12 Gardening and DIY Camps and Workshops for Adults
Learn a new skill (or brush up on an old one) by heading back to school again.
Taking up a new hobby like gardening or woodworking ought to be an exciting challenge, but it can be tough to know where to start. Hence the growing popularity of classes and workshops that can give you the skills, tools, and confidence to cultivate a green thumb or become a DIY dynamo.
Whether online or in-person, the classes and workshops you’ll read about here can help kickstart a new passion. But learning isn’t just for greenhorns, which is why some of these courses are designed for seasoned pros who want to expand their knowledge.
1. North House Folk School
Located in Grand Marais, Minnesota, the North House Folk School offers a variety of in-person and online classes that teach traditional northern crafts, such as sausage making, basic timber framing, bird carving, and floor loom weaving. The school is committed to accessibility with work study and scholarship programs, as well as a local discount for residents of Cook County.
2. Garden Tutor
For those hoping to cultivate their own Eden of flowers or vegetables, Garden Tutor offers a free online course on gardening basics. The class aims to teach newbies how to design, install, and care for their garden. Participants also can purchase the add-on course that includes such supplies as a soil test kit, measuring tape, garden layout graph paper, and more.
3. Rockler Woodworking Classes
Folks who enjoy DIY carpentry projects might consider a hands-on woodworking class at a Rockler store. The family-owned business has almost 40 stores across the USA and offers a host of in-person classes for beginner and advanced woodworkers alike. Examples of workshops include an introduction to the router, band saw basics, building a jewelry box, finishing with shellac, and more.
4. Origins of Food
If you’ve ever wondered how some of your favorite foods and beverages are made, the Origins of Food tour in Vermont ought to prove a tasty treat. Eager foodies embark on a 4-day excursion around the Champlain Valley that includes several tastings, hands-on workshops, and visits to local farms. A minimum group size of four is required to book the retreat, and pricing includes a two-person stay at a local B&B.
5. Desert Botanical Garden
Ready to catch up on your cacti knowhow? Gardening in an arid climate can bring spectacular results, if you know how to work with the earth and heat. The Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden offers landscaping classes both in-person and online for those who want to learn to grow in extremely hot and dry conditions. Choose an introductory course or work toward a certificate.
6. AR DIY Workshops
Learn to make folksy crafts and have fun in the process through AR Workshops, which offers hands-on DIY classes in 33 US states. Gather a group of friends and book the studio for an instructor-led class on making pillows, wood signs, trays, knit blankets, and more. As an alternative, the brand also offers DIY-to-GO kits that people can take home.
7. Gardening with the University of Hawaii
Hawaii is home to some truly amazing flora, so it’s no wonder Oprah chose it as the site for her dream garden. If traveling there isn’t on the horizon right now, you can pick up some Hawaiian horticulture tips via an online class at Maui College. Among the most popular is its edible gardening course, with two options—self-paced or instructor-led.
8. Arkansas State Park
Outdoor enthusiasts can learn a lot via the Arkansas State Parks calendar of events, which lists a host of fun, family-friendly experiences. The Build Your Own Herbal Apothecary class, for instance, educates students about using herbs for health and beauty, while the Wild Weeds and Seasonal Greens activity teaches participants how to forage for edible native plants.
9. Square Foot Gardening
Maximize your harvest and keep plants tidy using the square foot gardening method. Get started with an affordable introductory course that includes six modules and convenient reference handouts. After that, you can move on to the instructor certification course, which prepares you to teach square foot gardening to others.
10. Native Plant Trust
The Native Plant Trust, located in Framingham, Massachusetts, is a plant conservation organization dedicated to conserving and protecting native New England plants. The Trust also offers educational resources, such as classes in horticulture and design and botany and conservation. Course offerings include plant ecology, introduction to designing with native plants, and diversifying your lawn. Courses may be online or in person, and the cost varies depending on the class.
11. The Market Gardener
If you hope to continue gardening despite cold weather, consider taking the Winter Growing and Season Extension course from the Market Gardener Institute. It’s an in-depth yet self-directed online course aimed at experienced growers who want to conquer winter weather.
12. The Dallas Garden School
Founded by gardening expert Callie Works-Leary, the Dallas Garden School offers a host of classes for aspiring and experienced green thumbs. Classes run the gamut, including fall vegetable gardening, hardy annual cut flowers, organic pest control, and a specific course focused on gardening in a North Texas climate. The school offers classes via Zoom, on-demand, or in-person, and pricing starts at $29.