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Classes and Celebrations 2016:
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.


After more than 23 years of conducting weekly classes and workshops, we have decided to try something different.  This year we will hold our workshops twice a month instead of weekly.  Because so many of our speakers are generous with their time, we have allowed them two hours for their presentations.  Our workshops will continue to be held on Sundays at 1:00 pm, but please note that there will be a small fee and registration for some of these workshops.

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 2016

All our classes for 2016 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 6, 2016


1:00 p.m.





Late Winter PruningAn Interactive Demonstration -  with Mike Smith 

As Jim Morrison crooned in one rather twisted song - "This is the end, my only friend the end."  That's right, this is the last time Mike will discuss and demonstrate basic and advanced pruning techniques.  Learn 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 previous pruning classes, he will continue the pruning and shaping of our medium sized lace leaf Japanese maple.  Bring your questions, dress warmly, and carry an umbrella.  We look forward to seeing 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.


March 20, 2016


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 gravel, both for planting beds and for improving drainage conditions in lawns.  For the past twenty years the gardens and lawns at Joy Creek have 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.  Mike is a passionate gardener who retired from a management job in corporate America, got bored and then started the nursery.


April 3, 2016


1:00 p.m.

Beyond Leyland and Laurels:  Creating Attractive and Functional Hedges with Exceptional Shrubs -  with Bruce Hegna

This workshop will focus on using less common plant material for hedging to create privacy or delineate space in the home landscape.  We will move beyond the overused Leyland cypress and English laurel.  Our exploration will include a wide variety of distinctive broadleaf evergreens, conifers, deciduous shrubs and small trees.  We will examine approaches to hedging styles -- from the traditional formal look to a more casual, mixed approach.  General maintenance and planting principles will also be covered.  After a brief break, we will have plenty of time to stroll through the nursery and gardens to observe plant material up close.  Free and open to the public.

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.  Nature/Nurture Landscape Design.  Although a proud MN native, he greatly prefers Oregon's climates for its endless hiking pleasures and gardening potential!


April 17, 2016


1:00 p.m.

Ferns and How to Use Them to Create Fern Tables - with Richie Steffen

Joy Creek is happy to welcome Richie Steffen back to introduce The Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns, a new book from Timber Press which he co-authored with Sue Olsen.  As you will see during the first part of the afternoon, Richie is full of inventive ways for using ferns in the garden.  He will also show some of the best ferns for our gardens and share tips on how to care for them.  During the second part of the afternoon, Richie will demonstrate how to create easy-to-assemble fern tables.  These miniature landscapes are inspired by local Northwest Gardener George Schenk, author of Gardening on Pavement, Tables, & Hard Surfaces.   Richie uses small plants, moss 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 the tables as they mature.  They are irresistible!  This is a two hour workshop with a 15 minute break.  The fee for the class is $20.  Registration opens on April 1.  To register please call us at 503-543-7474.

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. 


May 8, 2016


1:00 p.m.

Troughs the Easy Way - with Christine Ebrahimi

Unlike traditional hypertufa troughs made with cement, which are HEAVY and need several weeks to cure, polystyrene troughs are light, fast and last for several years.  Join Christine Ebrahimi, plant enthusiast and rock garden lover, in learning how to create these aesthetically pleasing and MOVABLE troughs - perfect for the rock gardener or anyone interested in creating miniature environments for special plants.  In this workshop you will have the chance to make you own small trough to take home.  We will also discuss soils, rock arrangements and how to plant your trough.  Participants will need to provide their own gloves and a serrated larger knife.  We will provide everything else including a small styrofoam container, paint, soil, and a selection of rocks to add to the trough.  (NOTE:  If you have a specific color, type or shape of rock that you want to use or your own larger styrofoam container, you may bring them.)  Plan to have fun and maybe get a bit messy.  Remember, it's all in the name of gardening!  The fee for this class is $20 which includes materials.  Registration opens on April 1.  To register please call us at 503-543-7474.

