02 October, 2008

Container Gardening Class Syllabus

Instructor: David King
Email: greenteach@roadrunner.com
Phone: redacted

COURSE TITLE AND NUMBER: Container Gardening for the Urban Environment BIOLGY 802

There are no prerequisites for this course. We will meet from October 2 through October 30 for 5 meetings. All class meetings take place at the UCLA Downtown Center 103 Figueroa Courtyard - 261 S. Figueroa St. from 7:00 to 9:30 PM

Course Purpose

At the conclusion of this course, students will be confident in planting a multiplicity of containers with a wide variety of plants that will thrive in our unique climate. Students will be introduced to design principles applicable to container gardeners and will learn their care and maintenance.

Course Objectives
Students will be able to meet the following objectives by knowing:
Types of pots used in container gardeners
The qualities of the components of potting soil and how to choose a good one
Color combinations and other basic design principles
Care of plants over their life span
Appreciation of light and water needs for container gardens
Students should also be able to report that they’ve been inspired to find their own individuality in container garden design and to experiment with colors, plants or containers that had been off their personal radar before this class. Students are expected to share their experiences and knowledge with the class which guarantees an enhanced learning experience for all of us.


This course is designed to be applicable for home gardeners primarily living in a loft, condo or town home; it can serve as an introduction as well for professionals that wish to incorporate container gardening as a part of their business’ offerings. Students should also find time to do some networking with fellow students.

Text for this course:
Sunset Western Garden Guide 8th Edition, Brenzel, Kathleen Norris, Editor, ©2007, Sunset Publishing There will be no specific assigned reading from this book, but it is the “bible” for gardeners in Southern California.

In addition, the following texts are strongly suggested for your reference shelf:

The City Gardener’s Handbook
, Yang, Linda, ©2002, Storey Books, Published first as The City Gardener’s Handbook and then as The City and Town Gardener and now back again under the original title.

Potted Gardens, Cole, Rebecca, ©1997, Clarkson Potter Publishers

Date Mtg TOPIC
02 October 1 Lecture: Introduction – roll, Extension policy, meeting time and place, attendance and tardiness, office hours, expectations, objectives. Tools; types of pots; light
09 October 2 Lecture: types of soil; considerations of soil type and pot type relative to plant type, color and design; planting edibles, annuals, perennials,
16 October 3 Lecture: California Natives and succulents; low water plants
23 October 4 Lecture: Refurbishing containers/Maintenance and care; pest control; watering
30 October 5 Lecture: Your own potted plant experience

Office Hours
I have no set office hours, however, I am available by phone (the number above is my cell phone) and by email. I am willing to meet with students almost any day of the week at my office at The Learning Garden or a mutually convenient coffee bar. It is my most sincere desire that you learn and you will find me very approachable. After class is usually not a very good time because that’s when most students vie for answers and we are all tired after a long day. You can net a more thoughtful answer by contacting me another time.

Updates and Handouts
For this course I will utilize my personal blog page at http://lagarden.blogspot.com/ to post handouts and extra material for the class. There is an RSS feed through which each posting is automatically forwarded to your email so you can have access to handouts whenever they are posted. This approach makes last minute updates easily available. If this technology is new to you, another classmate or I will guide you through it. It is not difficult.

BONUS: Take this syllabus to Pottery Manufacturing and Distributing, 18881 S. Hoover Street, Gardena, CA 90248 Phone: 310.323.7772 and they will give you a one-time generous discount on your pottery purchase.

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