"I would have expected someone with your comedic talent to be writing for SNL rather than speaking about gardening and chickens, but I can see that it is your passion." 



Frank is a former organic farmer and NCSU-trained horticulturist who studied under Will Hooker and JC Raulston. He writes the "Green Thumb" column for Hobby Farms magazine, the "Coop Builder" column for Chickens magazine, the "Feral Feast" column for Paleo magazine and sells articles and photos to a dozen other gardening, biking and farming magazines. He's operated Cottage Garden Landscaping since 1992.

Check out his audience reviews at: www.greatgardenspeakers.com/listing/reviews/frank-hyman

Star OnStar OnStar OnStar OnStar On

CFSA Conference, Greenville, SC

James R. Dykes, MD from Rougemont, NC - 12/07/2014 00:18:08

Franks presentation on foraging was enthralling. He opened my eyes to the value of what is growing nearby, right around the bend, that I didn't plant, and might have missed, but has commercial value.

Star OnStar OnStar OnStar OnStar On

Mushroom and Foraging Dinner

claudia cooper from durham - 10/24/2015 13:30:11

Frank was our guest speaker at our annual mushroom dinner at Guglhupf Cafe & Restaurant. He is an incredible engaging speaker and not only was it very informative but his personal tails frequently had dinner guests burst out in laughter. Overall it was a great evening, enjoyed by all and I really think everyone walked away very encouraged and armed with all the information needed to embrace their 'inner forager'!

Tapping Maple Trees
(and black walnuts, sycamores and birches) for Sap and Making Syrup--$20
Sat. January 14, 2017, 2-4pm
(No rain date, dress appropriately)
Montessori Farm School
2400 Broad Street
(In the parking lot of Broad St. Family Medicine)
Durham, NC 27704
There’s no law that says we can’t tap maple trees in the South. All maples (sugar, red, silver, etc.) produce sap that can be tapped and cooked down to produce delicious maple syrup. The same goes for black walnuts, sycamores and birch trees. In the South the sap isn’t rich enough to be commercially viable. But that doesn’t mean we can’t go all locavore and produce some backyard syrup. A portion  of the funds for this program go to support the Montessori Farm School. We’ll meet in their parking lot (shared with Broad St. Family Medicine) and learn how to safely tap maple trees on site. If the weather has cooperated, we’ll also cook down some of the sap into maple syrup for tasting. I will also teach a little about other wild, edible plants on site. Program includes a one-page handout on foraging, sources for tapping supplies, etc., plenty of time for Q&A.

Reserve your spot by using the paypal link below.

Then email me at frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net to let me know you're coming and where you heard about the class:

* my newsletter,

* N&O,

* Meetup,

* FB 

Thanks and look forward to seeing you there!

Introduction to

Mushroom Foraging:

Learn A Year's Worth of Wild Edible

Mushrooms in One Day


Sat. January 28, 2-4 pm

603 Ellis Road, #54-B (GPS won't work!)

Durham, NC 27703

(You will really need these directions:

Enter the gate next to the big black mailbox: #603.

Go straight down the driveway.

Turn right after the last building.

Enter the last blue door on right: #54-B.

Class meets in the comfortable offices of a wine importer.)

Want to learn to safely identify morels, black trumpets, chanterelles and other edible mushrooms? Learn an entire year's worth of a dozen edible, easy to identify mushrooms presented in one sitting. 

* I've harvested a 33-pound mushroom.

* Sold mushrooms to downtown chefs.

* Have taught chefs and organic farmers how to forage.

* I write the foraging column for Paleo magazine.

Comfortable seating, slide show of professional photos, display of tools and field guides, handout with resources, plenty of Q&A time, plenty of parking, but limited seating. Reserve your spot by using the paypal link below.

Then please email me at frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net to let me know you're coming and where you heard about the class:

* my newsletter,

* N&O,

* Meetup,

* FB 

* Indyweek.

Thanks and look forward to seeing you there!

A Year’s Worth of Wild Edible Plants
in One Day


Sat. February 11, 2-4 pm

603 Ellis Road, #54-B   (GPS won't work!)

Durham, NC 27703

(You will really need these directions:

Enter the gate next to the big black mailbox: #603.

Go straight down the driveway.

Turn right after the last building.

Enter the last blue door on right: #54-B.

Class meets in the comfortable offices of a wine importer.)

