Maryann Lewis

Aesthetic pruner Maryann Lewis 

Ever take a pair of pruners to an overgrown shrub and end up with nothing but regrets? Second question: you done with that?

A well-pruned shrub or tree can transform the look of any kind of garden, however over-grown, unloved or neglected it may now be. Anyone can make it happen. All it takes is a kind touch and an even kinder teacher who can bring out your inner garden artist.

It just so happens she’s coming to Manzanita. Introducing aesthetic pruner, Maryann Lewis, a woman whose very touch makes plants shiver with joy. She will be sharing her expertise as part of the Horticultural Arts series at the Hoffman Center for the Arts and offering two levels of instructions.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8, Lewis will teach an Introduction to Pruning, the ultimate antidote to all those regrettable mistakes we make pruning. During this online class, she will teach participants how to really see a plant before picking up pruners, and how to strategize the way forward before making cuts.

“I’m not proud to admit I’ve butchered my fair share of maples, hydrangeas and rho-dies,” said Ketzel Levine, plant curator at the Hoffman Center’s beloved Wonder Gar-den. “My intentions weren’t necessarily evil, but the results were diabolical. After taking several classes with Maryann, I can see past the moment and into the future shape of a plant.”

At 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, Lewis will offer a more advanced Pruning Workshop for a lucky handful of gardeners. The outdoor class begins in a private Manzanita garden where Lewis will take students step-by-step through the pruning of several small trees as she works to achieve aesthetic balance in the garden.

In the afternoon, students will apply their smarts and their pruners to several of the conifers in the Hoffman Wonder Garden. Lewis will be on hand to insure students make only the kindest cuts.

Much like a sculptor who imagines her figure breaking free from stone, Lewis reads a plant’s inherent structure and works to release its form. Her tools are not merely clippers and pruning saws but light, shadow, space and time. As a practitioner of Aesthetic Pruning, she combines horticultural science with principles of art and design. She lives in Portland.



For details on both offerings and to register, visit

Art of Horticulture is a program of Hoffman Center for the Arts, located at 594 Laneda Avenue in Manzanita.

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