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Dalhousie University, Atlantic Master Gardener Education Program

1. Plant ID and Use

This class is an introduction to 100 plants grown in Canadian gardens focusing on their identification and use. It includes a guide to botanical nomenclature, the hierarchy of the plant kingdom and plant morphology. You will learn the use of a simple dichotomous key to aid in plant identification. Topic include nomenclature, plant anatomy, plant identification and use, and dichotomous keys.


2. The Science of Gardening

This class will give you a comprehensive understanding of a plant's basic functions, its interaction with its surroundings and its responses to changes in its environment. It will lead to an understanding of the scientific basis for many of the principles and practices of gardening. Topics include: soil systems, plant physiology, plant nutrition, and plant propagation.


3. Maintaining the Garden

This class will give you the upper hand in getting the garden that you want. You will examine common gardening practices - looking at what they are, how they are done and why. You will develop environmentally sound strategies to manage weeds, insects and diseases in your garden. Topics include: gardening techniques and tools, weeds and weed control, plant health, pests, and pruning.


4. The Art of Gardening

In this class, you will merge your gardening experience with the knowledge you have acquired throughout the program. You will begin your journey into areas of specialist expertise and explore the most classic of garden compositions - container plantings. We will then learn about that green backdrop to garden art, the lawn and examine the cultivation of 'food from the heart' - fruits and vegetables. Topics include: container gardening, lawn care, fruit gardens, and vegetable gardens


Summer School (Dalhousie University, Truro Campus)

Can be completed at any time during the Program

Summer School is a 5 day course that allows students the opportunity for hands on activities. This summer school encompasses a week of great learning activities for the classroom and outdoors and is open to anyone with an interest in expanding his or her gardening knowledge and skills. Topics include: plant propagation, planting techniques, pruning, garden maintenance, pests and diseases, troubleshooting plants and gardens, fertilizing, liming, mulching and composting, garden tool selection, use and maintenance.


New Prairie Landscape Course

Optional Master Gardener Course

Dalhousie University

  Module 1: Plant Identification

  • Identification and use of plants suited for creation of gardens in the New Prairie Landscape style.

  • Perennials, Bulbs, Ornamental Grasses, Trees & Shrubs

  Module 2: Creating Gardens in a New Way

  • Introduction, Garden innovation and History

  • Garden ecology, Designing in the Prairie Landscape Style

  • Planning the Garden Layout & Grade Changes

  • Plant associations and Creating structure in landscapes 

  • Block planting v/s filtered planting

  • Architectural plants & Covering ground 


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