Classes and Instruction

Japanese Maple Aesthetics & Abrboriculture


Saturday April 4, 2015 10 AM - 1 PM at Hakone Estate & Gardens, 21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA. Hands-on workshop emphasizing pruning using cut branches. An introduction to the character uses, culture, and pruning of Japanese Maples. Learn about the growing environment, physiology, life cycle, varieties, design uses, buying, planting, culture, and problems of Japanese Maples. Learn holistic integration of aesthetics, sound horticulture, and problem solving, especially how to prioritize seemingly contradictory information. Optional: bring, hand-shears, container Maples and/or photos of Maples.

*Register for each class or admission separately
*Register for each class or admission separately

Pruning Japanese Gardens


Saturday May 2nd, 10 AM - 1 PM, at Hakone Estate & Gardens, 21000 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, CA. and 2 PM - 5 PM at Los Gatos Meadows, 110 Wood Street, Los Gatos. Lecture & workshop. See hands-on practice policy above. Learn pruning aesthetics and techniques relevant to the season for your favorite woody plants used in Japanese-style gardens. Learn species-specific pruning techniques, when and where to use them in Japanese-style gardens. Learn about Japanese garden design through aesthetic pruning.

*Register for each class or admission separately
*Register for each class or admission separately

Discounts on class fees with advance payment


Discounts on class fees with advance payment: $35 per person single class, $30 each for multiple classes/family per check, $25 returning students, $40 for returning student accompanying a new student guest. Mail checks 5 days in advance, payable to instructor(s), or PayPal on their website. Regular class fees are $40 per person at the door.

Hands-on pruning practice


Hands-on pruning practice, if any, shall be on materials we bring to classroom, or at a scheduled location - see "Hands-on Pruning Lab." Bring your own container plants, cut branches, hand-shears, and/or photos of plants.

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Hands-on pruning testimonials


Testimonials: "I came to one of Merritt's Aesthetic Pruning Club volunteer days, not knowing what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised that one of my precious Saturdays was well spent and one of the best I've had this summer. Peter Bowyer's enthusiasm for approaching trees as living sculptures and how to bring them into harmony with the environment around them, was both highly informative and inspirational. He listens to everyone's input, even a beginner like myself, and encourages hands on participation and trusting one's instinct. A great teacher and a motley crew of characters I had a blast hanging out with! The final outcome was a creative collaboration that produced beautiful results. I am hooked and eagerly looking forward to the next volunteer day with the Aesthetic Pruning Club. C.Mitchell" "The detail work you showed us on how to remove the bushiness and help reveal the beauty of the branches and trunk was great. I hope to learn more from you in the future." - S.Sague. "Members of the club, including Peter and myself, traveled to Fresno to prune various pine trees in Shinzen Garden. He and I worked on an island black pine, and later were paired up to prune another at the entrance to the garden. Being a recent student of the Merritt Aesthetic Pruning Class Series, I looked to Peter for guidance on various techniques and obtained constructive instruction from him. I found him to be a very patient and resourceful teacher. He gave me some pruning strategies I had never heard before. I consider Peter to be on par with other instructors in the Merritt pruning class series, and enthusiastically recommend him." Sincerely, A.Stovall "This was a much better learning experience because of the hands on training. You could see what needed to be done and then how to execute the proper technique. Actually doing it and seeing the end result is much easier to learn this way. Plus it helps the park out in getting some actual work accomplished. Let me know when the next one will be held. I will be interested in attending." Thanks again, D.&S.Rodgers"

Learn Pruning & Landscape Construction - Hands-on


Learn Landscape Construction Hands-on. Volunteer with Peter Bowyer, the Merritt College Pruning Club and the Oakland-Fukuoka Sister City Association at our Torii Landscape, located in the Lakeside Garden Center, Lakeside Park, Oakland, CA. Learn skills you can use, talk shop with a pro and enjoy volunteering. Every Spring & Fall aesthetic pruning. Future projects may include: Rock placement, building a sea-cliff "gogan-ishi-gumi", building islands in the ponds, and planting. Contact Peter to receive notification.

Other Classes and instruction


Peter also speaks at garden clubs, nurseries and community colleges. He has led Merritt College Aesthetic Pruning Club service-learning projects at numerous locations, including Hakone Estate & Gardens and the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt. He has developed and led workshops for county & municipal parks departments and given instruction to city tree workers and USDA certified Master Gardeners. His expertise includes French-intensive vegetable gardening. In that capacity, he was a main stage speaker at the San Francisco Landscape Garden Show. He also taught classes at the UCSC Farm & Garden. .

Other classes


Business Profile
Biography and Resume
Design Portfolio
Design Process
Public Service
Press Clips
Contact Peter
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