How to Grow Anything: Make Your Trees and Shrubs Thrive

Course No. 9726
Melinda Myers,
Horticulturist and Certified Arborist
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11 Reviews
81% of reviewers would recommend this product
Course No. 9726
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Course Overview

It’s easy to think of trees and shrubs as an enormous commitment and investment—one that doesn’t reap immediate rewards in the same way as container gardening. But the truth is that there are hundreds of wonderful trees and shrubs out there for you to choose from, and growing them can be a lot easier (and more rewarding) than you think.

Trees and shrubs, regardless of the specific constraints of your landscape, can provide colorful bursts of flowers, fresh fruit and wholesome nuts, height and depth to a garden design, and refreshing shade on hot summer days.

And just as important as the beauty of trees and shrubs is their practical use. When grown properly, trees and shrubs offer numerous benefits for any property owner, including:

  • a clear—and natural—framework for your outdoor spaces;
  • an eye-catching barrier (and getaway) from loud noises and unsightly views;
  • creative ways to conserve energy and reduce pollution in and around your home; and
  • green spaces that can help raise the curb appeal (and value) of your home.

But once you’ve decided to try your hand at trees and shrubs, where should the everyday gardener start? Right here with How to Grow Anything: Make Your Trees and Shrubs Thrive. In just 12 engaging lectures by horticulturalist, certified arborist, and nationally syndicated garden host Melinda Myers, you’ll discover everything you need to make trees and shrubs an integral (and manageable) investment in your outdoor spaces. Taking you through a variety of different landscapes, climates, and seasons, these lectures reveal effective—and practical—gardening techniques and strategies for shopping, planting, and caring for trees and shrubs just like the experts.

Develop a Greener Green Thumb

Tapping into her skills as a master horticulturalist and public educator, Ms. Myers takes you step by step through the process of adding trees and shrubs to your landscape.

  • Designing: Knowing where to fit particular trees and shrubs in your landscape is a key skill of the everyday gardener. When you start to look at your space as a living framework, you’ll have a much stronger sense of what trees and shrubs are right for your specific landscape needs.
  • Shopping: Once you know what trees and shrubs you need, it’s time to purchase them. Ms. Myers gives you savvy shopping methods for deciding where to shop, how to pick out healthy plantings, methods for transporting them back to your landscape, and more.
  • Planting: There’s more to planting trees and shrubs than just digging a hole and dropping them in the ground. Discover the same tried and true planting methods the experts use to ensure that their plantings, whether in a container or in a vast acreage, take root and thrive.
  • Managing: How much should specific plantings be watered? When and where should you prune and trim? What are the signs that your trees have succumbed to disease—and how can you nurse them back to health? These lectures have all the management tips you need.

Along the way, you’ll learn about some of the many trees and shrubs that make great fits for landscapes with different climates, levels of soil heartiness, and size constraints, including:

  • Redbud, a good four-season tree with scaly bark that blooms sweet (and edible) flowers in the spring and provides heart-shaped leaves for summer shade;
  • William Baffin rose, a hardy shrub rose that needs no winter protection, grows large, and is often trained to climb along fences; and
  • Ironwood, a slow-growing tree that’s perfect for small, shady spaces and whose ornamental fruit and peeling bark give it plenty of winter interest.

Master Tips from a Master Gardener

Throughout Make Your Trees and Shrubs Thrive, Ms. Myers shares a generous offering of insider tips and techniques for growing and maintaining your trees and shrubs, whether you’re looking to strengthen your gardening skills or save money in the long-run.

  • How much to water trees: Trees need about 10 gallons of water per inch of trunk diameter. In general, it takes about five minutes to provide 10 gallons of water. Also, avoid watering from overhead (which can promote disease by keeping leaves unnecessarily wet).
  • The best time to prune: One of the least risky times to prune is late winter. It’s easier to see the planting’s overall structure and make better cuts, there are fewer insects active in the garden, and the wounds from pruning will heal quickly as growth begins in spring.
  • It’s OK to call the experts: Smart everyday gardeners know when to call a professional. For example, before you plant, call your area utility locating service to avoid hitting underground lines. It’s a free service that can save you from a potentially expensive (and deadly) accident.

Filmed in beautiful natural spaces and garden centers, and with demonstrations in our specially designed in-studio garden, Ms. Myers’ lectures take learning to new levels of engagement. And she brings to every lecture the same knowledge and insight she does to her nationally syndicated “Melinda’s Garden Moment” segments. Learning from Ms. Myers, you’ll discover why she’s won so many accolades, including the American Horticultural Society’s prestigious B.Y. Morrison Communication Award.

