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.


Photography Club

Every other Thursday
May 17-September 20
7 – 9 a.m.
Resource Room and Gardens

If you love photography and enjoy talking with other enthusiasts, this club is for you! This year, photo club will include mentoring sessions, discussion groups and critiques as well as the peace of having the Gardens to yourself for two hours each morning while the eastern light rises over the Great Lawn. On ten scheduled Thursday mornings throughout the season, gates will open at 7 a.m. for members. Benefits include early-bird class registration for photography classes and eligibility to enter the annual juried exhibition.


Nurturing Connections Horticultural Therapy

Sessions run June 11 – September 13, Monday through Thursday
10 – 11:30 a.m., 12:30 – 2 p.m., 2:30 – 4 p.m.

In these reserved sessions, participants nurture their connections with one another while they collaborate during a stimulating garden activity under the guidance of the trained Horticultural Therapist. These wellbeing sessions are designed for pairs—a loved-one and his or her parent, child, caregiver, friend or guardian—or for organized groups.

Nurturing Connections welcomes people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, and is particularly beneficial for people living with dementia, visual impairments, physical, developmental, emotional or social challenges. These 90-minute sessions will be modified to suit the participant’s needs, and are offered as either a one-time visit or, for groups, as part of a recurring series. Our Horticultural Therapist will contact the reserving party to discuss the appropriate accommodations and schedule any recurring sessions. Admission to the Gardens is included in all fees.


14th Annual Garden Symposium - Transformation: Landscapes Redefined

with Sir Tim Smit, Marta McDowell, and Denise and Rick Sawyer
Thursday, June 21
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

In this year of transformation at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, our 14th Annual Garden Symposium explores the concept of transformation in the landscape. This year, we feature a world-class lineup of speakers celebrating the transformative power of gardens. Our exploration spans the international to the local, including an inspiring story of a homestead and nursery right here in MidCoast Maine. Join us for an unforgettable around-the-world tour, from Maine’s Fernwood Nursery to Marta McDowell’s hunt for lost gardens in New Jersey, then landing at the world-renowned Eden Project and Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall, England. Along the way, explore how the simple act of transforming a landscape has the power to inspire our community and daily life—a perfect mirror to the transformation of our own Gardens.


Gardens for the Senses: An Intimate Garden Conversation with Tim Smit

with Tim Smit
Friday, June 22
noon – 3 p.m.

Join us the day after our Annual Garden Symposium for an exclusive and unforgettable lunch with Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the multi-award winning Eden Project in Cornwall and ‘discoverer’ and restorer—along with John Nelson—of The Lost Gardens of Heligan, now one of the UK’s best-loved gardens. Enjoy an intimate group setting as Tim elaborates on themes covered in his Symposium lecture, including his vision for regenerating landscapes, human well-being, and the deeper meaning and purpose of placemaking. Following lunch, the group will tour the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, then reconvene for tea and a final discussion. Register soon! Limited to 12 participants.


Drawing and Painting: The Story of Transformation

with Katie Lee
Monday-Friday, June 25-29
10 a.m. — 4 p.m.

Animals and insects—from butterflies to dragonflies to frogs—go through amazing stages during their transformation from egg to adult. Learn to capture these unique stages using a variety of media such as pencil, pen, ink and watercolor, resulting in a folded accordion-style book. Emphasis will be on reproducing these images in accurate detail. While this class is open to all, it also satisfies a core requirement for the Certificate in Botanical Arts. Lunch is included.

This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Gardening with Ease

with Irene Brady Barber
Saturday, June 30
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Landscape Designer and Horticultural Therapist Irene Brady Barber will unveil opportunities and strategies designed to help you get the most out of gardening without hurting your body. She’ll cover many of the tricks, materials, equipment and design strategies that can extend everyone’s enjoyment and ability to garden through physical challenges, long into the years ahead. A large portion of class instruction will occur in the outdoor Therapeutic Horticulture learning classroom within the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, where Irene will identify and demonstrate ergonomic tools and features that enable gardening with ease.


Gardening for Wildlife

with Doug Tallamy
Friday, July 6
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Habitat loss is the number one cause of declining wildlife populations. In this class, learn why gardening for wildlife is as important as it is rewarding. Join biologist Doug Tallamy as he explains how, by incorporating certain native plants and gardening practices into your own landscape, you can create a welcoming habitat that attracts wildlife, conserves natural resources and encourages biodiversity. Both in-classroom instruction and forays into the Gardens will provide numerous examples for creating a lively (and lived-in) garden habitat.


