2018 Winter and Spring Seminars

Winter and Spring Seminars and Events

We hope you will join us this season for our events and educational programs! With programs for adults and children, the whole family can enjoy a day of learning and fun. See our full schedule and sign up below. All events are complimentary and do not require registration, unless otherwise noted.

To download a copy of our full seminar schedule, click here.

Saturday, February 24, 10 am


Feb 24 M Common Plant Problems and solutions

Common Plant Problems and Solutions

David Yost, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Bring your samples and questions for a discussion about common plant problems, diagnosis, and our recommended solutions.

Fair Oaks

Feb24 FO Wildlife Butterfly

Wildlife Habitats: Plants for Birds, Bees and Butterflies

Peg Bier, Merrifield Plant and Design Specialist

Anyone can turn their home into a welcoming environment for birds, bees and butterflies. Peg will discuss plants for cultivating pollinator and bird-friendly gardens.


Feb 24 G The art of pruning trees

The Art of Pruning Trees

Michael Fahey, Merrifield Plant Specialist and ISA Certified Arborist

Smart pruning can improve a tree’s longevity, increase flowering and improve overall appearance. Learn proper pruning methods and timing in this session.

Saturday, March 3, 10 am


March 3 M Turf Talk Q&A

Turf Talk Q&A

David Yost, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Learn the steps you can take to keep your lawn healthy, green and weed-free over the spring and summer. Bring your questions and your lawn samples to share!

Fair Oaks

March 3 FO Interactive landscapes for children

Interactive Landscapes for Children

Mary Kirk Menefee, Merrifield Landscape Designer

Create a landscape your children will love to explore. Whether your outdoor space is large or small, anyone can create a fantastic area for children.


March 3 G Creating a four season garden

Creating a Four Season Garden

Louis Ratchford, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Wouldn’t you love to have a garden that provides ongoing beauty through every season? Learn tips and take home inspiration for setting up a four season garden that will shine throughout the year with blooms, berries, bark and foliage.

Sunday, March 4, 1 pm

Fair Oaks

March 4 FO Gardening Basics

Low Maintenance Gardens: Gardening Basics

Pat Reilly, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Grow your gardening knowledge with this primer on planning, planting and maintaining your garden. Learn to evaluate site conditions, improve soil and drainage, select plants, and plant and water properly.


March 4 G Plant picks for shady gardens8

Plant Picks for Shady Gardens

Steve Gable, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Whether your entire yard is sun-deprived, or you are simply looking to boost interest in a shady section of your garden, Steve will share his shade-friendly favorites for vibrant color and beauty.

Saturday, March 10, 10 am


March 10 M Vegetable gardening

Edibles: Vegetable Gardening 101

David Yost, Merrifield Plant Specialist

In this session, David will share the latest tips and techniques for growing your own edibles. Whether you are new to gardening or just looking for a refresher, this will be an informative session.

Fair Oaks

March 10 FO Creating a tropical paradise in your backyard

Creating a Tropical Paradise in Your Backyard

Bart Windsor, Exotic Landscape Designer

Creating your own tropical paradise in Northern Virginia is easier than you think.
Learn how to prep, plant, grow and overwinter your tropicals.


March 10 G Prune like a pro

Prune Like a Pro

Larry Shapira, Merrifield Plant Specialist and Professor Emeritus (Ret.) NVCC

Review the basics of pruning and boost your confi dence in this lesson on pruning trees and shrubs. Bring your hand pruners and work gloves as we will practice outside, weather permitting.

Sunday, March 11, 1 pm

Fair Oaks

March 11 FO Good Bug Bad Bug

Good Bug, Bad Bug

Nikki Norton, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Some bugs are a nuisance in the garden, but others can actually help it thrive! Join us to learn about the diff erence between bugs that can help or hurt your plants, and get tips for controlling the populations of both.


March 11 G The Perennial Basics

The Perennial Basics

Suzanne Conway, Merrifield Plant and Design Specialist

Perennials bring a wide range of foliage and color to all types of situations in the garden. Learn the basics of perennials and their year-round care, including how to divide them, what to plant them with, and when to cut them back.

