Kodiak Gardening Course WaitList - The Gardeners Coach - Marion Owen

Marion Owen has been featured in:

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Do you have a garden on Kodiak Island?

Would you like to know the secrets to better gardening? 

  • Marion Owen is opening her Kodiak garden to 10 people for a 2-part workshop where she will teach what they need to do to create their dream garden. 

  • Marion will then visit the homes of each of these 10 people, where she will create a garden plan for each student that they can implement immediately. 

  • THIS IS LIMITED TO 10 PEOPLE! To secure your place book today!

If you can relate to any of the following, read this page before you set foot in your garden:
  • You're new to gardening and are embarrassed by your efforts! Because you're just learning, your garden is not going to look perfect. But now you're starting to wonder if all your money has been wasted. What's worse, you've invited your friends over to show off your new garden. "What if they don't like it? What should I do?"
  • No matter how many YouTube videos and gardening magazines you read - nothing seems to work in your garden! You won't be the last person who decided to bite the bullet and follow guides in your favourite gardening magazines only to find out that your attempts look nothing like the photos you admired while having a snack at your favourite coffee shop.
  • You just don't know who to believe! No sooner you read one book suggesting a certain tip, your gardening friend who knows better says, "No dear, that's not ...."
  • You were determined to never use chemicals, but you failed. Despite your best efforts to kick-start your garden and keep it weed-free, you broke the one promise you made to yourself: "My garden will always be chemical-free!"
  • You're stuck and don't know what to do next. You pictured your plants looking lush, where there are no weed or gaps. Thing is, you started with good intentions, but each bed looks sparse with big spaces between plants. You cry out for help but don't know where to turn. Surely someone must know what you need to do next?

Don't despair! Now you can learn the steps you need to follow, so your garden is in tip-top shape year-round when you join:

Kodiak Gardening Workshop with Marion Owen

In this 3-part workshop, Marion Owen will tap into her 35 years of gardening on Kodiak Island to show what works in her garden. Then she will visit your garden to create a custom garden plan for you.

Marion's Garden BEFORE

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Marion's Garden AFTER


The above photo shows how Marion transformed a bare patch into her dream garden. In this 3-part course, she will show the steps you need to take to create your garden!

We asked Marilyn Kreta to share why she is happy to recommend Marion Owen's workshop

Photo Gallery from October 1st & 2nd course:  

Carmen Witte, a new Kodiak resident, shares her thought's on Marion Owen's workshop

How Marion will help you improve your garden:  

Part 1 & 2
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You will join Marion Owen in her own garden as she teaches you how to create the garden of your dreams over two days.

* Parts 1 &  2 will be comprised of two 3-hour sessions on Sat 1st and Sun 2nd October. Refreshments will be provided.

Part 3
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Marion will then visit your garden, and together, she will help you will create a plan for your garden!

* This one-on-one planning session takes place at your house and will take approximately one hour. They will be scheduled when you join the course.

Workshop Outline

Parts 1 & 2 - What you'll learn

Marion Owen will answer your questions throughout the sessions, covering the following topics:

Planning Your Garden

Like you, I want a garden that I can be proud of. And so, the first step is careful planning. Grab your colored pencils, and get ready to learn how to assess and make the best of your growing space. For example, where are the sunny spots? Water hookups? Is wind a problem? Do you want a lawn? Compost bins? A path? Raised beds? Not only does planning your garden in advance help you avoid common beginner pitfalls, it saves you time, money, and hassle while you learn the ropes.

Making your bed: Raised beds 101

One of the best ways to get good soil—and keep it—is to use raised beds for the plants. With raised beds, water is conserved, soil stays fluffy, you can plant more closely, and you have fewer weeds. Going step by step, we'll look at different ways you can build them, fill them, and set them up to serve your garden needs year-round—without wasting money on expensive materials. No matter where you hang your hoe, raised beds are the way to grow.

The Gardener's Glossary

Are you confused by terms like biennials and biennials? Cultivars and cover crops? Hybrids and heirlooms? Clear the air with these simple definitions so you can talk garden speak with confidence.

