woman in a greenhouse

Fall in love with learning—take a workshop at your local greenhouse

Why should the kids be the only ones learning something new this fall? As you are harvesting your garden, dividing your bulbs, and puttering in the yard, you may start to feel sad about the cold, dormant weather coming up. Don’t worry! Local greenhouses have plenty of ways to keep your hands in the dirt this fall and winter. It’s time to sign up for classes and workshops at your local greenhouse!

What types of classes and workshops do greenhouses offer?

Plenty of greenhouses offer traditional lecture-style classes on topics like houseplants, flowers, and landscaping. And luckily for all of us, lots of local greenhouses are now presenting hands-on workshops, many of which feature “make and take” containers and crafts to take home with you. Classes and workshops are typically aimed at the beginner to intermediate learner, and the listings usually denote the difficulty level. This way, you won’t get in over your head!

For the straight-laced plant and petal lover

There are classes you might expect, like how to grow bonsais, succulents, terrariums, and indoor herb gardens. But you will also find workshops on spring and fall containers, ornamental grasses, planting perennials, growing healthy houseplants, and plant nutrition. There are also seasonal classes like how to create wreaths (for different seasons) and living centerpieces. Learn to grow food indoors with hydroponics. Many greenhouses also offer workshops on crafts for the garden—decorated containers, painted rocks and stepping stones, wind chimes, birdhouses, and butterfly feeders—the options are as endless as the greenhouses you find!

For the trendy plant and petal lover

garden tools and dirtYou will also find more trendy classes like growing air plants (and creating art with them) and creating shadow box succulent gardens. There is even a new(er) trend popular among the younger set called interior “plantscaping,” for those who want a lush jungle inside their apartments! Greenhouses are super family-friendly in their offerings, too. Many offer workshops for kids, including mommy and me workshops (please invite daddy, too). And for the ladies tired of watered-down drinks and lame pick-up lines, grab your girlfriends and head to a ladies’ night at the greenhouse—cheese and wine and just the girls!

For the artsy plant and petal lover

You might expect a class on miniature gardening (like fairy and gnome gardens), but would you expect themes like Jurassic Park, Marvel superheroes, and mermaids? Other quirky and interesting workshops include creating succulent essential oil diffusers, desktop Zen gardens, and birdcage succulents. For Halloween, wouldn’t you love to learn how to make a “stone ghost” out of cement, wooden stands, fabric, and flower pots? Or how about making kokedama, a Japanese ball of soil and moss you can put on a counter or suspend from a hook on your ceiling? You couldn’t get cooler or more interesting, even if you wanted to.

Why learn more?

Learning from a local greenhouse means you get to talk with an expert about everything under the sun (literally) that grows in your area. They can talk with knowledge and with experience about your local micro-climate and ways to make the most of it. After all, they grow in this climate, too. They can offer advice and recommendations for your particular problems. And they love doing it. Consider this: an insurance agent may give you good advice and recommendations about insuring your car, but they probably won’t be as passionate about auto insurance as a greenhouse owner will be about growing things. There’s just no parallel. Plus, there are some questions that the internet just can’t answer, like “I’m renting, and I can’t plant a garden outside, but there is this empty patch of dirt on the east side…”

hands holding a terra cotta pot with plantsIf you have trouble justifying time spent learning about something you might consider a hobby, consider this: natural networking opportunities. As you are listening to lectures, participating in discussions, and getting your hands in the dirt, you are with other people. Other people who have lives and stories. You never know where you might find your next caterer, job lead, or new best friend—all over plants and flowers!

In addition, these classes are either free or low-cost, and greenhouses usually offer discounts to class and workshop participants. You may have to pay for materials, i.e., containers and plants, but the soil is often free. If you take a class involving making something or planting something, then most likely it is yours to take home and enjoy. So, you have something new and beautiful that you either planted or made, instructions for caring for it, and a resource to go back to should something go wrong.

Lastly, as you know, we recommend supporting local businesses as often as you can. Attending a class or workshop at your local greenhouse is a great way to connect to your community and ensure these places continue bringing beauty to your life!

Sign me up!

The internet is brimming with articles like the ones we offer you, but there is no substitute for hands-on experience and experimentation. So how do you find a class or workshop in your area?

Many greenhouses post their workshops online and even allow you to register and pay your fees online. If you live in a smaller town, however, or your greenhouse is hyper-local (meaning, very small), you will have to kick it old school and give them a call. Or ask about classes and workshops the next time you are visiting them in person (after all, that’s how you’ll take the class or workshop, right?).

If you are like us (and many other plant and petal lovers), you probably enjoy just dropping by to look at all the beautiful things your local greenhouse is hawking, whether you are ready to buy something or not. So, the next time you are there, introduce yourself to an employee and ask if they ever offer classes or workshops. If they don’t—maybe you just gave them a great idea to grow their business!