Teaching


Mary has over 20 years experience teaching classes on a variety of gardening topics. Classes range from 1-4 hours per session and from 1 to 5 sessions, depending on the topic.

Topics include

BOTANICAL NAMES - Why do we use these cumbersome names, where did they come from, and how knowing them makes your gardening so much richer.

CONVERSION TO A WATER WISE GARDEN - What are the chief techniques to turning a yard dominated by lawn and thirsty plants into one that is beautiful but uses less water. Includes both techniques and considerations as well recommended plants.

ECOLOGICAL DESIGN - How to live lightly on the land and what it can mean to let the site determine important design features and considerations. Covers water use and general principles of onsite water recovery, gardening practices such as nurturing healthy soil, less dangerous pest and weed control,  plant choices, and lawn removal. Also consider the role of plants in energy management.

        - This class has a short (1.5 to 2 hrs) and a long version (4 hrs). In the longer version, participants are encouraged to apply these principles to the design, present or envisioned, of  their own yard.

SOUTH TEXAS GARDENING - A first look at the conditions that drive gardening success in the area. Topics include soils, rainfall regimes, seasons, and strong emphasis on plant selections in all categories (trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, etc.). Generally geared to new residents or first time gardeners.

TREES FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTH TEXAS -  An examination of trees that work well in the area with a focus on native and well-adapted species. Includes care, siting and maintenance recommendations.

SHRUBS FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTH TEXAS - An examination of shrubs that work well in the area with a focus on native and well-adapted species. Includes care, siting and maintenance recommendations.

PERENNIALS FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTH TEXAS - An examination of perennials, including bulbs,  that work well in the area with a focus on native and well-adapted species. Includes care, siting and maintenance recommendations.

AGAVES, YUCCAS AND THEIR KIN - An overview of the family and the chief identifying characteristics of selected genera for this area (Agave, Yucca, Hesperaloe, and Manfreda) and a brief look at the two more tropical genera (Beschorneria and Furcraea). Includes some care and cultivation guidelines for each. With a longer time, it can also include plants in Nolinaceae (Dasylirion, Beaucarnea, Nolina and Calibanus).

CARE OF SUCCULENTS - Guidelines for successful care of succulents, including agaves.

CARE OF SUCCULENTS IN CONTAINERS -  Guidelines for successful care of succulents, including agaves. 

            - The above two classes can also be combined into one.

BIRDS IN THE GARDEN - What they like and need and how to plant your yard to attract them.

BUTTERFLIES IN THE GARDEN - What they like and need and how to plant your yard to attract them.

            - The above two classes can also be combined into one.

 TOMATO-POTATO-CHILE - A look at where these hugely important food crops originated and how they became so important to us today. Some examination of the history of old and modern varieties.

 



For more information contact Mary at:  maryirishinfo@gmail.com