Ramps, redbud flowers, beach arugula, samphire, fiddlehead ferns, sunchokes, juneberries, nettles and maple syrup are just a few of the delicious native, wild, edibles that can be found in North Carolina. In just two hours this indoor program will cover four seasons’ worth of plants so you’ll see how many opportunities there are. We’ll cover leaves, shoots, roots, flowers and fruits that ripen throughout the year. Program includes a slideshow, a handout (with links to local foraging groups, books, websites and tool tips) and plenty of Q&A time.

Reserve your spot by using the paypal link below.

Then email me at frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net to let me know you're coming and where you heard about the class:

* my newsletter,

* N&O,

* Meetup,

* FB 

Thanks and look forward to seeing you there!

Create an Alternative Roof-to-Roots Rain Harvesting/Water Management System

That Strengthens Your Garden, Makes Your Life Easier and Looks Great, (Meaning no ugly, inadequate 50-gallon pickle barrels involved!) 

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016 10am -1pm

DIY Design/Build Demo and Tour 

$35 (use paypal below to reserve your spot)


I’m an NCSU-trained horticulturist, designer and the “Green Thumb” columnist for Urban Farm and Hobby Farm magazines.


In this hands-on demo & tour you’ll learn:


1) How to install a beautiful 300-gallon super rain barrel that also functions as a spring peeper-and-dragonfly-attracting aboveground water garden with water lilies,


2) How to create an inexpensive 275-gallon super rain barrel that pushes irrigation water uphill without a pump (!!),


3) How to create stable platforms, reliable downspout connections and overflows for super rain barrels,


4) How to set up timesaving and water-saving manifolds, timers and soaker hoses,


5) How to choose between seven kinds of water-conserving mulch: five of which are free; two of which are permanent; one of which can grow edible mushrooms.


These and many other skills can be learned for-

$35 per person,

by  Paypal button below,

in advance to reserve a spot,

rain or shine (gardeners don’t melt in the rain! Which isn’t likely until the afternoons anyway.).

Spots go quickly and have sold out for previous workshops at our home.


Workshop attendees will also receive a one-page handout of websites, books and other resources to help them sustain their efforts.

Bring a sketch of your site for feedback or help in sketching out a  plan if you like. 


Important: Send RSVP's and any questions to frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net.


Past programs:

* Edible Mushrooms 8/25/2015
* Ditch Your Day Job 8/29/2015
* Perennial Vegetables and Fruits 9/12/2015
* Containers for Flowers and Edibles 9/19/2015

* Ditch Your Day Job 8/29/2015

Saturday 10am-1pm $45/$50

1006 Lamond Ave, Durham, NC 27701

Learn how creative people can make a good living, be their own boss, be true to themselves and ditch that darn day job. I've made a great living from my creative skills for 23 years without a day job. Here's a link to my essay in the NY Times about my worklife. I'll share practical steps to turning your creative skills into cash flows. Comfortable seating, introductory slideshow of professional images, handout, plenty of Q&A time. Will also share one tip, that with an hour or less of work on your part, will likely earn you ten times the cost of the class in a matter of months. No joke.

Limited seating. Email me at frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net to see if space is available you can reserve your seat via Paypal for $50.

Reviews ! 

Star OnStar OnStar OnStar OnStar On

Liberated Gardener Lecture

Katherine from Pawleys Island, SC - 03/27/2014 07:23:13

Frank Hyman gave an enriching lecture at the spring festival at Brookgreen Gardens, and to rave reviews. The standing-room only crowd even got to take home magazines that Frank brought along to share. Frank offers essential information relevant to any garden scale and shares it in a delightful and applicable way.

Star OnStar OnStar OnStar OnStar On

Five Deer Resistant Gardens

Susan Kennedy Zeller from Sag Harbor, New York - 10/17/2012 11:13:47

Frank gave a delightful and most informative talk to the Horticultural Allaince fo the Hamptons gardenrs last Sunday. He was lively, personable and able to also give great one on one advice. A plesure to have. Highly reccomend him!

* Perennial Vegetables and Fruits for the Home Garden

9/12 Saturday 10am-1pm $30/$35

Bayleaf Cottage, 1412 N. Mangum St., Durham, NC 27701

Enjoy a class and tour that covers how to plant, prune, harvest and manage a dozen delicious and drought-hardy perennial vegetables (Artichoke, Ground Nut, Solomon Seal and more) as well as ten sweet fruiting trees, brambles and shrubs like purple raspberry, figs, Yuzu citrus, bush cherry and more. They're perennials, so you plant them only once but harvest from them every year.  Rain or shine, dress appropriately. Garden tour, refreshments, handout, plenty of Q&A time.

