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Note: We have added the events and classes for August and September to the schedule.  Also, please note that Ramona Wulzen's class on Hummingbirds has been rescheduled for July 19th and Roger Gossler's class on Foliage Color is now scheduled for July 26th.

Classes and Celebrations 2015:
Gardening for the Way We Really Live

Our Class Room--Photo by Joy Creek Nursery all rights reserved
We at Joy Creek believe our classes are a good way for gardeners of all levels to improve their knowledge of plants and their gardening skills.  The classes also offer an opportunity for gardeners to meet others who share a similar passion.  We hope they give confidence to the beginner and inspiration to the long-time gardener.  Since we first started our programs, our list of speakers has grown to include many regionally and nationally recognized specialists and enthusiasts.  Please join us for a class.


Joy Creek Nursery has been conducting classes and workshops for 22 years.  Each year we select a theme or themes for organizing our workshops.  This year we are continuing a theme from the past - gardening for the way we really live.  We will also continue to conduct a few garden tours because they were so popular last year. Classes are conducted on the terrace under a canopy or in the garden, so please dress for the weather, whatever it may be.

During our planning, we have focused on workshops for gardeners of all levels, from the novice to the die-hard.  All of our speakers are experts or knowledgeable enthusiasts from many walks of life.  They share their knowledge for little compensation other than your interest.  We thank them for enriching our nursery and our customers with their generous spirits.


Sunday Classes, Workshops and Celebrations for 2015 

All our classes for 2015 are being submitted to the Oregon Landscape Contractors Board for approval for Technical Continuing Education Hours (CEH) credit toward re-certification of Oregon Landscape Professional licensing.  Pending approval by the O.L.C.B. we charge $10.00 per class for recording and processing attendance.  A registration for credit will be available in the barn in  the retail area.  Please sign up and make payment prior to the start of the class.  A certificate will be mailed to you during the week following completion of the class.

March 1, 2015


1:00 p.m.





Late Winter PruningAn Interactive Demonstration -  with Mike Smith 

Mike will discuss and demonstrate basic and advance pruning techniques.  How to identify damage on plants, what you might expect as the seasons progress and how to correct the damage where possible.  For those of you who have attended Mike's other pruning classes Mike will continue the pruning and shaping of our medium sized lace leaf Japanese maple.  Bring your questions, dress warmly, carry an umbrella and we will see you in the garden.

Mike Smith is co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery.  You can see his pruning handiwork throughout the nursery, especially in the large rhododendrons around the house, behind our lavender path and in the numerous shrubs shaped into small trees that are grown throughout our gardens.  Mike is a passionate gardener who retired from a management job in corporate America, got bored and then started the nursery.


April 5, 2015


1:00 p.m.











Gravel -The Surprising Soil Amendment - Mike Smith

English gardeners have been using gravel or grit to loosen up compacted soils for a very long time.  Mike presents how we use 1/4-10 gravel, both for planting beds and for improving drainage conditions in lawns.  For the past twenty years the gardens and lawns at Joy Creek has been amended with periodic applications of gravel.  The results are as evident as they are surprising.

Mike Smith is a co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery.   He has been a passionate gardener for over sixty years, first working with Eastern Oregon sand and then with Western Oregon clay.  When he retired from a management job in corporate America he quickly got bored and then with two business partners started the nursery.

April 12, 2015


1:00 p.m.

How To Shop For Plants - Nadine Black & Andy Stockton

Nadine Black and Andy Stockton take their 25 years of experience selling plants and teach you the tricks of shopping.  When is the best time to buy?  How can you maximize your budget while still having a nice-looking garden?  Nadine and Andy will also cover why that super-expensive plants costs so much (and why you still might want to buy it).  This is a look behind the curtain from two nursery professionals.

