Native Plant Guilds Workshop

Choosing native plants for your landscape should be fun and creative, not daunting or complicated! When you consider plants in simple groupings, or guilds, it becomes a lot easier to design a landscape with appealing texture, color, and wildlife value throughout the seasons. Native plant guilds draw on inspiration from natural plant communities in habitats like coastal plains, forests, wetlands, or mountain tops. This field-study and design workshop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will guide students through the process of selecting plants according to companionship, seasonal performance, and environmental considerations.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Anna Fialkoff
Price: $36 / $44

Make a Water-Wise Container Garden

Water-wise gardening is another way of referring to designing with water in mind, especially relevant to drought conditions. Water-wise container gardens lend themselves to an exotic and creative assortment of annuals or perennials like succulents, alpines, and plants with fuzzy leaves, leathery-glossy leaves, or those with varied color- and textural characteristics. Join Gardens Horticulturist Jen Dunlap for this creative workshop and make your own drought-tolerant container garden. Students are encouraged to bring their own clippers, apron, and garden gloves. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jen Dunlap
Price: $68 / $85

Is it a Weed? ID & Management

Weeds, by casual definition, are undesired plants found in a certain location. In this class, we will discuss the perception of weeds as well as their identification, cultural management, and ecology. Learning the identity of a “weed” may change the desire to remove it from the landscape as you realize its potential benefits. While sometimes weeds are just misunderstood plants, there are times they can be invasive or toxic, so it is important to properly identify and learn how to manage for these species. Join Delany Pitman, CMBG Horticulturist, in this mixed field-study and lecture class and broaden your awareness of why, what, when, how, and where these plants live and if they can be embraced or must be eradicated from a garden or landscape.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Delaney Pitman
Price: $30 / $36

Make a Container Water Garden

Water gardens are growing in popularity for a number of reasons: to attract wildlife like birds and butterflies, to add a melodic sound feature, to contribute light reflection, to offer a place for personal respite, and to cool down a garden space. Water gardens that incorporate unique and lush plants add bold shapes, forms, colors, defined lines, and textures to a garden space. In class, students will make and take home a small water garden container filled with personally selected plants supplied by the Gardens. We'll talk about the wide variety of plant options, materials, and different kinds of water garden designs. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 105 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Courtney Locke
Price: $68 / $85

Wildlife in the Backyard: Lazy Days of Summer

Ever wondered what wildlife is living in your backyard? In our seasonal series of field-study classes (register separately for each), participants will learn more about the creatures that live in or around their garden, looking for shelter, food, and water. Join us and see summer animalactivity first-hand, an experience that will provide deeper insight into and appreciation for their roles in the ecosystem, better informing us how humans and wildlife can live together more harmoniously. This month, we’ll primarily focus on the diverse world insects, especially pollinators and beneficials, then learn about the mammals that are feeding and starting their families during these lazy days of summer.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $25 / $30

Kitchen Garden Design: Refined to Rewild

Commonly referred to as vegetable gardens, yet frequently inclusive of herbs, fruits, and edible flowers, kitchen gardens are lifestyle-reflective. In this class, we’ll explore edible gardens at CMBG, including the gardens where edibles are planted along perennial borders. While we examine the different styles, from the traditionally-designed potager to more naturalistic designs known as “rewilding,” students will learn about style considerations like plant companions, pollinators, management, and aesthetic choices. The field-study class will include (brief) design time so students can practice integrating ideas into their own spaces.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Ellen Ecker Ogden
Price: $55 / $68

Gardening with Hydrangeas in Maine

Have you been gardening with hydrangeas and experienced challenges with blossom performance? Are you wondering what kind of hydrangea you have? Join Horticulturist Courtney Locke to learn more about gardening with hydrangeas in Maine, including best selection, cultivation, and care. Tour the Gardens and see the diverse display of our different hydrangea species and cultivars, and learn firsthand what environmental conditions are needed to successfully grow certain species and varieties.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Courtney Locke
Price: $32 / $40