Limited seating. Email me at frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net to see if space is available you can reserve your seat via Paypal for $35.

Container class is cancelled--down with a major cold. Will offer this again in spring. Sorry for any inconvenience. 

* Containers for Edibles + Ornamentals + Low Maintenance

Saturday 9/19/2015, 10am-1pm $35/$40 (discounted to $20 for a limited number of newsletter subscribers)

Bayleaf Cottage, 1412 N. Mangum St., Durham, NC 27701

Learn how to plant containers that survive droughts, produce flowers or food and look great with minimal attention. This hands-on demo and tour will cover herbs, dwarf citrus trees, ornamentals, edibles, free supplies, funky containers, permanent mulches and more.
Rain or shine, dress appropriately. Garden tour, refreshments, handout, plenty of Q&A time.


Frank, dressed for spreading mulch on Sunday. Or maybe not. 

Check out my page at www.greatgardenspeakers.com to learn what I have to offer your club, public garden or conference and to read my audience reviews. Contact me for details. 

Here’s Your Chance to Forage in France

Could you go for a glorious week of French food, wine and countryside?

So could I, so let’s do it together the week of October 3-10, 2015. The weather should be sunny and pleasant in Gascony, also known as “the Tuscany of France.”  

Our host will be Dorette Snover, chef-owner of C’est Si Bon Cooking School in Chapel Hill, NC. She’ll lead stellar cooking classes and organize other delightful activities like visiting markets, riding horses, making pastries, and exploring the countryside.

I write the “Feral Food” column on foraging for Urban Farm magazine and have taught foraging to sold-out crowds of organic farmers and chefs. Here's a link to a couple of audience reviews of my foraging programs:

I’ll lead guests on 3 foraging walks, share a how-to-forage slideshow, and provide foraged mushrooms and wild edible plants for breakfasts and dinners (lunch on your own) at La Belle Gasconne, a 14th century restored millhouse auberge. 

That time of year will be high season for sought-after mushrooms like king boletes, black trumpets, chanterelles and others. I’ll show you how to find, identify, and clean them. Dorette will show you how to cook them in the manner of fine French cuisine. I don’t think you’ll need any help eating them. And after you get home, you’ll be the one sharing the best dinner party stories. 

Get the details on this trip (end of July deadline to sign up) at:


Info about my foraging week is near the bottom of that page. Hope to see you there. :-) 


Organic Kitchen Garden Classes at SEEDS, 2010
Saturdays, 2:30 to 4:30 pm
$15-$25 sliding scale, cash or check only, made out to SEEDS

Door Prizes: potted plants from Edible Landscaping Nursery

Location: 706 Gilbert St., Durham, 27701, 919-683-1197
The first hour is a slideshow with handout, second hour is in the SEEDS gardens for a Q&A. Please pre-register by emailing frankhyman@liberatedgardener.net

Topics and Dates:

Sat. Aug. 28, 2:30-4:30pm
Growing Vegetables in Fall to Minimize Bugs, Weeds and Heat

Sat. Sept. 18, 2:30-4:30pm CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS, SORRY  :-(
Growing Tree Fruits and Berries

Sat. Sept. 25, 2:30-4:3-pm
Growing Asparagus, Artichoke, Rhubarb and Other Perennial Vegetables

Sat. Oct. 2, 2:30-4:30pm
Growing Herbs for Beauty, Fragrance, Flavor and Deer Resistance

Contact me at my email address, if you are interested in my slideshow/lecture on Deer-Resistant Gardens. I've given this program half-a-dozen times in the last two years--it's popularity seems to rise along with the deer population.
Check below for details about each class.

Watch a 90 sec. video highlight of a garden class at http://vimeo.com/2872427

courtesy of videographer Bill Elias.

Bill also produced this 2 minute promo video about my classes.

And check out the April issue of Horticulture magazine to read my article about Deer-Resistant Gardens and a 3 Sisters-inspired garden. ************************************************************************************************************

Scroll down to learn about other class topics...