Slow Flowers

with Diane Walden
Thursday, July 12
1 – 5 p.m.

Thanks to the extraordinary strides made in the national food and culinary scene in placing emphasis on local sourcing and organic choices, there has been a sea change in the way we eat—this is the “Slow Food” movement. Apply that same thinking to sourcing your flowers, and you arrive at the “Slow Flowers” movement: Where do our flowers come from? How are they grown?

Any gardener has an up-close-and-personal relationship with flowers. They are a source of wonder and constant change as bud turns to bloom turns to fruit or seed or drupe. This diverse class—part-lecture, part demonstration, and part hands-on work—will provide you with an opportunity to share some of Diane Walden’s floral harvest from the Gardens, to learn about the evolving “Slow Flower” movement, the state of the global flower market, our own Maine-grown local markets, and to create your own arrangement. Foraging, conditioning and design tips aplenty provided.


Beyond the Traditional Butterfly Garden: Maine Butterflies and their Host Plants

with Andy Brand
Friday, July 13
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Among the species of butterflies that call Maine home, there is tremendous diversity in habitat needs and plants relied upon to live. Did you know that it’s not only monarch caterpillars that are such picky eaters? Many species specialize in the host plants on which their eggs are laid and on which caterpillars eat. Meanwhile, the nectar plants of adult butterflies often bear no connection to these hosts. In this class, learn about which plants will attract butterflies to your yard and what host plants will boost populations. Also included will be a quick overview of butterfly identification and commonly-seen species. The course will include a visit to the Butterfly House, highlighting the host plants growing here at the Gardens.

This class is an elective for the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture.


Living Wreaths

with Irene Brady Barber and Sarah Smith
Friday, July 13
1 – 4 p.m.

Lush textures from hardy plants abound on these ring formations called living wreaths. Together, we will create these vertical garden features that can hang anywhere with ease—whether a bathroom, kitchen, porch, front entrance or arbor post. Plant options for these wreaths are diverse and include ferns, succulents, ground covers, trailing perennials, or annuals grown in a dense ring of sphagnum moss. Join us for this fun-filled, lively and imaginative class!


Watercolor Batik

with Erica Qualey
Saturday, July 14
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Watercolor batik is an alternative method of painting using the traditional techniques of batik, a technique dating back hundreds of years. Students will create beautiful paintings by layering color and wax on a special type of rice paper called Ginwashi. When finished, the wax is removed, leaving only beautiful, brilliant color behind. This method is lots of fun and filled with surprises.

This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Capturing Butterflies in Watercolor

with Hillary Parker
Monday-Wednesday, July 16-18
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Join Hillary Parker for a fabulous three-day watercolor workshop offering a unique opportunity to observe, draw, and paint those winged beauties living and thriving in CMBG’s new butterfly house. This class is open to all artists with basic drawing and watercolor experience. Students will develop, build upon and master effective graphite and watercolor skills, including washes and dry brush detail techniques. Participants will create and compose delicate, informative studies that include stages of transformation, host and feeder plants, and the accurate anatomy of a butterfly.

*As Hillary prefers to provide all of her students with the specific and necessary supplies for use during this workshop, there will be a $20 materials fee for each student.

This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Day Trip to the Kennebunks: Snug Harbor Farm and Blackrock Farm

Thursday, July 19
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Join us for an experiential learning trip to visit two gems of Southern Maine: Snug Harbor Farm and Blackrock Farm. This pair of nurseries located in the Kennebunks are each unique, inspired by their owner’s visions and singular talents, and home to a loyal and dedicated following that stretches well beyond their region. At both locations, we’ll be treated to behind-the-scenes tours of the operations and have a chance to hear the story behind each business. At Snug Harbor Farm, we’ll also take part in a brief succulent-planting workshop, and each participant will be able to bring a small planting home with them. To top it all off, between visits we’ll dine for lunch at The Colony Hotel, a 1914 Kennebunkport landmark, well-recognized from both land and sea. Come join us for an unforgettable tour of some of Maine’s best-loved nurseries!


Mapping Maine’s Jewels: Results of the Maine Butterfly Survey

with Herb Wilson
Friday, July 20
5 – 6 p.m.
Education Center

Between 2003 and 2017, over 400 citizen-scientists submitted over 30,000 records of butterfly sightings at the township level to produce the first atlas of Maine butterflies. Herb will discuss general patterns and some surprising discoveries of this volunteer-based effort as well as the basic biology of butterflies, their importance in Maine communities and changes seen in relation to climate change.


