Weekend Walkabout webinars and upcoming topics

Webinars! 50 unique topics with live Q&A

Subscribe to Saturday mornings 8:30 - 10:00, with replays at your fingertips any time you want to view them.

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What's coming next? View all 50 topics in our 2020-2021 webinar season.

Free! View six popular webinars. Follow the links:

#1 Early Spring Cuts, Weeds and Lawn  

#2 Too Big, Too Much: Pruning and Reducing  

#3 Tools: Choices, Care & Use  

#4 Improving an Older Landscape  

#5 Weeds, to Know Them is to Beat Them  

#6: Plant it Well Even if the Roots are Wrong in 5 parts.

For 35 years we've spoken at your conferences all over the continent... but only in the gardening off-season when we were not needed in clients' gardens. Now we are able to meet every Saturday with all who wish to join, to discuss the garden topics of the week.

It is great fun and good for growing. We bring a jam-packed outline and illustrations, participants bring their questions.

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Recordings of all future Weekend Walkabout webinars will be available exclusively to our webinar subscribers.

Recordings of all future Weekend Walkabout webinars will be available exclusively to our webinar subscribers.

 

 

 

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Janet at Garden A to Z

 

#1 Early Spring Cuts, Weeds and Lawn:

Click to view #1.
How to know it's time to garden and what to do first. Which shrubs to cut hard, with help for doing right by the various hydrangeas. Pruning evergreens including lavender and other herbs, and cutting back perennials. Critical first steps in weed control and lawn care. With a plea to leave space for people as you design and plant.

#2 Too Big, Too Much:

Click to view #2.
The spring round of cutting back and cutting up has begun! Those shrubs are too big, those perennials are downright unruly and it seems there is too much to do all at once. We take you with us on the job right now to tame the rowdiest parts of the landscape. Together we can tackle that big old juniper, limit the lilac, clean up the clematis and sort the run-together roses and daisies

#3 Tools: Choices, use and care

Click to view #3. Even the best gardener can save time, energy, muscle strain and cause less stress to their plants by using the right tool. Professional gardeners Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila open their own toolbox for your inspection and share tips for selecting, using and caring for garden tools.

#4 Improving the Older Landscape: Re-design and renovation

Click to view #4. Established gardens and landscapes share certain challenges: shade, worn soil, overgrown plants and barren but high-visibility spots. Here are tips on where to start, overcoming the worst obstacles, restoring fertility, visualizing change and choosing plants to bring back that new garden glow.

#5 Weeds: To Know Them is to Beat Them

 Click to view #5. An in-depth look at how to get weeds out and keep them out of a garden. Many how-to examples featuring some of the most common and worst weeds a gardener faces.

#6 Plant it Well, Even When the Roots Aren't Right

Click to view #6 (This webinar is posted in 5 parts. Link takes you to part 1.) An eye-opening expose'. A must-see for anyone who plants trees and shrubs or has planted in the last ten years. Today's dilemma is that we all have an unprecedented wide choice in plant species and variety. However, we're also in the midst of a perfect storm of production practices and economic realities that have made it all too likely that the plant we buy will not have a good root system. Here is an eye-opening, helpful look at how this situation came about, the research attention it's getting, what you can expect to see, the fixes that professional gardeners-writers Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila have learned and results they are seeing.

#7 Growing Top-Notch Edibles in Your Yard

Webinars #7 thru #56: Attendance and recording available exclusively to webinar subscribers.

Help for both beginners and "old hands" in the basics of growing great veggies, fruits, nuts and herbs, plus tips for harvesting lots of safe, nutritious, low-cost produce from your own yard.

Upcoming webinar schedule

You can download the webinar schedule:

• 2020-2021 webinar schedule as a PDF file, or

• 2020-2021 webinar schedule as an Excel spreadsheet (.xls) The spreadsheet provides a column where you can preserve the link to each webinar's recording as it is issued.