13th Annual Ina & Lewis Heafitz Endowed Lecture Series: Invitations from and to the Garden: Cultivating A Garden Culture of Care

In her presentation, Jennifer Jewell will discuss the philosophy of Cultivating Place, her National Public Radio program and international podcast. Her podcast is a voice for gardeners and nature-lovers and operates from the belief that gardens and gardeners are potentially powerful agents and spaces for positive change in our world, helping to address challenges as wide-ranging as climate change, habitat loss, cultural polarization, and individual and communal health and wellbeing. In this program, she will explore how the power of gardens and gardeners can be viewed through a lens of invitation—both the invitations we recognize and accept from our gardens in our roles as gardeners and those we extend to the greater world through our gardening practices.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jennifer Jewell
Price: Free

Selecting Native Woody Plants

Friday, September 1 & Saturday, September 9 | Over two days, online and in-person, learn about native woody plants that contribute so much to our landscapes and local biodiversity. Andy Brand, Director of Horticulture at the Gardens, will discuss identification, habitat, and the role woody plants play in plant reproduction and management as hosts for insects, birds, and other wildlife. Online and in the field, Andy will recommend native species and cultivars, and explain cultivation, landscape uses, and soil and light considerations.

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

Landscaping for Wildlife

Friday, September 8 & Saturday, September 16 | Habitat loss is the primary cause of declining wildlife populations, and learning how vital native plants are to wildlife and how much our landscape choices matter is one of the most vital steps we can take to divert such loss. Combined with a short online lecture followed by an interactive workshop and field-study at the Gardens, students will learn how and what to manage in the landscape and how to incorporate certain native plants to create welcoming habitats that attract wildlife, conserve natural resources, and encourage biodiversity.

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Deb Perkins
Price: $72 / $85

Wildlife in the Backyard: Winter Preparation

Ever wondered what wildlife is living in your backyard? In our seasonal series of field-study classes (register separately for each), participants will learn more about the creatures that live in or around their garden, looking for shelter, food, and water. Join us and see autumn animal activity first-hand, an experience that will provide deeper insight into and appreciation for their roles in the ecosystem, better informing us how humans and wildlife can live together more harmoniously. This month, we’ll discuss preparing your garden for winter while also supporting the wildlife that migrates or overwinters locally. We’ll primarily focus on the ways birds, mammals, and insects are starting to prepare for winter.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $25 / $30

Ecological Landscape Design

Friday, October 20, Friday-Saturday, October 27 & 28 | To design landscapes inspired by—and inclusive of—nature, study essential design principles through the lens of natural systems. In this three-day course led by landscape architect Lisa Cowan and landscape designer and horticulturist Irene Barber, students will learn to identify and incorporate the components of ecological landscape design. Online and onsite, examine the systems influencing design decisions, practice environmental site analysis, and design conceptual plot plans for a selected site.

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

Plants for Pollinators: Who are They?

Interested in learning about plants for pollinators? Want to understand why some plants attract pollinators better than others? For centuries, passionate plantspeople have collected plants from the wild, hoping to enhance floral or foliar displays or increase resistance to disease or pests. But where wildlife is concerned, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder. Join us to learn from our pollinators and see what plants they choose. Join staff Entomologist Zac Smith-Hess to hear what the evolving research says about the ecological evaluation of native straight species, cultivars or non-native plants in built landscapes. We’ll talk about genetic diversity, clonal cultivation, pollinator syndromes, and their role in insect visitation and health.

Zac Smith-Hess’ passion for exploring and connecting people to nature has led him into both formal and informal education. Since graduating with a degree in zoology in 2014, he has spent much of his career working specifically with invertebrates in zoo and classroom settings. His students have called him a true lifelong learner; you can see this when you find him on grounds of the Gardens, providing wandering interpretation or, as he likes to say, just talking about bugs.