Nadine Black and Andy Stockton have spent a long time at Joy Creek Nursery commenting on how great the clouds look.  Between them, they have sold a lot of plants over the last 20 years.  They are also plant nuts that can always justify buying one more plant.  Nadine has recently retired after spending 25 years in the industry.  At Joy Creek Nursery she wore many hats - managing retail sales, conducting on-site garden consultations, and teaching workshops.  Her goal was always to help retail customers create the gardens they love.  She has acquired the Lifetime Certified Oregon Nursery Professional certificate from the Oregon Association of Nurseries.  Andy worked retail at Joy Creek Nursery for 6 years.  He loves helping customers find just the right plant (often a beloved hebe) for their situations.  Though he is not working in the retail yard this year, he is still spending lots of time in nurseries mostly chasing after his young son.


April 19, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Going Slightly Native - Maurice Horn

Not every "native" plant is suitable for or esthetically attractive to Northwest gardeners.  Plants from other regions of the world are often more seductive and many of them make ideal additions to our gardens.  Yet, more and more, we are encouraged to "go native."  It is easy to feel conflicted as you make your plant choices.  Fortunately, striking a balance between the two approaches can offer pleasing results and satisfy both the need to be "responsible" gardeners and the desire for creative freedom and playfulness.  There is a broad range of appealing plants that can help make the transition toward a more native garden.

Maurice Horn is co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery.  After many years of hiking in Oregon and Washington, he decided to bring the flora of the Northwest into his home garden.  Twenty-five years later, he is still enthusiastic for the wide assembly of local, regional and West Coast plants he has grown.


April 26, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Rhododendrons - with Mike Stewart

There is tremendous diversity within the genus Rhododendron.  This workshop is an opportunity to explore the range of structure, size, and leaf forms that rhododendrons offer.  The Pacific Northwest is a perfect environment to grow most of the species and hybrids that will enhance your garden.  Come see a selection of unique, exotic, and new introductions.  Mike will bring rhododendrons from his nursery for sale.

Mike Stewart is a rhododendron expert.  Along with his wife Maria, he owns Dover Nursery which is known for its outstanding selection of rhododendrons, both species and hybrids.  He has been honored with the Gold Medal from the American Rhododendron Society (ARS) - their highest award.  He is also a popular speaker who shares his professional knowledge with the gardening public.  Mike is very active with the ARS, having been a recent International ARS president.  There are those who say that he never knows when to say "no" in the service of rhododendrons and so he is now the Vice President of the Rhododendron Species Foundation.  Dover Nursery, in Sandy, Oregon, has one of the most exceptional collections of rhododendrons in the country with acres of perfectly planted and cared for shrubs.  The nursery collections include the newest hybrids from hybridizers on both the East and West Coast along with one of the largest collections of commercially grown species anywhere.  There is also a delightful display garden with many mature plants under a canopy of native fir trees with an outstanding view of Mount Hood in the background.  This is a most extraordinary location for fabulous rhododendrons.


May 3, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Let Nature Work for You - with Glen Andresen

Want help with your gardening?  Look no further than the great outdoors - Nature!  She is more than willing to help you with weed control, soil fertility, pest control, and more...and all you have to do is learn a few basic approaches that you can use for the rest of your gardening life.

Glen Andresen's life changed in unimagined ways when an old-time beekeeper introduced him to the art, craft and science of keeping bees...and so began a lifetime fascination with the wonder and magic of honey bees.  Glen has been keeping bees in his own backyard in Portland, Oregon since 1992 and in other people's backyards since 2002.  Last year, his bees produced more than 3,000 pounds of honey.

He teaches backyard organic beekeeping classes through Portland Community College, the city of Portland's Urban Growth Bounty, Garden Fever nursery in Northeast Portland, and other.

Glen is also the host of the hour-long edible gardening show, "The Dirt Bag," heard the second Wednesday of each month at 11 a.m. on community radio station KBOO, at 90.7 FM in Portland.  He also writes "Ground View," a monthly gardening column for "The Portland Alliance" newspaper.