3/21/20

Early Spring Cuts, Weeds and Lawn: How to know it's time to garden and what to do first. Which shrubs to cut hard, with help for doing right by the various hydrangeas. Pruning evergreens including lavender and other herbs, and cutting back perennials. Critical first steps in weed control and lawn care. With a plea to leave space for people as you design and plant.
3/28/20 Too Big, Too Much: The spring round of cutting back and cutting up has begun! Those shrubs are too big, those perennials are downright unruly and it seems there is too much to do all at once. We take you with us on the job right now to tame the rowdiest parts of the landscape. Together we can tackle that big old juniper, limit the lilac, clean up the clematis and sort the run-together roses and daisies. As we proceed we take your questions as they come up. So meet us Saturday morning and we'll make a game plan together.
4/4/20 Tools: Choices, Use and Care: Even the best gardener can save time, energy, muscle strain and cause less stress to their plants by using the right tool. Professional gardeners Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila open their own toolbox for your inspection and share tips for selecting, using and caring for garden tools.
4/11/20 Improving the Older Garden: Re-design and renovation. Established gardens and landscapes share certain challenges: shade, worn soil, overgrown plants and barren but high-visibility spots. Here are tips on where to start, overcoming the worst obstacles, restoring fertility, visualizing change and choosing plants to bring back that new garden glow.
4/18/20 Weeds, to Know Them is to Beat Them: An in-depth look at how to get weeds out and keep them out of a garden. Many how-to examples featuring some of the most common and worst weeds a gardener faces.
4/25/20 Plant it Well, Even When the Roots Are Wrong: An eye-opening expose'. A must-see for anyone who plants trees and shrubs or has planted in the last ten years. Today's dilemma is that we all have an unprecedented wide choice in plant species and variety. However, we're also in the midst of a perfect storm of production practices and economic realities that have made it all too likely that the plant we buy will not have a good root system. Here is an eye-opening, helpful look at how this situation came about, the research attention it's getting, what you can expect to see, the fixes that professional gardeners-writers Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila have learned and results they are seeing.
5/2/20 Growing Top-Notch Edibles in Your Yard: It's time to get edible! Start seeds indoors and out, and plant some permaculture - perennial veg and tree/shrub fruit and nuts! Join us whether you are a beginner or "old hand" for the basics of growing great food and harvesting lots of safe, nutritious, low-cost produce from your own yard.
5/9/20 Earthwise Soil Prep: How to prepare your garden soil and maintain soil condition so the garden grows well for many years. Includes basics of using fertilizers to improve soil. We show you a variety of methods for soil preparation, including double digging “virgin soils,” working under trees, and enlisting Mother Nature's help in correcting problems such as hard packed soil, dry sand and heavy clay.
5/16/20 Simple, Successful Garden Design: Simple steps to designing a garden: How to match the garden to specific people's needs, determine a budget, assess the site, arrange the plants, and be sure the finished garden gets the care it will need to look great. This approach is perfect for a new garden or new gardener. It has also been acclaimed by experienced gardeners who are renovating existing beds to improve the look and reduce the maintenance needed
5/23/20 Landscape Ideas from 50 Favorite Garden Before-Afters: Steven Nikkila and Janet Macunovich walk you through time as well as beautiful spaces to give you ideas, laughs, hopes and consolation in your own gardening efforts. This creative and entertaining team has worked together for 40 years to design, plant, renovate and capture gardens, on camera and in "how to" books and articles. In this talk they cover some of their favorite projects and subjects and share the design principles, maintenance tips and life lessons learned from each.
5/30/20 Organic Gardening: Here's your chance to rate your landscape for the three fundamentals of organic gardening: Regarding and treating the soil as a living part of the garden. Matching plants to a site so that the natural environmental systems work for you.   Working with nature to control pests and diseases in a way that keeps everything in balance.
6/6/20 Making a Garden in the Shade: Plant selection is critical for success in the shade, but so too are design and maintenance strategies, planting among tree roots, and soil preparation techniques that serve not only the new plantings but established trees or shrubs on the site. Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila lend to you their 40 years' professional gardening and training experience as they explore all of those topics.
6/13/20 Diagnosing Problems: Problems occur even in the best landscapes: Diseases infect, insects infest, hungry animals invade and environmental conditions from weather to parties can cause big changes in plant health or appearance. A crash course on plant-doctoring from the practical perspective of the professional gardener. Complete with lists of common symptoms, what they mean, and cures that may be much simpler and much less expensive than what you're doing now.
