Soil Science for Gardeners

Monday, April 11 and Saturday, April 16 | Soil is alive, and a fundamental understanding of soil science is critical when selecting well-adapted native plants or choosing amendments needed by native plant communities. A two-day class for the ecologically-minded grower, students will gain an understanding of soil's dynamic relationship with a plant's health.

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Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Lois Berg Stack
Price: $130 / $155

The Right Tool For the Right Job

From gardening to landscape projects, the right tool makes the process easier, less strenuous, and more efficient. A chef wouldn’t use a butter knife to slice a roast, and a carpenter wouldn’t secure an inch-thick board with a half-inch nail! In this behind-the-scenes look at the CMBG horticulture staff's favorite tools, you'll learn why certain tools are appropriate for certain jobs. We’ll also discuss the more effective and ergonomic options out there—it might be time to replace that splintering, 30-year-old spade you're still using!

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $12 / $18

Garden Design: Structure and Movement

Once we’ve got the bigger picture of our garden spaces in mind, we can start shaping them with program and structure. In garden design, structure is more than a row of shrubs, a fence, or a wall at your property line – it’s how you shape a space, create a sense of enclosure, and lead the eye to landscape destinations.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Emma Kelly
Price: $65 / $80

Horticultural Ecology

Friday, April 29 and Friday, May 6 | Learn how plants adapt, compete, and depend on surrounding living and nonliving influences, and get familiar with concepts like parasitism, pollination, and dispersal. After day one’s online session, spend day two in the living classroom of the Gardens.

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Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Dan Robarts
Price: $130 / $155

Garden Design: It’s All in the Details

In this session, we’ll look at palette and plant choices, focusing on personal and environmental considerations, and take our design dreams and translate them onto paper. Utilizing the base plans created in an earlier session, we’ll look at the current garden space, visualize what we want it to become, and articulate that onto paper in several conceptual drafts.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Emma Kelly
Price: $65 / $80

Wildlife in the Backyard: Birds (Ages 14+)

In this active field-study class, students ages 14-adult will learn more about our resident and migrating birds. We'll discuss identification and the New England avian lifestyle, from habitat to birds’ roles in the balance of the ecosystem and how we can better support them in the changing climate. We suggest students bring a pair of binoculars.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Emily Baisden
Price: $20 / $25

Garden Design: Final Plan to Fruition

Whether you're working on a new garden design or revising an existing space, this final installment of our garden design series will address both the large-scale process and the detailed specifics of your personal design. We’ll work together in a collaborative workshop, presenting and providing constructive feedback on students' unique design efforts.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Emma Kelly
Price: $65 / $80

Wabanaki Food and Medicine (Sold Out)

In this all-ages class, learn about the plants and natural resources the Wabanaki have been using for food and medicine for centuries, from fishing to foraging and cultivating. Join Barry Dana (Penobscot) and Lori Dana and learn more about the flora, fauna, and practices that the Wabanaki have carried forward. Come increase your awareness and help preserve their existence, getting fired up to incorporate these heritage and native plants into your landscape setting, whether a community garden, forest edge, or wide-open field. All efforts help to continue and honor these natural resources, especially as nutritional sovereignty becomes more of an issue in today’s Maine.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Barry Dana
Price: $24 / $30

Selecting Native Herbaceous Plants

Mondays, June 13 and July 11, and Saturday, August 27 | Native plant expert Dan Robarts will introduce students to a wide variety of native perennials for use in a number of garden settings. Class begins with an overview of the extensive range of perennials available and how to select the right plant for the right place in the right combination.

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Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Dan Robarts
Price: $140 / $165

Sustainable Horticultural Practices

Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 25 | Ecosystem balance and soil and water quality are all influenced by our landscape practices. This extensive, two-day study of sustainable horticulture will help students apply the principles of ecologically safe gardening practices to their existing garden or landscape.

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Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $130 / $155

Native Plant Guilds Worskhop (Sold Out)

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.

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

Plant a Mini Alpine & Rock Garden

Rock garden and alpine plants are wonderful additions to any garden, bursting with fine details particularly suited to up-close viewing. Join us for an introduction to the wide array of rock or alpine plants, their sizes, environmental adaptations, origins, and other horticultural details. Most importantly, students will be guided through the process of planting their own miniature rock or alpine garden using a specially selected garden container they can take home. All supplies provided.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Brent McHale
Price: $62 / $76

Plant ID and Ecology: Ferns

Whether you’re an experienced fern gardener or you’re interested in getting better acquainted, join horticulturist and Fernwood Nursery owner, Rick Sawyer, out in the Gardens to learn more about these staple Maine beauties. Ferns are truly an essential plant in any New England garden, so if you don’t already have a minimum of five different ferns, then it’s time to join us and decide what new acquisitions to make.