In 2013, Glen, along with Tim Wessels, co-founded Bridgetown Bees, a project whose goal is to breed and raise honey bee queens in the city of Portland that can survive our winters without treatment of any kind.

He has degrees in economics and music but still would rather play with his bees.


May 10, 2015


1:00 p.m.


Hardy Fuchsia - Will Gibbs

It has taken some time, but Northwest gardeners now know that many of the fuchsias we once thought of as tender are indeed hardy in the ground in the Pacific Northwest.  Come and learn how to plant and care for the best of these hardy wonders.

Willard Gibbs has been growing both fuchsias and dahlias for over 30 years.  It was only twenty years ago, however, that he began to grow fuchsias in the ground.  Since that time, he has been president of his local fuchsia club in Seattle, president of the Northwest Fuchsia Society, and, for the last two years, president of the fuchsia club in Centralia.  He has presented talks on just about every aspect of growing fuchsias over the years.  In addition, he has also been president of the Puget Sound Dahlia Club.  In his garden, Will grows daylilies, geraniums, hostas, and vegetables.  He also like to collect unusual plants.  He retired from the telephone company about 25 years ago.


May 17, 2015


1:00 p.m.






Portable Table Gardens - Richie Steffen

Inspired by local Northwest Gardener George Schenk, author of Gardening on Pavement, Tables, & Hard Surfaces, Richie Steffen is creating his own unique miniature landscapes on portable tabletops.  Richie will demonstrate the principles and techniques, using small plants, moss, rocks and weathered pieces of wood, to craft a distinctive focal point for your patio, deck, or entryway.  He will also show how to care for them as they mature.  As a bonus, Richie will have signed copies of the new book that he co-authored available for sale for $25.00.

Richie Steffen is the Curator for the Elisabeth C. Miller Botanical Garden where he manages the rare plant collections and heads acquisitions of new plants for the garden.  He currently serves as a selection committee member of the Great Plant Picks™ program and is always ready to share his enthusiasm for this excellent regional resource. He is also the co-author and co-photographer of the recently published "Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns" from Timber Press.


May 24, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Attracting Songbirds into the Garden - Nadine Black

Whether your garden is filled with mostly native plants or is more cultivated, songbirds add a special dimension to your space.  Nadine will discuss ways of attracting and keeping varied populations.

Nadine Black tried on many hats in our industry - from private gardener to wholesale plant sales - before she discovered that her real passion was helping retail customers create gardens.  At Joy Creek Nursery, she found a new set of hats, managing retail sales, conducting on-site garden consultations, and teaching workshops.  Indeed, she likes to say, "I've been in horticulture for more than 20 years and more than half of them have been with Joy Creek."  In addition, she has acquired the Lifetime Certified Oregon Nursery Professional certificate from the Oregon Association of Nurseries.


May 31, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Back It Up !! - Using Perennials with Bodacious Impact - Bruce Hegna

Stretch yourself in the garden and try these wonderful "skyscrapers" of the perennial world to provide quick screening, create backdrops for your other plants, block unpleasant views and/or add exciting depth to your landscape.  Bruce will also show you a few fast-growing shrubs and ornamental grasses that can give you a jump-start in achieving this "other" level of interest in your garden.  A handout will be provided but come prepared to take notes and find some new favorite plants.

Bruce Hegna has had a variety of experience in the horticultural world - from interior green plant maintenance, floral design to visual merchandising for a local retail nursery.  He expanded upon his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota by attending PCC-Rock Creek for their landscape design program.  He collaborates with Joy Creek Nursery's landscape team and also runs his independent landscape design firm.  Although a proud MN native, he greatly prefers Oregon's climate for its endless hiking pleasures and gardening potential.


June 7, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Clematis, A Passion Realized - Susan Toler

Susan will share tips on caring for clematis that she has learned hands-on over the years working with her own home collection and while volunteering at the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection in Lake Oswego.  Among other topics, she will talk about getting over her fear of pruning clematis, what to do with root-bound container clematis, and how to get a clematis out of a gallon pot without breaking its stems.  She will tell how overcoming her apprehension of growing and caring for clematis lead to her passion for the genus.

