Native Plant School

Native Plant School

Upcoming Sessions

Register Now

 Native Plant School is a year-round series of mostly outdoor learning sessions in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden at Shaw Nature Reserve. They will cover various aspects of native home landscaping and prairie/savanna/wetland re-establishment. Please bring your questions, comments, photos, drawings, plant specimens, etc. for these three-hour discussion sessions. Scott Woodbury and guest experts will lead the discussions, hands-on tours and demonstrations. Participation from the audience is encouraged.

Class Information

Registration: Registration is required.  Please register and pay online.  If you are unable to register online call Shaw Nature Reserve at (636) 451-3512 ext 6007.
Registration starts February 1st for classes in March through August.
Registration starts August 1st for classes in September through February.

Time: All classes are Thursdays from 1 pm - 4 pm.

Location: All classes will begin in the classroom behind the Joseph H. Bascom House (Except for Plant Propagation will gather in the Green House).

Fees: $17 for non-members; $14 for members.

Continuing Education Credits: CEU’s available on request (three per course)


Upcoming Sessions

register now 2016
January 14, 2016
Sold Out-Woodland Restoration for Larger Landowners
Are you battling a heavy infestation of bush honeysuckle on one to one hundred acres of woodland. In this class we will explore the challenges of bush honeysuckle in large-scale areas. Instruction will focus on the best removal practices, forest thinning, reseeding/replanting with appropriate native plants and long-term maintenance. Annual scouting, spot spraying and prescribed burning are the key maintenance components in the fight to tilt the battle in your favor. Indoor/outdoor.

February 11, 2016
Sold Out- Converting Lawn to Seeded Prairie or Savanna
Do you have too much lawn? Are you sick of cutting all the grass? Doug Tallamy states that there are over 40 million acres of lawn, more than all of the U.S. National Parks combined. Our children need a place to play ball, our pets need elbow room to romp but what about that extra lawn that nobody uses. It’s a good time to get serious about converting that turf to prairie or savanna. Come learn how to create a natural-style landscape with high diversity and low maintenance. Mostly indoor.

March 10, 2016
Pruning Native Trees, Shrubs and Vines
Scott Woodbury
Thinking about pruning this winter? Come learn the art of pruning. Learn how to remove large branches safely, prune dead and damaged wood and crossed branches. Also learn how to thin densely-branched trees and rejuvenate shrubs. Learn when to prune, how much to prune and explore strategies to keep plants short and dense or tall and graceful.

March 26, 2016
Partners for Native Landscaping: A Workshop for Homeowners
Save the date, more info coming soon

April 14, 2016
Gardening With Native Groundcovers
Scott Woodbury
Many non-native evergreen groundcovers have become invasive species in the St. Louis region including English ivy, winter creeper and periwinkle. Many alternative native groundcovers exist and are useful for reducing maintenance. Come explore the Whitmire Wildflower Garden in search of the ideal groundcover for your garden.
May 6-7, 2016
Shaw Wildflower Market
May 12, 2016
Spring Flowering Perennials and Grasses
Scott Woodbury
The world is full of showy native perennials, grasses and sedges for gardening. This class will focus on showy and useful landscape plants that bloom in spring and how to garden with them. Students will gain knowledge on planting design and plant placement considerations for sun and shade.
June 9, 2016
Flower Arranging with Native Plants
Terri Brandt
Bring a small to medium vase to class and bring it home full of beautiful native flowers. Learn how expert flower arranger, Terri Brandt creates beautiful floral arrangements using a wide-array of plant materials and flowers. Class will be held in the horticulture greenhouse area at Shaw Nature Reserve.
July 14, 2016
Monarch Gardening
Susie Van de Riet
Monarchs have become the new Bluebird. Students will learn why Monarchs have declined and how we can act to help them by planting more milkweed and other plants that they depend on for nectar.
registration starts August 1 2016
September 8, 2016
Ethnobotany and Native Plant Folklore
April Anderson
Have you ever wondered how "boneset" or "rattlesnake master" got their names? Explore historical uses of native plants and the stories which connect them to our predecessors. Enjoy a hike to look at some of the native plants we discuss. (Adults)
September 9, 2016
Shaw Wildflower Market
October 13, 2016
Fall Flowering Perennials and Grasses- SOLD OUT
Scott Woodbury
November 10, 2016
Grapevine Wreath Making
April Anderson
Learn how to identify, ethically harvest, and weave beautiful grapevine wreaths of various sizes to decorate your home. See how weeds and pods can be incorporated into your design. We will be outdoors during part of the class to gather our materials, so please dress for the weather. (Adults and teens)