Gardening and Horticulture
Gardening and Horticulture

Gardening and Horticulture

Our current selection of Gardening and Horticulture classes and workshops for adults for this season at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.


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.


Winter Gardens Book Club

With Vanessa Nesvig
2-3:30 p.m.
Education Center

Now that the garden is put to bed, it’s a great time to get to those books you’ve been wanting to read. Join the conversation as we discuss four acclaimed books with plants at their core. Please sign up and read the selection, then come on the specified date to discuss the book while enjoying coffee and treats. This year, we will meet in the Education Center.

December 11:
American Eden: David Hosack, Botany, and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic by Victoria Johnson
Lauded in the early 1800’s, Dr. David Hosack has been largely forgotten until now. Physician to Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton, Hosack was driven by the idea of creating America’s first botanical garden in order to grow and test all the new botanical specimens found in the New World. Living in New York City, his proposed garden would have been right beneath where Rockefeller Center resides today. An irrepressible spirit, Hosack’s passion about plants, medicine and America’s botanical legacy make for entertaining and inspiring reading.

January 8:
The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel and How They Communicate by Peter Wohlleben

In this international bestseller, forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: living together, caring for children, communicating and warning others of danger. Wohlleben shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining all the wonders he has observed in his woodland.

February 12:

The Overstory by Richard Powers

This book, short-listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2018, features separate characters whose lives, connected and entangled by trees, are brought together in the end to save the last of a virgin forest in the Northwest. This monumental book, showcasing Powers’ comprehensive research and creativity, combines the most current science and a spirit of innovation that gives hope for our future. Critics are saying that The Overstory “remake[s] the landscape of environmental fiction” and is “a kind of breakthrough in the ways we think about and understand the world around us, at a moment when that is desperately needed.”

March 12:
The Plant Messiah: Adventures in Search of the World’s Rarest Species by Carlos Magdalena
Carlos Magdalena talks passionately and humorously about his obsession with plants and how that obsession led him to work with exotic species at Kew Gardens, London. This native of Spain is not your average horticulturist, though, and is on a mission to save the world's most endangered plants. He has travelled to the remotest parts of the globe in search of exotic species to see where and how they grow in the wild. Renowned for his pioneering work, he has committed his life to protecting these plants from manmade ecological destruction and thieves hunting specimens for wealthy collectors.