Soils, Composts & Mulches for Beginners (Webinar)

Soil, compost, and mulches are fundamental elements for the garden, but it’s easy to become confused, overwhelmed, or unsure about what’s what. Mark Hutchinson, Soil and Compost Educator at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will discuss these elements, addressing in-ground and above-ground applications. Mark will provide an overview of proper selection of manufactured soil blends, mulches, and amendments and cover the basics of the soil chemistry and biology that determine the need for specified amendments.

Mark Hutchinson is an Extension Professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with over 20 years of compost experience, including teaching and researching. He currently oversees the University of Maine Compost Research and Education Center at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, Maine. Mark's research is focused on the use of compost in agronomic systems and the compost process.  Mark travels internationally to consult on large-scale composting systems.

Location: Online
Instructor: Mark Hutchinson
Price: $16 / $20

Pesky Garden Problems

In this webinar, Gary Fish, Maine’s State Horticulturist, will introduce and discuss common pests, including noxious to invasive insects, blights, rusts, diseases, and deficiencies. This class is geared toward those who aren’t necessarily scientists, but who thoroughly enjoy gardening and want to learn the symptoms and signs of infestation as well as prevention and management strategies. Students are welcome to e-mail pictures of specific plant concerns in advance of class to the class host, Irene Barber.

Gary Fish is the State Horticulturalist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. He is a past coordinator of the Maine YardScaping Partnership and manager of the Pesticide Control Board. He has a B.S. in forest and wildlife management from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources and has been a licensed professional forester since 1985. An aspiring landscape and nature photographer, he attributes his love of plants to his mother and her beautiful rose and rock gardens.

Location: Online
Instructor: Gary Fish
Price: $16 / $20

Growing in a Changing Climate

Climate change is already impacting gardens, but how we garden can also impact climate change for good or for ill. We will look at projected changes to Maine’s climate and those gardening strategies we can employ to adapt to the new “normal.” We will also look at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our gardens, from fertilizers to rototilling, and techniques to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in our soils and in living perennial biomass.

Eric Toensmeier is the author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, and The Carbon Farming Solution, and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. He served as a Senior Fellow for Project Drawdown, for whom he authored the recent publication Farming Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis. Eric’s home garden in Massachusetts is a highly diverse edible landscape on a tenth of an acre.

Location: Online
Instructor: Eric Toensmeier
Price: $30 / $38

Gardening with Ornamental Grasses (Webinar)

Ornamental grasses can add so much to a garden setting, whether in meadow restoration or to blend colors or add textural and structural accents to perennial gardens. Join Syretha Brooks, gardener and garden designer, for this interactive slideshow and learn more about the diverse selection of safe, non-native and native grasses to consider for your landscape. Syretha will offer management suggestions and habits for the species presented. Students also have the option to register for a separate ornamental grasses field-study tour happening later in the summer at the Gardens.

Syretha Brooks is a horticulturist and project manager at Pretty Flowers, a landscape and design company based in Brunswick, Maine. A native of Harpswell, Maine, she has a degree in fine arts from Smith College, which has greatly aided in developing her eye for plant designing and curation. Syretha was formerly a horticulturist at New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens before returning to her home state of Maine and working as a horticulturist here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for four years.

Location: Online
Instructor: Syretha Brooks
Price: $16 / $20

Sustainable Horticultural Practices

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.

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $130 / $155

Horticulture For Gardeners (Webinar)

Prepare for a mindful gardening season by beginning or refreshing your understanding of horticulture. This introductory course will cover a wide variety of horticultural topics important for home gardeners to consider when growing and managing plants on any scale. Subjects will range from the theoretical to the practical, beginning with scientific foundations such as plant nomenclature, biology and ecology, pollination, and propagation. Other topics will include applied and artistic practices exploring plant selection, cultivation, and installation of new plants.

Location: Online
Instructor: Dan Robarts
Price: $16 / $20

Selecting Native Herbaceous Plants

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.

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Dan Robarts
Price: $130 / $155

What’s Cookin’ and Good Lookin’ In the Kitchen Garden, Spring

Witness the seasonal evolution of the Burpee Kitchen Garden. Filled with edibles and floral accents, the garden’s wares range from arugula to zinnia, itty-bitty seedlings to 12-foot stalks. Diane Walden, the Burpee Kitchen Garden’s designer and tender, will share her favorite garden occupants. In this unconventional kitchen/cutting garden, you'll discover new and unusual selections as well as the classics, whether planted in-ground or in containers, vertically trained with tuteurs.