Perennials for Four Seasons: Summer Showstoppers

with Irene Brady Barber
Saturday, July 21
1 – 4 p.m.

In our summer class, Irene Brady Barber will lead you through the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses and the Arbor Garden to identify some of midsummer’s perennial beauties. It’s not just the flower power, but the plants’ forms and foliage that make them effective garden performers.
A common sentiment among many gardeners is that it is hard to achieve year-round color or focal interest in the garden. This class series will inspire you with our own staff’s selection of favorite perennial plants perfect for showing off each period of the year. Seasonal flower shapes, colors, textures and plant forms are all key features that lead to strong and beautiful performance in the four-season landscape. During this four-part series, come learn from our horticulture staff how to overcome the challenge every gardener faces.


Pruning through the Seasons - Summer

with Syretha Brooks and Will Bridges
Saturday, July 21
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This summer class will identify pruning, trimming, pinching and deadheading techniques for specific woody and herbaceous plants, helping to extend their vigor and bloom performance. Gardeners often omit midseason pruning or trimming to extend plant performance, which we’ll highlight in this class.
In this three-part series, learn straight from two of our own pros as they demonstrate and guide students in the best pruning practices suited to home gardeners, no matter the season. In each class, learn considerations behind pruning decisions, get the lowdown on the best tools for the job, and have a chance to head out into the Gardens to see firsthand our staff’s pruning practices. The class will also highlight seasonal cut-back and trimming of your herbaceous garden plants. With a few rules of thumb and a little assisted practice, this series will help you overcome any pruning apprehensions you may have, resulting in the confidence of knowing what, how, why and when to prune certain plants.


Introduction to Writing Nature Poetry: The Haiku

with Kristen Lindquist
Wednesday, July 25
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The centuries-old Japanese haiku has become one of the most universally popular poetic forms, in part because of its simplicity of form—three, unrhymed lines totaling 17 syllables. In this introductory workshop we will look at the long tradition of haiku as nature poem and spend time in the Gardens reading classic haiku and writing our own short poems. Enjoy a supportive class atmosphere focused on encouraging your own writing using the natural surroundings as inspiration.


Natural Communities of Maine

with Ted Elliman
Thursday and Friday, July 26 and 27
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

A truly comprehensive understanding of Maine’s native plants necessitates an understanding of how native plants behave in their natural habitats. In this two-day introduction to the natural communities of Maine, ecologist Ted Elliman will acquaint students with several of Maine’s characteristic plant communities, their defining physical environments and the natural processes affecting them. Both in the classroom and in the field, students will learn the differences between community types such as salt marshes, red maple swamps, northern hardwood forests, bogs and floodplain forests. Discover some of the common plants occurring in these communities as well as what plant adaptations are key to competing successfully in each.

The primary reference for this course is Natural Landscapes of Maine: a Guide to Natural Communities and Ecosystems by Susan Gawler and Andrew Cutko. Bring a lunch, sturdy waterproof shoes and your sense of adventure.

While this is a core course in the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program, it is open to everyone, subject to availability.


What's Eating the Bees?

with Sammy Ramsey
Friday, July 27
4:30 – 6 p.m.

Come get an inside look at the exciting work entomologists are doing to try to protect our declining bee populations. Join Sammy Ramsey for an unexpectedly riveting talk on Varroa destructor, the microscopic parasitic mite long believed to affect bees by feeding on their hemolymph (aka insect blood). Sammy will walk you through an adventure tale of science in action, from how he began to question this explanation to discovering new facts about this dangerous mite. Finally, he’ll share how the findings will likely lead to new methods to remediate health issues common to infected bee colonies. This talk will be of special interest to beekeepers but is designed to be fun and accessible to all.


Sumi-e Landscape Painting

with Frederica Marshall
Monday and Tuesday, July 30 and 31
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Learn how the beauty of brushstrokes can create amazing landscapes using ancient techniques. By using handmade brushes to apply ink, students will learn to create textural effects in many values. On day two of this workshop, students will turn the paper over and apply watercolors to create translucent glowing landscapes. Frederica Marshall is a Master Sumi-e artist, and winner of national and international awards for her work. Participants will learn composition, brush handling and the Zen of Sumi-e.

