Workshop Descriptions

Not sure which workshop to take? You can take them all or go to just one. The choice is yours – go at your own pace and enjoy the process! Workshops take place on weekends throughout the metro area, and are led by experienced facilitators and landscape designers. Most include a visit to a neighborhood project to see design principles in action.

Explore Naturescaping

Naturescaping Basics (4 hours)

Yard Tour 2013 photoLearn how to design your landscape to reduce water use, decrease stormwater runoff and improve habitat for local birds, wildlife, and you! We will explore the core concepts of naturescaping, pollution prevention, and introduce attendees to watershed connections, native plant identification and site planning principals. Participants get to view before and after naturescaping examples, get native gardening & design tips, and take a field trip to a nearby project to see naturescaping principles in action. Every participant receives a comprehensive workbook and a native plant to help them get started.

Learn to Build a Rain Garden

Rain Gardens 101 (4 hours)

rain gardenLearn to construct your own rain garden! You will learn how to assess your site to determine the best location and size, calculate impervious surfaces, determine soil suitability, choose appropriate plants, and how to build and maintain your new rain garden. You will also receive a comprehensive rain garden manual, and where possible, take a field trip to a nearby rain garden.

New: Rain Garden Installation Workshop (4 hours)

Get a little practice before you start your own project at this Rain Garden Installation Workshop! Get your hands dirty and gain practical experience as we work together to build a rain garden. We’ll start by reviewing some of the basics you learned in the Rain Garden 101 workshop and then we’ll start digging! (Note: Visit our Become a Rain Garden Captain page if you would like your yard to be considered as a potential installation workshop site.)

Explore Native Plants

New: Native Plant Workshop (2 1/2 hours)

Red columbine (Aquilegia formosa)Find out about the many benefits of gardening with native plants! You’ll walk away with loads of information that will help you decide which native plants will work well in your yard. We will introduce you to common native plant communities in Portland, show examples of species that do well in similar growing conditions , share successful planting tips that will help them thrive and more! A native plant slideshow will highlight characteristics and desired growing conditions of many local favorite native groundcovers, shrubs and trees.

Invasive Weeds

New: Urban Weeds (2 1/2 hours)

Weeds – we all have them! Come learn how to identify the most common garden and landscape weeds, along with some of the other more notorious plant invaders of the region. We will walk you through how some of these aggressive plants take over in your yard, and how you can get the upper hand.

Learn about Graywater Systems

Using Graywater at Home (1.5 hours)

graywater concept sketchCome learn how to utilize water from your washing machine and shower to irrigate your outdoor landscape. In this workshop you’ll learn some graywater basics so you can get started on your own project. Participants will be introduced to some basics, including estimating how much graywater is available from your home, safety considerations, and the steps you’ll need to take to get a graywater permit.