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Digging Deeper: Garden Know-How

One of the reasons gardening is a life-long endeavor is that there is always something new to learn about, be it a new garden style, plant, theory, environment or micro-climate. You can scrap your garden and start anew with all new plants, a new style, even a new garden philosophy. There is that much to explore. But, before you start breaking out of your gardening comfort zone, you need to know the basics. With some solid garden know-how you will have the foundation to start a new garden. Here are a few sources for learning more about gardening.

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Of course there is our magazine, Horticulture. From print to to our weekly Smart Gardening Enewsletter, we strive to keep you up-to-date with the science and art of gardening. But that’s not all! The editors of Horticulture in partnership with have created a series of FREE Garden How-To Independent Study Guides. We recently released two new courses: Perennial Gardening and Gardening in the Shade. Why spend hours on the Internet and researching books when we did the legwork for you?


Community Garden Centers. Many cities have Community Garden Centers. For example, in Cincinnati we have the Civic Garden Center, a place for classes, lectures and access to community gardens. Some classes are for a fee, but volunteers (another great way to learn about gardening) can take classes free of charge.

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Botanical gardens, parks and arboretums. Here’s a secret—gardens, parks, arboreta, botanical gardens—they are all looking for ways to get you to visit their gardens. By offering a wide variety of classes they ensure new faces visit their establishments and you get the opportunity to learn from the experts.

Garden clubs. I am a little sad but not surprised to see the declining number of garden clubs. However, they are out there and thanks to new social networking sites like it’s easy to start a garden club. Start your own garden club that tours gardens, volunteers as a group, drinks coffee and chats about all things garden related.


Volunteer. Grab a trowel and get involved! Pass your garden know-how onto others. Or, volunteer to work in a garden setting unlike anything you have tried before. The organization will ensure you have knowledgeable people guiding you in your work so you can learn as you garden.