Flowers & Garden


Garden workshops like Tupperware parties for the green-thumb set

Lisa Ziegler stands in front of them to explain and demonstrate the efficient and easy use of several little-known gardening tools and products. For instance, there's the dibber, a T-shaped aluminum planting hand tool that's perfect for small bulbs such as crocus, she says. There's also a multi-use trowel that digs planting holes, removes weeds and smoothes soil.

She also peppers her program with educational tidbits. She advises the women to consult their local Virginia Cooperative Extension office when they have plant questions, and encourages them to adopt gardening habits that benefit the environment and health of the Chesapeake Bay.

"This is `edu-tainment,'" she tells the women at Bly's gathering. "Whether you buy or not, you take something away from this workshop."

She started The Gardener's Workshop home parties in 2005, and conducts them with the help of trained "garden steward consultants" who earn commission, bonuses and rebates based on sales. Hostesses earn free and discounted products according to workshop sales. Family members Sara Mason and Suzanne Frye help Ziegler with business needs, such as product photography and catalog layout.

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