In its 34th year, an annual gardening event still finds a way to germinate new ideas.
This year’s Whidbey Gardening Workshop follows the theme “Gardening with Purpose: Beauty, Bounty and Benefit” and takes place March 3-4. In a first for the workshop, three garden pros will offer their unique perspectives during sessions that adhere to different parts of this theme.
South Whidbey landscape horticulturist and floral designer Tobey Nelson plans to serve as a panelist for the first themed session, titled “A Purposeful Approach to a Pollinator Garden.” She will also be an instructor for a class focusing on eco-gardening, a practice that works to build a climate-resilient garden.
“Climate change is upon us, and everyone needs to do everything in their power,” Nelson said. “It’s a lot easier to shift how you garden.”
Nelson is also the buyer and lead educator at Venture Out Nursery in Langley. Eco-gardening, she explained, involves keeping things in mind like careful use of resources, minimizing pesticide use and taking care of a garden in a way that makes it friendly to wildlife and pollinators, among other things.
The main workshop event runs 8:30 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 4 at Oak Harbor High School. The workshop follows a hybrid format this year, meaning people at home can livestream some of the classes and have access to the recordings afterwards for a few weeks. There are three themed sessions and a total of 28 classes, four of which participants will have to choose. Classes include topics about marine and shore plants, bats, cultivating mushrooms and more.