This class counts toward the Certificate in the Botanical Arts.


Meadows and Grasslands for Butterflies and Other Winged Companions

with Heather McCargo
Wednesday, August 1
1 – 4:30 p.m.

Meadows are complex landscape forms that provide a plethora of ecological functions, such as habitat for butterflies, pollinators and fauna. In addition, in our New England landscape, a meadow almost always brings with it a history of cultivation and human use, which adds another layer to the meadow’s ecology. This class will explore how to start, sustain and manage existing or derelict New England meadows, based on their different conditions and dominant communities. Class will begin indoors at the Gardens before traveling to an old farmstead meadow owned by Boothbay Regional Land Trust. Here, we will take stock of the landscape and evaluate the unique details on-site, treating the meadow as a case study for putting principles into action.
Offered in partnership with Boothbay Regional Land Trust.


The Lives of Maine Butterflies

with Andy Brand
Thursday, August 9
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Everyone is familiar with butterflies and enjoys seeing them visit our flower gardens. But did you know that there are over 115 species of butterflies in Maine? Join Andy Brand as he looks deeper into this diverse world, taking participants on a tour of butterfly families and pointing out how to tell them apart. Butterfly metamorphosis will also be discussed in depth, revealing that butterfly life isn’t easy at any stage. How do these delicate creatures survive the winter? How do they protect themselves from predators? While answering these questions, Andy will also share his experiences rearing butterflies and moths as well as recommend some of his favorite field guides. After the indoor lecture, participants will head into the Gardens in search of butterflies and their favorite plants, then head home better prepared to identify backyard butterflies and, perhaps, even rear them at home.


Drawing from the Herbarium

with Bobbi Angell
Friday, August 10
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Botanical illustrations can be created and enhanced by using herbarium specimens, a resource that stays consistent—perfect for detailed observation. Learn about the herbarium at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens and use a sample pressed specimen to create a detailed pencil sketch. Techniques for reconstructing, measuring and transferring information onto paper will be discussed and demonstrated. Bring your favorite pencils; all other materials will be provided.
This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


What is Horticultural Therapy?

with Irene Brady Barber and Members of Northeast Horticultural Therapy Network
Saturday, August 11
12:30 - 3:30 p.m.

A special program within the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses engages people of all abilities, giving them a chance to nurture plants and, in turn, to nurture their own wellbeing. Horticultural Therapy is a holistic practice that employs and stimulates all five senses while motivating intellectual and physical activity and supporting emotional stability. Officially, Horticultural Therapy is administered by a trained therapist who works with other clinical therapists to identify areas for improvement and develop a treatment plan geared toward accomplishing patients’ personal goals. In this luncheon, panel discussion and tour, you will hear from a regional assortment of trained Horticultural Therapists and learn how, where, when, why and for whom they apply Horticultural Therapy (HT). While this introductory session is perfect for those who work as healthcare and wellness practitioners, in special education or vocational rehabilitation, anyone interested in learning how HT can be integrated into their current practice is welcome.


Introduction to the Native Flora of Maine

with Melissa Cullina
Tuesday-Thursday, August 14-16
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Interested in gardening with Maine’s native plants? First, come meet them in their wild habitats. During this intensive, three-day course with CMBG Research Botanist, Melissa Cullina, students will learn how to recognize at least 50 frequent coastal Maine plant species. Beginning with an introduction to basic plant identification skills, terminology, and botanical names, you’ll then experience guided forays both through the Gardens’ grounds and around the region. Bring a bag lunch, water, and a hand lens if you have one. Be prepared to walk on trails

While this is a core class for the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program, it is open to everyone, subject to availability.


Creating Pressed Flowers

with Lynette Breton
Friday, August 17 and Friday, September 7
1– 4 p.m.

In this creative and hands-on, two-part class, students will learn about the diverse applications of floral press creations and make their own floral and leaf pressed cards. In the first class, students will explore the Gardens to acquire the leaves and flowers to set into the presses. Then, reconvening in the second class, they’ll apply the dried/pressed flowers onto cards to take home at the end of the class. These personal creations will offer inspiration for countless artful cards for years to come!


Yoga En Plein Air

with Amy Holt
Saturday, August 18
9 – 11 a.m.