6/20/20 Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces: There can never be too many plants but there is frequently too little garden. This talk is for the gardener with limited space who still wants a variety of trees and shrubs. Both deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs are covered.
6/27/20 Mid-season Design Review: Here it comes, July.. No denying it's summer, now. How has your spring planning and planting shaped up? What can you do if that new or changed garden is not what you imagined it would be? How do you know if new plants are thriving? What should you do if they aren't? If there are perennial plants, shrubs or trees involved, how can you know what they will look like in a month or a year? Is there anything you can do this late in the season to improve on what you started in spring? In this program, professional gardener and author Janet Macunovich answers these questions and more, to help you get the most out of your flower garden.
7/4/20 Continuous Color: It's not just the combination of plant species and varieties that make for April through October bloom in a garden. What counts are the gardener's tricks for extending, stalling, and coaxing repeat shows from flowering plants. This class covers both plant combinations and practical techniques that add up to a really long show. Please note: Today's session is prerecorded. Use email or Forum for questions.
7/11/20 Setting Boundaries with Shrubs, Walls, Hedges, Fences and More: Sometimes the best way to make a yard better is to divide it into "rooms." Even small properties can be improved this way. Explore these ideas and all that lies within those good fences that make good neighbors. You will learn about sectioning your yard -- away from others, and into comfortable spaces. Includes great ideas, materials and plants to divide space quickly and effectively
7/18/20 Sound in the Garden: There can be so much satisfaction in filling your ears as well as your eyes with pleasant and stimulating sounds. Here's a presentation to help you tune up that aspect of your garden, with more nice sounds, less unwanted noise.
7/25/20 Quick and Magical Makeovers: Garden parties can be both last-minute and grand. Here are tips for making an existing high-summer garden look fresh and special right now.
8/1/20 Hardy Hydrangeas: Why is it so hard to grow a blue or pink hydrangea in the Midwest? How do I prune my climbing hydrangea? What do I do when my peegee hydrangea flops over like a mophead? These questions and more answered in this thorough look at growing hydrangeas.
8/8/20 Practical Water Gardens: The sight and sound of water can enhance almost any garden - but don't dive in until you've considered all the angles. This class is the straight scoop on designing, building and maintaining a water garden.
8/15/20 Cultivating Butterflies: Life is beautiful, especially when it adds color to a landscape or garden in intriguing, moving ways. Attract flying color to your yard by planting the right plants and tending them in ways that turn them into magnets for butterflies. Includes the made-for-and-by kids "Making a Monarch."
8/22/20 Pruning Evergreens, Shrubs and Trees: Many landscapes include evergreens, shrubs and trees which must be kept smaller than the plants' potential. It can be a challenge to keep them small, healthy and well shaped. August is a great time to prune to control the size and shape of these plants. Come learn how!
8/29/20 Traveling Gardener: Travel with Janet and Steven to some great public gardens to see the sights. More important, learn the trick of seeing behind the scenes so you bring home not only photos but the underlying how-to.
9/5/20 Best Foot Forward, Ideas for Entry Gardens: Put that best foot forward by making your entry gardens truly grand. Garden designer and writer Janet Macunovich tours the audience through many beautiful dooryards, courtyards, side passages, and main entryways, explains what makes them great and tells how the best features from each can be transplanted to a place of honor outside your front door, gate, arbor, patio steps or other entry.
9/12/20 Gardening for Wildlife: If you want to attract the birds, butterflies or small animals that share our land, this is your seminar. Learn what benefits and problems to expect, what to plant and how to arrange and tend it to provide food and shelter for your wild friends.
9/19/20 Children's Gardens: Gardens are great places for children to learn about life, or to while away a sunny weekend. Help your children to enjoy your gardens more this fall. Come see what we've done to interest three generations of children in growing.
9/26/20 Choosing, Planting and Growing Bulbs: There are so many bulbs to choose from in fall, it can be overwhelming. This is especially vexing when all you want to do is get some of these ready-to-go flowers into the ground! Enjoy this beautiful quick lesson in major and minor bulbs, how to plant them, where to place them, and what to expect of them over the years once you've put them in the ground.
10/3/20 Dividing Perennials: One of the best features of a perennial garden is the potential to make the plants multiply through division. Indeed, some plants need regular division or they deteriorate. Here's a lesson on which plants need division and which can go without, complete with when and how to do the actual dividing. Also included - precautions to avoid multiplying diseases and insects along with the plants.