“I hope you’ll feel more comfortable adding trees and shrubs to your landscape,” Ms. Myers says of her exciting course. “With proper selection, planting, and care, you can increase beauty, decrease your workload, and increase your success. So go out and green your landscape!”

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12 lectures
 |  Average 30 minutes each
  • 1
    A Framework for Your Landscape
    Discover the many possibilities for framing your landscape with trees and shrubs. Ms. Myers provides you with ideas for landscapes of different sizes, and also shows you the importance of taking into consideration everything from flowers and fruit to texture and mature size when choosing trees and shrubs for your unique patch of land. x
  • 2
    Form and Function in the Landscape
    When used in the right way, trees and shrubs can perform a variety of useful functions. Learn how to tap into the power of this living framework to help you conserve energy, manage storm water, reduce pollution, create privacy, and mark your property lines' all while providing a rich, visually interesting landscape. x
  • 3
    Trees and Shrubs for Challenging Conditions
    Many of us don't live under ideal growing conditions. Here, Ms. Myers shows you ways to adapt your trees and shrubs to compensate for challenging conditions. First, explore the different types of shade and learn some ideal plantings for each. Then, learn how to recognize and deal with both flooding challenges and drought challenges. x
  • 4
    Shopping for the Best Trees and Shrubs
    Once you've got an idea for your landscape, it's time to shop! Where are the best places to buy trees and shrubs? How do you spot a healthy and structurally sound tree? How should you care for your new purchases until it's planting time? Get all the answers here. x
  • 5
    Planting Your Trees and Shrubs
    Just as important as choosing the right tree or shrub is planting it correctly. Here, Ms. Myers takes you step by step through the planting process. Learn how to dig the best holes, whether or not to stake your trees, when to fertilize (the answer may surprise you), proper watering methods, and more. x
  • 6
    Spring and Summer Care of Trees and Shrubs
    Now, focus on how to maintain the health of your plantings in spring and summer. First, explore the science behind water's impact on new plantings and ways to water more effectively. Then, get insider tips on mulching techniques that can protect trunks and stems. Finally, learn how to properly transplant trees or shrubs that have outgrown their space. x
  • 7
    Fall and Winter Care of Trees and Shrubs
    Using evergreens, new plantings, and borderline hardy plants, explore how to manage leaves with less stress; how to insulate plantings for winter with mulch, cloth, and more; how to make repellents to protect plants from animals; and how to mitigate the effects of salt damage. x
  • 8
    Pruning Old and Young Trees
    Pruning is an important part of keeping young trees beautiful and healthy. View many live demonstrations of this essential (and often overlooked) gardening task. By the end of this lecture, you will know the tools, timing, techniques and tips for effective tree pruning for all times of the year. x
  • 9
    Pruning Shrubs
    Turn now to the art of pruning shrubs. Watching Ms. Myers demonstrate in the field and the studio, you'll learn the best times to prune different types of shrubs; different pruning methods, including thinning cuts and rejuvenation pruning; why shearing isn't always the best option for shrubs; and answers to commonly asked pruning questions. x
  • 10
    When Trees and Shrubs Fail to Thrive
    What happens when your trees and shrubs fail to flourish? Welcome to the world of plant diagnostics. Ms. Myers shows you how to diagnose common growth problems with popular types of plants'just like an expert gardener. Along the way, you'll learn how to spot symptoms for everything from blight and dieback to chlorosis and invasive pests. x
  • 11
    Restoring a Landscape to Health
    Learn how to implement a recovery plan to bring your landscape back to health from various threats. Is the problem actually worth treating? What kinds of insect traps should you use (and avoid)? How can adjusting the surrounding environment help? And why are black walnut trees often such a big problem? x
  • 12
    Expanding Your Landscapes Framework
    Conclude this series with a look at some fun (and challenging) ways to enhance the ornamental appeal and space efficiency of trees and shrubs. Learn pruning methods that help create tunnels or help plantings grow flat against walls or fences; tips for shearing plants into interesting shapes; and growing trees and shrubs in containers, or from cuttings and seeds. x

Lecture Titles

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What's Included

What Does Each Format Include?

