Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture
“The expert instruction and stimulating field and classroom studies have energized me to pursue more sustainable gardening methods and continue to be an active environmental steward.”
~ Jean Rosenberg, Certificate Graduate
We enthusiastically welcome both new and continuing students into the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program. In addition, classes are also open to individuals who are not pursuing the certificate, though priority will be given to those enrolled in the program.
To enroll in the certificate program (a $25 fee), contact Melissa Cullina, Director of Education & Staff Botanist, or click on the button following this paragraph. To learn about the individual courses within the program, and their dates, times, and prices, see the list and follow the links below. For additional information, call 207-633-4333, ext. 101. You can also learn more through our FloraFind tour.
The field-based Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program instructs amateur and professional gardeners alike about Maine’s diverse flora and its uses in ecologically responsible horticulture. The program is tailored for Maine gardeners by featuring the climate conditions, specific challenges, plants, and natural communities found right here in the Pine Tree State.
Students benefit from engaging, hands-on courses describing native plants, how they function and reproduce, their natural habitats, and best garden applications. They discover how plants interact with their growing environment, and they learn to select appropriate native plants for various site conditions. They will become skilled at preparing and maintaining gardens using sustainable methods such as composting, integrated and organic pest management, and low water inputs. Optional workshops and field trips focusing on specific skills, such as seed collection and propagation, identification of wild plants, creating green roofs, methods of composting, etc., allow students to customize the program to suit their own interests. To ensure a top-quality experience for participants, admission to the program is limited to only 15 new students per year.
The program consists of 11 required courses and several elective workshops or trips (see below). Students may progress through the curriculum at their own pace; a highly motivated student would be able to complete the program over the course of 19 months (two growing seasons). Instructors are both on-staff and guest experts with a variety of specialties. Courses are held in the LEED Platinum Bosarge Family Education Center, on the Gardens’ grounds, and afield on the beautiful Boothbay peninsula and beyond.
“Whether you’re a horticulture professional, or simply passionate about gardening , if you’re seeking a deeper understanding of Maine’s native plants and ecological gardening, this program is just the thing for you.”
~ William Cullina, Certificate Program Faculty
COURSE LIST WITH LINKS TO DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS AND INSTRUCTOR BIOS
Suggested Year 1 Classes (2014):
- Soil Science for Gardeners with Lois Berg Stack – April 15 & 16 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
- The Life of a Plant: An Introduction to Botany with Lauren Stockwell – June 11 to 13 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.)
- Introduction to the Native Flora of Maine with Melissa Cullina – August 19 to 21 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
- Horticultural Ecology with Bill Cullina – Sept. 11 & 12 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- Invasive Plants with Ted Elliman – Oct. 3 & 4 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
Suggested Year 2 Classes (2014):
- Shaping a Natural Site into a Landscaped Space with Irene Brady Barber and Lisa Cowan – April 24 to 26 (10 a.m.-3 p.m.)
- Selecting Native Herbaceous Plants for the Maine Garden with Bill Cullina – May 9 and July 11 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- Gardening for Wildlife: Ecosystem Gardening with Carole Sevilla Brown – June 17 & 18 (10 a.m.-5 p.m.)
- Natural Communities of Maine with Ted Elliman – July 25 & 26 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
- Sustainable Horticultural Practices with Irene Brady Barber – September 25 & 26 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.)
- Selecting Native Woody Plants for the Maine Garden with Justin Nichols – October 16 & 17 (10 a.m-5 p.m.)
- Ants in Your Plants, with Elizabeth Farnsworth and Aaron Ellison
- Propagating and Gardening with Mosses
- Favorite Native Plant Cultivars for Maine