10/10/20 The Art of Fall Garden Clean-up: You and your perennial garden can benefit from a good fall clean-up. Every hour you spend in the garden in fall can save you two or more spring hours, give you months of pleasure in the winter, and give your plants the very best start into the new season. This workshop gives you tips on what to do, when and how to make your garden a thing of beauty even through the winter
10/17/20 Designing for Scent and Touch: People enjoy not only the look of a garden but what's there to be felt and smelled. Yet these aspects of the garden are sometimes overlooked during the design process. Don't miss the opportunity to make the most of all the senses when you design.
10/24/20 Over-wintering Tender Perennials: For the gardener who can't let go of the foliage plants, flowers, herbs, and artistic plants from bonsai to topiary that can't make it outdoors over winter. Professional gardeners and writers Steven Nikkila and Janet Macunovich have recommendations for plants, pots, soils, lights, arrangements and care of species which must become indoor plants for the winter. This presentation includes handling tender species that can be saved as dormant roots, including dahlias, cannas, elephant ears, top grafted rose trees, etc.
11/7/20 Practical, Beautiful, Simple Winter Protection: Why protect a hardy plant? How? Can the protection be a visual asset rather than an eyesore? These are the questions Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila answer, with humor, practicality and an eye to winter beauty. Includes a look at the Japanese art of fuyu-jitako (preparing for winter), and essential steps for anyone with a Japanese maple in an open situation.
11/14/20 Rain Gardens: A purposely created low spot on a property can intercept run-off water or accept water directed to it from downspouts, sump-pumps and other sources. Populate that spot with plants that love occasional flooding and that excess water will be drawn into plants, used in photosynthesis and finally cool the area as it's released as water vapor. In this presentation: How to create, maintain and enjoy a rain garden.
11/21/20 Balm for the Soul, Glue for the Family: An interesting look at the non-plant aspects of a garden -- why plants fascinate people, how contact with them can relieve stress, what can be included in a garden to build family unity, and how community gardening ideals have shaped the face of America.
11/28/20 Gardening in Small Spaces: When your gardening goals seem too vast or too demanding for the space you actually have, don't give up on your dreams. What you need is this practical approach that revolves around restraint in planting and craftiness in maintaining small beds for maximum impact. With these ideas you can handle almost any space, no matter how confining, awkwardly proportioned, or restrictive in growing conditions
12/5/20 Rock Gardens: Rock gardens have been popular for hundreds of years, for good reason! They're small enough to tuck into a corner of the patio or the cracks in a retaining wall, but able to hold more different types of plants per square foot than any other style of garden.
12/12/20 Winter Interest in the Garden: Gardens attract our eye - we perch with our morning coffee in front of the window that offers a garden overlook, and the premium seat in the family room often faces the picture window to the garden. No wonder winter depression occurs, when out of comfortable habit we turn to look at gardens that in fall can suddenly become bleak, flat moonscapes! Here are ideas to make any existing or new landscape interesting, colorful, even alive with birds and the motion of leaves from November to April.
12/19/20 Thank You Great Grand-folks: A look at the history of gardening in the U.S. Midwest. Engaging insights into why we grow what we do, the way we do and how our ancestors' gardening ways are still affecting our lives.
12/26/20 Smart Gardener in the High-Tech Age: We gardeners revel in one of the lowest-tech pursuits on the planet while living in a world full of digital fruit that's also worth picking. Smart records, low-cost apps and simple photo work can help you keep ahead of things in your garden. Here are practical suggestions for making the most of the higher tech tools available to you. Please note: Today's session is prerecorded. Use email or Forum for questions.
1/2/21 Ins & Outs of Plants: Acquire the best building blocks for all garden learning. How plants grow and why they respond as they do to pruning, fertilizer, growth hormones, flooding, drought and other environmental factors. Learn about plant anatomy, plant names, and basic plant identification, then apply this basic botany to solve both common and unusual problems.
1/16/21 Knowing and Growing Trees: Learn the basics of identifying trees in any season of the year, with some of the best trees for the home landscape as examples. When you know the species you hold the keys to giving it the perfect growing conditions, predicting and preventing its problems, and using it to best advantage for ornament, shade or produce.
1/23/21 What the Groundhog Won't Tell: If you're one of the believers who hold an annual vigil at a groundhog den on February 2, nothing you'll hear in this presentation will seem strange. To everyone else, this revelation of gardeners' odd beliefs and wacky off-season rituals will be an eye-opener. A fun way to spend a winter hour, and bound to entertain you again whenever you observe an old tradition.