First Breath of Spring* Garden Academy

 "The cost of these classes is the best money I've spent on gardening in quite some time."
--Nancy Proia
(okay, turns out I misquoted Nancy. She really said: "The cost of these classes is the best money I've spent on anything in quite some time." I stand corrected.)   :-)

     What:  A variety of inspiring classes on organic/edible/native gardening as part of a sustainable and fun lifestyle. Slideshow, Q&A, handouts, some hands-on.

·      Where:  700 Washington St.(corner of W. Geer St., next to the old Ballpark), Durham NC,  919-682-1311. Stone Brothers & Byrd Garden Center.

·      When:  Sat. mornings, 10:30am--12:30. Jan. 16, 23, 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20.

·      Why:  Because Feb. is the beginning of the gardening season in NC.

·      How much:  Twenty dollars per class, per person, cash or check only please. Make check out to Frank Hyman.

·      Who:  For new and experienced gardeners, whether you want to grow food or flowers.

Classes and dates (all from 10:30-12:30):

Jan. 16,  Attracting Birds, Native Bees and Butterflies to Your Garden.

 Jan. 23,  The Liberated Gardener: Saving Your Back, Your Budget, Your Time and Your Planet.

 Jan. 30,  Cool-Season Vegetables to Plant in February: Potatoes, Peas, Parsnips and More.

 Feb. 6, Growing Herbs for a Flavorful Kitchen and Beautiful Garden: Lavender, Bay, Rosemary,Thyme and More.

 Feb. 13, Perennial Vegetables: Asparagus, Artichokes, Fiddlehead Ferns and More.

 Feb. 20,  Wildflowers for Shade Gardens: Trilliums, Trout Lilies, Mayapples and More. 

(Find my bio at bottom of the page.)

Questions about classes? Contact me at:

The Kings’ Daughters Inn 
will also be hosting $5 weekday evening programs on Gardens and Landscapes around the US, Europe and the Caribbean.

204 N. Buchanan Blvd.
Durham, NC 27701

Armchair Travelers Can Visit Gardens Around the Globe
At the King’s Daughters Inn, I’ll be offering slideshows of public and private gardens and landscapes from NC and around the world. These programs are only  15% about gardening “how-to” and 85%  “Wow, look at that” and some lively travel stories.  Because of that and no handouts and a shorter time and more seating, I can charge a low $5 per person--cheaper than a matinee movie.

·      What: Colorful slideshow (and colorful stories) about gardens and landscapes I’ve explored in my travels.

·      Where: King's Daughters Inn. Come to the side door on Gloria Ave. towards the back of the building. Look for a sign. Parking on Buchanon Blvd. or Gloria Ave.

·      Why: Because I can show you some gorgeous places on or off the beaten path.

·      When: Wed. 7:30-8:30 pm, Jan. 13, 20, 27, Feb. 3 and 17.

(NO Program on Feb. 10th. )

·      How much: $5 per program, per person, cash or check only, please.

·      Who: Those who like to travel and/or garden or who just want to be entertained.

Schedule (Wednesdays, 7:30-8:30 pm)

·      Jan. 13—Spanish Gardens of the Island of Majorca:
Gardens at Palaces, Monasteries, Quarries and Homes.

·      Jan. 20—Staycations--Nearby Public Gardens In NC/VA:Gardens in the Triangle, Triad and Close Enough for Daytrips.

·      Jan. 27—Islands, Gardens and Nordic Architecture of Denmark: Green Roofs, Cemeteries and Artist's Gardens.

·      Feb. 3— Big and Small Gardens of Maine: Coastal Botanic Gardens, Desert of Maine, Canyons, Kitchen Gardens and One Voted the Prettiest Garden in Maine.

* (NO Program on Feb. 10th. )

·      Feb. 17-- Gardens and Landscapes of the Caribbean Island of Bonaire: Aloe Fields, Bat Caves, Salt Flats, Cactus Groves and an Abandoned Lighthouse.

Performing as a guest docent at the First Thursday event at Duke's Nasher Museum of Art.

My fees for a program at your garden club or public garden are negotiable. Contact me at fincaminor@mindspring.com to make arrangements. I can provide an LCD projector and screen if your group doesn't have one.

Upcoming Lectures and Classes:

* First Breath of Spring Garden Academy resumes at Stone Bros. and Byrd Garden Center on Sat. mornings in Jan. and Feb. of 2010.

