2016 Gardening for Wildlife WORKSHOP SERIES

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Workshop participants enjoying Sutton’s wildlife habitat

I can’t wait to once again teach
the series of 6 in-depth

“Gardening for Wildlife” Workshops (pdf)
on select Saturdays and Sundays
February 27 – March 19, 2016,

 the perfect time to shake off winter
and begin planning and planting
(or enhancing) your property and wildlife garden.

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Every walk down the garden path is full of wonder, here 4 Monarch caterpillars on Swamp Milkweed

Learn to create gardens and habitats in little time, save money (by encouraging seed production rather than hampering it with traditional gardening practices), and see long-term results (by implementing wildlife-friendly garden practices rather than traditional wildlife death-trap practices).

Many (1000s) have taken these workshops, been empowered, and created habitats that have given them pleasure for years to come.

If you have taken one of these workshops with me and would like to share a one-liner (or more) about them that might help others realize their value, I’d be most grateful.  Add your comment(s) in the comment section following this post (I may use your comments as I continue to promote these workshops, so THANKS).

There is nothing more special than stepping out the door into a habitat that YOU created, a habitat that fills up with wildlife visitors galore: hummingbirds, butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalises, dragonflies, ladybugs, many different native bees, beetles and other fun pollinators, songbirds, frogs, turtles, moths at night, and more!  Every walk down your garden path is full of wonder, learning, delight, awe . . . almost like traveling to an exotic land, but that exotic place is your own back (or front) yard.  There is nothing more gratifying than knowing that you provide safe haven for all these creatures.

Hummingbird amidst Sutton’s late fall garden of still-blooming asters and salvias

Consider joining me for one, several, or all six of these workshops (discounted fees when you sign up for 3 or more workshops).  Native plants and wildlife-friendly practices are the key and will be emphasized and detailed throughout.

I present a zillion one- to two-hour programs each year and maybe you’ve attended a few of these. I love teaching them, but (with only one or two hours) they are more one-sided presentations, me sharing fun natural history information and images with you, the audience.

These full-day workshops offer the opportunity to be far more in-depth and interactive and are more likely to empower you, take you to the next level.  Educate yourself.  Don’t count on landscapers or nursery owners; sadly many of them are not well informed about native plants and wildlife gardening practices.   I have heard my share of horror stories where folks have paid dearly for a butterfly garden of native plants and instead got a bed of non-native invasives.


The 5-hour format (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) allows for:

  • an interactive workshop atmosphere
  • each workshop covers a unique aspect of wildlife gardening (in-depth)
  • each workshop builds on the others, but is not repetitive (so you’ll want to try and attend all 6 to maximize your learning opportunity)
  • resources (handouts and circulated books) will be shared and showcased
  • you’ll learn how to utilize these resources (find answers to burning questions you may have)
  • time for in-depth questions
  • time for in-depth answers
  • during a working lunch we’ll brainstorm (as a group) each participant’s specific challenges (you’ll draw a rough sketch of your yard and submit a photo of your sketch that I’ll  project so we can all see it for this brainstorming)
  • time to get to know one another and learn from each other (of garden triumphs and tribulations, successes and pitfalls). Nothing beats collective experience and roundtable discussion
  • each workshop will culminate in a site visit to a nearby backyard habitat (including my own and others) where wildlife-friendly practices and design and plant selections will be showcased
Golden-crowned Kinglet successfully finding food in Frost Aster, a lovely native

So, what do you say! Will I see you in late February & March?

Take advantage of the discount by signing up for 3 or more workshops.  Sign up today and begin getting ready for the workshops. Draw a rough sketch of your yard, indicating structures (and hardscapes like driveways, decks, etc.), existing habitats (lawn, forest, lone trees, shrub islands, gardens, bird feeding station, brush pile, etc.), and mark NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST on the sketch. Take time to note the sun’s path through your yard and where the sunniest areas are. Begin making a wish list of the elements you want to add as well as the elements you need to work around.



with Pat Sutton (pdf)

for NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May
1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204 (609-898-8848)

  1. Saturday, February 27 – How to Create a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife
  2. Sunday, February 28 – Lose the Lawn, Create a Wildflower Meadow Instead (from small “Pocket Meadow” up to sizable meadows)
  3. Saturday, March 5 – How to Create a Pollinator Garden (to benefit Butterflies, Hummingbirds, Moths, Bees, & More) 
  4. Sunday, March 6 – Battlestar Backyardia – Battling the Alien Invaders (How to Recognize and Deal With Invasive Species)
  5. Saturday, March 12 — How to Create a No-Fuss Wildlife Pond
  6. Saturday, March 19 – Landscape Design With Wildlife In Mind
Pat Sutton’s Monarch Waystation

Time: 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 pm.