Location: Online
Instructor: Zac Smith-Hess
Price: $18 / $22

To Peat or Not To Peat, That is the Question

In the horticulture and landscape industry, peat is a ubiquitous material used in potting soils, composts, bales of straight peat, and more. It has long been considered a reliable horticultural resource, and recently, questions around sustainability, sourcing, and its role in climate change mitigation have come to light. In this presentation, peat research specialist Dr. Brian Jackson of North Carolina State University will share valuable information about using or not using peat in your landscape or horticultural practice. Talking points include peat alternatives for growing media, harvest locations and practices, and sourcing materials.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Dr. Brian Jackson
Price: $15 / $18

Converting Lawn to Meadow: Design & Management

An increasing area of interest for gardeners and landscape clients is to convert a lawn space into a beautiful native wildflower ecosystem, benefiting insects, pollinators, and humans alike. Robert Graham, Land Steward of New England Botanic Garden at Tower Hill, will share insights on how to make a thriving wildflower garden. We'll dive into design considerations, the conversion process, and learnings from New England Botanics' own managed meadow space. You'll leave with tools for budgeting, timelines, and realistic management strategies to get the best out of your landscape projects.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Robert Graham
Price: $15 / $18

Plant Nurseries in New England: Experiences on How to Start & Succeed

If you've ever considered starting a plant nursery, this one's for you. Whether your goals are driven by a passion for plants, frustrations with supply, or a desire to meet local needs, our panel of three nursery growers and owners will share recommendations for success. Leveraging their different business models, we'll cover everything from sustainability, the changing business climate, lessons learned, and motivations and goals for owning a nursery.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $15 / $18

Pruning for Beginners

This online lecture and slideshow presentation will introduce students to the fundamentals of pruning. The discussion will include plants, seasonal timing, techniques, tools, and more. Lose your fear of pruning and discover how fun and approachable it is with the appropriate tools. Class Level: Beginner

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Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $25 / $30

Garden Design: Foundations & Inspirations

Whether designing one garden or several, the first step is to learn the foundation and classical inspirations of garden design. In this online class, Irene Barber, landscape designer and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens’ Adult Education Program Manager, will introduce students to garden themes from different cultures and civilizations, all of which are essential to the principles and elements of today's design. Class Level: Intermediate

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Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $36 / $46

Winter Pruning Workshop: Plants & Practices

Practice your skills and learn more about the plants to prune during certain times of the year with the Gardens' Arborist and IPM Specialist, Garth Welch, and Horticulture Educator, Irene Barber. In this hands-on workshop, we'll demonstrate and discuss the variety of pruning practices selected according to timing, setting, plant health, and desired aesthetic goals. Class Level: Beginner-Intermediate

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Garth Welch
Price: $24 / $46

Staff Top 20 Evergreen Plants

Evergreens offer our New England landscape contrast, depth, and year-round appeal. Staff horticulturists Kelsie Birney, Courtney Locke, and Alicia Miller introduce 20 of their favorite evergreen species. From groundcovers to trees, broadleaf to conifers, they'll highlight a variety of species that will fit small or large garden spaces.

Class Level: All Levels

Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $15 / $28

Soils, Mulches, and Amendments

Knowing the basics of soils, mulches, and amendments is essential for growing plants successfully indoors and out. In this webinar, we'll demystify and instill confidence by reviewing various in-ground and above-ground applications, from perennial borders to container gardens. This class is perfect for all gardeners, either starting out or in need of a refresher. Class Level: Beginner-Intermediate

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Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $22 / $28

Designing with Native Shrubs: Formal to Naturalized Applications

From ornamental to functional benefits, there are many opportunities to use native shrubs in any landscape. It's time to scratch privet off the shopping list and add New England native plants, northern bayberry or fragrant summersweet. In this online presentation, we'll see examples of various native shrubs and discuss their applications and plant combinations. Whether you're doing a formal garden perimeter or a wildlife habitat naturalizing project, we'll share management practices and plant selection to help you meet your design goals.

