Archive for February, 2013

Drawing Native Plants of Maine: 5-Day Workshop with Dick Rauh

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013
August 5, 2013toAugust 9, 2013

          Rhus typhina by Dick Rauh


     Ulmus americana by Dick Rauh

Internationally renowned, award-winning botanical artist and New York Botanical Garden instructor Dick Rauh will present a unique, week-long drawing workshop through which you can develop the ability to study and capture the natural world by drawing the native trees, shrubs, ferns, and flowers of Maine. This program is the second in the annual NYBG Summer in Coastal Maine series.

Hours for this program are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day. We’ll begin with classroom discussions of plant architecture, perspective, and composition, and then go outdoors to draw. Emphasis is on the eye-to-hand style of rendering, using technical pens and sketchbooks. You’ll apply observational skills and sketching techniques, including contour drawing, to the broader field of nature sketching to complete several drawings. Please dress for the outdoors. Lunch is included in tuition.

Where:    Bosarge Family Education Center
Price:       $495 members of CMBG or NYBG, $550 nonmembers (includes lunch each day)

Discounts are available to members of both New York Botanical Garden and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Register online or by calling NYBG at 718-817-8747.

“Tree Sketches,” an exhibit of Dick’s tree drawings, will be in the Education Center from August 1-28.

Dick Rauh earned a doctorate in plant sciences in 2001 from the City University of New York to better inform his illustration techniques.  He is the illustrator of Carol Levine’s classic Guide to Wildflowers in Winter, a work which piqued his interest in the dry fruits and other remnants of out-of-season natives, which he paints in enlarged versions to demonstrate their architecture. A collection of this work received a gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society and a best-in-show award. He is a fellow of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society.

Climate Change: How Plants Respond, with George Jacobson and Esperanza Stancioff

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
July 9, 2013
6:30 pmto8:30 pm

Join Maine State Climatologist Dr. George Jacobson and Extension Educator Esperanza Stancioff on Tuesday, July 9, for an evening lecture about New England’s ever-changing climate and vegetation. Dr. Jacobson will explain how dynamics of atmospheric and oceanic circulation are driven by forces acting at many different frequencies, all of which function in concert.  For thousands of years, these factors have strongly influenced the distribution, abundance, and phenology (seasonal life cycles) of plants on the landscape.  More recent examples include changes in the USDA plant growing zones.  Today we observe the consequences of human activities that are now perturbing some of the natural systems on a massive scale. 

Ms. Stancioff will then describe how citizen scientists in Maine, including here at the Botanical Gardens, are teaming together through the “Signs of the Seasons” project to collect phenology data so that scientists may better understand how plants respond to climate change.

Dr. George L. Jacobson is Professor Emeritus and former Director of the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute and the Maine State Climatologist. His research has focused on biological aspects of long-term changes in climate, ecosystems, and landscapes for the period since the last ice age.  

Esperanza Stancioff is an educator with the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension Her current work focuses on climate change education and adaptation planning. Since joining the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in 1988, she has designed and implemented educational programs in coastal ecosystem health, specifically in marine environment monitoring and watershed assessment and management.

Where:   Bosarge Family Education Center
Price:      $10 members, $12 non-members 

Purchase Tickets


Full: Signs of the Seasons: Maine Phenology Program Volunteer Training

Thursday, February 21st, 2013
March 9, 2013
9:00 amto1:00 pm
June 14, 2013
9:00 amto1:00 pm

Esperanza Stancioff

Please note that both sessions of this program are full. There are still spaces in the Climate Change program on July 9.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is teaming up with the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension and Sea Grant to participate in “Signs of the Seasons,” a citizen science program that aims to achieve meaningful science and education outcomes that benefit Maine communities. Training sessions will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on either Saturday, March 9, or Friday, June 14. Participants should bring a bag lunch and be prepared to walk outdoors.

Both sessions will be presented by UMaine Cooperative Extension educators Esperanza Stancioff and Beth Bisson. Lois Berg Stack, who’s also affiliated with the extension service, will co-present with them on March 9.

There is no charge to join in this valuable effort, but we ask you to sign up via the button below or at 207-633-4333, ext. 101.

Read more about the Signs of the Seasons program and the instructors below.   Please note, too, that on July 9 Esperanza Stancioff will join George Jacobson for an evening program about climate change. Learn more.

The program engages volunteers in observing plant and animal phenology, which is the study of seasonal life events, such as when birds make their nests in the spring, when berries ripen in the summer, and when leaves change color in the autumn. Scientists study phenology to understand how plants and animals are affected over time by changes in climate and weather at a certain place.  Observations made by volunteers in their backyards, here at the Gardens, or at local natural areas help scientists and managers answer questions that affect Maine’s forests, crops, and our day-to-day lives.