Where: Please note that the 6 workshops in this series will be held at the Cape May Bird Observatory Center for Research & Education, 600 Rt. 47 N, Cape May Court House, NJ 08210 and not at the Nature Center of Cape May in Cape May.

Limit: 20 participants;  preregistration required  (through NJ Audubon’s Nature Center of Cape May, 1600 Delaware Avenue, Cape May, NJ 08204; 609-898-8848 — if you reach their message machine, do leave a message . . . they’ll get back to you).

Cost/workshop (includes handouts):
$40 member of NJ Audubon Society, $50 nonmember
Sign up for three or more workshops for a discount:
$30 each (member); $40 each (nonmember)

Sign up for all six workshops and receive a FREE copy of Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home or an 8 oz. HummZinger Hummingbird Feeder.
All workshops include a site visit to a nearby wildlife garden (Sutton’s garden and others).

7 Replies to “2016 Gardening for Wildlife WORKSHOP SERIES”

  1. We had a barren yard a couple of years ago and wondered what to do, so we went to several of Pat’s workshops. This lead to a transformation, which while still a work in progress, has been fruitful for wildlife and for us too. We now have a wildlife garden that has turned a lawn into a habitat. This year, in addition to numerous species of birds that bathe in our birdbaths, visit our feeders and feast on our seed pods, we have had many other foraging visitors. There is no better place to start than with Pat’s workshops!

  2. We love wildlife and thought we were informed, but realized how little we knew until attending the workshops! Now we have an actual “no-fuss” wildlife pond with real native plants that has been buzzing with hummingbirds, all types of birds, dragonflies, damselflies, frogs, so many types of bees and other critters that we are still trying to identify. Thanks to Pat’s series of wildlife workshops we are enjoying our outdoors more than ever and look forward to continually expanding the “native” habitat. The series of workshops was a lifelong investment and well work every session!

  3. Taking pats workshop years ago taught me to look at my own garden as habitat and to look for ways to continually tuck in plants for butterflies, either nectar or host plants. Pats workshop gave me the confidence to experiment with new plants and boldly renovate a garden that was mediocre for wildlife into to a thriving Eden that invites pollinators from April through November!

  4. I read Bringing Nature Home by Doug Tallamy; it changed how I think about gardening. Gardening is no longer just a hobby it is a mission and my garden has become a place of hope! There is so much the world that I cannot change and I often feel despair but, when I walk through my garden and see a dozen different kinds of bees or see caterpillars or birds I’ve never seen before then I know my garden has purpose beyond me. When we moved into this house the “garden” consisted of a vibrant green lawn and several azaleas – it was a wildlife desert. It has become a wildlife oasis. Pat’s classes will guide you in transforming your yard into a sanctuary for the bird and the bees and the dragonflies. Pat is ever-patient and she is a gifted educator with tremendous knowledge and infectious passion for wildlife.
    She is humble, warm and down to earth – I knew nothing I asked her about wildlife would be treated as a stupid question.

  5. My wife and I took 3 of Pat’s 6 courses in 2015 and highly recommend them. Beyond the knowledge and information she shares, Pat’s enthusiasm is contagious in every good way imaginable. We left every class invigorated and full of hope. Being around like-minded citizens and sharing challenges, questions and aspirations was also of great value. There are not many forums like this which has an open format with an experienced leader who provides constant guidance and instruction. The classes are not South Jersey specific, they are of benefit to anyone living anywhere who simply has a desire to try to make a difference.

  6. BEWARE – These classes will have you doing amazing things to your yard. Because of them I now have a backyard WILDLIFE pond (NOT a fish pond). It was an amazing place in the summer, And an added bonus – The winter Robins LOVE it. When the ice was a little melted they happily explored around it looking for something to drink. They come to my heated waterbath but seem to prefer the more natural environment of the pond. I also put in my version of a rain garden late in the fall (I call it my river garden as that is what it looks more like). Can’t wait to see all the plants I put around it coming into bloom this spring. …….Now if I could only figure out where, in my small yard, to put a meadow garden!! These classes are definitely worth your time.

  7. These workshops sound like an incredible opportunity to learn how to create a wildlife-friendly garden that brings joy and wonder to your outdoor space. The idea of stepping out into a habitat you’ve created, filled with all sorts of wildlife visitors, is truly enchanting. Your approach of emphasizing native plants and wildlife-friendly practices is essential for sustainability and fostering biodiversity. The interactive and in-depth format of these workshops seems like a fantastic way to empower participants to take their gardening to the next level. Count me in for late February and March! 🌿🌼🦋

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