Learning for Adults
Learning for Adults

Learning for Adults

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is committed to providing educational opportunities that are timely and of interest to many audiences. We hope you find them informative and inspiring.

You can view our current offerings here, click through by category to the right or if you prefer to search by date, go to the Calendar of Events and click on the day(s) when you’ll be visiting.

Certificate in Botanical Arts

The beauty of gardens and plants inspire artistic expression in many forms. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens celebrates this broad palette of expression in our new Certificate Program in the Botanical Arts. Instructors from across New England and beyond will teach courses in several types of botanically-inspired arts, including book and paper arts, botanical and scientific illustration, plein air painting, fabric design, wood block printing, and more. Offerings will be unique and ever-changing, but all will incorporate our stunning gardens and spaces for subject study and inspiration. Enrolled students select courses that suit their artistic interests, and work toward certification through completion of course hours. Let our gardens inspire your creative learning!

Certificate students will be required to take 11 courses with at least 120 class hours, as well as complete a final independent project. 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 and on the Gardens’ grounds.

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) or to get more information, please contact Vanessa Nesvig at (207) 633-8032 or VNesvig@MaineGardens.org. To learn about and register for the individual courses within the program, visit the Botanical Arts section of our website.

Selecting Native Woody Plants for the Maine Garden

with Justin Nichols
Thursday - Friday, October 8 and 9, 2015
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The use of native woody plants in a horticultural setting will be the topic of this combination classroom and in-garden course for second-year students in Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture. During this, the final class in this two-year program, staff horticulturist Justin Nichols will introduce students to native trees, shrubs, and vines to use in different horticultural settings based on their habitat preferences in nature. Recommended species, cultivars and sources of materials will be covered. To see authentic examples of woody plants in natural and landscaped settings, Justin will take the class on short forays into the Gardens and locally.

This course is part of the Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture but is open to all, subject to availability.

Introduction to Ecological Restoration Techniques and Methods

with Lisa Cowan
Friday, October 23, 2015
10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Education Center

Ecological restoration is the practice of renewing and restoring degraded, damaged, or destroyed ecosystems and habitats in the environment by active human intervention and action. Well planned, sustainably designed installations are more likely to succeed and require less maintenance. This class will focus on proven low impact methodologies and techniques for restoring and enhancing wooded areas, meadows, streams, wetlands, buffers and eroded slopes.

This course is part of the Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture but is open to all, subject to availability.

Tunnel Books: Making Sculptural Gardens

with Rebecca Goodale
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Explore the gardens for inspiration for each of these charming structures. In the morning we will compose botanical parts and panels from paper and arrange them to create a Tunnel Book. We will compose a paper garden into a book that collapses flat and then pops out to represent a specific garden or one from your imagination. Admission to the Gardens and a box lunch of your choice from the Kitchen Garden Café are included. Papers and glue are also provided.

Collecting and Preserving the Herbal Harvest

with Vanessa Nesvig and Erika Huber
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Join us as we take in the herbal harvest from our Myth, Magic and Medicine gardens! Learn how to gather and preserve herbs and medicinal plants. We’ll use the herbs we’ve collected to demonstrate many drying methods including microwaving, salting and freezing. Then we’ll sample and share some of our favorite recipes such as herbed butter and honey, liquors and herbal skin salve. Afterward, make your own herbal treat including herbed honey, infused vinegar, and herbed salt to take home.

Fireside Book Club

with Melissa Cullina
2 – 3:30 p.m.
Visitor Center
Members only

Your garden is put to bed – and now is the perfect time to get cozy by the wood fire with books. Director of Education Melissa Cullina has chosen four diverse books that blend the botanical and the literary – specially chosen for plant and garden enthusiasts! Gather around the Gardens’ fireside one Tuesday per month to discuss the book and enjoy coffee and treats. Please sign up, and then simply read and come to the Visitor Center on the discussion date to share what you’ve experienced through reading each book.
November 10, 2015
The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
December 8, 2105
Beatrix: The Gardening Life of Beatrix Jones Farrand 1872-1959 by Jane Brown
January 12, 2016
The Roots of My Obsession: Thirty Great Gardeners Reveal Why They Garden by Thomas C. Cooper
February 9, 2016
Tulipomania: The Story of the World's
Most Coveted Flower & the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by Mike Dash

Making Festive Holiday Greens

with Diane Walden
Saturday, December 5, 2015
9:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Education Center

A CMBG Tradition! Once again, Diane Walden will gather a diverse assemblage of greens, ribbons, and cones for our festive workshop. Make a swag, wreath, centerpiece or garland to take home. All materials needed for beautiful designs will be provided. Participants are welcome to bring favorite or themed ornaments or supplies from home, too. Please bring gloves and pruners if you have them, and cookies or treats if you’d like to add to the day’s merriment!

Season’s Greetings from the Floral Studio

with Stephanie Pilk
Saturday, December 12, 2015
3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Projector and Middle bays

Join a relaxing session of holiday flower arranging led by the chic and inventive florist, Stephanie Pilk. Stephanie will walk through the basic principles of design, and then help you apply them to a wintry arrangement to decorate your holiday table. Afterwards, enjoy admission to “Gardens Aglow,” included in the class fee.