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.


Invasive Plants: Issues, Identification, and Ecology

with Ted Elliman
Thursday and Friday, September 29 and 30, 2016
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

What’s all the fuss? Invasive plant species have been getting a lot of bad lip service from botany, ecology, horticulture, and conservation professionals alike. Join Ted Elliman, Vegetation Management Coordinator for the New England Wild Flower Society, to find out why. In this two-day course, Ted will introduce you to the basic ecological problems surrounding these aggressive and tenacious plants. He’ll delve into the complicated (and sometimes political) issues surrounding invasive plant species, including the process by which a plant becomes labeled “invasive.” Finally, Ted will introduce you to some of New England’s most common invasive species through images, specimens and short local field visits. Please bring lunch, a hand lens, water, and warm, sturdy clothes to go afield for short forays.
This class is co-sponsored with the New England Wild Flower Society.

While this is a core course in the Certificate program, it is open to everyone, subject to availability.


Plants and Flowers of Maine: Kate Furbish’s Watercolors

With Richard Lindemann and Melissa Cullina
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.
Education Center
Co-sponsored with Bowdoin College

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens invites you to celebrate the publication of a two-volume set featuring the stunning artwork of Maine’s own pioneering botanical explorer, Kate Furbish. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Brunswick native Kate Furbish travelled the length and breadth of Maine, devoting herself to the collection, study, and illustration of the wild flora of the state. She gave her extensive collection of meticulously-rendered botanical illustrations to Bowdoin College near the end of her life. Now, through a collaboration of Rowman and Littlefield and Bowdoin College Library, and with support from Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, this rare, limited run edition makes Furbish’s artwork available for collection and study. Join us to learn more about the life and works of the remarkable Kate Furbish, the collaborative effort to publish her work, and how to acquire a copy for your own collection. A reception with cider and treats will follow the lecture.


Pastel Practice: Developing your Field Studies

with Vanessa Nesvig
Thursday and Friday, October 6 and October 7, 2016
3 - 6 p.m.

Learn new skills to make pastel painting outdoors enjoyable and part of a routine. By paying attention to your supplies and keeping them simple, you can make pastel painting part of a regular practice. Emphasis will be not on the finished product, but on the process itself. All abilities welcome. This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Selecting Native Woody Plants for the Maine Garden

with Justin Nichols
Thursday and Friday, October 13 and 14, 2016
10 a.m. - 4 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.


Field Trip to the "Botanizing America" Exhibit

with Kat Stefko
Thursday, October 20, 2016
10 am – 12:30 p.m.
at Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick

Join Kat Stefko, Director of Director of George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, to explore the new “Botanizing America” exhibit at the Bowdoin College Library. The exhibit, curated by Stefko, examines the rich history of botany in the United States through a selection of breathtakingly beautiful early botanical imprints, U.S. field reports, and personal sketchbooks, including the work of Kate Furbish, who documented the wildflowers of Maine. After viewing the exhibit, Kat will provide our group the very special opportunity to browse through some of Furbish’s original watercolor folios. Directions and meeting location will be sent to participants in advance of the trip.


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 8, 2016

All the Presidents’ Gardens by Marta McDowell
This book tells the untold history of the White House Grounds, starting with the plant-obsessed George Washington and ending with Michelle Obama's kitchen garden. Filled with fascinating details about Lincoln's goats, Ike's putting green, Jackie's iconic roses, Amy Carter's tree house, and information on the plants whose favor has come and gone over the years, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the red, white, and green.

December 13, 2016
Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren
Lab Girl
is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through acclaimed scientist Hope Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.

January 10, 2017

The Invention of Nature
by Andrea Wulf
Andrea Wulf reveals the forgotten life of the visionary German naturalist whose ideas continue to influence how we view ourselves and our relationship with the natural world today. Alexander von Humboldt (1769 - 1859) was an intrepid explorer, the most famous scientist of his age, and the forgotten father of environmentalism.  Wulf brings the man and his achievements back into focus; with this brilliantly researched and compellingly written book, she makes clear the fundamental ways that Humboldt created our understanding of the natural world.

February 14, 2017

The Writer's Garden: How Gardens Inspired our Best-loved Authors by Jackie Bennett
Great things happen in gardens. No one can doubt the importance of the garden in Roald Dahl's life, as it was there that he created James and the Giant Peach. And where would Jane Austen have been if she had never seen a 'walk', an ornamental lake, or a wilderness?  Gardens hold a special place in many author's lives. In this book of 18 gardens and 20 writers, the author examines how the poet, writer, novelist derived a creative spirit from their private garden, how they tended and enjoyed their gardens, and how they managed their outdoor space.