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

Home Composting For All

Whether you live in an apartment building, on a suburban lot, or a rural property, this class will get everyone composting! Food waste makes up 1/3 of the trash produced in the average American home, and yet there's so much we can do to prevent this from happening. From indoor vermiculture to outdoor compost bins, you can collect and convert waste into plant-growth gold. Join Don Morrison, Master Gardener and compost aficionado, to learn about the different methods, containers, and materials needed to successfully compost food waste and garden debris. Believe us—there’s a method for every lifestyle!

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

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

Integrated Pest and Disease Management

This one-day class will cover extensive ground on the insects, diseases, and deficiencies found on plants in the landscape. Applying principles of integrated pest management (IPM), the course will help students identify, monitor, and prevent poor plant health and, when necessary, deal with treatments. State Horticulturalist Gary Fish will emphasize preventative measures and help students determine the methods to mitigate further plant-pest problems.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Gary Fish
Price: $50 / $62

Fabulous First-Rate Foliage

When selecting landscape plants, flowers tend to get most of our attention. But when flowers start to fade, what’s better than being able to shift our attention to a fabulous foliage display? There are so many options, from a variety of colors and textures to leaf shape and qualities—tiny succulent-like leaves to enormous papery-thin specimens. In this field-study class, Director of Horticulture, Andy Brand, takes students around the Gardens to see and learn all about the features of foliage and their ecological adaptations. Come ready to take pictures because we’re certain you’re about to make your next horticultural discovery, perfect for the garden or woodland.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

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

Fancy-Pants Plants

Put on your Sunday best, folks, because these plants are dressed to impress! They might be hard to find, hard to grow, or hard to afford, but these? You’ve gotta have ’em—CHOICE perennials that will make you the envy of your local garden club! Come join horticulturist and plant breeder Dan Robarts and explore these maddeningly limited plants—the native, exotic, wild, or advanced hybrids that will dress your gardens to the nines! Sun, shade, wet, or dry, Dan will have his thinking cap (complete with feather) on, espousing the greatness of so many wonderful horticultural selections, you’ll beg him to put a sock in it. They may be elusive, but don’t get a bee in your bonnet. Dr. Robarts will score a true hat trick, with propagation, acquisition, and cultivation tips to make these plants a reality for your gardening endeavors.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

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

Plant ID & Ecology: Conifers

In this field-study class, Jeff O'Donal, nurseryman and conifer grower, will explore the extensive world of conifers, including native and non-native species, specimen plants and those great for naturalizing into our native landscapes. Diverse, conifers grow in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and the needle species offer so many options: variations of gold and blue, soft or coarse textures, varieties of needle lengths, deciduous or evergreen, fragrant or neutral—there’s something for every style and landscape, from gardens to containers.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jeff O’Donal
Price: $32 / $40

Plant ID & Ecology: Native Deciduous Shrubs

Interested in learning about the benefits of incorporating native deciduous shrubs into your garden? Or maybe you already have shrubs in your landscape and want to expand your knowledge. Either way, join Emily Baisden, entomology and native shrub aficionado, to learn about the extensive selection of native deciduous shrubs available for your garden. We’ll cover the ecosystem services provided by native shrubs, from pollinator hosts to erosion control, as well as how to select the right species for your space, taking into consideration environmental characteristics and seasonal qualities.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

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

Gardening With Nature (Sold Out)

Our gardens and gardening practices are intrinsically tied to nature. This class will guide students through the best design and management strategies that work in unison with nature, encouraging and embracing biodiversity and sustaining healthy, low-maintenance gardens. Anna Fialkoff, Program Manager at Wild Seed Project, offers an overview of plant selection and processes for achieving beautiful gardens requiring minimal manual labor.