Immerse yourself in this restorative, informative yoga class set in an accessible and quiet corner nook of the Woodland Garden. In this holistic, open-air and gently active class, licensed yoga instructor Amy Holt will guide you through yoga’s key principles and techniques. Please join her to greet the day with breath and movement, followed by a cup of tea accompanied by further discussion, questions, and answers.


Ina and Lewis Endowed Heafitz Lecture: The Beauty Within Biodiversity

with Thomas Rainer
Wednesday, August 22
2 – 4 p.m.

In an era of climate change and mass species extinction, biodiversity matters more than ever. But designing and managing biodiverse plantings can be challenging in small gardens. Join landscape architect Thomas Rainer, a leading voice in ecological landscape design, to learn how plants fit together in nature and how to use this knowledge to create landscapes that are resilient, beautiful and diverse. Both practical and inspiring, this talk explores a synthesis of ecology and horticulture, resulting in an intentionally designed and managed plant community where population dynamics are encouraged within an aesthetic framework. Learn real-world strategies for crafting diverse communities of compatible species that cover the ground in interlocking layers.


Pests, Diseases and Deficiency in Your Gardens

with Sarah Scally, Carole Neil and Irene Brady Barber
Friday, August 24
1 – 4 p.m.

Gardeners can always benefit from learning more about pests, diseases and any curious issues that commonly occur in ornamental or edible gardens. This class will help you gain more confidence in properly identifying and diagnosing plant issues and understanding how to properly manage a response. Nutrient deficiencies can often be mistaken for diseases, and we’ll cover some common pitfalls. This class will include a lecture and question-answering indoor session as well as an investigative tour through the Gardens, where we’ll stop to look at some of the issues our staff are managing and monitoring this year.


Places for Pollinators: How to Create Habitat for Butterflies, Bees, and Hummingbirds

with Deb Perkins
Saturday, August 25
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Come learn how to create a habitat for butterflies, native bees and hummingbirds in your yard, garden, field or farm. This workshop will cover the basics of pollinator observation, identification, and ecology; pollinator habitat needs and environmental stressors; and how to create a high-value habitat in your own dooryard, farm, field or forestland. This workshop will place a special emphasis on fostering habitats for our native bee populations, and we’ll spend time in the outdoor classroom of the Gardens to see butterflies and bees in the landscape.

This class is an elective for the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture.


Seabird Restoration in Coastal Maine

with Steve Kress
Monday, August 27
5 – 6 p.m.
Education Center

Join Dr. Steve Kress, Executive Director of the Seabird Restoration Program and Vice President for Bird Conservation for the National Audubon Society, for a lecture on seabird restoration on the coast of Maine. In particular, Steve will share the successes, challenges and findings of Project Puffin, the work he initiated in 1973 to reestablish Puffin populations on Maine islands.


DIY Organic Body Care

with Sara Tryzelaar
Friday, August 31
1 – 4 p.m.

Plants that grow in your garden or out in the wild can be effectively used to create homemade body care products—salves, oils, tinctures, cleansers, balms, lotions, shampoos and more can all be made by you. St. John’s wort, sweetfern, witch hazel, hazelnut, juniper, yellow birch, lavender, calendula, basil, rosemary, roses and chamomile are just a few of the plants that you can grow and harvest for use in your body care projects. In this workshop, Sarah Tryzelaar, farmer and herbal body care creator, will introduce you to some of the botanical properties that make certain plants perfect for body care. All participants will leave with products of their own creation.


Horticultural Ecology

with Bill Cullina
Tuesday and Wednesday, September 4 and 5
10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Explore the ways in which plants interact with their garden environment. Join instructor Bill Cullina as he covers such topics as specific adaptations to environmental conditions; interrelationships between garden plants and their surrounding biotic and abiotic influences; and concepts such as competition, symbiosis, parasitism, pollination and dispersal.

While this is a core course in the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program, it is open to everyone, subject to availability.