Saturday, March 17, 10 am



Edibles: Fruit Trees for Every Landscape

Paul McLane, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Everyone loves fresh grown fruit, even more so when it comes from your own backyard! Join Paul to learn about fruit trees that can bring fresh fruit to any home in our area, regardless of the space available.

Fair Oaks

March 17 FO Gardening with dwarf evergreens

Gardening with Dwarf Evergreens, and Hardy and Non-Hardy Succulents

Peg Bier, Merrifield Plant and Design Specialist

Dwarf evergreens and hardy and non-hardy succulents make great additions to container gardens and in-ground garden beds. Join Peg to learn how to incorporate these special groups of plants into your existing landscape for a fun pop of texture, scale and color.

Spring Lawn Care
Turf Tips and Beer Pouring

Saturday, March 17
1 PM
Our Gainesville Location

March 17 Turf Talk Workshop

David Yost, Merrifield Plant Specialist

This spring, take the luck out of lawn care and learn the tips and tricks you need to keep your lawn healthy, thick and green. We will discuss fertilization, seeding and weed prevention. Bring your samples and come prepared with questions.

Join us after the seminar for a St. Patrick’s Day inspired beer pouring. Participants must be 21 years of age or older to participate in the beer pouring.

Sunday, March 18, 1 pm

Fair Oaks

March 18 FO 20 Specimen Plants for your garden

20 Specimen Plants for Your Garden and Their Curious Origins

Keith Tomlinson, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

Meadowlark Botanical Garden’s Keith Tomlinson will suggest some great specimen plants for your garden while weaving a tale of their origins from wild places and gardens around the world.


March 18 G Low Maintenance

Low Maintenance Gardens: Right Plant, Right Place

Kyle Gregory, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Gardening becomes much easier when we know how to place plants in areas where they will grow and thrive naturally. In this session, Kyle will review the basics of placing plants in areas where the soil, sunlight and water conditions are ideal for their success.

Spring Wreath Workshop

Sunday, March 18
4 PM
Our Gainesville Location

Andrea Gabor and Wilson Vertin, Merrifield Design Specialists

Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine while you craft an artificial spring wreath to enjoy in your home. There is a $40 supply fee per person for this workshop, which includes the wreath form, supplies, and basic embellishments. Additional embellishments are sold separately.

This event is full. For more workshops, check out our Design Your Own Floral Arrangement workshop on April 26.

Guests must be 21 years of age or older to consume wine.

march 18 create and sip-01

Saturday, March 24, 10 am


Gardens for Small Spaces

Michael Fahey, Merrifield Plant Specialist and ISA Certified Arborist

Drawing on his experience as a townhouse resident, Michael will share his tips for making a big impact in smaller landscapes. This session will be useful not only for townhouse owners, but for anyone looking for creative solutions in areas with limited space in their landscapes.

Small townhouse garden with patio furniture amidst blooming lavender.

Growing Herbs

Saturday, March 24
10 am at our Fair Oaks Location
1 pm at our Gainesville Location

Nicole Schermerhorn, Co-Owner, A Thyme to Plant at Lavender Fields Herb Farm

Bring out the best in your recipes with herbs grown in your own garden. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make. Join Nicole to learn how to plan, plant, and harvest an herb garden that will look as good as it tastes.

March 24 Growing Herbs-01

Sunday, March 25, 1 pm

Fair Oaks

March 25 FO Creating a sancuary for native critters

Wildlife Habitats: Creating a Sanctuary for Native Critters

Steve Gable, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Native critters can have a positive impact on our gardens. In this session Steve will share tips and inspiration and his recommendations on the best plants you can use to invite native critters into your landscape.


March 25 G Creating a Frangrant Garden

Creating a Fragrance Garden

Renatta Holt, Merrifield Landscape Designer

Using fragrance as a guide to make gardening decisions can stimulate creativity in the way we design and enjoy our gardens. Take home ideas on how to incorporate aromatic plants into your own garden.

