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.


The Secret Lives of Beekeepers

with Erin MacGregor-Forbes
Wednesday, October 18
4 – 5:30 p.m.

Come to the Gardens for a jam-packed session that’s all about bees and the secret lives of beekeepers. You’ll learn the history of why the Botanical Gardens started an apiary and how we manage nine hives and over 400,000 volunteer pollinators who make our gardens their home. This fun and engaging workshop will include a basic overview of honey bee biology & behavior, including the basic concepts of organism vs. superorganism and some of the amazing behaviors of a honeybee hive, including swarming and their life-sustaining roles as pollinators. Plus, we’ll cover how beekeepers interact with honeybee colonies, the long history of human-honeybee interactions, and a snapshot of the regional differences behind sustainable beekeeping in Maine. You’ll also get a sense of the differences between commercial beekeeping vs "backyard" hobby beekeeping and suggestions for how to go further if you’d like to have your own hives at home. We’ll wrap up with a taste testing of CMBG’s exclusive honey from our own hives. This introductory workshop is accessible for anyone who wants to learn a little more about bees, their fascinating behavior, and the beekeepers who love them.


Winter Gardens Book Club

with Vanessa Nesvig
2 – 3:30 p.m.
Education Center
Members only

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 Interpretation and Exhibits Coordinator, Vanessa Nesvig, as we discuss four acclaimed books, both literary and botanical. Please sign up, then simply read and come on the specified date to discuss the book while enjoying coffee and treats. This year we will meet in the Education Center.

November 14
State of Wonder by Ann Pachett
Master storyteller Ann Pachett does it again in this page-turner about a Midwestern pharmacology researcher who travels to the Amazon to find out how her colleague, Anders Eckman, died. Anders had gone to the Amazon to check on rogue scientist Dr. Annick Swenson, who had been studying a local tribe where women conceive babies well into middle age. Mystery and botanical delights mingle in this story not soon forgotten.

December 12
Oak: The Frame of Civilization
by William Bryant Logan
Certified arborist and New York Times columnist, William Bryant Logan, shares his infectious enthusiasm for the mighty Oak tree, observing that man has had a long and fruitful relationship with it, considering how people have prospered wherever Oak grows. From food to building materials, Logan gives us an entertaining, and sometimes humorous, full historical account of the Oak’s attributes and history.

January 9
Unearthed: Love, Acceptance, and Other Lessons from an Abandoned Garden
by Alexandra Risen
This debut memoir is a series of reminiscences collected over a 10-year period when Risen and her husband purchased a house with an abandoned garden. Remembering her love of nature and living things, she begins to restore the garden, finding wonderful hidden treasures. During the process, she unearths more than dirt as she learns about her family’s tangled relationships and her own childhood.

February 14

Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis by Kim Todd
This biography tells the compelling story of Dutch artist and naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) who, at the age of 52, decided to go to Surinam to follow her passion of observing and painting the transformation of caterpillars into butterflies. Deeply understanding ecology, she painted insects in their habitat a century ahead of Audubon, collected in many beautiful volumes. Though forgotten over time, her influence is on the rise today as we understand more of her innovative role in science and art.