5 new plant skills you can learn this winter+spring, including caring for houseplants

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Cat not included. Photo via Botanica on Facebook

Still in search of that perfect New Year’s Resolution for 2020? How about taking up a new hobby, spending more time outside, and meeting a wonderful community of people?

If this sounds right up your alley, find it all at Saturdays in the Gardens with the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

Saturdays in the Gardens 2020

Photo via the Friends of BBG

This annual series of programs is designed to help novice and seasoned gardeners alike hone their skills in a hands-on setting. Learn from local experts as they discuss gardening topics and trends, lead garden walks and conduct demonstrations and activities.

The programs are held on the third Saturday of every month (skipping June-August) from 10AM to noon. Saturdays in the Gardens are hosted by the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens, a membership-based organization whose mission is to protect, nurture, and share the wonders of the Gardens.

Member support benefits the stewardship and enhancement of the Gardens, educational programs, and outreach activities. Learn more about becoming a member!

Here’s this year’s program lineup:

1. Grow Tropical Houseplants

These houseplants are sure to brighten up any space this spring! Photo via the Friends of BBG

Caitlin Hastings, owner of Botanica, a houseplant shop in Birmingham’s Central City neighborhood, has made low-maintenance houseplants with a modern style her mission.

Join her for a discussion on how to dress up your interior spaces with tropical foliage plants and pick up some detailed care tips guaranteed to turn any thumb green.

2. Care for Camellias 

Photo via the Friends of BBG

Learn the basics of camellia care and propagation, as well as the history of the famed Birmingham camellias that originated in the Birmingham area in the mid-20th century.

See examples of Birmingham camellias and more on a walk through the Hess Camellia Garden. The program will conclude with an invitation to visit the Birmingham Camellia Society’s Camellia Show at the Gardens at 1PM.

3. Grow Amazing Azaleas

A true staple in the South come springtime. Photo via the Friends of BBG

Experts from the Alabama Azalea Society will cover general information on growing azaleas in the home garden, including an introduction to some underutilized azaleas such as Satsukis and Alabama’s beautiful and fragrant native, deciduous azaleas.

Participants will get a hands-on lesson in azalea planting and care by assisting the experts in planting specimens donated to the Gardens by the Alabama Azalea Society.

4. Plant a Vegetable Garden

Photo via the Friends of BBG

Participants will learn how to plan and plant a sustainable vegetable garden from expert volunteers with the Friends of Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Harvest for the Hungry program.

Participants will work side by side with volunteers to plant spring crops in the Bruno Vegetable Garden, where plants harvested will feed members of the Birmingham community who suffer from food insecurity. 

5. Arrange Flowers Easily

Photo via the Friends of BBG

Pick up tips and tricks for do-it-yourself, easy and elegant flower arranging from Dorothy McDaniel, a leading florist in the Greater Birmingham Area for more than 40 years.

The program will include a walk around the Gardens’ Dunn Formal and Ireland Old-Fashioned Rose Gardens to discuss which plants you can easily grow at home for cut arrangements.

Spend your Saturdays this winter and spring enjoying some fresh air and learning new skills. Learn more about class offerings here!

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