Seminars & Events

Seminars at Swansons

Seminars offered at Swansons are free, unless otherwise noted. Some may require sign-up in advance so we can prepare materials. Please be aware that seminars are often full, so we recommend arriving 10 minutes early to be assured of a seat. Due to limited space, we ask that you do not bring your pet to seminars. Come enjoy Swanson’s seminars and improve your gardening know-how!

July 2014

Container design summerSpectacular Summer Containers | Saturday, July 26 | 10–11am

Design and create fabulous containers that will last from the dog days of summer into early fall. Experiment with different colors and textures for both hot sun and cool shade. Swansons’ plant expert and enthusiast, Kathy Boullin, will share her creative ideas and offer helpful planting tips and maintenance suggestions.

Water Like a ProWater Like a Pro | Sunday, July 27 | 11am–noon

Swanson’s own Gabriel Maki will thoroughly explain how much and how often to water your plants in our Maritime Northwest climate. Gabriel will also help you select tools to craft an appropriate watering system specific to the needs of your garden’s plants.

Fairy GardenFairy Garden Workshop | Sunday, July 27 | 2–3pm

Calling kids of all ages! Karen Eddy and Theresa Venice will show how to make your very own Fairy Garden. Workshop fee of $25 includes a terracotta bowl, soil, and plants for either an indoor or outdoor garden. Bring your own fairy furniture and accessories, or you can purchase them at Swanson’s Gift Shop. Pre-register by calling Swansons at 206-782-2543, or just show up.

August 2014

HoneybeeIs Beekeeping for You? | Saturday, August 9 | 10–11am

Do you want to own and maintain your own beehive, but don’t know where to start? Do you already have bees, but need a little help knowing what to do next? Corky Luster, apiarist and founder of the Ballard Bee Company, presents this free seminar introducing the basics, including apiary sighting and Seattle municipal codes for backyard beekeepers. Sign up for this free seminar by contacting Ballard Bee Company 206-459-4131.

For those who want to learn more, Corky will offer two additional beekeeping seminars this spring. February 8th: Introduction to Beekeeping; March 8: Beginning Your Apiary. There is a $35/person charge for each seminar, or bring a friend for a discounted $60/2 people. Each class finishes with a drawing for beekeeping equipment. Class size is limited to 30 people; payment in full holds your spot. (Cancellations can be made up to 2 weeks before each class). Learn more about Ballard Bee Company.

Beehives in winterBeekeeping 301: Winterizing Your Hive | Saturday, August 9 | 2–4pm

Corky Luster discusses late summer and fall hive management and explains what you need to do to prepare your hives for winter. Topics include queen evaluation, colony manipulation, feeding, honey-harvesting, and equipment storage. Class size is limited, and beekeeping seminars quickly fill up. Fee of $35 holds your spot. Sign up by contacting Ballard Bee Company 206-459-4131.

White Russian KaleEdibles for Fall & Winter | Sunday, August 17 | 11am–noon

As summer vegetables ripen, keep the garden going and plant for fall and winter harvest. Transplant brassicas and leafy greens, and sow seeds of lettuce, arugula, and other greens. Gardening author Bill Thorness (Cool Season Gardener ) explains what to plant and how to get your fall garden growing robustly. He also talks about "overwintering" vegetables to dine on next spring, including peas and sprouting broccoli. As the summer heat wanes, a new edible garden can sprout, and this seminar is your place to start.

Botanical drawingsBotanical Drawings | Saturday, August 23 | 10–11:30am

Illustrator and instructor Nicole Stremlow Monahan demonstrates a fast and fun method of ink drawing and watercolor wash that’s perfect for capturing your garden or flowers on canvas. The 90-minute workshop fee of $45 includes all supplies and instruction. Suitable for all skill levels—from novice to experienced artists. Registration is required at

Marmalade Heuchera and Pheasant Tail GrassSimple Plant Combinations 101 | Sunday, August 10 | 11am–noon

Alex LaVilla, Swansons’ perennial buyer, will present simple design principles and visual examples of successful plant combinations that illustrate ways to put together beautiful plant combinations in your own garden. The presentation will emphasize exceptional foliage plants, grasses, and flowering perennials.

Ongoing Events

Ikebana by Megumi

Ikebana Class | Tuesdays | 10am–noon
Master Ikebana artist, Megumi Schacher, teaches an ongoing class on Tuesday mornings. Sogetsu Ikebana uses local materials in an accessible style that is appropriate for any setting. Megumi provides all the plant material you will need to create a beautiful arrangement for your home. Participants must call Megumi at 425-744-9751 one week before their first class to reserve a place and ensure materials will be available for them. Class fee: $30 per each 2-hour session. Welcome to both beginners and experienced Ikebana practitioners.