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Treasure Valley Gardening Certificate Program

Gardening in the greater Boise area is a unique challenge, and different from gardening just about anywhere else in the nation.

We have quirky soils, only 11″ of rain, smokin’ hot summers and bitterly cold winters, but plants and landscapes can thrive here. In the Treasure Valley Gardening Certificate program you’ll get equipped with the knowledge you need to care for your yard from highly qualified, local experts.
Throughout the program, you will take twelve classes plus at least two of the electives. Subject include plants 101, soil, water, annuals & seasonal color, plus so much more. Class size is limited so be sure to sign up before December 14th to guarantee your spot!
The Plan
1. Sign Up for Your Classes Online
2. Learn From Local Experts
3. Grow an amazing Garden
Cost: $259
Course includes 16 classes, a binder, and supporting materials to help build your garden plan!

To earn a Certificate, you must attend 12 core classes and at least 2 of the 4 electives. Click the link below to register.

Sign Up Today!


Landscape Design Basics
Sara Meier, Landscape Designer, Green Thumb SAM
Tuesday, January 7, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Landscape design is more than selecting plants for a project, it is the integration of all the elements and spaces that affect our outdoor living environment. In this course, you will be introduced to the objectives and principles that are essential to developing a strong design solution for your space. Topics will include: site analysis, site inventory, hardscape vs. softscape, color, form, texture, scale, balance, rhythm, mass collection, dominance, repetition, and interconnection. Bring a basic site/yard layout so that you can begin planning your outdoor living space!


Botany for Gardeners
Sierra Laverty, IBG Assistant Horticulture Director, & Daniel Murphy, IBG Collections Curator
Tuesday, January 21, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

An advanced degree in botany isn’t necessary to excel at gardening, but a basic background in botany sure helps out. In this class, we will cover botany 101 topics like plant anatomy, plant physiology, and phenology, as well as an introduction to plant taxonomy and nomenclature.


Landscape Site Survey
Paul Pegorsch, Paul Pegorsch Landscape Design
Tuesday, February 4, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

A site survey analyzes the opportunities and limitations of your unique home landscape. Establishing a baseline of current conditions allows the homeowner to determine what improvements may be possible or ideal for their space. This class will teach the home gardener how to assess what basic plant requirements like sunlight, water, and soil their landscape can provide.


 

Soil Science
Sierra Laverty, IBG Assistant Horticulture
Tuesday, February 18, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

One million organisms can exist in a single pinch of soil. As a living, breathing foundation of natural landscapes, it’s important to take care of the world beneath our feet. This class will introduce soil structures, texturing skills, local soil types, and how organic matter can impact microbiological relationships that plants (and people!) depend on.


 

Purposeful Perennials
Leslie Blackburn, College of Western Idaho Horticulture Associate Professor and local gardener
Tuesday, March 17, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This session will cover the selection of planting and designing with herbaceous and small woody perennials. Explore purposeful selection and planting with well adapted plants for local soil and climate. Assess color, seasonality, and combinations suitable for all garden styles. The course will provide examples of successful perennial plantings and timelines for maintenance and planting schedules.


 

Plant Health: Problem Diagnosis
Sierra Laverty, IBG Assistant Horticulture Director
Tuesday, March 31, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Learn how to become a horticulture detective! Assessing plant health problems can be a difficult task. This class will teach home gardeners the process of piecing together clues to answer the question: “what’s wrong with my plant?” Join us as we uncover the subtle differences between pest presence and nutrient deficiencies, over and under watering, among many other ailments.


 

Trees
Matt Perkins, Arborist, City of Boise Community Forestry
Tuesday, April 7, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Trees are important, functional features of the landscape. Matt will advise us on how to select trees best suited for our region, provide a season by season overview of basic maintenance, and suggest when it is time to call in an arborist.


 

Wild-Urban Interface Gardening (Elective Class) 
Brett Van Papaeghem, South Idaho Project Manager, Idaho Firewise; Andre Dorman, Horticulturist & Outreach Coordinator, Idaho Firewise
Tuesday, April 21, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Learn ways to create survivable space that reduces the risk of wildfire damage to your home. Brett will discuss the principles of flammable materials reduction, water conservation techniques, and creating Firewise landscape zones. Participants will see plants to avoid as well as those that are more fire resistant and where to use them. Many of these plants are native to the intermountain northwest and appropriate for low water use gardens.


 

Intermountain Fruit Gardening (Elective Class) 
Dan Schults, Assistant Professor, College of Western Idaho
Tuesday, May 12, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This class will cover what you need to know to start and maintain fruit trees and berry plants. Topics covered include site planning, plant selection, pruning, and maintenance. Come ready with questions and your own experiences to share.


 

Annuals and Seasonal Color
Rich Guggenheim, Horticulture Instructor, College of Western Idaho
Tuesday, May 26, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Annual plants and seasonal bulbs add a burst of color to the landscape and offer exciting textures and blooms. Become familiar with a selection of plants that are best suited for this region, and learn how to grow them in the ground or in a container.


 

Xeric& Native Plants
Ann DeBolt, botanist
Tuesday, June 9, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

What is “xeriscaping?” How do you determine if a plant is native? Local Botanist Ann DeBolt will discuss these topics and what makes certain plants suitable and adapted to our arid region. She will share a selection of desirable plants and describe their needs.


Become a plant whisperer!

Sign Up Today!


Treasure Valley Weeds
Daniel Murphy, IBG Collections Curator
Tuesday, June 16, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Our gardens are constantly being threatened by interlopers – unwanted plants that keep popping up uninvited. Be on your best defense by learning how to identify and manage common Treasure Valley weeds, some of which are more noxious than others. We will arm you with the information you need to battle weeds wisely.


Habitat Gardening (Elective Class) 
Sierra Laverty
Tuesday, July 7, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Urban and suburban home landscapes can provide critical resources for wildlife. Any garden can become a haven for birds, beneficial insects, frogs, lizards…you name it! There are a number of specific gardening techniques and landscape features you can use to attract and provide food, water and shelter for local wildlife.


 

Plant Health: Management
Sierra Laverty, IBG Assistant Horticulture Director
Tuesday, August 4, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Caring for plants is a life-long learning experience. Understanding the basics of plant health is critical to managing a thriving landscape. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) utilizes the principles of problem prevention, pest biology, and science-based solutions to reduce risks to plant health.


 

Fall and Winter Gardening Tasks
Sierra Laverty, IBG Assistant Horticulture Director
Tuesday, September 1, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

What happens to the soil when we rake leaves away from garden beds and leave it bare? Do leaves and other dead plant material spread diseases if left on the ground over winter? Is a messy garden actually a smarter garden? All of these questions and more will be considered in this exploration of basic garden fall and winter maintenance.


Reducing Lawn & Turf Alternatives (Elective Class) 
Peggy Faith, owner Xeric Gardening
Tuesday, October 6, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

By removing your lawn turf grass or replacing it with an alternative ground cover, you can reduce or eliminate the need to mow, water and fertilize. You will also add wildlife habitat and increase your landscape’s visual interest. This session covers how to remove turf and includes suggestions on replacements, some considerations on converting irrigation from conventional to a more water-conserving system, and basic hardscape components such as pathways and mulch.


 

Sign Up Today!