Southwest Tennessee Community College

For Immediate Release

Date: March 5, 2009

For More Information: Pat O'Brien, (901) 333-4021

When the Green Gets Growing … It's Time to Get Going!
(To Southwest's Horticulture Short Course…of Course)

Want your lawn as pretty as a golf course? The perfect shrubs and trees for your garden and yard? Garden walls to beautifully showcase your home?

It's free and open to the public - the Annual Horticulture Short Course at Southwest Tennessee Community College, Macon Cove Campus, Fulton Building, Saturday, March 14. And it will help you learn a lot of the basic (and advanced) information you need to make the picture in your mind's eye the one you actually see right at home. A few hours at Southwest can really pay you, in money saved and results improved that will show up very quickly in your yard and garden. Sign-in is at 8:30 a.m. Southwest is located at 5983 Macon Cove (intersection of I-240 and Sycamore View, exit 10).

Four of our local working experts will be there to tell and demonstrate what they've learned during a combined 90-plus years experience right here, where you are trying to bring to life your own ideas for a beautifully landscaped home.

Jim Thomas - 9-10:30 a.m. Jim is golf course superintendent at Southwind (his bachelor's degree is in ornamental horticulture from UT-Knoxville). His lawn care presentation is Selection and Care of Turf Grasses for the Mid-South. He'll discuss your lawns and the use of best grasses for our area: Bermuda, Zoysia and tall Fescue (for shade); and help you become the lawn expert you'd like to pay to keep it beautiful. Plus, he'll give you a lawn care calendar to help you with tips to take care of it year-round.

Len Lawhon - 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Len's degree from Mississippi State University is in plant pathology and weed science, and he's taught and worked in landscape management and landscape design-build for 30 years. His topic is Old Favorites and New Introductions for Mid-South Gardeners, specifically shrubs and trees. Len is thinking: extended bloom hydrangeas - "All the rage now; also new red buds and hollies you'll love! Whatever the size of your garden - apartment balcony or acres - it's a good place to calm your nerves in stressful times like today's economy. So think: beautiful containers or great new trees ... wonderful ways to help you do and redo small or big gardens. Remember those hot Augusts lately? Think wonderful new shade trees. And problems: bring in your dead or dying 'old friend' plants you love, and we'll talk about causes and cures."

Lunch - 12:30-2 p.m. You'll break for lunch on your own off campus with a list in hand of nearby eating places and a map to get you there. Then it's back to campus for the final "chapter" of the day's course.

Ken Mathias and Sandy Arrambide 2-3:30 p.m. Owners of Advantage Stone and Hardscape and Arambide Masonry respectively, they have 30 years in the business. They'll "show and tell" Mastering the Art of Building a Garden Wall, including a demonstration of the basics of constructing a masonry garden wall up to 18 inches high. You'll learn how walls can enhance your yard and garden, how they can make planned garden spaces "work" the way you want, and how walls can solve problems and hide little areas and objects you'd rather have out of sight. They'll also help you learn to use other materials - stone, fencing, lattices and more.

Southwest has offered degrees and technical certificates for professional landscape and turfgrass management for 10 years, including many courses that will help the home gardener become expert in such areas as choosing the right plants for the right places right here in Memphis; culture - learning the culture peculiarities of each plant to help you take care of your whole garden properly; and much, much more. Call Vicki Armstrong, director of the landscape and turfgrass programs, (901) 333-4293, for more information about the Horticulture Short Course and the regular programs taught year round.