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

Wildlife in the Backyard: Insects (Ages 14+) (Cancelled)

Want to enter the world of beetles, butterflies, bees, grasshoppers, wasps, and flies? Ages 14-adult are invited to join us and learn about the insect wildlife to be found in backyards and gardens. Learn to identify the most common insects and the roles these important creatures play in their ecosystems. After an introductory slideshow, we'll explore the Gardens to observe and gain insight into insect behavior, identifying where insects prefer to live versus where they’re discouraged. We'll take a holistic approach to studying insects, recognizing that even the smallest patch of yard is inclusive of nature.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sarah Callan
Price: $20 / $25

Designing with Specimen Trees

What exactly is a specimen tree? Good question! Specimen trees are trees that fulfill specific garden design goals, such as providing focal features, provoking emotional responses, or contributing to specific themes, just to name a few. The trees can be small, large, narrow, or broad, cascading or twisted in habit, or provide foliar accents in an otherwise monochromatic setting. In this class, landscape designer and horticulturist Irene Barber will take students on a landscape-design tour around the Gardens to learn about specimen trees to consider adding to a new or existing garden back home.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

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

Selecting Native Woody Plants

Friday, September 9 and Saturday, September 17 | Learn how native woody plants enhance both our landscapes and local biodiversity. Over two days, study these plants, from identification to habitat to their role as host plants for the insects and pollinators critical for plant management and reproduction.

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Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Andy Brand
Price: $130 / $155

Landscaping for Wildlife (Sold Out)

Habitat loss is the primary cause of declining wildlife populations. This interactive course teaches students how to incorporate select native plants and mechanical practices into their own landscapes to create a welcoming habitat that attracts wildlife, conserves natural resources, and encourages biodiversity.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Deb Perkins
Price: $65 / $80

Edible Natives to Grow at Home

Join Andy Brand, the Gardens’ Director of Horticulture, on a walk to identify native edible plants living in their desired natural habitats, then learn how to incorporate these edibles into your home garden. Rather than foraging, this class focuses on the opportunity to grow these native edibles sustainably at home, leaving the foraging to the wildlife who need these plants for survival.

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

Native Plants: Collecting & Sowing Seed (Ages 14+)

Join Heather McCargo, for a hands-on experience in native seed propagation, from ecologically responsible seed collection and storing procedures to germination techniques. Participants will go seed collecting in CMBG’s native plant gardens and learn about setting up an outdoor propagation area at home. Come learn the best techniques for sowing natives, and take home several pots sown with seeds.

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

Nature of Oaks

Oaks sustain a complex and fascinating web of wildlife. Come learn what happens in their branches, month by month, a tangible cycle of life, death, and renewal. From woodpeckers harvesting hundreds of acorns to the jewel caterpillars grazing greenery, Tallamy describes and celebrates these backyard wonders. Learn practical advice about planting and caring for oaks and the best oak species for your area. Leave inspired to treasure, nurture, and protect these remarkable trees.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Doug Tallamy
Price: $15 / $20

Plant ID & Ecology: Asters

This class will focus on the identification of 20 - 25 of Maine’s asters. Not only looking alike, but blooming roughly at the same time (late-summer to October) can make them a challenge to identify. Via slideshow, take a close look at our herbarium specimens, and then through field investigations, we’ll look at the features that distinguish one aster from another, becoming familiar with their respective habitats. (This class also pairs well with Plant ID & Ecology: Goldenrods, on Saturday, October 1, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)

We’ll begin at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, then students drive off-site to a nearby nature preserve to continue the class.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Ted Elliman
Price: $44 / $52

Plant ID & Ecology: Goldenrods

This class will focus on the identification of 10 – 15 of Maine’s goldenrods. Not only looking alike, but blooming roughly at the same time (late-summer to October) can make them a challenge to identify. Via slideshow, take a close look at our herbarium specimens, and then through field investigations, we’ll look at the features that distinguish one goldenrod from another, becoming familiar with their respective habitats. Please come with a hand lens if you have one, otherwise we’ll provide them. (This class also pairs well with Plant ID & Ecology: Asters, on Friday, September 30, 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.)

We’ll begin at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, then students drive off-site to a nearby nature preserve to continue the class.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Melissa Cullina
Price: $44 / $52

BRCDWI: Native Plants for Watershed Protection

Join us for this free, special event for Boothbay Region Residents and learn how to take action on climate change, preserve our bodies of water, support healthy ecosystems, and protect locally-sourced drinking water. Keynote speaker Irene Barber, landscape designer, horticulturist, and Adult Education Program Manager at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, will discuss incorporating native plants that increase beauty, biodiversity, and contribute to clean water. Come discover some of the dynamic, striking natives perfect for shorelines, rain gardens, and wetland edges.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: Free

Ecological Landscape Design

Fridays, October 21 and 28 and Saturday, October 29 | 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.