Susan Toler grew up gardening in Southern California.  In the 70's she and her family of three moved to Toledo, OR.  By 1985 she found herself gardening in the Portland area making a final move to a third of an acre plot in Aloha, OR where her present garden contains well over 100 clematis.  She has volunteered extensively with the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection under the tutelage of Linda Beutler.


June 14, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Ferns and Companions - with Judith Jones

Ferns make ideal companions for hardy perennials and shrubs.  Judith will share some of her favorite combinations for a variety of settings.  Along the way, we will learn the cultural requirements and care for this versatile group of plants.  Judith wants to remind you that she will be sharing fern sugestions from the Brobdingnagian to the Liliputian - for every size garden and gardener!  Judith will bring plants from Fancy Fronds Temperate Fern Nursery for sale.  

Judith Jones is the owner of Fancy Fronds Temperate Fern Nursery in Gold Bar, WA, which was established in 1977.  During the course of her lengthy fern career, she was been privileged to work with some of the world's foremost pteridologists and fern enthusiasts.  Her main areas of fern production are the named Victorian cultivars, new introductions, garden ready xeric ferns and marginally hardy tree ferns.  Visitors to the Northwest Flower and Garden Show have seen the playful, yet educational, side of her talents in the delightful display gardens she has created with friends and colleagues.

June 21, 2015


1:00 p.m.


Garden Groundlings - Jolly Butler

Groundcovers are indispensable in the garden, whether tiny and tucked under other plants or used in mass plantings.  They can keep weeds in check, stabilize the soil and reduce water use, all the while adding to the overall beauty of the space.  Jolly takes a look at a variety of useful and beautiful groundcovers suitable for every area of the garden.

Jolly Butler became familiar to gardeners throughout the Portland area through her "Gardening 101" column in Garden Showcase magazine, and many gardeners learned their gardening basics in her classes at Portland Community College.  She also hosted a two-hour, call-in radio show called "Gardening with Jolly Butler" on KPAM in Portland.  She has been an Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener for over 20 years, is active in the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, and loves to teach new gardeners that everone has at least one green thumb.


June 28, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Hebes - Andy Stockton

Hebes are small evergreen shrubs from New Zealand which come in a wonderful array of colors, textures, and sizes.  The numerous species and cultivars of hebes have varying degrees of hardiness but many varieties are outstanding for our region.  We will look at these and discuss how to use them in the garden and give tips for making them thrive.

Andy Stockton is an avid gardener and Hebe Fanatic.  It was love at first sight 8 years ago and he has been growing, and killing, a slightly excessive amount of hebes since then.  He is a member of the International Hebe Society and is very excited about it.  His two year old son has recently learned the word "Hebe" and it was one of the happiest moments of his life.

July 5, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Hydrangea Tour - with Maurice Horn

Joy Creek Nursery houses a large collection of hydrangeas, not only the showy mop-head and lacecap types that are familiar to the public but also less common species, climbing forms and close hydrangea relatives.  Many of these shrubs are more than 20 years old in the garden and will be at their best in July.  This tour is designed to acquaint gardeners with the large variety of hydrangeas that are available and to teach good cultural practices.

Maurice Horn is co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery.  Hydrangeas are among his many plant passions.  He and the staff at Joy Creek are currently trialing a series of hydrangea seedlings which are now in their sixth year.  He looks forward to their mature bloom.
July 12, 2015



Cuts From the Garden - with Leslie Gover

It is not simply blooms that make a bouquet.  Take advantage of all aspects of your garden to create beautiful arrangements any time.  Some basic culture tips will give longer-lasting beauty to your cut flowers.  Go home with the makings for your own bouquet.