Phenology changes are easy for volunteers of any age to observe and record.  Observations may include the timing of budburst, emerging leaves, and flowering of plants; first and last sightings (in spring and fall) of migrating birds, changing plumage, and observations of nesting activity in birds; and changing leaf color and withering foliage of plants in autumn. In the marine environment, volunteers may choose to observe loons and look for the presence of reproductive organs on our indicator species of seaweed. 

Each participant will choose as many indicator species as they wish, and identify and mark a site(s) where they will observe these species throughout most of the year. The group will register as Signs of the Seasons participants on the USA National Phenology Network website’s Nature’s Notebook, where they can record their observations as often as they make them.  For more information about this research program, visit  Questions about this volunteer opportunity may be directed to Esperanza Stancioff at or 207-832-0343.

As an educator with the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension, Esperanza’s current work focuses on climate change education and adaptation planning. Since joining the UMaine Extension in 1988, she has designed and implemented educational programs in coastal ecosystem health, specifically in marine environmental monitoring and watershed assessment and management.

Beth Bisson is the Assistant Director for Outreach and Education at Maine Sea Grant and helps deliver education and extension programming that promotes environmental literacy and sustainable use, conservation, and stewardship of Maine’s ocean and coastal resources. She has worked in the fields of water quality, conservations, and environmental education in Maine and elsewhere. She holds a master’s degree in water science, policy, and management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Dr. Lois Berg Stack is the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Ornamental Horticulture Specialist. She conducts applied research and organizes workshops and conferences for nursery, greenhouse, garden center and landscape professionals in Maine and New England. Some of her current projects focus on plants that support native bees and honeybees, and production of chokeberry as a nutraceutical crop. She also works extensively with home gardeners on landscape topics such as management of invasive species and selection and management of Maine landscape plants.

Ready for Spring!

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Our guests who live away from New England probably heard quite a bit about Winter Storm Nemo last weekend. Let me tell you, it was something else. Being from the South, I have lived through several tropical storms and a couple of hurricanes. Nemo was like a wicked tropical storm with snow. It just kept going and going, much like the fictional Nemo swam through the ocean.

For those of us who live here, we were delighted that this past week brought warmer temperatures and, more importantly, longer days. We are really seeing the effects of more daylight, as our early-spring flowering woody plants have swollen buds. In fact, if you follow our Facebook page, you might have seen the pictures of the witchhazels in flower.

Justin pruning

Horticulturist Justin Nichols pruning an apple tree

Justin took advantage of this warmer weather to get out and perform structural pruning on the apple trees between the Café Terrace and the Children’s Garden. This time of year allows him to see the structure of the trees and perform the vital cuts to promote good structure and redirect growth.


Springtime Botany with Melissa Cullina

Thursday, February 7th, 2013
May 23, 2013
9:00 amto12:00 pm


Perfect Coptis in Sunlight  
Viola sagittata  

Co-sponsored by Boothbay Region Land Trust and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

Celebrate spring with botanist Melissa Cullina on this fun, flowery, ferny, fragrant – and free – foray to the Oven’s Mouth Preserve. During a slow-paced morning hike, Melissa will show you the most important features to consider when learning to recognize different kinds of wild plants.  She’ll point out the various early blooms, along with a sprinkling of folklore about their names and historical uses. Families welcome, no experience needed.  For more information, or to register, please call the Boothbay Region Land Trust at 207-633-4818.

Melissa Cullina is Director of Education & Staff Botanist for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. She was formerly Botanist with the Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program and specializes in aquatic and coastal botany, field identification, and rare species conservation. 

Where:   Oven’s Mouth Preserve West
Price:      Free for all (preregistration requested at 207-633-4818)

CMBG logo  


Drawing and Painting Leaves with Katie Lee

Friday, February 1st, 2013
June 3, 2013toJune 7, 2013

Tree logo 50x58Exceptional teacher and artist Katie Lee will be back at the Gardens by popular demand! Her week-long course from Monday through Friday, June 3-7, will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Leaves: flat, curly, shiny, hairy, textured, pigment patterned. Green: are they really all the same green? These are just a few of the many challenges that occur when painting leaves. Flowers tend to become so much the focus of many botanical artists that the leaves tend to be somewhat ignored. During this workshop there will be no flowers in the room! Katie will review techniques for drawing well-observed and accurately rendered leaves. Capturing just the ‘right’ green and surface texture, be it shiny, matt or velvety can be intimidating; but through a series of simple exercises, students will find these mysteries less daunting. Everyone will be encouraged to keep a ‘leaf journal’ for future reference.

This class is ideal for everyone; beginner, more experienced artist and professional wishing to review technique. Lunch is included in tuition.

Katie Lee earned a Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration from the New York Botanical Garden, where she has taught for the past 20 years. An award-winning botanical and wildlife artist, she has illustrated several books; and her work is featured in museum collections and exhibitions around the world.  Katie has recently joined the ranks of Mainers – she resides with her husband in an antique farmhouse in Nobleboro.  

Where:   Bosarge Family Education Center
Price:      $495 members, $550 nonmembers (includes lunch daily, registration required)

Purchase Tickets