Learning for Adults
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens offers opportunities for inspiration, discovery and the study of a broad range of botanical, ecological, horticultural and gardening topics. Whether it’s an introductory class designed to motivate a beginning gardener or botanist, or an in-depth, multi-day course diving deeply into advanced topics, we pride ourselves on the depth and breadth of every offering for every interest.
Our courses are taught by our own staff or by regionally or nationally renowned experts in the field. Thanks to an average class size of 12-15 participants, students learn in an intimate environment where quality time with the instructor is the norm in the outdoor, living classroom of the Gardens.
All of our classes span a wide array of topics and interests. Generally, our gardening and horticulture courses are grounded in principles of sustainable design and management, helping us to become better environmental stewards of our cultivated spaces. Other courses cover wellness topics such as meditation and mindful breathing, or artistic pursuits such as garden crafts, art and design.
Two certificate programs, the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture and the Certificate in Botanical Arts, anchor our annual course offerings. Each certificate program is comprised of a suite of required courses and a number of electives, allowing students to design a program fitting their interests and needs. Each certificate class is open to the general public, so anyone is welcome to participate without enrolling in the program(s) itself.
Two major events serve as the highlight of our annual course calendar: our annual Garden Symposium and our Ina and Lewis Heafitz Endowed Lecture. Both events offer fresh new perspectives on garden design, plant selection and living responsibly through our garden work.
We believe in gardening and plant care for many reasons – to create beauty, yes, but also to maintain healthy ecosystems and to participate in a practice that is key to a healthy life. To that end, our Therapeutic Horticulture program provides opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to engage in specific programs creating gardening opportunities for therapeutic purposes.
Finally, every year we host a separate series of courses designed for professionals working in the field of horticulture and landscape design. These courses are typically offered in the early spring and focus deeply and in detail, designed to keep active practitioners at the top of their game, advancing sustainability in their work.
Wherever you are in your botanical journey, there’s something to discover in our educational programming. If you don’t see something you’re looking for – let us know. We always look forward to the next discovery.
Here’s what some of our students have said about our classes:
“I have so enjoyed all the classes in the certificate program… these classes have been not only enjoyable but life-changing for me. CMBG is truly a botanical gem!… Observation, research and action have never been more important.”
“I loved being able to walk outside and identify plants. This was a very hands-on class, which is how I learn best.”
“Ted [the instructor] has a wealth of knowledge and is very approachable.”
“The practical aspects of this course will be hugely valuable for me.”
“Excellent, excellent course! The instructor’s knowledge and passion made the course a wonderful experience.”