Annual Whidbey Gardening Workshop grows online this year

An island-wide gardening event that had to be cancelled last year because of the pandemic is coming back with a virtual flair this year.

Organizers and instructors were gearing up for the 32nd Whidbey Gardening Workshop back in March 2020 when the pandemic started to gain momentum, shuttering nonessential businesses and cancelling events.

Nearly a year later, instructors who were supposed to teach classes at the workshop will be able to do so via online video conferencing, the new format that the Whidbey Gardening Workshop is taking on March 6.

Barbara Schmitt, who coordinates marketing for the event, said this year’s workshop will have 27 online classes to choose from. Instructors will be teaching live with the use of Zoom.

In years past, the workshop has been held at Oak Harbor High School, with 450 to 500 participants in attendance. Field trips and a marketplace were also hallmarks of the event, although those parts will be cancelled this year.

This year, participants will be able to watch recordings of all 27 classes after the event is over. From now until Jan. 20, an “early bird” discount is available for tickets priced at $45. The ticket price is $55 after that

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