Fall Classes to Focus on Flower Gardens and Floral Design


Beginning on Sept. 12 and continuing throughout the fall, Mercer County Community College’s Center for Continuing Studies will offer area residents some expert advice on beautifying their home landscapes and designing memorable floral arrangements for the home and the holiday season. All workshops will be held on Mercer’s West Windsor Campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Instructor Sharon Ainsworth of Princeton, who has a bachelor's degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Cornell University, will teach “Planning and Planting Your Dream Garden,” a seven-session course that will help aspiring gardeners create flower gardens that bloom throughout the growing season. The class meets on Monday evenings 7 to 9 p.m. from Sept. 12 to Oct. 24. Ainsworth plans to cover site and soil analysis, bed design, color combinations, and reliable plant and shrub selections, especially for deer-prone areas. Each student will complete a personalized garden design.

Ainsworth is a former Associate Secretary of Agriculture for the State of New Jersey who now works as the Director of State Relations at Rutgers University. She said her course “will look at design elements in the landscape, selecting the right plant for the right place, and understanding your environmental conditions.” She said she will discuss the gardener’s purposes and capabilities, including “How much do you want to invest in caring for your garden?”

Teaching two Saturday classes that meet for just one session each will be Sheila Blackwell, a 2002 graduate of MCCC’s Ornamental Horticulture program, who has a B.S. in Biology. “Garden Design for Small Spaces” meets on Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and “Basics of Plant Propagation” meets Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon. Blackwell, who now works at Village Nursery in Hightstown, especially enjoys teaching adult students. “Adults have so much life experience to offer the learning process,” she said.

Other evening and Saturday classes for fall will include “Introduction to Basic Floral Design” on Sept. 17; “Container Gardening for All Seasons” on Sept. 27; “Autumn Pumpkin Arrangement” on Oct. 29; “Thanksgiving Day Arrangement” on Nov. 22; and “Holiday Wreath Making” on Dec. 10.

For more information on these and other career and personal enrichment courses at Mercer County Community College, call (609) 586-9446 or e-mail comed@mccc.edu.

Noncredit course information

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