Field Trip to Damariscove Island

with Boothbay Region Land Trust and Melissa Cullina
Saturday, September 8
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Hop on board a boat to Damariscove Island for a day of exploration. Currently a Boothbay Region Land Trust Preserve, Damariscove Island is one of Maine’s earliest settlement sites, dating back four centuries to the arrival of the first European fishermen. On the boat ride out to the island, a BRLT representative will share information about the island's history and natural features. Once ashore, five miles of hiking trails, great tide-pooling, picnicking and a small rustic museum make for a fun day trip. While on the island, participants can join the Gardens’ Research Botanist Melissa Cullina for a closer look at the plants that call the island home. Melissa specializes in aquatic and coastal botany, field identification and rare species conservation.
Offered in partnership with Boothbay Region Land Trust. Please contact Boothbay Region Land Trust at 207-633-4818 or brlt@bbrlt.org for more information or to purchase tickets.
$40 member, $40 nonmember


Asters of Coastal Maine

with Melissa Cullina
Tuesday, September 11th
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Education Center

Coastal Maine’s diverse array of asters is in its full glory during the beautiful late summer days of September. Join Research Botanist Melissa Cullina to learn all about Maine’s different kinds of asters, including how to distinguish them and where they grow. Students will observe plants in CMBG’s wild habitats, as well as in the classroom, using dissecting microscopes and herbarium specimens. Please bring trail-walking shoes, lunch and a hand lens if you have one (extras will be provided).


Designing the Entry Garden

with Jen Dunlap and Irene Brady Barber
Friday September 14
1 – 4 p.m.

How better to celebrate the Gardens’ new Visitor Center and Entry Garden than by holding a class featuring its design? Join CMBG horticulturalist and Entry Garden designer Jen Dunlap for an insider’s tour of the new garden. Jen will provide insight on the site’s variables, plant selection and her design process. In addition, co-instructor and landscape designer Irene Brady Barber will discuss the significance of an entry garden, including a slideshow highlighting the details essential to ensure a dynamic and inviting design. No matter the scale, quaint or large, every home, building or public main entrance could greet visitors with a warm, safe and attractive entry garden. Participants will come away with practical ideas for their own entryways. Class will meet at the new Visitor Center in our Aerie Conference Room.


Perennials for Four Seasons: Plants for Autumn Color

with Anna Leavitt and Irene Brady Barber
Saturday, September 15
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

In the autumn section, Anna Leavitt and Irene Brady Barber will present a substantial list of late-summer and autumn performers in our Cleaver Event Lawn Garden. The tour will highlight some of the Gardens’ favorite plant varieties during what is one of the most beautiful times of year.
A common sentiment among many gardeners is that it is hard to achieve year-round color or focal interest in the garden. This class series will inspire you with our own staff’s selection of favorite perennial plants perfect for showing off each period of the year. Seasonal flower shapes, colors, textures and plant forms are all key features that lead to strong and beautiful performance in the four-season landscape. During this four-part series, come learn from our horticulture staff how to overcome the challenge every gardener faces.


Capturing Iridescence in Watercolor

with Marjorie Glick
Monday and Tuesday, September 17 and 18
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

In this two-day studio workshop, learn to use the flow and spontaneity of watercolor along with the color theory needed to capture the iridescence of nature. Working with tight cropping of a photo (or specimen) of a butterfly, bird, fish, flower or shell, students will explore how composition, scale and placement can be used to express an iridescent subject. Demonstrations, a photo session in the Gardens, and additional instruction on transparent layering will also be included.

This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts.


Sustainable Horticultural Practices

with Irene Brady Barber and Gary Fish
Thursday and Friday, September 20 and 21
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Our landscape practices affect the balance of our ecosystem both above and below the soil surface and in the quality of our waters. In this intensive two-day course, learn how to apply ecologically safe gardening practices to existing landscapes and garden beds. Topics covered will include different methods of composting and other eco-friendly soil amendment techniques, alternatives to pesticides and herbicides, responsible acquisition of native plant materials and other low-impact sustainable horticultural practices.

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


Invasive Plants: Issues, Identification, and Ecology

with Ted Elliman
Thursday and Friday, October 4 and 5
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Wondering what all the fuss is about? Join ecologist Ted Elliman to find out why invasive plant species have been getting such bad lip service from botany, ecology, horticulture and conservation professionals alike. In this two-day course, students will be introduced to the basic ecological problems surrounding these aggressive and tenacious plants, the complicated (and sometimes political) issues surrounding invasive plant species and the process by which a plant becomes labeled “invasive” in the first place. Finally, through images, specimens and short local field visits, students will familiarize themselves with some of New England’s most common invasive species. Please bring water, a lunch, hand lens, and warm, sturdy clothing in which to go afield for short forays.


Watercolor Journaling in the Fall Garden

with Hannah Ineson
Saturday, October 6
10a.m. – 4p.m.

