Seminars & Workshops
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!
Pruning 101 | Saturday, January 31 | 10–11am
Join talented and entertaining Kathy Boullin as she shares her vast knowledge of pruning in this introductory seminar. She covers the basics to help create a firm all-you-need-to-know foundation for confident pruning.
Is Beekeeping for You? | Saturday, February 7 | 10–11am
Do you want to own and maintain your own beehives, but don’t know where to start? Do you already have bees, but need a little help in 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. Contact Ballard Bee Company to sign up for seminars: 206-459-4131.
If you want to learn more, Corky will offer two additional beekeeping seminars this Spring. February 21st: Beekeeping 101, Intro to Beekeeping. March 14th: Beekeeping 201, Beginning Your Apiary. There is a $40/person charge for each seminar; $75 if you sign up for both 101 and 201. Each class finishes with a drawing for beekeeping equipment. Class size is limited to 30 people; payment in full holds your spot. (Beekeeping classes are popular and fill up fast! Cancellations can be made up to 2 weeks before each class.)
What’s All the Buzz About? | Sunday, February 8 | 11am–12:30pm
Join us and learn how Blue Orchard Mason Bees can help pollinate your spring garden, especially fruit and berry crops. Missy Anderson (alias Queenbee), from King County Master Gardeners, offers an engaging presentation about the gentle nature of mason bees, the value they bring to your world, and how easy it is to “host them” in your own yard. She shares tips to help you succeed in raising these native, non-stinging pollinators.
Basic Fruit Tree Pruning | Sunday, February 8 | 2–3:30pm
Are you a little confused about how to prune your fruit trees? Horticulture instructor and professional pruner, Ingela Wanerstrand, will help you understand how your trees grow and which tools, pruning cuts, and training techniques to use to guide your trees towards a strong and fruitful life.
Keep It Simple: Easy Harvest Pruning | Saturday, February 14 | 10–11am
Grow your own fruit in even the smallest backyard! Timed pruning offers a revolutionary approach to fruit tree care. Prune in winter for shape; summer prune to keep trees small and easy. “Grow a Little Fruit Tree” author, Ann Ralph will cover fruit tree basics: the mechanics of pruning, how to prune for short stature and easy harvest, early training, seasonal routines, and pest and disease control. This book is for sale at Swansons.
Epic Tomatoes | Saturday, February 14 | 1–2pm
Enjoy your best tomato harvest ever! Craig LeHoullier, author and tomato adviser for Seed Savers Exchange, offers his considerable expertise on everything tomato—from sowing seeds and planting to cultivating and collecting seeds at the end of the season. His newly published book, “Epic Tomatoes,” includes a comprehensive guide to various tomato pests and diseases with tips about how to avoid them. This book is for sale at Swansons if you would like author to autograph.
Pruning Weeping Japanese Maples | Sunday, February 15 | 1–2:30pm
Dan Gilchrist, pruning specialist, describes specific pruning methods that allow for the natural growth patterns of weeping Japanese maple trees to reveal their gorgeous and graceful forms.
Beekeeping 101: Intro to Beekeeping | Saturday, February 21 | 10am–noon
Have you been thinking about raising bees in your backyard? Corky Luster, apiarist and founder of the Ballard Bee Company, presents this lecture-style introductory course covering the fundamentals of beekeeping, including equipment, parts of the hive, apiary location and codes, feeding and treating bees, as well as seasonal management. Contact Ballard Bee Company to sign up for seminars: 206-459-4131.
If you’re new to beekeeping and want to have your own hive, we recommend you take both Beekeeping 101 and 201 (on March 14). There is a $40/person charge for each seminar, or bring a friend for a discounted $75/2 people. Each class finishes with a drawing for beekeeping equipment. Class size is limited; payment in full holds your spot. (Beekeeping classes are popular and fill up fast! Cancellations can be made up to 2 weeks before each class.)
Hellebores | Sunday, February 22 | 11am–noon
Explore the wonderful world of Hellebores, featuring everyone’s favorite winter beauty, Christmas or Lenten Rose. New hellebore varieties are developed frequently, and Swansons’ perennial buyer, Alex LaVilla, will show you the best of the best. He’ll discuss cultivation and share tips about how to bring your Hellebores back bigger and better, year after year.
Your Vegetable Garden: Getting Started | Saturday, February 28 | 10–11am
This seminar is the first in a monthly series covering the gardening activities needed to insure your success growing vegetables. Join Rolf Hokansson, vegetable gardener and horticulturist, as he shares his experience and knowledge of starting seeds, when and what to plant, how to best prepare your soil, and more. There will be time set aside to answer your questions.
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.