Saturday, March 31, 10 am



Selecting and Caring for Roses

Sharon Stickell, Merrifield Plant Specialist

A classic fl ower in any garden, there are many varieties of roses that grow well in our area. Join Sharon to learn which varieties grow best, along with proper pruning techniques, tips on pest management and the best times to fertilize and water.

Fair Oaks


Landscape Shrubs

Robert Saunders, Saunders Brothers Nursery

Join us for a discussion about new standouts and old favorites in landscape shrubs. Guest speaker Robert Saunders will discuss his picks for the best shrubs for your home and garden this spring.


March 31 G New Trends in Shrub Ciltivars

New Trends in Shrub Cultivars

Joel Cooke, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Expand your plant palette with the latest and best tree and shrub varieties for striking color, foliage and blooms. Joel will share the newest standouts in the landscaping world that anyone can add to their garden.

Saturday, April 7, 10 am

Fair Oaks

April 7 FO Amazing Container Gardens

Amazing Container Gardens

Peg Bier, Merrifield Plant and Design Specialist

Whether you have a small porch or a large patio, container gardens play a role in any size garden. Enjoy non-stop, year-round color with container designs that evolve with the seasons. Join Peg to gain information and inspiration for your container gardens this year.


April 7 G Growing Veggies in Small spaces

Edibles: Growing Vegetables in Small Spaces

Molly O’Boyle, Certified Master Gardener, Fairfax County Master
Gardener’s Association

With a little creativity, even the smallest patio, deck or townhouse yard can be turned into a successful vegetable garden! Join Molly to learn about creative solutions for growing vegetables in limited space.

Sunday, April 8, 1 pm

April 8 G Hummingbirds without feeders


Wildlife Habitats: Hummingbirds without Feeders

Suzanne Conway, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Perhaps one of the most beloved birds in gardening, hummingbirds astonish us with their aerial acrobatics, their beauty, and the important role they play in the garden as pollinators. Attend this seminar to learn about plants you can add to your landscape to attract these beautiful birds.

Spring Garden Party

Saturday, April 14
10 am – 3 pm
Our Gainesville Location

April 14 Spring Garden Party-01

10 – 11:30 AM: Spring Curb Appeal
Kerri Murphy Blackman, Merrifield Landscape Designer
Your home’s front entry provides guests with the first impression of your space. Take home tips on making an inviting entry by reinvigorating your garden beds, adding outdoor lighting and more.

11:45 – 1:15 pm: Spring Color with Trees and Shrubs
Danielle Hall and Cristin Wise, Merrifield Plant Specialists
Dazzle yourself this year with the vibrant colors of spring blooming trees and shrubs. Danielle and Cristin will share reliable favorites as well as hidden gems which are sure to provide beauty in your landscape this season.

1:30 – 3:00 pm: Perennials for Every Garden (sponsored by Bonide)
Andre Viette, Author, Hybridizer and Lecturer
Join Andre Viette, an accomplished perennials author and lecturer, for an education session full of inspiration and ideas to take home for your own garden.

Saturday, April 21, 10 am


Growing Beautiful Roses

Pamela Powers, Consulting Rosarian, Arlington Rose Foundation

Roses come in many gorgeous shapes, colors, and sizes. Join Pamela Powers of the Arlington Rose Foundation for a discussion about the best varieties in our area, proper pruning techniques, and tips for growing the roses of your dreams.


Just for Kids: Garden Critters

Sunday, April 22
1 pm
Our Gainesville Location

April 22 Garden Critters-01

Andy Johnson, Merrifield Plant and Critter Specialist

Our gardens are home to many birds, insects and critters! Discover the wildlife that calls your garden home and learn tips to create and maintain a healthy environment for our native friends. Children will have the opportunity to see some of these animals up close in this interactive program.

Parents please plan to attend with your children. All ages are welcome, but this event is recommended for kids ages 6 and up.