* I'll be speaking on Perennial Vegetables and being a Liberated Gardener at the Carolina Farm Stewardship annual conference in Black Mountain, NC from Dec. 4-6, 2009.

* Will be speaking on Mediterrnean Herbs in the Landscape and Deer-Resistant Gardens at the Mid-Atlantic Horticultural Short Course event in Virgina Beach  on Jan. 25-26, 2010.

* Topic TBD for the Town and Country Garden Club on Feb. 9th.

* Speaking on Deer-Resistant and Drought-Hardy Gardens for the Treyburn Garden Club on Feb. 10th.

2009 Garden Programs: 

Tues., Jan. 20th, 3-5 pm

Fearrington Garden Club, 542-9986--free for members

Growing Mediterranean Plants in the Piedmont

Thursday, Feb. 5th, 2-4 pm
Duke Gardens --$5 for members/$10 for non-members
Hardscape Choices for Homeowners

Wed., Feb. 11th, 10 am
Roxboro Study Group, 336-599-3502--free for members
Five Deer-Resistant, Drought Hardy Gardens

Wed. Feb. 11th
Bloombury Garden Club, Raleigh--free for members
Fragrant Flowers Year Round

Sat.Feb. 14th, 3:30-5pm $19
UNC-Greensboro Cont. Ed.
The Food-Forward Garden

Sun. April 5th, 3 pm, $20

Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill
The Food-Forward Garden *
Want to harvest the freshest organic fruits and vegetables right from your own garden year-round? Once you've tasted the difference of home grown tomatoes, corn and sugar snap peas, you'll never go back.  This class is timely for both new and experienced gardeners. We'll cover preparing the garden, making easy compost, mulching, watering and easy trellising systems so that you can harvest lots of vegetables without being enslaved by your garden. Slideshow and Q & A.

Fri. April10th, 10:30 am, $20
Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill
Growing Flowers with Fragrance Year Round *
(Despite Southern Soil and Weather)
Lilacs, tea olives, gardenias, sasanquas, roses, and many other fragrant flowering plants can be grown successfully in the south (yes, even the kind of lilac northerners are told won’t grow here). You’ll learn about new varieties with longer bloom periods and simple techniques to keep fragrant flowers coming year-round, even in a small garden. Slideshow and Q & A.

Sat. May 30th, 10 am--Free
Tryon Palace, New Bern, NC
Five Deer-Resistant, Drought Hardy Gardens
Tired of losing your favorite plants to deer? Want to know what to plant so the deer will look but won’t touch? You’ll learn about keeping deer away and you’ll also learn about the many plants and gardens deer tend to ignore. I've created 5 different kinds of deer-resistant gardens and you can too. Slideshow and Q & A.

Thurdsay, Sept. 17th, 7 pm
JC Raulston Arboretum--Free for members, $5 for non-members
Five Deer-Resistant, Drought Hardy Gardens

Hope to see you at least at one event.

More detailed info on each program/slideshow/class and my bio below!

My bio:

Few garden designers have Frank’s breadth of education or experience: he studied horticulture under the late JC Raulston, namesake of NCSU’s arboretum and learned design from Will Hooker, who has had several installations at the NC Museum of Art. Frank is also a stonemason, carpenter and sculptor.

In his youth Frank farmed organic vegetables in Granville County, picked oranges in Spain and worked for tomato farmers in SC. He restricts his garden design/plant/build business, called Cottage Garden Landscaping, to what he calls the “bungalow neighborhoods” of inner city Durham and the Central Park area and yet manages to stay booked up as much as 3- 6 months in advance. He uses his knowledge to create innovative and beautiful gardens that don’t need babying. In addition to 'bungalow gardens' he has also created edible schoolyards and parks, co-founded community gardens and created an award-winning restaurant garden.

Frank has written about gardening for nearly 20 years  and his writing has appeared in  Horticulture magazine, N&O, Herald-Sun, Independent Weekly, Backyard Poultry and Carolina Gardener. He gardens with his wife at Bayleaf Cottage, their home in Durham,.

