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Sullivan's Landscaping

Back to School

Bill teaches landscape design in the Arlington County Schools system. The webpage is here.

Class 1—The BASICS of PLANTS

Shopping for Plants at the Nursery (how to read a plant tag)

Plant Classification – Carl Linnaeus (Swedish botanist) – Latin nomenclature

How do Plants Live (photosynthesis) & why do they die?

Pollination (natural, cross, self)

Water & Water Zoning

Mulching (pluses & minuses & the different types)

Pruning (why, when, how?)

Soil (pH)

Fertilizing (there a need?)

Invasive Plants (how are they recognized?)

Composting (the hows & whys)

Root Ball: (what about the burlap wrap, rope & metal cage?)

Bulb Foliage (prune, remove, tie or leave?)

Purpose of a Garden (theme ... all-year interest ... specimen variety ... depth of field ... height differential ... evergreens/blues/yellows ... deciduous ... low or high maintenance ... food ... art ... fragrance ... butterflies ... sound ... touch)

Mistletoe (for fun)

Class 2—WOODY SPECIMENS

(CD presentation)

Trees (flowering, evergreen, deciduous, dwarf & fruit-bearing)

Shrubs

Christmas Tree (pine, spruce, fir, holly, juniper)

Parts of a Plant (How do identify the many types)

Class 3—HERBACEOUS (non-woody) SPECIMENS

(CD presentation)

Ground Cover (flowering, evergreen, variegated, fruit-bearing, fragrant)

Perennials (spring, summer, shade, sun, fragrant)

Annuals (sun, shade)

Herbs (edible, non-edible, fragrant, flowering)

Vines (those that flower, fruit, smell & the evergreen/deciduous types)

Vegetables

Class 4—PREPARING to PLANT

(getting your hands & knees dirty)

HOW to prepare the hole in the ground?

Plant Hardiness Zone (ours’ is 6b-7). Why is this important?

Soil (what exists and what to do?)

Nutrients (macro vs. micro) ... N-P-K ... organic fertilizers ... mulches

Culture(sun, shade, partial shade, wind, pollination, canopy, nearby buildings)

Drainage(wet feet, sloped, soil make-up)

Twelve-month interest (evergreen, fruit, variegation, bark, spent flowers, variation in height, width and leaf texture)

Interference (animal urine/tread ... pedestrian use ... vehicle emissions)

Remember Water Zoning (saves water, plants & time and prevents erosion)

Class 5—LANDSCAPE DESIGN (Part 1)

Spatial Situation (height, width, depth of field, slope)

Existing Elements (windows, shutters, doors (type), steps (brick or cement), awning, downspouts, brick, stone or vinyl wall of house, pathway from steps to driveway?, nearby the neighbor's property including driveway ... condominium restrictions)

Twelve-month interest (evergreen, fruit, variegation, Best Replica Watches bark, spent flowers, variation in height, width and leaf texture)

Driveway (bordering, masking aggregate edges, pollution/tire tread tolerant)

Containers/Flower boxes under windows/

Perennial (rock garden, wildflower, raised bed)

Xeriscape (Cactus, Yucca)

Gardens for the Blind (moving water, plants that “whisper,” presence of birds)

Bonsai

Class 6—LANDSCAPE DESIGN (Part 2)

Low-Maintenance

Raised Bed (for elderly, those with bad knees, backs ... for existing poor drainage)

Privacy Screens (noise, views, pollution, sun)

Containers

Hardscapes (brick ... stone ... gravel)

Ponds (Lotus, Lily, Cat o’nine tail)

Attracting Birds and Butterflies

English Garden

Gardens for the Blind & those with Neuropathy

Class 7—LANDSDCAPE MAINTENANCE

(remember, “No Maintenance” is an oxymoron)

Landscaping by the Calendar: What to do when?

Pruning: (when, how, why ... what about sap flow? ... benefit of pollarding)

Mulches: types, purposes (keep roots warm in winter and cool in summer ... prevent erosion ... aesthetics ... retard weeds ... fragrance ... in a trench, it becomes a border/outline ... prevents water evaporation from the soil ... it's organic make-up serves as nutrients for the root zone) ... too much is added maintenance

Composting: Organic vs. non-organic

Fertilizing (N-P-K ... peat ... soil conditioner ... topsoil ... pine needles ... acid)

Transplanting (to a different culture, soil space ... when not to)

Deadheading (why and why not)

Separating/Dividing (Liriope, Hosta, Lecouthoe, Heather, Bulbs)

Watering in Winter (why, how often, when)

Replacement (Now what?) (age, disease, insufficient/excessive water, insufficient/excessive sunlight, pollution, storms & negative attitudes :-))

Class 8—“NATURAL” PROBLEMS:

a) GLOBAL WARMING b) INVASIVE SPECIMENS c) PESTS d) DISEASE e) POLLUTION

Arctic Circle meltdown (warms temperatures in North America affects bloom times)

The Carbon Footprint (greenhouse gas, fossil fuel, emissions)

Alternative Energy (solar, plant (ethanol), hydrogen, wind)

Rooftop gardens (insulation)

Corrective Measures (recycling ... hybrid vehicles ... tree planting for shading & heating ... composting bio-degradable waste ... smart driving measures ... vegetarian lifestyles since meat production consumes land mass and energy use)

Invasive Plants (Lysimachia clethroides (Goose neck Loosestrife), Euonymus alatus (Burning Bush), Hedera (English Ivy), Phyllostachys aurea (Timber Bamboo), Ampelopsis brevipendunculata (Porcelain Berry), Euonymus fortune (Winter Creeper Euonymus)

Diseases/Pests (airborne, soil borne, plant borne ... epidemics ... problems in our zone)

Causes (moisture, stagnant atmosphere, excess/lack of water, watering at wrong times)

Prevention/Treatment (horticultural oils ... pesticide ... replacement ... transplanting)

Allergens (pollen ... ragweed ... poison oak, ivy & sumac ... Juniper rash ... toxins from plant appendages such as Berberis, Pyracantha & Hawthorn)

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For the City of Alexandria Registration, call 703-824-6845 or visit the Adult Education Office at T.C. Williams High School, 3300 King St. Alexandria, Va. 22302. The course number is 10W-CE52.

For Northern Virginia Community College Registration, use this link.