This session is about the bones of the garden and covers early-season preparation; the planting of the first crops, seeds, and plugs; establishing larger plants; and laying out tuteurs and pots. Learn about soil preparation and how to implement a design that will evolve long into the summer and autumn.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain date: Saturday, May 29, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Diane Walden
Price: $25 / $32

Gardening with Herbs

There’s something powerful about herbs; whether it’s their scent, taste, or long therapeutic history, growing them successfully at home is especially fulfilling. Herbs also lend something special to any garden design, particularly curly parsley, sage, basil, and rosemary. In this class, we’ll cover common herbs as well as the often-overlooked like chervil and chamomile. Join Irene Barber, HTR, horticulturist and Horticultural Therapist, in the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses to learn more about using herbs in garden design as well as tips for management, harvest, and recipe ideas.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain date: Saturday, June 5, 2021 @ 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $25 / $32

Plant ID in the Garden: Shade Garden Perennials

For shade gardens, a wide variety of planting options exist featuring amazing texture, foliar color, and bright floral accents. In fact, some of the most fragrant flowers prefer the cooler temperatures shade offers. CMBG’s Dan Robarts, horticulturist and grower, and Andy Brand, Curator of Living Collections, will take you through our extensive shade gardens, pointing out the classics as well as the unusual perennials, their characteristics, habits, and cultural preferences. Come with your curiosity and leave inspired!

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, June 12, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Dan Robarts
Price: $25 / $32

Planting a Vertical Garden

Let’s grow up! In this fun, innovative container-garden class, we’ll plant mini vertical gardens that can be mounted on a fence, a stone wall, an exterior wall, or against a post. Let us supply the plants and planting materials while you select which plants you’d like in your vertical garden. Registrants will be asked to choose between sun-loving succulents or shade-loving ferns and foliage plants. After registering, contact Irene Barber by e-mail, with your choice of sun or shade plants.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, June 12, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $60 / $70

Container Garden Inspirations: Elements and Sizes

Garden designer Jen Dunlap creates dynamic and texturally driven designs that build upon traditional container gardens. Join her on a tour of the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden where she’ll provide the details of various container garden plant combinations. She’ll offer insight into her compositions and demonstrate the tricks to planting in various types and sized containers. From the small to the very large, Jen will leave you comfortable no matter what the scale of your container garden project.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Satuday, June 19, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jen Dunlap
Price: $25 / $32

Plant ID in the Garden: Sun Garden Perennials

While sun gardens tend to feature lots of color, there’s more to know about sun-loving perennials: their seasonal performance, structural habits, and bountiful pollinators. In this class, horticulturist Brent McHale will highlight sunny perennials that perform at different times of the growing season, how to distinguish among similar species, and explain different subcategories to help you make proper selections for your garden.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain date: Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Brent McHale
Price: $25 / $32

Artful and Functional Landscape Structures, Field Study

From arbors to pergolas, toolsheds to tea-houses, outdoor landscape structures can add function and aesthetic interest to any property. Karl Alamo, horticulturist and landscape architect, will take students through the Gardens, pointing out the design and structural elements that serve as storage, entry points, and sanctuary. Discussion will include green roofs, sustainable materials, and architectural choices. This class will outline what choices you can make to help you create artful and functional garden features.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 people. We are practicing social distance protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, July 31, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Karl Alamo
Price: $25 / $32

What’s Cookin’ and Good Lookin’ In the Kitchen Garden, Mid-Season

As warm temperatures and longer days drive an abundance of growth, the Burpee Kitchen Garden series will focus on how to grow warm-season greens, herbs, flowers, and vegetables. Diane will elaborate on practices such as weeding, successional cropping, and harvesting, all while highlighting her favorites, alliums and basil.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Diane Walden
Price: $25 / $32

Introduction to Medicinal Plants: Cultivation and Cultural Uses

Join horticulturalist Lesley Paxson in the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses as she introduces you to our new Medicinal Plant Garden. Before modern medicine, we looked to the natural world to heal the body and mind. By looking through the lens of three populations, Indigenous Peoples of Maine, European settlers, and traditional Eastern cultures, we will explore the new garden’s plantings. We will compare and contrast the different uses and philosophies associated with these important plants. We will also take a stroll through the Lerner Garden and discover the healing powers of some common backyard garden plants.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain date: Saturday, July 10, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Lesley Paxson
Price: $25 / $32

A Children’s Garden: Plants, Features, & Activities

Join horticulturist Jennifer Dunlap and Youth and Family Coordinator, Erika Huber, for a detailed tour of the plants, features, and activities that make an effective children’s garden. Jen and Erika know first-hand the wants and want-nots of a children’s garden, and they’ll share insider knowledge regarding the plants that serve as aesthetic, educational, and fun features, including edibles and good ingredient and activity plants. Discussion will include how water, soil, planting activities, creative features, and living creatures all play a part in the make-up of an unforgettable children’s garden.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jennifer Dunlap
Price: $32 / $40

Is It Really a Weed?