This class will focus on fall’s colorful foliage, butterflies and the plants they enjoy as well as many other highlights from our autumn gardens. Simple drawing, watercolor techniques, and decorative lettering will be taught. A drawing pen and pencil, small watercolor kit and journal are the only tools needed. Take home a journal overflowing with inspiration from the Gardens, packed with ideas for many projects to come.
This class counts toward the Certificate in Botanical Arts


Selecting Native Woody Plants for the Maine Garden

with Justin Nichols
Thursday and Friday, October 11 and 12
9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

The aim of this class is to increase participants’ knowledge and appreciation of North American woody plants useful in northeastern landscapes. We’ll cover the motivations and philosophy behind using these plants in the garden as well as recommended species, cultivars and sources for materials. Horticulturist Justin Nicholas will introduce students to native trees and shrubs to use in different horticultural settings, based on their habitat preferences in nature. During forays into the field, students will encounter and discuss caring for native plants, soil considerations, invasive plants and more.


In the Shadow of Edwin Hale Lincoln

with Mike Kolster
Saturday, October 13
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Using Edwin Hale Lincoln’s photographs as primary inspiration, this photography class will explore the value of close observation of botanical specimens. In addition to questioning the relevance of Lincoln’s work to our current moment in time, we will include careful consideration of the roles framing, focus and lighting play in our own photography. We will generate images and view results as a group.


Field Trip to the New England Botanical Studies Exhibit

with Frank Goodyear, Kat Stefko, and Melissa Cullina
Friday, October 19
2 – 3:30 p.m.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick
Join Frank Goodyear, Co-Director of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Kat Stefko, Director of Bowdoin’s George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives, and the Gardens’ own Research Botanist Melissa Cullina to explore the New England Botanical Studies exhibit. The exhibit examines the rich body of work by two exceptional New England botanists and artists, Kate Furbish and Edwin Hale Lincoln. Desiring to record their discoveries, each created a vast pictorial archive of their work. Furbish’s chosen medium was pencil and watercolor, while Lincoln’s was photography. Though they did not intersect during their lifetimes, they pictured many of the same species, and their projects were motivated by similar ambitions. Directions and meeting location will be sent to participants in advance of the trip.


Perennials for Four Seasons: Winners for Winter

with Andy Brand
Friday, October 26
1 – 4 p.m.

To conclude our series, Andy Brand, the Gardens’ Plant Curator, will highlight the forgotten beauty—the skeletal forms of deciduous trees, the berries on shrubs, and more—exhibited by certain perennials during the late fall and winter months. Come and explore the vast possibilities available for you to plant for a stunning winter landscape.
A common sentiment among many gardeners is that it is hard to achieve year-round color or focal interest in the garden. This class series will inspire you with our own staff’s selection of favorite perennial plants perfect for showing off each period of the year. Seasonal flower shapes, colors, textures and plant forms are all key features that lead to strong and beautiful performance in the four-season landscape. During this four-part series, come learn from our horticulture staff how to overcome the challenge every gardener faces.


Pruning through the Seasons - Autumn

with Syretha Brooks and Will Bridges
Saturday, October 27
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

This final class in the series will cover putting the garden to bed for the season. We’ll review a large group of plants that can be pruned or cut back through the fall, accompanied by a discussion of plants you might want to leave intact for winter interest or bird habitat.
In this three-part series, learn straight from two of our own pros as they demonstrate and guide students in the best pruning practices suited to home gardeners, no matter the season. In each class, learn considerations behind pruning decisions, get the lowdown on the best tools for the job, and have a chance to head out into the Gardens to see firsthand our staff’s pruning practices. The class will also highlight seasonal cut-back and trimming of your herbaceous garden plants. With a few rules of thumb and a little assisted practice, this series will help you overcome any pruning apprehensions you may have, resulting in the confidence of knowing what, how, why and when to prune certain plants.


Botanical Subjects of Kate Furbish and Edwin Hale Lincoln

with Melissa Cullina
Wednesday, November 7
Noon – 1 p.m.

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick
Join Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Research Botanist Melissa Cullina for a special tour of Kate Furbish and Edwin Hale Lincoln: New England Botanical Studies at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. The exhibit was developed in celebration of the opening of the Roux Center for the Environment, a new building on Bowdoin’s campus supporting interdisciplinary environmental scholarship. During the tour, Cullina will speak about the plants so carefully depicted by Lincoln and Furbish, noting natural history features and habitat preferences of each. She’ll also shed light on the artistic and botanical pursuits of the artists themselves. This tour is free and open to the public.