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 Rachel at Shaw Nature Reserve at (314) 577-9526.

  • Registration starts February 1 for classes in March through August.
  • Registration starts August 1 for classes in September through February.

Time: All classes are Thursdays from 1–4 p.m.

Location: All classes will begin in the classroom behind the Joseph H. Bascom House, except for plant propagation which will gather in the Greenhouse.

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

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

 

Upcoming Sessions

registration starts February 1, 2018
March 8, 2018
NEW Pruning Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines  
James Faupel
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. Mostly outdoor/dress for the weather.
April 12, 2018
Native Wild Edible Plants  
Jen Sieradzki
Did you know that many native plants are edible and delicious too? Together, class members and Whitmire Wildflower Garden horticulturists will identify some common native edible plants, view them in a garden setting, discuss different ways to utilize them in recipes, and sample them too! This will be a fun and interactive class for gardeners and cooks alike. Indoor/outdoor. 
May 11–12, 2018
Shaw Wildflower Market
May 7, 2018
NEW Gardening Under a Black Walnut Grove 
Scott Woodbury
Eighteen years ago we planted two fringetrees in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden. One ten feet from the base of a mature black walnut tree, the other beneath a chinquapin oak. The one beneath the oak is approaching 15 feet in height and spread whereas the one under the walnut is five feet tall and wide. Both have attractive branch structure and flower well. This dwarfing affect looks pleasing on single or multi-stemmed trees but it can make certain shrubs look scrawny. This class will show you what native plants grow well or poorly under black walnuts. Indoor/outdoor.
June 14, 2018
The Art of Combining Native Perennials 
Scott Woodbury
Success with native perennials in the garden comes with choosing the right plant for the right location. It also depends on how you creatively combine them to best emphasize color, texture, form and size. These are the visual elements, the tricks of the trade, that make gardens attractive to people. Indoor/outdoor.
July 12, 2018
Flower Arranging with Native Plants 
Terri Brandt
Bring a small to medium vase and something to carry it in (box) to class and bring it home full of beautiful native flowers. Learn how expert flower arranger, Terri Brandt, (added comma) creates beautiful floral arrangements using a wide-array of plant materials and flowers. Indoor: greenhouse area.  
August 9, 2018
Pondscarping with Native Plants 
Jen Sieradzki
Permanent water features like ponds and water gardens attract more wildlife than any feature in the Whitmire Wildflower Garden. They are home to wetland birds, dragonflies, frogs, salamanders, turtles, and the predators that eat them, including snakes and hawks. Ponds and water gardens with permanent water have special needs and plants. Come learn which plants grow in water and which grow just beyond the water edge. Also learn how to manage for problems associated with duckweed, algae, invasive species, pond leaks and erosion. 
Registration starts August 1, 2018
September 14, 2017
Converting Mowed Grass to Seeded Prairie or Savanna
Scott Woodbury
Do you have too much lawn at home or in the country? Would you like to convert a hayfield into a diverse blooming prairie that attracts wildlife? Come learn how to create a natural-style landscape with high diversity, low maintenanceand great wildlife diversity.
September 8, 2017
Shaw Wildflower Market
October 12, 2017
Native Wild Edible Plants
Jen Sieradzki
Did you know that many native plants are edible and delicious too? Together, class members and Whitmire Wildflower Garden horticulturists will identify some common native edible plants, view them in a garden setting, discuss different ways to utilize them in recipes, and sample them too! This will be a fun and interactive class for gardeners and cooks alike.
November 9, 2017
The Next Invasive Plant Comes to Town
Dr. Quinn Long and Scott Woodbury
This class will help you understand the difference between weedy and invasive plants. We will discuss the identification and control of a variety of invasive plants including species that are likely to become the next disaster like bush honeysuckle. A few of the plants of concern include Oriental bittersweet, burning bush, privet, Callery pear, Amur corktree, golden raintree and Chinese beautyberry.
December 14, 2017
The Art and Function of Native Landscaping
Scott Woodbury
In need of the tools necessary to transform your yard into a beautiful and functioning landscape that enhances life for you and wildlife and fits into the neighborhood? This class will explore basic design styles, planning methods, and plant selection that maximizes wildlife potential while also fitting in with the neighborhood. Come learn how to select, arrange, install and maintain native plants for optimal owner, neighbor, and wildlife satisfaction.
January 11, 2018
Practical Gardening with Native Plants

Scott Woodbury 
A class designed to provide gardeners with an understanding of basic gardening maintenance tasks and improve knowledge of native plant horticulture. Topics include techniques for planting, transplanting, insect and plant identification, weeding, mulching, watering, pruning, deadheading and eco-friendly turf maintenance.
February 8, 2018
Greenhouse Propagation of Native Plants
Terri Brandt
Growing native perennials, grasses, trees and shrubs from seed isn’t a mystery. This class will introduce the basic propagation methods that involve stratification, scarification, timing, soils, containers, fertilization and basic insect management. Class will be held in the Shaw Nature Reserve Greenhouse area. Check in at Visitor Center for directions.