In this outdoor class, permaculture landscaper Justin Nichols will offer a new perspective on common weeds. Illustrating that truly “one person’s trash is another’s treasure,” many consider weeds valuable medicinal, edible, and ecological plants that can tell a story about surrounding soil conditions. Of course, there are also those that can be a nuisance. In this class, Justin will share weed-related wisdom, guiding participants in identifying, recognizing, and then approaching these gardening questions—nuisance or nutrient?—from a more informed perspective.

Justin Nichols has been enthusiastically maintaining landscapes since 1989, including many years as a gardener on a 30-acre estate in the Boston area and six years here at CMBG on the horticulture staff. He currently runs an ecologically-focused landscape and design business based in the Portland area. He is a NOFA Certified Organic Landcare Professional, holds a master’s degree in education and enjoys teaching horticultural topics to people of all ages.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Justin Nichols
Price: $25 / $32

Container Garden Inspirations: Styles and Management

Join horticulturists Diane Walden and Brent McHale on a tour of their container garden designs in the Burpee Kitchen Garden, the Arbor Garden, and the Great Lawn. Learn about the different styles on display, from the organized to the whimsical, the bold to the muted, and the minimalistic to the complex. Diane and Brent will describe the plant varieties providing those stylistic differences and how plant placement can affect the design and overall management throughout the summer.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, class are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, August 14, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Diane Walden
Price: $25 / $32

Gardening With Nature (Field Study)

Anna Fialkoff, Program Manager at Wild Seed Project, will offer an overview of native plant selection and and gardening practices for achieving beautiful and biodiverse gardens that require minimal manual labor. The display gardens at CMBG will serve as a living classroom, offering a visually inspiring lesson of what you, too, can do at home.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Anna Fialkoff
Price: $36 / $44

11th Annual Ina and Lew Heafitz Endowed Lecture: Planting Your Path

In this conversation Abra Lee will discuss her garden roots from the dirt-road country of the rural South to a lesson in family history that helped define her life’s purpose. This is a story of failure, persistence, and how taking her Mama’s advice to “don’t be no educated fool” led her on a journey to uncover Black America’s legacy in ornamental horticulture.

Abra Lee is a national speaker, writer, and owner of Conquer the Soil, a platform that combines Black garden history and current events to raise awareness of horticulture. She has spent "a whole lotta time" in the dirt as a municipal arborist, extension agent, airport landscape manager, and more. Lee is a graduate of Auburn University and alumna of the Longwood Gardens Society of Fellows, a global network of public horticulture professionals.

The Ina and Lew Heafitz Endowed Lecture celebrates leading thinkers in horticulture, landscape design, sustainability, and more. These nationally-recognized speakers address cutting-edge and timely topics, presenting enriching talks centered around their work in nature-related fields. The annual lecture is free for all.

Location: Online
Instructor: Abra Lee
Price: FREE

Art in the Garden

In this interactive walking-tour, students will gain insight in including art in the landscape, at any scale, while viewing examples located throughout the Gardens.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Karl Alamo
Price: $25 / $32

A Children’s Garden: Plants, Features, & Activities

Join horticulturist Jennifer Dunlap and Youth and Family Coordinator, Erika Huber, for a detailed tour of the plants, features, and activities that make an effective children’s garden. Jen and Erika know first-hand the wants and want-nots of a children’s garden, and they’ll share insider knowledge regarding the plants that serve as aesthetic, educational, and fun features, including edibles and good ingredient and activity plants. Discussion will include how water, soil, planting activities, creative features, and living creatures all play a part in the make-up of an unforgettable children’s garden.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jennifer Dunlap
Price: $32 / $40

Gardening with Ornamental Grasses (Field Study)

Interested in gardening with ornamental grasses, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to commit or how to apply them in a garden? At Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, we have a plethora of ornamental native and non-native grasses through which Syretha Brooks, gardener and garden designer, will guide you. By studying the variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, students will clearly understand how to use grasses effectively in perennial gardens or naturalized settings. Discussion will include grass management, cultivation, and habits.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols. This course is alternately available in an online format.

