Gardening School

Gardening School - Save the Date for Course 4

October 17-18, 2022

Gardening Schools provide current information to those interested in horticulture and related topics. The curriculum has been developed by National Garden Clubs, Inc. (NGC), and is customized by the course instructors. Classes are open to the public as well as garden club members. Garden club members who complete the series of four courses (and pass the exams) are certified as NGC Gardening Consultants.


The courses, which may be taken in any order, are structured to stimulate interest and impart knowledge for growing plants to the peak of perfection. Course content, which is presented in lecture format over the first two days by horticultural professionals, may include tours of botanical and test gardens. Topics include the study of basic botany for gardeners, soils, houseplants, and propagation. Also covered are such topics as how new plants are developed and evaluated, factors that influence plant growth, container gardening, pruning techniques, growing outdoor flowers and vegetables, specialized styles of gardening, growing plants indoors and/or under lights, and growing trees and shrubs, plus other interesting and informative gardening topics.

Course 4 Curriculum

Plant Classification and Nomenclature

  • Overview of all studied plants
  • Binomial nomenclature—naming systems
  • Important flowering/foliage plant groups

Outdoor Identification of Plants

  • Plant families
    • Characteristics
    • Local/regional choices
  • Key/glossary and identification of plants (hand lens required)

Specialized Styles of Gardening

  • Sun/Shade gardening
  • Greenhouse
  • Organic
  • Rock gardens/alpine gardens
  • Hot beds and cold frames
  • Hydroponics and aquaponics
  • Other styles

Techniques for Growing Woody Ornamentals

  • Plant selection and environmental factors
  • When and how to plant
  • Training and pruning
  • Specific problems and solutions

Pruning Techniques

  • Overview of proper equipment/tools/training
  • Trees and shrubs
  • Perennials and annuals
  • Any other – specific plant group
  • Demonstration
  • Inside and outside
  • Participation by students

Supplemental Subject

Undetermined at this time, but could be Gardening for Wildlife/Habitat,  Heirlooms,  Invasive Plants, Reconciliation Ecology, Vermiculture/Vermicomposting, or Various additional specialized styles of gardening.

Become a Gardening Consultant

The National Garden Clubs, Inc. provides Garden Club members the educational opportunity through its Gardening School Program to become members of the Gardening Consultants Council by attending all four courses and passing the test for each course. After just two courses have been completed and passed, Provisional Consultant membership is available in the Gardening Consultants Council. When all four courses are completed and passed, full Gardening Consultant status is attained and a Consultant Certification Card is received.

To learn more about the Council and its activities, click below.