My wife and I will soon be venturing out to purchase some new furniture for our living room. The only knowledge required is for us to know the dimensions of the room and our space, because we want to make sure what we buy fits into the room.
I’ve often made the comparison between buying plants and buying furniture because I have encountered customers who are merely looking for visual appeal in the plants they want to buy. They are naïve to – or are willingly overlooking – the needs of the plants to thrive.
A couch never gets any bigger nor does it need water, but before you select and buy a plant, you need to know how big it will grow. You also need to know how much light it needs, and how much maintenance is required.
This is why I frequently encourage you to shop from the many great independent garden centers in the area. They have knowledgeable employees who can help you select the best plants. Greater Cincinnati also has a lot of great professional landscape companies who can create a design for you and install it. This would be a great time to connect with one of them to start the process.
If you are looking to learn more about landscape design for your own personal use, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden offers a great series of classes known as the Landscaping for the Homeowner series. It’s a 5-week virtual series of lectures regarding all aspects of landscaping for the homeowner by one of the region’s top horticulturists and the zoo’s Director of Horticulture, Steve Foltz.
A different aspect of landscaping is covered each week, such as perennial design and tree care. If you are planning on garden renovation or a new installation in your landscape, these classes provide great insight on design, preparation, and plant selection with emphasis on plants that do best in the Tri-state area.
Classes offered by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
Here’s a rundown of what the series offers:
February 8: Design for Your Landscape
This class provides concepts for proper plant selection and siting within landscapes and gardens. It will introduce how various types of plants serve different aesthetic and functional roles. It will also guide the homeowner on how to prioritize projects and plantings for long-term beauty.
February 15: The Best Trees and Shrubs for your Landscape
Trees and shrubs are the anchors of your landscape and long-term investments for both beauty and function. Choosing them wisely is paramount to your enjoyment of your garden. Steve will share his long experience of growing hundreds of species and selections, which will quickly usher you to the other side of the learning curve.
February 22: Bringing in Color, Annuals, and Perennials
Everyone wants to add color to the garden. This class will give you the knowledge and tools to do it well. Guidance on plant selection, siting, planting, care, and much, much more will have you filled with ideas and energy for spring.
March 1: Now that I Have It, How Do I Take Care of It?
So much internet, so much bad information. Bad gardening advice is everywhere. This class cuts through all that and provides good, practical knowledge based on science and many, many years of experience.
March 8: Putting It All Together
A review, a wrap-up, a confidence session, a chance to ask your remaining questions, and much more, this session closes the series with a flourish and will have you feeling excited about implementing all your new ideas.
You can find more information and register for the classes at cincinnatizoo.org/horticulture.