How to Grow Anything: Make Your Trees and Shrubs Thrive

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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How to Grow Anything: Make Your Trees and Shrubs Thrive
Course Trailer
A Framework for Your Landscape
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....

30 min
Form and Function in the Landscape
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....

30 min
Trees and Shrubs for Challenging Conditions
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....

32 min
Shopping for the Best Trees and Shrubs
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....

27 min
Planting Your Trees and Shrubs
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....

29 min
Spring and Summer Care of Trees and Shrubs
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....

35 min
Fall and Winter Care of Trees and Shrubs
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....

29 min
Pruning Old and Young Trees
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....

32 min
Pruning Shrubs
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....

29 min
When Trees and Shrubs Fail to Thrive
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....

29 min
Restoring a Landscape to Health
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?...

28 min
Expanding Your Landscape's Framework
12: Expanding Your Landscape's 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....

33 min
Melinda Myers

We started just like you with common problems faced by many gardeners. We want to design a garden that works for you and your dream for something better.


University of Wisconsin, Madison


Horticulturist and Certified Arborist

About Melinda Myers

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 Extension Service and a tenured horticulture instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College. Her numerous awards include two Garden Media Awards from the Garden Writers Association, the Garden Communicator of the Year Award from the American Nursery & Landscape Association, the Gold Leaf Award from the International Society of Arboriculture, the Perennial Plant Association Garden Media Promoter Award, and the American Horticultural Society's B. Y. Morrison Communication Award for effective and inspirational communication. Ms. Myers is the author and coauthor of more than 20 gardening books, including Can't Miss Small Space Gardening and Birds & Blooms' Ultimate Gardening Guide. She is also a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Gardening How-To, and Wisconsin Gardening. A seasoned media presence, Ms. Myers hosts the nationally syndicated Melinda's Garden Moment and appears regularly on various national and local shows. For more than 20 years, she hosted The Plant Doctor radio program, seven seasons of Great Lakes Gardener on PBS, and the nationally syndicated YardWorks!

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