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Down to earth: How to know and love your soil

When you start a garden it's natural to want to get planting as soon as possible. Take a breath. Patience is key. Since plants can't move around to get their nutrition, your job is to get soil right so your plants will thrive where they're planted. Discover, step by step, how to find the right balance for your garden so you don't need to turn to harsh or expensive chemical treatments: How to test your soil, understand the mysteries of pH and N:P:K, and how to improve all types of soil, which leads me to...

Composting 101

Compost is the all-purpose answer to everything, and if you have enough of it, you won't need much of anything else. Compost improves soil health, and healthy soil makes for healthy plants. What's not to love? From my 35 years of making compost, you'll learn how to make compost (no bin, no problem!) and how to put it to work in your garden. You'll wonder how you ever lived without it!

The Gardener's Tool Kit

A few good, practical tools will last you a lifetime so it's worthwhile to get what you can afford and take good care of them. But if you're like me, and not always good at putting things away, then it might be best to start with cheaper tools and replace them time to time. You'll learn the essential tools you really need and how to stay clear of silly gadgets.

How do you pull weeds properly

Seed-Starting Secrets

I'll show you how to raise healthy seedlings that not only survive but thrive when they’re finally transplanted outside in your garden. What to grow, when to sow, transplanting tips, sowing seeds outdoors... it's all here. You'll never pull your hair out or have to sneak back to the nursery to buy replacement plants.

Weed it and reap

Have you ever faced a crop of weeds and wanted to throw in the trowel? I'll show you my tried and true methods for staying on top of the weed game without turning to chemicals or becoming overwhelmed.

Slugs, bugs and other thugs

Marion's non-toxic solutions to dealing with pests and diseases, from the neighbor's dog to fungus in the greenhouse. Includes recipes for making your own homemade sprays.

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Organic lawn care

Nothing complements a garden quite like a nice patch of green lawn. But what about all the chemical fertilizers and weedkillers? Marion shows you how you can have a lawn that's safe for kids, pets and the planet by adopting these organic methods instead.

What to grow?

Need inspiration for what to grow? Marion shares her three comprehensive lists of easy vegetables, herbs and flowers to grow in cool climate gardens.

A potpourri of harvesting tips

Make it easy on yourself at harvesttime by using these quick-pick techniques that will help you finish harvesting faster and with less effort. Plus simple cleaning and tips to improve the storage life of your fruits and vegetables.


Protecting your plants

Knowing what to do when frost, wind, sun, drought, or snow threaten your plants means you can sleep better at night.

How to "put up" your harvest

Marion shares her favorite ways to freeze, pickle, dry, and preserve your harvest with simple techniques and recipes for year-round enjoyment of your gardening efforts.

Gifts from the garden

Gift-giving doesn't need to be complicated or expensive. From the heart is best. Marion shares how to make gifts from the garden to bring joy to neighbors, friends, and family throughout the year.

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Marilyn Kreta

"Thanks Marion, I now know what to do...

"I spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars every year buying bagged soil and then flowers to put in the soil! I'm so happy I took Marion’s workshop. Now I know what I'm supposed to do!"

- Marilyn Kreta 

Heidi Brian Mullen

"We have learned a great deal, thank you...

"We just moved to this area and I consider our yard and growing space a blank canvas. We were not sure where to begin, but we both agreed that this gardening workshop would be the best place to start! It's perfect timing! We have learned a graet deal - Thank you!"

-Heidi and Brian Mullen

Linda Freed

"Marion, I can't wait to start the plan...

"We just moved into a new home. In the past I always thought, 'Oh, it's no big deal. We'll figure out where to put the plants.' But this workshop has taught me that obviously, developing a plan will make us more successful. I can't wait to start!"

-Linda Freed

Part 3 - Marion will help you create a garden plan

"It's the best thing I could do for my garden!"

Kerry Irons after attending Marion Owen's gardening workshop.

Develop A Plan For Your Garden

It has taken Marion Owen 35 years of living on Kodiak Island to master the art of planning a year-round thriving and lush garden. To help you plan your garden, Marion will personally meet with you at your home.

Draw a garden plan for your garden

Gardening is a learn-as-you-grow adventure. And it helps to have a rough plan of your garden. Here's where we draw a rough sketch of your garden: What you want to create, remove, or expand. The plan includes where your home is located on the lot, fences, water sources, decks, driveway and parking areas, swing sets, sheds and other existing structures. We'll also mark on the plan which parts of the garden get what kind of exposure from sun, wind, and rain.