Leslie Gover has worked around plants since she was a very young girl planting her first garden.  She now serves as the propagator, plant entomologist, and plant pathologist for Joy Creek Nursery.  Her background in ornamental horticulture from Oregon State University has allowed her to spend lots of time in the field in both a professional and personal capacity.  As one of her personal goals, she began Daisytoes Nursery to teach her children what vegetables, business and a strong work ethic are all about.

July 19, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Flying Jewels:  Keeping Hummingbirds Happy in Your Garden - with Ramona Wulzen

Hummingbirds are some of the most engaging visitors to our gardens, delighting us with their beauty and behavior.  If we provide them with a garden environment that meets their needs, they will return year after year to entertain, pollinate and contribute to the control of some pesky insects.  Some will even spend the winter with us if given the right conditions.  Join us to learn which plants and combinations will keep them in your gardens.

Ramona Wulzen received her love of all things wild from her mother.  She has gardened both on a city lot and on three acres in the woods.  As a staff member at Joy Creek Nursery, she has also listened long and hard to the problems and solutions that other gardeners have experienced.  The nature of her current garden has led to her passion for shade and container gardening.  Ramona is a veteran of our retail department and now works in our landscaping department.

July 26, 2015


1:00 p.m. 

Great Greens, Yellows and Reds in Foliage - Roger Gossler

Gardeners in the Pacific Northwest are lucky because we can grow a great many evergreen shrubs.  It is possible to find shrubs with foliage in shades of green, yellow, red, purple and even variegated that can help you create wonderful effects year-round in your garden.  Roger will bring plants from Gossler Farms Nursery for sale.

Roger Gossler was born, raised and attended school in Springfield, OR.  His interest in plants has been life-long, and his learning comes from hands-on work with plants, an extensive library, and visits with other growers.  He received an Associate Degree at Lane Community College in Landscape Design Maintenance.  He is a partner in Gossler Farms Nursery along with his mother Marj and his brother Eric.  The nursery specializes in magnolias, winter blooming trees and shrubs and many other beautiful plants, including some unusual perennials.  Roger is a life member of the Magnolia Society, and a member of the American Rhododendron Society, the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, the Willamette Valley Hardy Plant Group and the Royal Horticultural Society.  He has lectured extensively throughout the United States.  In 2009, The Gossler Guide to Hardy Shrubs by Marj, Eric and Roger Gossler was published by Timber Press.


August 2, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Salvia - Bill Fletcher

Salvias not only grow well in the garden but they also make great container plants.  Bill Fletcher will talk about a wide range of Salvia species and offer advice on how to grow them and propagate them to protect against winter loss.  He will also talk about how he over-winters the tender species.

Bill Fletcher became fascinated with the genus Salvia after receiving The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants as a gift around 2000.  He had never known there were so many species and cultivars of Salvias having only grown Salvia officinalis (Garden sage) and Salvia elegans (Pineapple sage) before acquiring that book.  As he grew the different species, he found that many did quite well in our Northwest climate.  He now grows Salvias from Asia, Africa, Europe and South and North America.


August 8, 2015 


6 p.m. to 9 p.m.


Twilight in the Garden

Come and join us at our annual evening open-house.  As the sun goes down, our gardens undergo an extraordinary transformation.  Enjoy the magic that takes place in the light of the setting sun.  Music and light refreshments.  

August 9, 2015


 No Class

August 16, 2015


1:00 p.m.



Tour:  Clematis for Summer Interest - Maurice Horn

Joy Creek Nursery has been fortunate to be associated with many wonderful clematis hybridizers, collectors and enthusiasts.  As a result, the nursery gardens showcase a large variety of both climbing and herbaceous species.  Because many of our customers ask for "summer blooming" clematis, Maurice has designed a tour to show some of the best cultivars for summer interest, both large-flowered and small.  Along the way, learn a little about clematis history and tips for getting the most out of these climbing treasures.

