Our bees are always buzzing with activity, and this year is no exception. Join us this July for a tour of our new native bee exhibit. Sarah Callan, CMBG’s Interpretation & Exhibits Educator, will walk you through our apiary and native bee exhibit, exploring our local bee populations.
Have you ever seen some wild blueberries or blackberries and just had to grab a quick snack? Berries are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak when it comes to edibles to forage in our rich forests and fields. Come along with Curator of Living Collections, Andy Brand, on this tour as we explore lesser-known edibles that grow throughout our native habitat.
Join Horticulturlist Lesley Paxson on this tour of the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through one of our most beloved gardens while learning about its unique design and planting themes.
Nothing says autumn like apples. Ron Ross, CMBG volunteer and apple expert, will explain how to cultivate new varieties of apples, going into some detail about breeding for desirable traits. The tour will end with a bit of apple pressing—can you guess how many apples it takes to make one gallon of cider?
Now that the garden is put to bed, it’s a great time to read those books you’ve been meaning to get to all season long. Join the conversation as we discuss four acclaimed books featuring plants at their core. This year, to be sure everyone can participate, we will be conducting these conversations via Zoom. Just sign up, read the selection, and then join the group by logging into the Zoom discussion that day. Selections include: Life in the Garden, The Age of Wood, The Garden of Evening Mists, and Uprooted: A Gardener’s Reflections on Beginning Again.
Join Director of Horticulture, Andy Brand, and Youth Programs Educator, Bridget VerVaet, for a morning tour before the Gardens opens to the public. Explore our wonderful bird population at the height of the spring migration season. Bring a sharp eye, but binoculars are recommended. All skill levels welcome.
The Photography Club meets every other Thursday morning at the Gardens, 7-9 a.m. Enjoy having the whole of our campus to yourself for two hours before we open to the public. Come and capture the stunning morning light, May-October. You must be a member of the Gardens to enjoy this amazing perk. The first meeting of the year is Thursday, May 12.
Spring is such a wonderful time to enjoy the Gardens! Come join Horticulturist Courtney Locke on a tour of our early spring blooms and bulbs in the crisp spring air. Courtney will share her extensive knowledge and help get your gardens looking great for next spring!
Bring the family and join us as we walk the trails of the Gardens in search of the unique and mysterious pink lady slipper. We’ll discuss the fascinating biology and ecology of this delicate flower and talk about why the Gardens is lucky to be one of its protected homes. Participants will view these flowers’ complicated pollination process and stop to identify other wildflowers along the way.
We have been so lucky to have such beautiful flower arrangements over the years here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Largely behind these works of art? Diane Walden-Rapalyea—and she’s ready to take us through the gardens, gather flowers, and share her tips and tricks. A live arrangement demo follows.
Have you discovered the trolls' hidden treasure yet? This tour’s journey will take us through several different forest ecosystems, giving us the opportunity to get to know each one as we travel toward discovering just what the trolls have been protecting. Learn what keeps these ecosystems healthy and how you can help protect them so that everyone may enjoy the natural world for years to come! Expect a moderate hike along some of our trails and wear the appropriate footwear.
Join Tyler Pascocello, Horticulturist & Wildlife Specialist, and Bridget VerVaet, Youth Programs Educator, for a morning tour before the Gardens opens to the public. Explore our wonderful bird population at the height of the spring migration season. Bring a sharp eye, but binoculars are recommended. All skill levels welcome.
Come join Irene Barber, Adult Education Program Manager, as she puts together one of the wonderful vertical gardens on display in the Lerner Garden of Five Senses. Each garden is designed using locally sourced materials. After learning some of Irene’s favorite tricks, you’ll be ready to start your own vertical gardens by the end of the tour!
We have a special love of honeybees at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Sarah Callan, Interpretation & Exhibits Educator, and Emily Baisden, Entomologist Educator, will take us on a behind-the-scenes tour of our apiary to learn about the life of our bees and what it takes to care for them. After this look inside the hive, we'll take some time to enjoy the fruits--or honey--of their labor and sample some delicious honey both from our hives and around the world! Bring your sweet tooth and get ready to learn all about the types of honey and what factors influence color and flavor.
Art is essential in life! At the Gardens, we love to show off artists, both local and from afar. Join Vanessa Nesvig, Interpretation & Exhibits Program Manager, and Caroline Davis, Art & Exhibits Coordinator, to learn the stories behind the collections at the Gardens. We hear a troll or two might even be sighted!