Plan where your plants will go to make the most of our climate

After you've worked out where things are located on your property and which the sunny and shady areas are, you can then choose the right plants for those conditions. Your micro-climate and soil conditions will also help to determine what will grow well in your garden.

Learn what grows best on Kodiak Island

If you're new to gardening and not sure what to plant, go on a treasure hunt. First ask yourself what you like to eat, what flowers you enjoy, what herbs you like to cook with. Ask questions of other gardeners. Visit other gardens. Make a list. This'll help give you ideas and show you what grows well in your local soil and weather conditions.

Choose a garden type

You also need to consider what type of garden you want. Maybe you want to establish perennials and leave an area for a bit of a wild place. If you have kids or pets, this may affect your choices. Different garden types include a vegetable garden, flower garden, herb garden, perennials, fruiting plants, hoophouses (high tunnels) and more. You're not locked into one type of garden. But whatever primary style you choose, it's a good idea to keep it looking simple and keep the same style throughout your garden. 

In this video, Marion explains why your own garden plan helps you create your dream garden:

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About Marion Owen - "The Gardener's Coach"

Marion has been teaching gardening to Kodiak Island residents for over 30 years, through her weekly newspaper column, conducting workshops, and answering questions on local radio.

Kodiak Daily Mirror newspaper readers have trusted Marion Owen's gardening tips for 26 years

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Now you can spend time with Marion as she teaches you the secrets to gardening in Kodiak!

At the end of Parts One and Two of this workshop, you have the unique opportunity to have Marion visit your garden. Using her 35 years of gardening she will show you the steps you need to take to create a garden that thrives in Kodiak!

Marion's students share their thoughts...

Heather Corriere - Kodiak, Alaska

Clint M., Calgary, AB

"This was money well spent. For 20+ years I wasted my time composting.

"It took six months to make a batch of compost that made little difference to our garden anyway. 

"I now understand what actually happens in a compost heap and I have a whole new level of enthusiasm for gardening."

Clint M

Judy Phillips - Kodiak, Alaska

Jodie Vee, Atlanta, GA

"Marion Owen is a rock star! The Compost Academy jump-started my new garden!

"Highly recommend! It would make a great gift for anyone you know who wants to get started or take a garden to the next level."

Jodie Vee

Christine Kaineg - Alexandria, Virginia

Georgia B., Anchorage, AK

"Thanks to the Compost Academy I won't be taking enormous bags of grass clippings, leaves, and food waste to the dump.

"I’ll be making compost! I didn’t just learn about composting. I learned so much about gardening.

"I didn’t have a mentor until I met Marion Owen in the Compost Academy.

Georgia B

Phil Carl - Columbia Falls, Montana

Silvia H., Edmonton, AB

I have just finished the Compost Academy and I highly recommend it!

"Marion Owen is an amazing, knowledgeable tutor, witty, and super helpful!

Silvia H

Hazel Krumm

About Marion Owen - Your Gardener's Coach

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Hello, I'm Marion Owen

Yes, I work, relax, and love life on Kodiak Island. My husband, Marty, and I operate an oceanfront B&B we appropriately named the Cliff House B&B.

Thirty-five years ago, I was like you, a frustrated gardener!

Yes, I had a passion for gardening. But I had no idea what I was doing. Back then, there was no YouTube and no internet.

Sometimes I was lucky, and my efforts were rewarded. Most of the time I was left feeling discouraged. Because of the mistakes I made, the hours I wasted, and the money I lost, I nearly gave up.

As the years went by, I managed to develop a green thumb.

Now, three decades later, I write a weekly garden column. I've been featured in Better Homes & GardensReader's Digest and Organic Gardening.

I've even written a New York Times bestseller, "Chicken Soup for the Gardener's Soul", which has inspired thousands of gardeners around the globe.

Having felt the frustration that only beginners know, I decided that my legacy would be to help other like-minded gardeners fast-track their journey to gardening success!

 Join the waitlist for Marion's next course on April 1 & 2, 2023... 

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To join the waitlist for Marion's next course, please provide your email address. In the meantime, Marion will send you her weekly newsletter, the "Sunday Garden Review"