Rochester Civic Gardener’s Certificate

This program will be offered again in the Winter/Spring of 2018.

Six classes:

Botany for Gardeners: Plants are the touchstone of gardening, and the more we understand about how plants function, the better gardeners we will be. These lively, informative classes are designed for students new to botany as well as those desiring a refresher course. Join Carol Southby, botanist and naturalist, as we explore the hidden workings of flowering plants from a gardener’s point of view. Both sessions will use live plant specimens and hands-on work, and will benefit from the use of our video projection microscope to view plant parts. Certificate students must take both sessions.

Session I: The Green Plant. Topics to be covered include the structure and function of stems, leaves and roots; photosynthesis and growth; and plant adaptations to different conditions.

Session II: Flowers, Fruits & Seeds. Topics to be covered include the structure and functions of flowers; pollination, development and structure of fruits and seeds; and the conditions needed for germination.

Perennials. Professional Gardener Cindy Cali, CNLP, will discuss how she grows perennials for every situation, for a clean, healthy, well-maintained garden that ‘flows’. Topics to be discussed include how to properly plant perennials, the upkeep needed for a garden that continues to be pleasing to the eye throughout the seasons, and, the key to lower maintenance: putting the right perennial in the right place. She will explain how to interpret the signs that plants give if something is wrong, and how to know if appropriate pruning will create a second flush of bloom. You’ll learn which plants you may not want to use, no matter how great they look or sound in the nursery, as well as about lots of garden-worthy plants for a variety of situations, and the all-important details of their maintenance requirements for good performance.

Woody Ornamentals. Successful garden design requires an understanding of how to use woody ornamentals in your landscape. There are so many plants available that knowing how to select and site them can be overwhelming. In this slide-lecture, author and landscape designer Christine Froehlich will help you identify those that will best suit your landscape and taste. Her method of categorizing woodies according to shape, structure, growth habit, color and scale will help simplify your choices and allow you to create more effective designs. We’ll discuss the landscape values of many woodies, including a number of useful favorites guaranteed to liven up your landscape, as well as how to buy and plant them.

Soils. The first requirement for a great garden is good soil. Andy Joss, former head gardener at the George Eastman House, will lead you through the basics, including soil types, chemical composition, common soil problems, soil amendments, etc. Bring a pint of soil from your yard and learn to test it yourself for soil texture and pH.

Pruning. Mike Tanzini of Ted Collins Tree & Landscape will cover the basic principles of pruning trees and shrubs, including techniques, timing and the proper equipment. The class will go outside for demonstrations on the grounds of Warner Castle, weather permitting, so dress accordingly.

Call us if you are interested in receiving CNLP or ISA-CEU credits for this class.


Many of our classes qualify for CNLP credits. If you are interested in becoming a Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional, visit the New York State Nursery and Landscape Association's website for more information.



Classes may be taken individually if there is room; preference will be given to certificate students.