Design Your Own Floral Arrangement

Thursday, April 26
5 pm
Our Fair Oaks location

Wilson Vertin and Karen Rexrode, Merrifield Plant and Design Specialists

Bring the garden inside this spring with a beautiful floral arrangement! In this workshop, join Wilson and Karen for a lesson on the craft of arranging flowers into artful creations. You will leave with a unique spring floral arrangement you can enjoy at home.

Space is limited to 30 people. There is a $40 supply fee for this workshop, which covers a container and a selection of cut flowers.

Register here for the Design Your Own Floral Arrangement workshop.

April 26 Floral Arrangement-01

Saturday, April 28, 10 am

April 28 G Bulletproof Plants


Low Maintenance Gardens: Bulletproof Plants

Michael Fahey, Merrifield Plant Specialist and ISA Certified Arborist

If you love gardening but don’t have time for it, or enjoy pretty plants but prefer to spend your time outdoors relaxing, this seminar is for you! Drawing on his experience in his own garden, Michael will share his picks for an easy care garden anyone can maintain, regardless of experience or time constraints.

Sunday, April 29, 1 pm


Native Plant Picks for Spring

Kim Scott, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Using native plants in the garden is a great way to support local wildlife and the environment. Join Kim for a session on her favorite Virginia natives that you can add to your garden this spring.

April 29 G Native Plant Picks for Spring

Saturday, May 5, 10 am

May5 G Whats new with Magnolia and Hydrangea


What’s New with Magnolias and Hydrangeas?

Scott Aker, Head of Horticulture and Education, US National Arboretum

There’s nothing like magnolias and hydrangeas for year-round appeal in your landscape and spring is a great time to plant them! Learn about all the great new hydrangeas coming on the market and the future for native hydrangea species in breeding efforts. Find out about recent developments with deciduous and evergreen magnolias too.

Sunday, May 6, 1 pm


Wildlife Habitats: A Naturalist’s Garden

Andy Johnson, Merrifield Plant and Critter Specialist

Gardens are a valuable part of the food chain as they support insects, birds and other wildlife and preserve the environment. In this session, learn what you can do to help support the food chain and natural environment in your garden.

May 6 G Naturalists Garden

Saturday, May 12, 10 am

Brugmansia 'Eduador Pink'


Uncommon Cut Flowers

Karen Rexrode, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Join Karen to learn about unique flowers you can use in your cut flower arrangements this spring. Gain inspiration and add flair to your traditional bouquets with some of Karen’s picks for unique cut flowers.

Saturday, May 19, 10 am


Spring Blooms Nursery Tour

Pat Reilly, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Spring is one of the best times of year for gardeners. Join Pat for a walk through the garden center, where she will share some of the best blooms of the moment and point out her spring and summer favorites.

May 19 G Spring Blooms Nursery Tour

Sunday, May 20, 1 pm

May 20 G Companion planting


Companion Planting

Suzanne Conway, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Plants thrive in good company. When planted in pairs, some plants provide excellent support for their companions, while others compete for resources. In this seminar, discover the perfect companion plants for your garden beds.

Saturday, May 26, 10 am


Pruning Shrubs

Peter Deahl, The Pruning School and ISA Certified Arborist

Peter Deahl has been pruning and observing ornamental trees and shrubs for over 30 years. This has led to the development of specialized pruning techniques that he loves to share with students and gardeners alike. Don’t miss this opportunity to fine tune your pruning skills.

May 26 G Pruning Shrubs

Family Fun: Create Your Own Spring Container Garden

Sunday, May 27
1 pm
Our Gainesville location

Kris Perdue, Merrifield Plant Specialist

Parents and children of all ages are welcome to attend our family container workshop together. Introduce your children to gardening for the fi rst time or just attend for a fun family activity!

We will assist children and their families in creating a container which will look beautiful throughout spring and summer.

Space is limited. A $30 supply fee will cover one container and a selection of plants, landscape fabric, soil and amendments. Additional supplies, plants and decorations may be purchased separately. Parents are required to attend with their children.

Register here for the Family Fun: Create Your Own Container program.

May 27 Create Your own Spring Container Garden-01