Syretha Brooks is a horticulturist and project manager at Pretty Flowers, a landscape and design company based in Brunswick, Maine. A native of Harpswell, Maine, she has a degree in fine arts from Smith College, which has greatly aided in developing her eye for plant designing and curation. Syretha was formerly a horticulturist at New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens before returning to her home state of Maine and working as a horticulturist here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for four years.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Syretha Brooks
Price: $25 / $32

Horticultural Ecology

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.

Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Dan Robarts
Price: $130 / $155

Flowers and Foliage for Dried Wreaths

Learn from expert wreath maker Jen Dunlap, whose amazing and imaginative harvest wreaths feature dried floral and foliar cuttings from the garden. Walk the Gardens with Jen and learn which plants are perfect for dried wreaths and other dried compositions. Jen will discuss the proper time to cut and drying methods. This class pairs perfectly with the online tutorial, Making a Harvest Wreath, happening in October.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jen Dunlap
Price: $25 / $32

What’s Cookin’ and Good Lookin’ In the Kitchen Garden, Late Season

This late-season Burpee Kitchen Garden session will showcase eggplant, tomato, sunflowers, and dahlias and share leek, ornamental corn, and herb-harvesting knowhow. File away seed-harvesting tips for next year’s garden, and learn how to establish late-season crops like kale and radishes.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Diane Walden
Price: $25 / $32

Bulbs Blooming, Spring through Fall

In this class, Courtney Locke, bulb grower and Staff Horticulturist, will discuss the world of bulbs beyond tulips and daffodils. Although the latter are beautiful and deserve attention, there are many varieties that bloom later into the summer and fall. Aconites, Camassia, and fall crocus are just a few that will be featured. Courtney will take you on an online visual journey; learn how to landscape with these bulbs, including naturalizing or gardening within an ornamental border, and how to manage bulb species over time—most bulbs are perennials, perfect partners in sustainable gardening.

Location: Online
Instructor: Courtney Locke
Price: $16 / $25

Sow for the Future: New England Meadow Plants

Seeds are miracles of the plant world – a lot of power packed into a small case that sustains nature’s biodiversity. Former horticulturist and lead propagator of Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary and native seed specialist, Leslie Duthie, will guide students through the process of growing meadow plants from seed. Whether you’d like to convert a lawn into a mini meadow-scape, diversify an existing field, or start a large-scale meadow from scratch, Leslie will share the secrets of making meadows succeed. Using the palette of the Gardens’ naturalized areas, discussion will include seed collection, storage, and plant selection as pertaining to the environmental conditions of a setting.

Leslie Duthie is a lifelong gardener. She was formerly employed at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary where she was the horticulturist and plant propagator for over 38 years. An accomplished grower of ferns and wildflowers, she says you can't really know a plant until you have grown it from seed. Now retired, she continues to volunteer at various gardens and works to protect land for her local Conservation Commission and land trust.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Leslie Duthie
Price: $32 / $40

Selecting Native Woody Plants

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.

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Andy Brand
Price: $130 / $155

Sow for the Future: Native Trees and Shrubs (Field Study)

Whether grown from seed or transplanted as seedlings, native woody species can adapt to changing conditions and challenging environments, benefitting urban communities and rural developments or woodlots by filling in empty spaces and protecting and bringing nutrients back to the soil.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Shawn Jalbert
Price: $25 / $32

Ecological Landscape Design

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.

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $155 / $180

IPM in the Landscape

While there are beneficial bugs, fungi, and bacteria in nature, there are also those indigenous to an ecosystem that become invasive. In this class for experienced gardeners or landscapers, State Horticulturist, Gary Fish, will cover extensive ground on the insects, diseases, and deficiencies deemed harmful to wild or cultivated landscape plants. Applying principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM), the course will help students learn how to identify, monitor, and manage poor plant health. Instruction will focus on prevention as a means of management, cultural practices and plant selection, and the decision process and actions to take if an infestation occurs.

Gary Fish is the State Horticulturalist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. He is a past coordinator of the Maine YardScaping Partnership and manager of the Pesticide Control Board. He has a B.S. in forest and wildlife management from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources and has been a licensed professional forester since 1985. An aspiring landscape and nature photographer, he attributes his love of plants to his mother and her beautiful rose and rock gardens.

Location: Online
Instructor: Gary Fish
Price: $30 / $38