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Location: Online
Price: $15 / $18

Garden Design: Assess and Sketch

Whether designing a secret garden or an extensive wildflower garden, it's critical to evaluate, document, and sketch out a setting's existing details—built features, water movement, sun exposure throughout growing months, soil types, etc. This online session will help students develop longhand documentation and, more importantly, mark the assessed information, resulting in a visual diagram that provides a clearer understanding of any variables to consider. The more informed you are as a designer, the better a designer you'll be! We strongly recommend students have a scaled base plan before moving forward with this stage. Class Level: Intermediate

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Location: Online
Instructor: Cheryl Salatino
Price: $36 / $46

Gardening Fundamentals: Plants & Practices

Growing plants can be truly fulfilling and enjoyable, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Gardeners learn by trial and error; however, it can be costly and frustrating. In this two-part online class, Dr. Sonja Birthesel will help you save money and increase gardening success with guidance and insight into horticulture. We'll provide practical information about sustainable garden practices, including an overview of plant biology, adaptation, habit, and cultivation. Class Level: Beginner-Intermediate

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Location: Online
Instructor: Sonja Birthisel, PhD
Price: $20 / $46

Sowing and Growing Cut Flowers

Perhaps you love to cut and arrange flowers from your garden, but have you considered growing them from seed? In this class, you'll learn how to grow your favorites and new varieties from seed, including annuals, biennials, and perennials, from cut-flower grower and aficionado, Courtney Locke. As the grower, you'll get to nurture and manage the quality of your plants and save money. Plants grown from seed acclimate to your garden better than those grown elsewhere.

Class Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Location: Online
Instructor: Courtney Locke
Price: $15 / $36

Soil Science for Gardeners (Sold Out)

This class is sold out, but please click "Learn More" to join our waitlist. | Soil is a living matrix of chemical and biological interactions, and a fundamental understanding of soil science is critical when selecting well-adapted native plants or choosing amendments needed by native plant communities. This two-day hybrid class for the ecologically-minded grower will discuss soil texture, chemistry, water-holding capacity, the biologically diverse life in the soil, and how these dynamic relationships can affect a plant’s health. Class Level: Intermediate

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Monique Bosch
Price: $140 / $175

Plant ID & Ecology: Viburnums

Viburnums are an important genus in New England landscapes, offering essential habitats for wildlife and attractive seasonal floral and berry displays. Join Lon Ames, horticulturist for the Haney Hillside Garden, in his online class to learn about native and non-native viburnums that can be used in your garden borders. Discussion will include sizes, habits, ecological benefits, and characteristics that make viburnums stand out in your displays.

Location: Online
Instructor: Lon Ames
Price: $22 / $28

Proper Planting: Plants & Practices

Strengthen your gardening skills with a focus on best planting practices in this in-person workshop and demonstration. We'll demonstrate how and when to sow seed, plant bare-root plants, and how to transplant both young potted seedlings and much larger, more mature specimens. You'll leave feeling informed about effective planting, including seasonal timing, rootbound plants, planting materials, and proper tools.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Catherine Kaczor
Price: $32 / $40

Selecting Native Herbaceous Plants (Sold Out)

This class is sold out, but please click "Learn More" to join our waitlist. | Presented in three parts, native plant expert Dan Jaffe-Wilder will introduce students to various native perennials to use in garden settings. The course will include two online presentations in May and September and an in-person fieldwork day in July. Through the series, we will discuss selecting the right plant for the right place in the right combination, using the best quality for the application, cultivation variables, choosing plants for their ecological role, specialized garden communities, aesthetics, propagation, and proper plant procurement. Class Level: Intermediate to Advanced

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Location: Online / at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Dan Jaffe-Wilder
Price: $155 / $190