Christine Ebrahimi is a botanist and rock gardener.  She has lived and gardened in Oregon for most of her life and is particularly interested in trying to grow difficult alpine plants in the impossibly wet Oregon weather.  She is also the former president of the Columbia-Willamette and Siskiyou Chapters of the North American Rock Garden Society (NARGS).  After receiving a BS in taxonomy at OSU and an MS in Forest Ecology at University of Idaho, she spent 10 years with the USFS and BLM conducting rare and endangered plant surveys.  She now lives in Columbia City where she enjoys gardening and inspiring young children to love nature in her role as a preschool teacher.


May 22, 2016


1:00 p.m.

The Principles of Color, Texture and Form:  A Practicum for Creative Plant Selection - with Lucy Hardiman

Lucy Hardiman is well-known throughout the Pacific Northwest for her lectures and workshops regarding the use of color in the garden and planting for seasonal interest among many other topics.  This year, she offers a two-part workshop during which she will demonstrate the basic principles of combining plants in the mixed border.  The shapes and textures of different plants work together to create the "feel" of a border and the colors of flower, stem, leaf and bark are essential in setting its "mood."  During the second half, participants will have the pleasurable challenge of trying out these principles using both potted and cut plant material to create vignettes of their own.  Attendance is limited to 25.  This is a two-part workshop with a 15 minute break.  The fee for the class is $25.  Registration opens on April 1.  To register please call us at 503-543-7474.

Lucy Hardiman was to the garden born - and 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.


June 5, 2016


9:00 a.m.


Basic Plant Propagation Workshop - with Leslie Gover

Leslie's goal is to demonstrate how plants reproduce in order that the home gardener understands the best methods to use to refresh treasured plants in their own gardens.  Join Leslie as she covers the fundamental steps for making and growing-on rooted cuttings, scaling lilies, dividing perennials, and cleaning and sowing seeds.  Discover ways to look at the summer garden for other opportunities to increase your plants.  Spend the morning learning about tools, techniques, timing and more.  You will take your own "propagules" home.  There is a $50 fee for this four-hour workshop.  Registration opens on April 1.  To register please call us at 503-543-7474.

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.


June 19, 2016


1:00 p.m.






Choosing the Right Vine - with Maurice Horn

Vines have long been used for privacy screening and to conceal unsightly fences and out-buildings.  Many also offer spectacular seasonal interest to the garden.  With so many vines to choose from, however, it is often difficult to decide which vine would be best for a particular site.  Maurice will share some of the methods he uses to select an appropriate climber.  The gardens at Joy Creek Nursery are home to many mature vines and Maurice will lead a tour to demonstrate his ideas.  Climbing hydrangeas, Holboelia, Star Jasmine, Jasmine, Honeysuckle and Clematis will be among the plants featured in this presentation.  Free and open to the public.

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.  he has been fortunate to work with several hybridizers and to introduce their plants to the gardening public.  Recently Joy Creek Nursery has introduced several of their own clematis.

July 3, 2016


1:00 p.m.

Summer Pruning - Raising the Roof with Mike Smith

Many spring flowering shrubs are best pruned just after they complete their flowering.  Also, thinning or raising the under story throughout a garden improves light penetration, air circulation, improves flowering and  plant structural development.  Mike will demonstrate how to lift the garden canopy with mid-season corrective pruning on plants such as Cercis canadensis 'Forest Pansy' and Magnolia ‘Ann’. He will also prune a rhododendron to improve shape/structure and provide vigor for next year’s bloom. Bring your questions and quandaries to this two hour work shop.   Reservations not required. Free and open to the public.

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 and 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.  After early retirement, he then had time on his hands which he eliminated by starting the nursery.

July 10, 2016


10:00 a.m.

Tours: Hydrangeas - 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 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. This tour begins in the cool of the morning at 10 a.m. and will include instructions and best practices for planting and care. Free and open to the public.

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 seventh year.  He looks forward to their mature bloom.

July 17, 2016


1:00 p.m. 