Becoming a member at the Gardens opens up an entire world of ways to enjoy the spaces and programming that you love. Join us for an insider’s look at the benefits of your membership, then tour the Gardens with one of our knowledgeable docents, taking in blooms and learning about our history and exciting future. Meet in the Membership Office, located in the Lerner Visitor Center through the double doors to the left of the admissions desks.
Ever wonder what it would be like to have the whole of the Gardens to yourself? Members can come find out! From May through August, join us for any of our several Member Evenings at the Gardens, open 5-7:30 p.m., exclusively for our members. Enjoy these quiet, tranquil hours and relax with us here at the Gardens. Register early--space is limited!
Explore the wide array of the season’s blooming dahlias! Join Courtney Locke on a tour of the Dahlia Garden. We’ll learn about the different groups and characteristics that make up this beautiful display. Courtney will also share some great tips and tricks for caring for your own dahlias at home.
Join Spencer O’Bryan, CMBG’s Science and Collections Information Coordinator, as he takes us through our Herbarium and plant collection to discover more about two aspects of the Gardens’ mission—education and research. Spencer will show us the ins and outs of plant pressing and give us a tour of the pressed plant collection. This department’s latest project has been to catalog all of our plants—come learn about the importance of this ongoing research.
Now that the garden is put to bed, it’s a great time to read those books you’ve been meaning to get to! Join the conversation as we discuss four acclaimed books with nature at their core. We’ll conduct these conversations via Zoom, so anyone can participate. Just sign up, read the selection and then join the group by logging into the Zoom meeting that day. December 13: Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid: The Fraught and Fascinating Biology of Climate Change by Thor Hanson, January 10: Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty, February 10: Second Nature by Michael Pollan, March 14: Woodsqueer: Crafting a Rural Sustainable Life by Gretchen Legler
April is a big month for amphibians in Maine as they migrate to vernal pools to breed and lay eggs. During this walk, we’ll spend time exploring the many vernal pools at the Gardens in search of wood frog and spotted salamander eggs as well as other seasonal residents. Participants will learn how to tell the difference between frog and salamander eggs, what makes vernal pools unique, and gain an understanding of their important role in the forest ecosystem. This program is intended for children with an adult caregiver. Please register ONLY for the number of children in your group. This program meets at the Timber Frame behind the Education Center.
Join us for a morning tour before the Gardens opens to the public. Explore our fascinating bird population at the the peak of the spring migration season. Binoculars are recommended; all skill levels welcome.
Spring is one of the best times to go bird watching, since many birds are returning to their mating grounds, sporting showy and colorful plumage. Take advantage of all the natural spaces at the Gardens and get a front-row seat to the show! Put your birding skills to the test – or gain a whole new set – as we tour the Gardens together, looking for our feathered friends and learning how to identify them by their calls and select features. This program is intended for children with an adult caregiver. Please register ONLY for the number of children in your group. This program meets at the Timber Frame behind the Education Center.
Every other Thursday, May 18-October 5, 7-9 a.m.
The Photography Club meets every other Thursday morning from 7-9 a.m., beginning May 18 and ending October 5. Club dues are $25.00 for the entire season, as long as you're a member of the Gardens. Enjoy having the whole of our campus to yourself for two hours before we open to the public, and capture the morning light and mingle with your fellow photographers.
Early-spring blooms bring a burst of color and life to the landscape after a long, dormant winter, providing a beautiful (and much-needed!) reminder of renewal and growth. Expert horticulturist Courtney Locke will provide insightful and educational commentary about different species and their unique characteristics. Members will also have the chance to ask questions and engage in lively discussions about their favorite plants.
Join Horticulturist Alison Webb for a tour of our forests and learn the ecological and cultural significance of Maine's native trees, including their role in supporting wildlife, their use by Indigenous peoples, and their impact on the state's economy and tourism industry. The tour also sheds light on conservation efforts aimed at preserving the state's native tree populations. Expect some steep paths along the way, so be prepared with proper footwear!
This tour is perfect for those who want to experience the sweetness of nature. Join us and learn about native bees and their importance to our environment. After touring the Native Bee Exhibit, we’ll visit the Learning Apiary where you can observe our native bees' non-native cousins--honey bees--in action. Afterwards, we’ll taste a variety of honeys from around the world, from light to dark, sweet to savory.
