Sussex Master Gardener workshops to start Jan. 29

January 15, 2019

Sussex Master Gardeners will offer workshops on a wide variety of topics to help attendees have fabulous gardens this year.

Of special note, award-winning artist Kelly Sverduk will teach watercolor journaling, and nationally recognized horticulturist, consultant, and educator Holly Shimizu will speak on herbs. The classes are free unless otherwise specified and will be held at the Elbert N. and Ann V. Carvel Research and Education Center, 16483 County Seat Highway, Georgetown.

The schedule is as follows:

Master Gardener Judy Pfister will talk about Growing Native Plants from Seed at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 29. This is a great way to populate a garden with native plants without breaking the budget. Participants will learn requirements for germination, and tips and techniques for seed starting indoors and out, and they will take home native seeds to start their own plants. Class will include slides and hands-on work with ample opportunity for questions and examining exhibits.

Master Gardeners Gaye Mara and Maureen Ryan will present Plant, Eat and Be Merry at 1 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 12. Mara and Ryan, longtime co-managers of the Master Gardener Demonstration Vegetable Garden, will share their basics of vegetable gardening. They will also acquaint attendees with a few fun vegetables that have done well in the garden.

Artist Kelly Sverduk will teach Winter Watercoloring Journaling - The Garden at Rest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 26 or March 5. Watercolor journaling is a creative way to document the life of one’s garden and yard through the seasons. This workshop will get students started with the basics of paper choice and sketching from life. Instruction will also cover page design and ideas, adding waterproof ink, and various watercolor techniques for bringing drawings to life. Class is limited to 12 participants for each date. Attendees should bring a lunch, a white plate to use as a palette, pencil/eraser, ruler, painting rag and a small container for water. Brushes, paint, pen and paper will be provided. Fee is $25.

Master Gardener Bob Williams will present a workshop on Raised Beds and Table Gardens at 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 12. He will discuss types of raised beds, plans to build them, and materials to use. Soils to use and plants to plant will be gone over as well as maintenance issues such as watering and tools.

Master Gardeners Bob Dougherty and Linda Peters will discuss the Master Gardener Program at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, and 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 2. They will talk about who the Master Gardeners are, Master Gardener Training, volunteer opportunities and the application process.

Horticulturist Holly Shimizu will speak on The Best of Flavor and Fragrance at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 26. 
Plants used for their flavor can be confusing, with questions about things such as oregano - how does one know which one to buy? Here the focus is on which plants are best for culinary uses as well as some of the best plants to use for their fragrance in Delaware gardens.

Master Gardener Penny Deiner will present a workshop on Gardening in Squares and Circles at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 16. This method focuses on growing vegetables and flowers in small spaces. It emphasizes designing a garden based on your personal needs and location, preparing the soil, selecting plants, planting and replanting. Garden squares take 80 percent less space than traditional row gardening; there are fewer weeds to pull and more flowers to enjoy. Gardening in squares is viewed in the context of accessibility and making outdoor spaces inviting, productive and enjoyable.

Master Gardeners Tracy Mulveny and Susan Trone will lead a discussion at 1 p.m., Tuesday, April 20, titled New to Delaware, addressing gardening challenges faced by newcomers to the state. Attendees will learn the dos and don'ts of gardening in Delaware from Master Gardeners who learned the hard way. They will discuss soil, hardiness, salt, plants that do well, and plants that aren’t recommended.

Master Gardener Gainor Urian will present Succulents for the Laid Back Gardener at 1 p.m., Tuesday, May 14. Succulents are plants that store water in their stems or leaves. Because of their ability to exist in a variety of environments and their shallow root system, there is no limit to the fun planting them in unique containers.

Master Gardener Bob Dougherty will present a workshop on Bluebirds and Songbirds of Delmarva at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 21. It will cover songbirds, their nesting boxes and types of feeders along with placement, and various seed mixes and accessories. There will be a question-and-answer period at the end of the presentation.

Master Gardeners Sandi Dew and Judy Pfister will present Establishing a Meadow – the Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 12. Attendees will learn about some of the challenges, successes and failures experienced in establishing the new demonstration meadow in the Demonstration Garden. There will be a tour of the meadow. The evening will end with the movie “Five Seasons, the Gardens of Piet Oudolf.” Oudolf is a renowned landscape designer; this film highlights his creative process and the resulting gardens.

To preregister for a workshop, contact Tammy Schirmer at 302-856-2585, Ext. 544, email, or go to