In orienting students to the Certicificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture, we welcome both new and continuing students. Classes are open to those not pursuing the certificate, though priority will be given to program enrollees.
This in-depth class for the ecologically minded land steward and gardener will delve into the properties and functions of the living system of soil. A fundamental understanding of soil science is critical in selecting well-adapted native plants or choosing amendments to mimic the natural conditions needed by various native plant communities. Students will gain an understanding of soil texture, chemistry, water-holding capacity, and how these factors influence a plant’s health.
In this intensive course, learn how to apply ecologically safe gardening practices to existing landscapes and garden beds. Topics will include plant materials for erosion control, 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 that support human well-being and nature.
Learn the core concepts of plant biology to help ground your appreciation for working with nature. We’ll cover the basic parts of a plant and how they work together to sustain the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, and water and mineral uptake.
Monday, May 24, June 7, and July 26 | Native plant expert Dan Robarts will discuss native plant selections for combinations of soil pH, sun and shade, and wet and dry substrate will be considered, as will be selecting plants for color and texture, their broader ecosystem considerations, application in niche garden communities, and their role in ecological restoration.
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.
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.
Wednesdays, September 1 and 8
Explore the ways in which plants interact with their garden environments. Join instructor Dan Robarts as he discusses 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. The first session consists of an online slideshow and introduction. A week later, class will convene at the Gardens to study the content in-depth with plants in cultivated and wild settings.
Rain date: Thursday, September 9, 2021.
This class will explore the motivation and philosophy behind using woody native plants in the garden, discuss straight species, cultivars, and sources for materials. Andy Brand, the Gardens' Curator of Living Collections, will expand on the ecological relationship between host plants and the insects and pollinators critical in maintaining the balance between management and reproduction.
Students will examine naturally occurring systems that influence design decisions, practice environmental site analysis, and design conceptual plot plans for a selected site. Instruction will take place online for days one and two. On day three, students will meet at the Gardens to critically examine applied design features that address ecological principles and components.
For two days, dive into learning the basic ecological problems surrounding invasive plants, the complicated (and sometimes political) issues surrounding the species, and the process by which a plant becomes labeled “invasive.”