Our gardens are a source of healing.
It’s no secret that plants contribute to the environment. They also provide us with food, give us oxygen, support wildlife, and much more. But the impact on our mental and physical well-being is greater than you might think.
Studies have shown that landscaping reduces stress and increases healing compared to urban environments devoid of plants. It’s not just the visual beauty that comforts us. Landscapes appeal to all of our senses – what we smell, smell, taste and even hear. Our courtyards or balconies or even kitchen windows can be the respite we need in these strange times.
Educational opportunities throughout the Lowcountry have had to adapt to meet the needs of this new era.
Trident Technical College
The Horticulture program at Trident Technical College will be offering classes this fall semester in a hybrid format. The courses will be delivered online. This creates enormous flexibility for working students to get their content when it fits their schedule.
Labs, however, will be offered in person to pursue essential practical experience. Each class will meet once a week. Students will be required to wear masks and maintain a social distance of 6 feet. Students can take one or more courses to earn a diploma, certificate, or just to expand their knowledge.
The courses include:
- Botanical. Find your inner science geek in the inner workings of plants, and learn how to maximize photosynthesis and improve germination. Many experiments illustrate the growth of plants at the cellular level.
- Soils. All successful cultivation begins with the soil. Learn all the aspects that give birth to healthy plants with experiments on fertility and soil chemistry.
- Pests. Insects see our gardens as a buffet. Many, however, are beneficial. Find out which pests are in the Lowcountry and how to control them.
- Grass. Everything you want to know about growing an enviable lawn. Learn how to establish a lawn and keep it healthy.
- Ornamental. Identify over 150 plants. After this course, trees are not just trees. These are red oaks, tupelos or sycamores.
- Agriculture. Understand agriculture in the Lowcountry and the different methodologies and cultures.
- Construction. Learn the basics of building decks, installing pavers, creating water features, and landscape lighting.
If you have any questions about the horticulture classes, email [email protected] or call 843-574-6278.
To start the courses, apply to the college at https://www.tridenttech.edu.
Workshops, videos, more
The Charleston Horticultural Society has developed a series of virtual summer workshops. These seminars will be delivered live via Zoom. Participants can interact with local experts on topics ranging from native plants to planter design, vertical gardens, edible landscaping and more.
Each lesson consists of a one-hour lecture and a 30-minute question-and-answer period. In addition to Lowcountry experts, it will feature nationally renowned instructors.
To learn more about the Charleston Horticulture Society workshops, visit https://chashortsoc.org.
If you are more interested in a landscape you can eat, Rita’s Roots Garden Growers Club is a great local online resource. Membership gives you exclusive access to all your dietary needs.
If you are a beginner market gardener, learn what to plant and when. The most valuable aspect is that this is a local business that knows the specific needs and schedules of the Lowcountry.
Access how-to videos for starting your garden, discover recipes for using your crop, pest management tips, and Q&A videos.
Membership also gives you access to discounted plants, seeds and organic supplies.
To learn more, visit https://ritasroots.com.
If you are locked in an apartment or just don’t have access to a yard, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities to give you the love of horticulture.
The Charleston Parks Conservatory volunteers, or Park Angels, are essential to the expansion and revitalization of Charleston’s urban parks.
Learn how to get involved at www.charlestonparksconservancy.org.
MUSC urban farm is a half-acre garden at the corner of Bee and President streets where they run sustainable urban agriculture workshops, tours, and volunteer days to tend and harvest vegetables.
For more information, visit bit.ly/MUSCurbanfarm.