with Bob Hyland and Margaret Roach. Hands-on workshop with a focus on summer-blooming perennials, shrubs and grasses, timely border-maintenance tips, summer watering strategies, staking and more; $18/person with $5 Loomis Creek Cash coupon toward next nursery visit. ***Registration details below

Saturday, July 3 (4th of July Weekend), 11am-1pm–Container Garden Tune-up at Loomis Creek, with Bob Hyland and Margaret Roach. Refresh and invigorate your container plantings for the summer months; $18/person with $5 Loomis Creek Cash coupon toward next nursery visit.


Saturday, September 11, 8:30am-1 pm–Shade Gardening 101 at the garden of Margaret Roach and Loomis Creek Nursery. Practical hands-on workshop with approaches for designing, planting and/or rejuvenating a shade border. Light breakfast refreshments included. $45/person with $5 Loomis Creek Cash coupon toward next nursery visit. ***Registration details below

***To register for Loomis events marked with asterisks: Mail a check to “Loomis Creek Nursery,” including names and phone numbers of all registrants OR email info@loomiscreek.com with name and return phone number to contact for credit card info.

  1. Johanna says:

    OK, for just a brief second I thought Sarah Palin had come to serve tea with eranthis! But seriously, I wish I lived nearby and could participate. There’s so much to be learned!

  2. Ami says:

    Saturday was, informative, inspirational and fun! Thanks Margaret and Bob. You were a dynamic duo. Got home in time to plant some trees. Looking forward to calling your mulch man for some primo black gold!

    1. Margaret says:

      Thank you, Amy; it really was a sensational group — such good chemistry, as I said in the thank you email. Mulch on!

  3. Terryk says:

    I wish I could have been there, it sounds like it was great. Have to think about doing a road trip up there for one of the others.

  4. DeborahB says:

    I had a wonderful time and loved seeing your beautiful garden and hearing all the tips from you and Bob. Most helpful for me: the discussions of how you designed the distant parts of your garden keeping in mind the “sight-lines” from the house and seeing the way you put together your shrub borders. We have a large property, and it’s been a challenge extending the garden out into the fields, partly due to the scale but also the challenges of working outside our 2 acre deer fence and with a spouse that worries that each thing planted will someday interfere with our view of the hills. ;-) I have expanded into some areas where I need to do some serious cost-benefits analysis. Does it really make sense to have a labor-intensive heather garden down in the rocks at the lower barn, which is a quarter mile from the house and only visible when I walk down there to weed? Thanks again for a wonderful day. I came home with some treasures from Loomis Creek, and already have my new Arnold’s Promise witch hazel and Hedgerows Gold dogwood in the ground.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, DeborahB. Nice to hear from you here on the blog. I had a great time, and am looking forward to the next events, though there certainly is a lot of garden prep to keep me busy meantime. :) See you soon again I hope.

  5. Kaveh says:

    Nice to see pictures of you and Bob together. I worked at Loomis Creek in the summer of 2006 and met you a few times (even though I was too shy to say much). Bob and Andrew have created such beautiful gardens around their home and nursery.

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