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Gardening School

Helping attendees become accomplished horticulturists, Gardening Schools provide educational information to those who are especially interested in gardening, horticulture and related subjects.

Gardening School

Become an NGC Gardening Consultant

Gardening School consists of a series of four courses, scheduled over two days of instruction, followed by a exam for those interested in becoming a NGC accredited Gardening Consultant. Courses cover all aspects of horticulture: gardening, understanding soil structure, pruning techniques, identifying plants, etc. Topics include basic botany, soils, annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, fruits, vegetables, lawns, pests, plant diseases, plant classification and selected subjects of local interest.Additional topics may include reconciliation ecology and creating backyard habitats to help endangered species such as pollinators and amphibians as well as working with youth.

What is a Gardening School?

Gardening School courses, primarily intended for garden club members, are open to the public. Organizers charge a nominal fee for attending each course. Member clubs, groups of clubs, Districts and State Garden Clubs may sponsor courses. Garden club members completing the series of four courses and passing exams gain the designation of NGC Gardening Consultant. Other attendees may attain Consultant status by joining a garden club during the school series or shortly after completion.

In planning, promoting and publicizing Gardening Schools, organizers may consider the theme for the 2019-2021 NGC administration, Plant America, with its focus on gardens and gardening. Plant America is a description of what NGC garden clubs do as well as a command to service. During Gardening School, participants learn all aspects of Planting America. They receive information and skills for club, district or state projects that may apply to Plant America Community Project Grants.

For more information, please contact Barbara Hadsell, Gardening School Chairman

Schools Forms

Environmental, Gardening and Landscape Design Schools each have subject matter that overlaps with and complements the curricula of each other. All three schools include a series of four courses and refreshers and provides for the establishment of Councils. Over the years, they have developed common threads related to refresher requirements, criteria for Master Consultant status and other administrative details. In recent years, they have been the subject of increased coordination under the auspices of various NGC joint schools educational committees.

This Common Handbook has been developed in conjunction with new School Forms that can be utilized for each of these three Schools because many students who take one of these schools eventually take two or all three of them and because many chairmen who conduct one school eventually conduct one or both of the others. It is believed that achieving as much consistency as possible between the three schools will be beneficial to those who conduct and attend these Schools.

In addition to a section containing criteria applicable to all three Schools, this Handbook contains separate units for each School that contain information and forms that are applicable to only that one School. NGC welcomes all students, both members and non-members, to its schools, which are sponsored by the State Garden Clubs and their member organizations (clubs, districts, councils) and by National or International Affiliates.

NGC Schools Handbook

Complete form (Form 1-2020) to register any School Course or any Single-subject Refresher. Email this form to the appropriate NGC ES and GS Accrediting Chairman, or LDS NGC Chairman to approve sign and forward to the NGC Schools Secretary who will post your event on the NGC Schools Website in and in Keeping in Touch.” You do not need to contact website personnel directly. Follow-up if you do not receive an acknowledgment from the Schools Secretary within a week of sending. Submit this form as soon as the information is available and the event has been approved by your state organization and at least three months prior to event. See the NGC Schools Handbook, Section 7, page 21, for more information.

NGC Schools Registration Form 1-2020

NGC Schools Course Information Form 2-2020 to includes the school's subjects and instructors' contact information. Complete this form to get your courses, supplemental subjects and instructors approved.

NGC Schools Course Information Form 2-2020

Complete this form for any instructor who is teaching a specific class for the first time or whose credentials were approved more than ten years ago. Send to State Chairman who sends this form to the NGC ES or GS Accrediting Chairmen or LDS Instructors Chairman.

NGC Schools Instructor Credentials Form 3-2020

Once an instructor is approved/credentialed, the Local Chairman may contract with the instructor to provide services to the school. This is an optional form for that purpose, for the benefit of the specific school. It is not submitted to NGC.

NGC Schools Instructor Contract Form 4-2020

This form is for the purpose of recording a course or event upon its completion and accrediting the students and refreshing consultants. At the conclusion of each School Course or Single-subject Refresher, the Local Chairman completes the form. The State Chairman, after reviewing Course Roster and Summary (Form 5-2020) for accuracy and making necessary corrections, sends one electronic copy of this form to your ES, GS or LDS Accrediting Chairman. Mail student/consultant fee check to Accrediting Chairman, who will send check to Schools Secretary upon approval of information on Course Roster & Summary. Include fees of $5.00 for each attendee seeking credit as a student or a refresher.  Sign by typing your name (do not insert digital signature); enter date of your "signature". Keep a signed copy for your state records.

Hints for Completing Forms 5, 6 & 7

NGC Schools Course Roster & Summary Form 5-2020

This form causes the student to be recorded as a Consultant in the state and NGC records and causes the Accrediting Chairman to complete a Consultant Card. Upon completion of a student’s fourth course in a School, the State School Chairman completes this form and submits it electronically to the appropriate NGC Accrediting Chairman for review and approval and electronic submission to the NGC Schools Secretary.