Detailed Descriptions of classes/lectures:

The Food-Forward Garden

“Local” and “organic” have become the two main buzzwords with people who really like food. And you can’t get more local, fresh or organic than when you grow your own food. Frank Hyman has been growing vegetables for 25 years—he used to supply Anotherthyme restaurant and Wellspring Grocery with organic tomatoes in the ‘80’s. He will share slides, stories and Q &A with students who want to grow their own basil for pesto, tomatoes for sauce as well as asparagus and berries and a host of other crops for fresh eating at home and with friends without getting beaten down by the weather. Students will learn how easy it is to harvest crops year round, how to prepare beds, choose crops, and maintain and harvest them.

Deck, Fence and Patio Choices for Homeowners

In the NC climate, you can be comfortable relaxing and entertaining outside almost any month of the year. Students of this course will also become more comfortable when making choices on how to spend their money on decks, fences, patios and other “hardscape” improvements. Frank Hyman will use slides, stories and Q & A to help homeowners learn some of the lingo and concepts behind what makes for good hardscaping, so they can be better educated consumers.

Five Deer-Resistant and Drought-Hardy Gardens

Suburban and rural gardens can be devastated by our huge population of deer. But Frank has created 5 kinds of gardens that are growing well and free of deer damage.  Deer can be like children who only like things with mild tastes—anything with strong flavors or fibrous textures are mostly ignored by deer. Frank will guide students using slides,
stories and Q&A on how to plant gardens that the deer will pass by (woe be unto your neighbor). Students will learn how to choose a deer-free garden type for their property, what plants to choose and how to maintain them.

Moss: The Lawn with no Mower

Some people pay good money to try to get rid of moss in their lawn that just keeps coming back.  A better idea sometimes is to go with the flow and let the moss grow. Some places are just better suited to moss than to lawns and with the water restrictions in place moss can be a choice with less maintenance than lawn. Using slides, tips and Q&A Frank Hyman will guide students in identifying good sites for moss gardens, how to start them, how to maintain them and choosing good companion plantings for moss gardens.

 Plant a Green Roof on a Garden Structure

Green roofs—plant beds on top of a building—are the rage in Europe and are becoming more common in this country as a way to save energy, slow stormwater and create wildlife habitat in the city. Frank Hyman thinks they are great simply as another place to garden. He has installed them on doghouses and guided gardeners who have put them on their chicken coops and well houses. Frank will use slides, stories and Q & A to help students who want to create their own green roof on small garden structures. You will learn about designing a roof that can support the weight of a green roof, how to install a basic green roof, what plants to choose and how to maintain them.

Not Under the Tuscan Sun: How to Grow Mediterranean Plants in the Piedmont

The NC piedmont is about the worst place to grow Mediterranean plants like lavender, but  Frank Hyman has grown gardens with robust Mediterranean plants for himself and his clients that have survived dry spells for the last 7 years. Just back from a journey in Spain, he will use slides, stories and Q & A to help students create a garden in the piedmont where Mediterranean plants like lavender, bayleaf,  Algerian iris, Jerusalem sage, candytuft and culinary herbs like thyme, oregano and rosemary will thrive and be more flavorful.  Students will learn how to prepare the soil, choose varieties, plant and maintain a low-maintenance yet high satisfaction garden of Mediterranean plants.

Flowers with Fragrance Year Round
(Despite Southern Soil and Weather)
Lilacs, tea olives, gardenias, sasanquas, roses, and many other fragrant flowering plants can be grown successfully in the south (yes, even the kind of lilac northerners are told won’t grow here). You’ll learn about new varieties with longer bloom periods and simple techniques to keep fragrant flowers coming year-round, even in a small garden. Slideshow, soils demo and Q & A.

Liberated Gardeners Get More Done:

Conserving the Earth, Your $ and Your Time
Would you like to spend less time weeding? Less time bagging leaves in autumn? Want to spend less money mulching and watering the garden? Would you rather spend more time enjoying your garden than feeling enslaved by it? In this class you’ll learn about getting rid of leaves that don’t need bagging, making great compost that doesn’t need turning and smart ways to hook up rain barrels so they really work (and also function as water gardens—no kidding).  And just for fun, you’ll learn how to minimize weeds and maximize flowers.

Slideshow, demos and Q & A.

Native Woodland Wildflowers
Enjoy hiking in the woods in early spring? Want to enjoy those spring wildflowers (called ephemerals) like trillium, trout lily, mayapple and spring beauty in your own garden? These plants are drought hardy because they go dormant in the summer. In this class you’ll learn about choosing, planting and maintaining wildflowers—and their companion plants-- that can thrive in a shady, wooded yard. Slideshow and Q & A.