1/30/21 Easy, Beautiful Landscapes: This year, have the best-looking landscape in the neighborhood. Make it the landscape of your dreams, one that has four seasons of interest, increases your home's value, and decreases your yardwork. Landscape designer and author Janet Macunovich gets you started with simple steps to update an existing landscape or design complete plans for that new home.
2/6/21 Knowing and Growing Shrubs: A look at all the best uses of shrubs and a line-up of great choices for home landscapes
2/13/21 Gardeners, 21st Century Shamans: Many gardeners are more attuned to the natural world than the average person. As a result, many non-gardeners view gardeners as special people, the shamans and wisewomen of the modern world. Here's a look at how and why that happens, and the opportunity it affords the gardener to increase his or her contribution to the community's well-being.
2/20/21 Gardens in Containers: It's not just an annual show, anymore! Shrubs, tree, vegetables, perennials, even water gardens can be grown in a container. The containers themselves have evolved into an array of forms and materials, breathtaking and mind-boggling to consider. Here are practical, novel ideas for how to choose a container and the plants to fill it, plus how to plant and maintain a stunning, out-of-ground display.
2/27/21 Great Plant Combinations: Most designers aim for year-round interest, but sometimes the design process gets bogged down in looking for color alone. Here are suggestions for trees, shrubs and perennials that not only look great together for their seasonal colors but also for their combined forms, textures and foliage characteristics. Best yet, each of these groups is compatible in terms of their site requirements -- each member in a group grows well in the same amount of light, moisture, and type of soil. You'll see not only suggestions for sunny garden spots but shaded, dry, wet, even windy sites.
3/6/21 Simplify to Keep on Growing: Save Time, Money and Defy Age. Thomas Jefferson said, "I am an old man but yet a young gardener." If you have been gardening for many years, you feel this, too -- your situation and abilities change yet your desire to keep growing does not. Here are insights for keeping up what your younger self began by streamlining, saving energy, and altering methods, tools and perspectives. From 40-year professional gardeners, with lots of input from others with even more seniority.
3/13/21 Versatile Viburnums: Many people design and grow for years without knowing they're overlooking a whole genus of stellar shrubs. When they do finally discover the Viburnums, they are often overwhelmed by the number of species and diversity of characteristics in the genus. Make the most of this wonderful shrub group. Look at this line-up of beautiful, durable Viburnums for Midwest gardens, including enough species and varieties to supply almost any garden or landscape need.
3/20/21 Gardening and Allergies: Gardening is a great way to stay healthy but it isn't without risk to individuals with allergies. Plan or change your garden so you can live there without rash or respiratory distress. This presentation will help you increase your awareness of when and how gardening can bring you into contact with plants and other materials that may cause allergic reaction, and what you can do to minimize contact but still enjoy your garden.
3/27/21 The Easiest Best Perennials: Take a look at four dozen perennials that have made Janet & Steven's list as the best perennials. These are plants that contribute in a big way to the landscape but require only simple care in small measure. You'll see the plants and receive a straightforward review of the best use for each, plus tips for placing them and managing them.
4/3/21 Gardener's Health: Gardening is a great way to stay healthy but it isn't without risks. Garden wisely, with an awareness of how your techniques, tools and materials can affect your muscles, bones, skin and respiratory system. Learn how to avoid or alleviate these problems
4/10/21 Natives in the Landscape: Many people are surprised to learn how many plants already in our gardens and yards are native to the Great Lakes region, and how many more there are that can add beauty and other endearing qualities. Here is how to make the most of native plants' best qualities: lower maintenance, less disease and pest problems and more wildlife.
4/17/21

Getting the Garden Ready for Spring: Even if your garden makes you happy just as it is, there are things you can do in early spring to make the whole season easier and the garden more lush. Shrubs, trees and groundcover beds benefit from your attention in the spring, and repay you with reduced needs in summer. It's also a wonderful time to rearrange or expand a perennial garden. Here is a chance to start off on that right foot toward a great season.

4/24/21 Transplanting the Picture-Perfect Garden: Evers visit a garden or see a picture of garden that becomes a driving vision? Even though a dream garden encompasses acreage while the dreaming gardener has only a postage-stamp lot, or vice-versa, we want to have it outside our kitchen window! Here are some practical ideas on how to recreate or adapt features from that picture book garden or landscape to fit your own yard