Conservation Lifestyle

Gardening Classes Offered for Mountain Transplants

Henderson County Cooperative Extension continues its gardening series aimed at “mountain transplants,” residents who have moved to the area and want to learn about gardening in Western North Carolina, with classes in June and July. Gardening for Pollinators in Western North Carolina will be held Thursday, June 7; Maintaining the Mountain Landscape Garden will be held Monday, June 11; and New Plant Varieties for Western North Carolina will be held Monday, July 9. All classes will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the Henderson County Extension Center.

“Gardening in the mountains can be a challenge, especially if you are from some other region of the country,” says Steve Pettis, commercial and consumer horticulture agent for NC State Cooperative Extension in Hendersonville. “These Mountain Transplant classes are geared toward the beginning gardener and will help people learn what plants grow here, when to plant and how to care for plants in the mountains.” Pettis will be the instructor for the June 7 and June 11 classes.

John Vining, former Polk County extension director and horticulture agent, will teach the July 9 class, introducing participants to new varieties of plants coming out of the plant breeding program at N.C. State Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Mills River. “The breeding program at the Research station may be one of the most productive in the entire nation,” Vining says. “Dr. Tom Ranney and his agricultural technicians are working each year to create new and improved ornamentals for gardeners in NC and the region.” The program’s multifaceted approach includes breeding common plants such as flowering quinces, improving hybrids of native plants like smooth hydrangeas and creating sterile hybrids that will not spread through native forests.

Class size is limited and registration one week before each class is required. Cost of each class is $25 per participant. To register for classes, mail check (payable to Henderson Co. Coop. Ext) or deliver cash to the Henderson County Extension Center, 100 Jackson Park Road, Hendersonville, NC, 28792. To learn more, call 828.697.4891 or visit

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