Gardening Study School

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Gardening Study is a series of courses designed and accredited by National Garden Clubs to stimulate interest and understanding in the growth of plant material. The series consists of four two-day courses offered approximately six months apart that can be taken in any order. Each course includes 10 hours of instruction (combination of lecture and hands-on) plus time for review and testing. Students who choose to take and pass the exams become Gardening Consultants, certified by National Garden Clubs, Inc. upon completition of the entire series. Consultants are eligible to join the Michigan Consultants Council whose objectives are to protect the environment by stimulating a continuing interest to increase knowledge of horticulture and promote excellence in landscape design. Topics covered in each course are:

Course I: Basic Botany; Understanding Soils; Houseplant Basics; Plant Propagation; Propagation Activity

Course II: Plant Diseases and Pests; Container Gardening; Techniques for Growing Vegetables; How New Plants Are Developed; Techniques for Growing Lawns

Course III: Factors Influencing Plant Growth; Pruning Techniques; Growing Plants Outdoors; Plant Taxonomy; Teaching Tour of A Botanical Garden

Course IV: Outdoor Identification of Plants; Specialized Styles of Gardening; Techniques for Growing Woody Ornamentals; Techniques for Growing Fruits; Home Irrigation Techniques

In addition to the required topics, each course also includes a supplemental topic chosen based on local or seasonal interest. Gardening Consultants must refresh their credentials at least every 5 years by attending an accredited refresher event or by repeating a course.:

For more information on Gardening Study School, contact the MGC, Inc. Gardening Study School Chairman, Janet Hickman at or visit the National Garden Clubs website at