Gardens of the Spanish Island of Mallorca

In Sept. of 2008 I took a two day whirlwind break from my stonemasons' guild's annual meeting on Mallorca to visit a handful of terrific gardens. Whipping around hairpin mountain curves in a rented 2-seater Smart Car with a rag top and Paul McCartney on the IPod I visited a monastery garden, a public garden called Botanicactus and even an apothecary garden at the bottom of a worked-out stone quarry as well as several Roman and neo-lithic stone villages. Come along for a ride through some amazing Spanish sites the tour guides don't know about!

Contain Your Enthusiasm, With Pots
Secrets for successful containers and window boxes (that does not include buying artificial flowers). Also directions for DIY self-watering pots.

Perennial Vegetables
Edible plants that come back year after year and beg to be put on your plate.

Daycations at NC Public Gardens
From Charlotte to New Bern, public gardens--with natives, edibles and ornamentals--that can inspire your gardening in the time it takes to make a daytrip. And some of my random gardening advice.

Bird and Butterfly Gardens
Plant choices that support wildlife and make for a gorgeous garden.

Gardens of the Spanish Island of Mallorca
Virtual visits to a monastery garden, Botanicactus Garden and a Mediterranean botanical garden that I wish would hire me.

Tomato Growing Clinic
I used to grow and sell organic tomatoes to Wellspring and Anotherthyme restaurant. Just call me the Tomato Whisperer. Bring questions, problems, successes, samples (weeds, bugs, diseases)—we’ll sort it out.

Cool-Season Vegetable Gardening
Skip summer! Grow vegetables straight through from Sept. to June, when there are fewer bugs, weeds, diseases, less drought and cooler weather. 

Native Woodland Wildflowers and Edible Plants
Learn how some natives survive the summer drought and the dense shade of piedmont forests. If they’re that tough, they can probably survive in your garden too.

WHY: Eat fresher, more delicious, locally grown food, enjoy your own fragrant garden, reduce the maintenance in your garden, get outdoors, get exercise. In short--feel better, eat better and just have more fun.

HOW:Seating is limited. And there's no pre-registration, so it's 'first come, first served with regard to seating.  Classes have been a great success with the room at near capacity and attendees offering up many good questions. Hope to see you at future classes.

$20 per class

Payable with cash or check  ONLY--made out to Frank Hyman--pay my right-hand man Howard Dunegan, before you're seated in the class. Thanks.

Attend any six of these classes and you'll be certified  as a
Carolina Cottage Gardener.
Besides gaining enough garden know-how to be a successful and happy organic gardener for the rest of your life, you'll recieve a  certificate signed by me and suitable for framing (or sticking on your fridge with a magnet!). You'll also receive in April (at the Duke Garden Plant Sale), a hardy perennial propagated from our garden.

Because the classes at SB&B start at 10:30 am, you'll have time to:

* swing through the nearby Farmers' Market just a couple of blocks away on Foster St. to pick up a few things before class (There might be room for groceries in a cooler at SB&B, but no guarantees that there will be enough room.)

* After class, you might want to pick up some plants, garden tools or supplies from Stone Bros. & Byrd,

* and then grab brunch at Piedmont or Rue Cler just a few blocks away.

* Where does the name come from? Spring in NC starts in Feb.  and one of my favorite shrubs is called First Breath of Spring  (Lonicera fragrantissima--gotta love those Latin names) because it blooms in Jan./Feb. with a clear citrus scent. Other  plants are coming out of dormancy at this time, making Jan. and Feb. great months to be outside gardening.

My bio:
Frank Hyman has created beautiful and sustainable gardens for 16 years as owner of Cottage Garden Landscaping. He studied horticulture and design at NC State University under the late JC Raulston (named one of the world's top 25 
horticulturists of all time by Horticulture magazine). His Mediterranean garden at the Mad Hatter restaurant won an award from the Durham Appearance Commission. He's created gardens that are drought-proof, deer-resistant, low-maintenance, organic and just plain pretty. He has spoken on gardening at Duke Gardens, JC Raulston Arboretum, UNC-G and the McLaughlin Garden (voted prettiest public garden in Maine) as well as for garden clubs in Charlotte, Oxford, Fearrington Village and Chapel Hill. He has written about gardening for nearly 20 years in the Independent Weekly, the Herald-Sun, the N&O and Carolina Gardener magazine.