Video DVD
Instant Video Includes:
  • Download 12 video lectures to your computer or mobile app
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps
Video DVD
DVD Includes:
  • 12 lectures on 2 DVDs
  • 104-page printed course guidebook
  • Downloadable PDF of the course guidebook
  • FREE video streaming of the course from our website and mobile apps

What Does The Course Guidebook Include?

Video DVD
Course Guidebook Details:
  • 104-page printed course guidebook
  • Photos & illustrations
  • Plant list
  • Questions to consider

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Your professor

Melinda Myers

About Your Professor

Melinda Myers
Horticulturist and Certified Arborist
Melinda Myers is a horticulturist, certified arborist, gardening expert, television/radio host, columnist, and author with more than 30 years of horticulture experience. She earned her B.S. in Horticulture from The Ohio State University and her M.S. in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Before launching her own business in 2006, she was a tenured associate professor at the University of Wisconsin...
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How to Grow Anything: Make Your Trees and Shrubs Thrive is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 11.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Blooming like Candide Voltaire concludes Candide with the very practical advice that "we must cultivate our garden". So with philosophical approvals in mind, this offering for "budding" and "blooming" gardners and landscapers comes just in time for my wife and I. I would normally invoke cruel invectives at a TGC course that does not have closed captioning, especially with enjoyably precious but deliberately difficult plant names and species. However, this offering presents ongoing names and phrases in text, as a part of the presentation. Also, the instructor is unusually well- spoken and clear. So be not deterred, those of age, imbibe. I've constructively used information from the offering already. I got improved understanding and great advice on how and when to prune trees and shrubs, wintering grass, landscaping around air conditioners and outside fixed items. The buying tips included shade considerations, and proximity and watering needs. I tried my best to binge watch, but many of the chapters are detailed and extensive, so binging best worked when broken out into topics. My wife and I watched the pruning and shrub care, and had to review so our binging efforts were necessarily thwarted. We also need to review Chapter 11 "Restoring..", and Chapter 12 "Expanding.." in order to plan for next spring. I intend to review the seasonal care sections as needed. The resources at The Great Courses web site was very good, had auto links to Amazon for the books. Beware however, we purchased the Horticultural Society's "A-Z of Garden Plants" and got an older edition. I've noticed that Instructor Myers has other offerings from The Great Courses, and I intend to revisit my travails as a Candide wannabe this spring.
Date published: 2019-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice show Melinda Friendly and abundance of tips and thanks for the plant list
Date published: 2019-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very knowledgeable instructor!!!! The instructor informed and educated me on landscape subjects I had no idea were important! She not only provided information but how to plan my own landscape projects!!! Extremely helpful!
Date published: 2019-08-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Garden Course I am enjoying the course but I didn't realize it was going to be almost completely about trees. So far of thru lesson eight it's been about trees more than other plants. Maybe I didn't read the course explanation completely but the course mainly is about trees.Course title is: "How to grow anything", that would not only just cover trees. I hope there is more about smaller plants. After saying all that, the contents on what I've had so far has been very good. One other thing I might say, is most people I know don't have as bigger yard as most of the ones she has shown.
Date published: 2016-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Useful Course For about the price of a new shrub, i gained much needed information to help me care for my landscape.
Date published: 2016-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent Course When the Better Living courses began to emerge I had little interest in these subjects. I was only interested in the academic courses. After viewing some of these courses I began to realize that I was wrong. I never had any interest in gardening until I came across this course. When I watched one course by Melinda Myers I bought more by her and completed the remainder of her courses. If you own a house then I would recommend this course. She held my interest when she discussed the sale of homes and the value added to a property with proper shrubs and trees. There was so much I learned. She taught us how to read the tags, how to plant trees and shrubs, even matching one shrub with another, soil chemistry, pruning, and dealing with insects. And this is just scratching the surface. Her presentation is very hands-on. This course is dense with information so be prepared to take some notes. The pictures and videos were pleasant to look at. Most of all, she gave me a lot of ideas for my property. I liked her presentation. She is very down-to-earth and has a pleasant demeanor. As a result of this course my wife and I went to the local "nursery". We had a tree that needed some care and this course did the job. This is a wonderful course. I now have more projects in the yard thanks to Melinda Myers. Bring her back. I'm sure there is more to learn.
Date published: 2015-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! I found this course so helpful and informative. I can't wait to start applying what I've learned.
Date published: 2014-12-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Helpful I used this course to help teach a course on gardening and found it very helpful because it covers all the basic information needed for beginners.
Date published: 2014-11-30
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