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Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $155 / $180

Wildlife in the Backyard: Mammals (Ages 14+)

Ages 14-adult are invited to join us for an informative look into the mammals you may not always see, but who are almost certainly living in or around your backyard, relying on your landscape for survival. Explore CMBG’s most common inhabitants, their important habitats, dietary preferences, and learn a variety of management practice approaches. Offered at an active time of year as wildlife prepare for winter, the class will explore the Gardens, learn key points for identification, and look for presence indicators such as tracks, holes, browsing, and more.

Please note this class requires participants to show proof of having received all eligible Covid-19 vaccinations, as recommended for their age by the CDC, in order to participate. Because of the dynamic nature of this situation, we ask that you agree to abide by potential future changes in CMBG’s Covid-19 policy designed to address evolving public health recommendations.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Alicia Miller
Price: $20 / $25

Garden Design: Foundations and Inspirations

Whether designing one garden or several, the first step is to learn the foundation and classical inspirations of garden design. Understanding design principles and becoming aware of how garden design has evolved through the centuries and is represented through different cultures helps new designers establish a basis and broadens perspectives. In this online class, Irene Barber, landscape designer and the Gardens’ Adult Education Program Manager, will introduce students to garden themes from different cultures and civilizations, all of which relate to the principles and elements of design relevant to today.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $36 / $45

Garden Design: A New England Lens

Geography and cultural history are pertinent factors when making garden design decisions, particularly in New England’s unique and diverse landscapes, from river valleys to rolling fields to narrow, rocky corridors. In this online class, students will learn how to establish a sense of place and belonging, wherever their prospective garden is to be located. No matter what cultural elements and influences you want to incorporate, this class will help you get creative while staying true to a sense of place.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $36 / $45

Orientation: Certificate in Native Plants & Ecological Horticulture

New and ongoing students in the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture will attend this online session. Learn about this comprehensive program, its curriculum, the core courses, the elective courses, and the instructors. The extensive program welcomes experienced gardeners, hobbyists, and professional gardeners interested in building their proficiency about New England native plants and the horticulture practices that support ecology in the landscape.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $25

Pruning for Beginners

This online lecture and slideshow presentation will introduce students to the fundamentals of pruning and discuss the what, when, and how. Dormancy is a critical time, and pruning trees and shrubs in this window will prevent damage and promote healthy plant growth for the following growing season. Join us to lose your fear of pruning and discover just how much fun and approachable it is with the appropriate tools. Following this class, students can register for "Pruning Workshop: Practices and Plants," happening at the Gardens in April. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.

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

Garden Design: Creating a Base Plan

Creating a base plan for a plan-view design of your garden may not be the most exciting part of the process, but it is an all-important one! This in-person class will present and allow practice in how and what to measure for a new garden or multiple gardens before translating the information into a scaled drawing. During this stage, students will begin developing a design key and practice drafting skills. A scaled base-plan will be necessary to properly pursue further design stages and enable the designer to practice sketching with trace paper and explore ideas. Upon registration, students will receive a list of supplies needed to pursue their own design project and to have ready for this class.

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Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $60 / $75

Top 20 Native Trees and Shrubs

Join us for this online panel presentation and learn about 20 favorite trees and shrubs native to the northeast from three of our staff horticulturists, Lon Ames, Kelsie Birney, and Alison Webb. Native trees and shrubs provide a variety of ecosystem services that are essential to preserving the environment, perfect for any garden or landscape setting. We'll talk about the plants' wildlife habitat, design applications, ornamental features, and end with questions and answers. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.

Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $22 / $26

Growing Vegetables & Herbs from Seed

Growing from seed is enormously rewarding, especially when you're growing for the best flavors and nutrition. This two-part online class will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to successfully grow an assortment of vegetables and herbs from seed, whether you're growing on a windowsill, under grow lights, in a hobby greenhouse, or directly in the garden soil. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.

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Location: Online
Instructor: John Fromer
Price: $32 / $40

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 details—built features, water movement, sun exposure throughout growing months, soil types and so on. This online session will help students develop longhand documentation and, more importantly, sketch 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 to have a scaled base-plan in-hand before moving forward with this stage. Upon registration, students will receive a supplies list that will be useful for designing a new garden.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $36 / $45