Dirty Thoughts

By Amanda Bonner

Is it time you raised your gardening game? Try one of these area classes and you may just turn your thumbs green.

gardening

Courtesy Vgajic/iStock

Vermicomposting. Cytospora Canker. Xeriscaping. We don’t care what anyone says, those are sexy words to us. Because gardening in Denver—whether you’re xeriscaping, adding pops of color, planting trees in your yard or maybe even trying your hand at raising bees—is not only challenging but a whole lot of fun. Whether you’re a newbie green thumb or a seasoned pro, there’s a class for you:

COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION

  • Besides offering a Colorado Certified Master Gardener Program (both online and 16-week in-person versions), CSU offers classes (“Smart Water-Wise Landscape Design,” “Updating Your Sprinkler System with Rebates,” “A to Z Vegetable Gardening”) and has a marvelous plant database as well as downloadable fact sheets on a variety of topics: pesticides, landscaping, weeds and xeriscaping. extension.

DENVER BOTANIC GARDENS

  • So many classes, so little time. The Gardens offers classes in everything under the sun (literally). A sampling: “Best Roses for Your Garden,” “Beginning Rocky Mountain Gardening,” “Converting Lawns to Xeriscape,” and “How to Plant a Tree,” as well as “seedlings” programs for kids starting at preschool age.

DENVER URBAN GARDENS

  • In addition to its spring plant sale May 11–12, D.U.G. offers a class called “Gardening in the Heat of Summer: What’s Bugging My Plants” on June 16. On Aug. 25, D.U.G. has a class called “Fall Gardening: The ‘Other’ Season’ ” for those trying to prep for next year’s growing season. 303.292.9900

GARDENS ON SPRING CREEK, Fort Collins 

  • Learn how to grow your own thriving veggie garden, practice taking close-up photos of your blooms, or stop by for an afternoon tea, made with plants inspired and sourced from the gardens themselves. The Gardens also offers “Read & Seed” classes for little ones that include book readings and a hands-on project. 970.416.2486

GROWING GARDENS, Boulder 

  • Garden-to-table cooking classes (“Cooking With Superfoods” and “Flavors of the Southwest”), as well as a “Summer Garden Dinner Party” that explains how to turn garden bounty into a meal, are on tap this year. 303.443.9952

 GULLEY GREENHOUSE AND GARDEN CENTER, Fort Collins 

  • In “Urban Garden Workshop,” you’ll learn how to grow vegetables in pots on your deck. You’ll also receive an heirloom tomato plant (with soil, container and plant food) to take home. 970.223.4769

HUDSON GARDENS

  • Get the buzz on bees with the course “Do You Want to Be a Bee- keeper?” on June 13 and learn all about honey in “Honey Harvest & Products of the Hive.” If flowers are more your thing, try “Roses 101 & Garden Tour,” when rosarians at the gardens will explain the different varieties and their characteristics. 

STURTZ & COPELAND, Boulder

  • Learn how to “Keep Your Shrubs Looking Their Best” in May, then come back to learn how to create a French garden or create a beautiful terrarium in June. 303.442.6663

TAGAWA GARDENS

  • From “Limitless Container Gardening” to “Perennial Plantings That Pop” to “10 Things Not to Do in Your Landscape” to “Planting for Four Season Perennial Color” Tagawa’s classes cover the waterfront. For the wee ones, it also offers “Fairy Gardening for Kids.” 303.690.4722 

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