Organic gardening provides alternative for Valentine's Day


UA students and Tuscaloosa residents can learn gardening techniques during Druid City Garden Project’s “Prune those Perennials!” workshop. Photo Courtesy of Lindsey Turner

Becca Murdoch

This Saturday, couples and singles alike can make the most of their Valentine’s Day by joining the Druid City Garden Project at Oakdale Elementary School to learn how to prune their pesky perennials. 

“We thought that this would be a great opportunity for learning how to prune your perennials, which include fruit trees, roses, hydrangeas, all kinds of typical home garden plant varieties,” said Lindsey Turner, Druid City Garden Project’s executive director. 

“Prune those Perennials!” is the first in a series of workshops this spring for the Druid City Garden Project, which has been serving the Tuscaloosa community since its 2010 founding by Andrew and Rashmi Grace. The Druid City Garden Project serves and educates local elementary students, university students and community members on the importance of organically and locally grown food

The workshop is available to every skill level and will be taught by a friend of the organization, Joseph Wright. Wright has worked and volunteered on other projects before, including implementing the garden program for the Tuscaloosa Juvenile Detention center in the fall of 2013. 

“I see a lot of people in town that make poor pruning cuts, and I really feel bad for the trees and plants,” Wright said. “I’m really excited about clearing up any mistakes that people can potentially make and how to make a clean cut.”

This Saturday, Wright said he plans to focus mainly on fruit trees and vines considering the variety of trees in the orchard at Oakdale Elementary. 

“Participants will learn how to prune these perennials by actually pruning them,” Turner said. “Joseph [Wright] will lead everyone and teach actively as people engage themselves with pruning techniques.”

Both Turner and Wright said they share the belief that learning gardening techniques and how one’s food is produced should be important to everyone, including students. 

“They’re going to be able to care for plants in a meaningful way and have them for the rest of their lives,” Wright said.

Turner said learning practical skills that can apply to any home garden and supporting local organizations like the Druid City Garden Project is important for members of a community. 

Wright said this event will serve as a greener but no less romantic alternative to a typical Valentine’s Day. 

“It’s a day of love and I hope that by my teaching, in some way, even if it’s distant, can inspire more love in couples and ways they can spend quality time with each other,” Wright said. 

“Prune those Perennials!” will take place from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Oakdale Elementary School this Saturday.The suggested donation is $30 for couples, $20 for individuals and $10 for students. Those interested in reserving their spots for this event can email More information can be found at and the Druid City Garden Project Facebook events page.