March 5, 2024
Introductory Horticultural Training Series

Landscape Ontario's Garden Centre Sector Group is thrilled to announce a series of FREE online training specific to the needs of independent garden centres.

Training is a crucial aspect for garden centres in Ontario, as they go from being very quiet to extremely busy within a few weeks. But with so much on an owner's plate in a short period of time — hiring, receiving products, and forecasting business — training is often done on the fly, leading to a sink-or-swim scenario.

Aligning your new and returning staff with essential product knowledge, work environment expectations and best practices will not only improve the overall shopping experience for your customers as well as help with employee development.

To facilitate this, the Garden Centre Sector Group is offering FREE VIRTUAL basic horticultural training targeted to those working in a garden centre.


Event information:

  • Registration is FREE!
    • Create a login for your personalized Training Portal by clicking the green "New Registrant" button above
    • If you already have an account and you want to log in, click the blue "Training Portal Log In" button above
  • All modules are presented as a live webinar 
  • Each module will be 35-45 minutes in length with the opportunity for question and answer
  • Each module will have a quiz for self-testing ‚Äč
  • Module content will be released before each module date in the Training Portal
  • All modules will be recorded and posted for on-demand viewing in the Training Portal
man in a garden
Facilitator: Art Vanden Enden
Art Vanden Enden loved every minute of his 44-year garden centre career with Weall and Cullen and Sheridan Nurseries. In retirement, Art enjoys giving back to the profession with Landscape Ontario’s Garden Centre Sector Group and sharing his experience with Landscape Trades readers in the Art of Gardening column.

Check out his recent video here



APRIL 2, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Introduction to Botany
  • In this module, we will introduce you to botany and horticulture. We will explain the life cycles of plants and how they are classified. We will also discuss the importance of knowing the difference between common and botanical names. Furthermore, we will delve into the different parts of a plant, their purpose, as well as fundamental plant processes. Lastly, we will explain what plant hardiness means, and why it is essential to know what this term represents.

APRIL 4, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Garden Centre Customer Service 101
  • Know what to expect when you start working in a garden centre. Which skills are important to bring, even if you are not an experienced horticulturist. Most garden centres focus on providing excellent customer service to build their brand and attract more customers. So, it's important to understand the significance of offering high levels of service to customers as they rely on high levels of service to strengthen their brand to consumers and that connection is often YOU!

APRIL 9, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Weather Conditions, Watering & Soils
  • We think often about beautiful weather and the benefits of working outdoors. While this is true, we also need to work when the weather is cold, windy and extreme. Learn about what to expect, and how your health and safety will better prepare you for the hazards and environment that you are going to be working in.
  • It is critical to provide plants with the appropriate amount of water at the right time. Water is a crucial resource required to maintain a garden centre. It is the lifeblood of plants, but can also pose hazards and challenges if not handled properly.
  • Soils are essential for plant health. There are different options and it is useful to learn some of the basics about solid types and soil health.

APRIL 10, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Lawn Care & Understanding Fertilizers
  • Introduction to Fertilizers and Healthy Lawns A healthy lawn is the pride of any homeowner. However, maintaining it can be a challenge. This guide covers the basics of lawn care, including fertilization, aeration, dethatching, top dressing, and dealing with weeds, pests, and diseases.

APRIL 16, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Annuals and Perennials
  • Annuals are a plant category that is often the first experience that homeowners have with gardens. They are extremely popular and important. let's go over some of the main annual plant families and discuss features and benefits.
  • Perennials are a huge plant category for home gardeners. While it may seem confusing to some, we will discuss some of the more popular perennial plant families and what makes them so popular.

APRIL 18, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Shrubs and Evergreens
  • In this module, we will discuss some of the most popular shrubs and their bloom times, which are crucial for plant maintenance and care. We will also explore evergreen plant families, their significance, and the features they can offer to home gardeners.

APRIL 24, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Trees, Vegetables, Herbs and Edibles
  • Trees are extremely important to home gardeners, Choosing the right tree for your place is important. We will discuss popular varieties, their features, benefits and the best locations to plant.

APRIL 25, 2024 • 6:00 PM
Container Gardening and Houseplants
  • Container gardening has become increasingly popular among home gardeners, particularly those living in condos, townhouses, and smaller properties. To succeed in container gardening, it's crucial to be aware of the additional or different care required compared to traditional in-ground gardening.
  • Often people claim they lack a green thumb because they are known for killing houseplants. We will discuss the unique considerations necessary for successfully growing houseplants or tropical plants.

Event Questions

Connect with Karri Bylsma
Landscape Ontario Membership Events Specialist, Chapter & Sectors