The Highlights of the Hillside tour takes members on a journey through the recent redesign of this breathtaking natural space. Lon Ames, Haney Hillside Garden Horticulturist, will highlight the changes and share information about the process of redesigning a garden, including the considerations that go into selecting and arranging plants, creating appealing paths, and adding amenities for visitors.
Join Horticulturist & Lepidopteran Specialist, Alicia Miller, on a tour of the Native Butterfly House where you'll have the opportunity to observe the different stages of development of butterflies and moths and explore their habitats and host plants. This experience can offer valuable insights into the behavior and ecology of these captivating insects. So come and immerse yourself in the world of butterflies and moths, and discover the wonders of their existence.
The Gardens is filled with beauty and wonder aboveground, but there’s plenty to discover below the surface too! Join us as we dip our nets into our many ponds in search of aquatic friends, including frogs, salamanders, and dragonfly nymphs, learning about their lives in the process. This program is intended for children with an adult caregiver. Please register ONLY for the number of children in your group. This program meets at the Timber Frame behind the Education Center.
Join Horticulturist Delaney Pitman on a members-only leisurely summer walk at the Gardens. Explore and admire the beauty of our summer annuals and learn a bit about the techniques used to maintain the health and vibrant colors of these plants. The tour offers a unique opportunity to see a variety of summer annuals up close and to ask questions or engage in discussion with our expert guide.
Join us for a scavenger hunt through the woods as we learn how to identify some of Maine’s native trees. Participants will also learn how to distinguish a coniferous tree from a deciduous one. During our walk, we’ll collect leaves to make a leaf-rubbing banner to help us remember our native trees. This program is intended for children with an adult caregiver. Please register ONLY for the number of children in your group. This program meets at the Timber Frame behind the Education Center.
Join Andy Brand and Bridget VerVaet, our resident dragonfly experts, for an insider look at these fascinating insects. With Andy and Bridget's expertise, participants will learn a great deal about dragonfly behavior, habitat, and life cycle, not to mention the opportunity to observe dragonflies up close in their natural environment.
Join us for an in-depth look at the role of a curator at a botanical garden. Learn how the Gardens’ plant collections are managed and how they support our mission through educational programs, showcasing institutional heritage, facilitating research, and contributing to plant conservation efforts. Katherine Brewer, Curator of Living Collections, will discuss how two special collections, the Epimedium and Asclepias collections, are built and evaluated.
Discover the world of native edible plants on a guided tour led by Adult Education & Horticultural Therapy Program Manager, Irene Barber. Explore our beautiful gardens and learn about these edible natives, from traditional and contemporary uses to nutritional and medicinal properties. Sample some of these unique plants along the way, and engage your senses in this fun and interactive experience. We'll enjoy a tasting of refreshing, wild fruit-infused spritzers.
This members-only dahlia tour will explore both challenges and triumphs we've had over the years with these fabulous beauties. Despite facing some difficulties along the way, Horticulturist Courtney Locke persevered and was able to truly showcase the beauty of these flowers. Join Courtney and gain a deeper understanding of the process involved in growing and nurturing these magnificent blooms.
Thursday, May 11; Thursday, May 25; Thursday, June 1; Thursday, June 8; Saturday, June 17; Thursday, July 6; Saturday, July 15; Thursday, July 27; Thursday, August 3; Saturday August 12; Thursday, August 24; from 5 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Join us for a relaxing evening at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens! Our member evenings offer you a wonderful opportunity to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the Gardens in a tranquil setting, surrounded by the natural world. Whether you're looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life or simply want to bask in the beautiful sunset, our member evenings are the perfect way to do just that. So gather your friends and family and come escape to the breathtaking beauty of our botanical gardens.
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.
Join us for a scavenger hunt through the woods as we learn how to identify some of Maine’s native trees and discover why their leaves change color in the fall. Participants will also learn how to distinguish a coniferous tree from a deciduous one. During our walk, we’ll collect leaves to make a leaf-rubbing banner to help us remember our native trees. This program is intended for children with an adult caregiver. Please register ONLY for the number of children in your group. This program meets at the Timber Frame behind the Education Center.
Join us for a behind-the-scenes look at Gardens Aglow with designer, Brent McHale. Learn about the precise planning, process, and implementation of Aglow. We'll cover topics like creating a unique and eye-catching display and what it takes to put up and maintain the display through harsh weather.