Hints for Completing Forms 5, 6 & 7

NGC Schools Accreditation Application Form 6-2020

This form causes the Consultant to be recorded as having completed a Refresher in state and NGC records, causing the Consultant’s Good Standing date to be updated. Upon completion of the fourth Refresher, the Consultant is noted in state and NGC records as a Master Consultant, and the Accrediting Chairman completes a Master Consultant Card that is sent to the State School Chairman for delivery to the Master Consultant. Failure to submit this form will prevent the student from receiving refresher credit and/or from being recognized as a Master Consultant. See page 22 of the NGC Schools Handbook for more detailed information.

Hints for Completing Forms 5, 6 & 7

NGC Schools Refresher Accreditation Application Form 7-2020

Master Consultants in good standing who are unable to refresh within the required timeframe may complete this form requesting Emeritus status. The State School Chairman verifies their eligibility and forwards the form electronically to the NGC Accrediting Chairman. NGC Accrediting Chairman approves the form and forwards it electronically to the NGC School’s Secretary.

NGC Schools Emeritus Status Application Form 8-2020

This form is used for two situations:

  1. Students who have not completed all four courses of a School by the end of the seventh calendar year since taking the first course may request a one-year extension to complete all courses. If the student does not complete all courses by the end of the seventh calendar year or receive an approved extension, credit expires for all courses.
  2. Consultants in good standing who are not able to refresh by the end of the fifth calendar year since becoming a Consultant or since the last Refresher taken for credit may request a one-year extension of time to refresh.

See the NGC Schools Handbook, page 23, for more information on obtaining an extension.

NGC Schools Extension Application Form 9-2020

Lapsed Consultants who did not refresh by the end of the fifth calendar year following becoming a Consultant or last refreshing for credit may reinstate their certificate by completing two courses of the School in which they lapsed within a two-year period following the lapse. This must be done by the end of the seventh calendar year following becoming a Consultant or last refreshing for credit. See page 23 of the NGC Schools Handbook for more details on the reinstatement procedure.

NGC Schools Reinstatement Application Form 10-2020

This form has two sides, one for evaluation of the instructors and one for evaluation of the subjects. This form should be given to students/Consultants attending all School courses. Using the evaluation numbers provided, the Local Chairman should tabulate the scores and review the forms to consider changes that might improve subsequent courses in a specific School series. The forms (or copies of them) should be forwarded to the State School Chairman and NGC School Chairman for similar review.

NGC Schools Evaluation Form 11-2020

This is the Task List for Environmental, Gardening or Landscape Design STATE School Chairman to help accomplish workload and project the anticipated time line. It informs you of work to be accomplished and allows you to mark that it was completed. This is for your use, not to be sent anywhere

NGC Schools State Chairman Task Checklist Form 12-2020

This is the Task List for the Local Chairman of the school. Please note, sometimes this is the same person as the State Chairman. This list facilitates your planning and sending required forms in a timely manner to your State Chairman or your Accrediting Chairman. This instructs you on completing tasks to receive accreditation for everyone.

NGC Schools Local Chairman Task Checklist Form 13-2020

This form is filled out and sent to the State and National Chairman of the appropriate school so that records may be moved or eliminated as the case warrants. The National Accrediting Chairman will notify NGC Schools Secretary.

NGC Schools Consultant Removal, Moving, Death Form 14-2020

This is the Certificate of Completion that may be awarded by the Local or State Chairman to the attending student who is not a Garden Club member. They may receive after each course or at the end of a series. If attendee needs an official record for work – use this. Taking the exam may be expected by employers.

NGC Schools Certificate of Completion Form 15-2020

This is for the Local Chairman/Registrar to facilitate ease of accurate attendance. Simply complete the form, using extra pages as needed, and cut apart. It is easiest to put in their notebooks. Have attendees place cards at their seat, then punch or mark the appropriate space for the period indicated. In larger class, settings it is an easy way assure everyone gets appropriate credit. Once your roster is complete, you do not need to keep it. They go nowhere else..

NGC Schools Daily Attendance Card Form 16-2020

Gardening School

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What Will I Learn?


Do you grow perennials, annuals, vegetables, fruits, houseplants or herbs? Gardening School teaches you about all of these plants and more. Here is a sample of a botany lecture.

General Botany Presentation

Pests and Diseases

Ever wonder why your plant is not flourishing? It could be an insect invasion or an infection, learn more at Gardening School. Here is a sample of a reconciliation ecology presentation.

Reconciliation Ecology Presentation


Love the look of an English Cottage Garden? What about a shade garden or a native plant area? Gardening School discusses all of these and more styles of gardens. It all starts with the soil. See a sample soil presentation here.

Soils Presentation

Find a Gardening School

Interested in attending a Gardening School near you or across the country? Treat yourself to more gardening knowledge, have fun and meet fellow gardeners.