Maurice Horn co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery has served on the board of the International Clematis Society and was a founding member and vice-president of the Pacific Northwest Clematis Society which became the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection.  Clematis have been a life-long passion.

August 23, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Coloring Outside the Lines:  August into Autumn - Lucy Hardiman

Late summer is just the beginning of a series of dynamic, colorful transitions leading into autumn and then winter.  You can enhance and extend these seasonal color shifts through the creative layering of shrubs and perennials.  Keep your garden lively throughout the year.  Join the great garden colorist Lucy Hardiman and learn how to color outside the lines!

Lucy Hardiman was to the garden born - and is a fifth generation Oregon gardener.  She is the principal of Perennial Partners, a design collective recognized for their innovative approaches to garden design.  Her garden and those of clients have appeared in many magazines and books.  A popular speaker who lectures and teaches throughout the country, she writes for regional and national publications.  She currently serves on the Great Plant Picks perennial committee and formerly was on the board of the Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection.  She is also a past president of the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon.

August 30, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Greatest Hits for the Garden - Leslie Gover

Joy Creek Nursery's propagator has handled thousands of plants during the 15 years that she had headed up the nursery greenhouse.  During the course of those years, she has developed a list of reliable plants that she thinks gardeners should not be without.  Fun and informational.

Leslie Gover has worked around plants since she was a very young girl planting her first garden.  She now serves as the propagator, plant entomologist and plant pathologist for Joy Creek Nursery.  Her background in ornamental horticulture from Oregon State University has allowed her to spend lots of time in the field in both a professional and personal capacity.  As one of her personal goals, she began Daisytoes Nursery to teach her children what vegetables, business and a strong work ethic are all about.


September 6, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Tour:  Ornamental Grasses - Mike Smith

Mike Smith will show you how to put ornamental grasses to work for you in the garden.  See how they bring movement, texture, structure and seasonal interest to the border.

Mike Smith is co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery.  You can see his pruning handiwork throughout the nursery, especially in the large rhododendrons around the house, behind our lavender path and in the numerous shrubs shaped into small tress that are grown throughout our gardens.  Mike is a passionate gardener who retired from a management job in corporate America, got bored and then started the nursery.


September 13, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Containers for Winter Interest - Ramona Wulzen

Basic container maintenance and a strong design element are essential to having lovely containers throughout the winter.  Create a winter container combination that will delight you through the cold winter months and the year ahead.

Ramona Wulzen draws on her years of experience working with Joy Creek customers and tending her own extensive container gardens.  A life-long gardener, she has gardened both on a city lot and on the three acres in the woods.  Ramona is a veteran of our retail department and now works in our landscape department.

September 20, 2015


1:00 p.m.

 Great Plant Picks and New Perennials for the NW Garden - Alex LaVilla

Alex LaVilla will highlight his favorite Great Plant Picks perennial selections from the past few years and review some new plants becoming available that are showing good promise for success in the garden.

Alex LaVilla is the Plant Buyer and Manager of the Perennial Department at Swansons Nursery in Seattle, WA, where he features an extensive selection of perennials, herbs and ornamental grasses.  He has been the Chair of the Great Plant Picks Perennial and Bulb Selection Committee since its inception in 2001.  Alex also is the owner of Gardenculture Design, a horticultural consultation and design service.

September 27, 2015


1:00 p.m.

Going Bold with Conifers - Susan LaTourette

How do you use conifers as focal points in a Four Season garden?  Let Susan LaTourette explain not only how, but also why.

Portland native Susan LaTourette started her career as a landscape designer in 1999 working with Lucy Hardiman of Perennial Partners.  She started her own business, 'Creativescaping', in 2000.  She still works with Lucy as a design associate to this day.  Her innovative designs, focusing on four seasons of interest, showcase her love and use of unusual plants and conifers.  Her desire for focal points and contrast in a garden drives her continuing exploration of dwarf conifers.

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20300 NW Watson Road  Scappoose, OR 97056
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