Fashionably Late:  Extending the Season in Your Garden – Bruce Hegna

Sometimes it’s okay to be a “late bloomer!” We will look at a selection of perennials, shrubs and grasses that shine when other plants are past their peak or have become tired-looking due to the heat and dry periods of our Northwest summers. We will also discuss tips to successful planting during the summer months. There will be an opportunity to see examples growing in the gardens of the nursery. You will find plenty of ways to revitalize your garden and celebrate the variety of plants which will reliably carry you into the fall season. Please join us! Free and open to the public.

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. Nature/Nurture Landscape Design.  Although a proud MN native, he greatly prefers Oregon’s climate for its endless hiking pleasures and gardening potential!


August 13, 2016


6:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Twilight in the Garden

Join us for our annual summer event, Twilight in the Garden. Once a year we remain open from 6 until 9pm to celebrate with the community and say thank you for making Joy Creek a part of your gardening experience. Come join us for a home-grown evening of locally made treats and refreshments and live music in the garden with The Brian Christopher Quartet. Celebrate the transformative powers of this magic time of day with a self-guided garden tour and a handout highlighting the many qualities twilight brings to the garden. Experience the garden and nursery both as the retail area will remain open throughout the evening. This is a special event for us all and we look forward to seeing you here. Free and open to the public

September 11, 2016


1:00 p.m.

Tamara Paulat and friends, Garden Blogging as a Tool

Join Joy Creek Nursery employee Tamara Paulat on an exploration of how garden blogging can be used as a tool to build garden communities. Through her personal garden blog, she has created lasting friendships that have significantly expanded her knowledge of horticulture and photography. This two hour class and discussion will include other local garden bloggers ready and willing to share tips, stories and answer questions. This includes Amy Campion of The World’s Best Gardening Blog ( and Loree Bohl of Danger Garden ( fame. This part of the world is blessed with an abundance of wonderful plant people, plant material, and gardens; blogging is a way to connect all three elements in a meaningful way. Free and open to the public.

Tamara Paulat passionately gardens Chickadee Gardens which was once a once small oasis in Portland, Oregon but now a two acre work-in-progress in Saint Helens, Oregon. Her focus is on sustainable practices and native plants of the Pacific Northwest. She is a Master Gardener and her Portland garden was certified platinum through the Backyard Habitat Certification Program. Tamara completed a Fine Arts degree in 2002 and appreciates good design and color in gardens. She blogs weekly at and works for Joy Creek Nursery, hoping to connect people with plants.


September 25, 2016


1:00 p.m.

Ramona Wulzen – Containers for Winter Interest             

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


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 three acres in the woods. Ramona is a veteran of our retail department and now works in our landscape department


October 9, 2016


1:00 p.m.

Maurice Horn - Low Water Gardening

The last many years have brought us record cold, record wet and a record hot, dry summer. At Joy Creek Nursery, we have been pleased how well the plants in our low-water and no-water borders have done despite the weather. This is testament to the plants themselves, of course, but also to the soil amendments and preparation that make these borders possible. During this two-hour workshop, Maurice will present in detail various methods for amending soils, appropriate plant choices and ways for combining plants to maintain long-term interest in the garden.

Maurice Horn, as co-owner of Joy Creek Nursery, has had the opportunity to trial a vast variety of perennials and shrubs. He is ever eager to find ways to create exciting gardens that use low to no water.   He has conducted gravel gardening workshops for Metro, the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon (at Reed College), Portland State University and Heronswood Nursery. Recently, Maurice designed a dry land garden in cooperation with PGE, ODOT and the Master Gardeners of Oregon™.  

October 23, 2016


1:00 p.m.


Ferns Are Not Just for Summer

Judith reminds us that, in addition to the many evergreen and semi-evergreen ferns that are mainstays in our gardens during the cold season, there are also many ferns that make spectacular foliage as spring arrives. Autumn is an ideal time for planting. Not only does rain return to the Northwest, but it is still possible to see your summer garden and identify where additional plants are needed.  Judith will bring a variety of ferns from her nursery for sale. (Content of this class maybe adjusted as the summer progresses.)

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 has 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.










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20300 NW Watson Road  Scappoose, OR 97056
(503) 543-7474    (503) 543-6933 (FAX)