The Caterpillar Lab is moving in, and while the exhibit is filled with munching critters offering lots to explore, the real story is the one happening outdoors. In our many gardens (as well as your own backyard), these creatures are living out their strange lives in the wild. Join The Caterpillar Lab Director, Sam Jaffe, on an exploration of the Gardens in search of native caterpillars and other insects. Learn how The Lab finds its caterpillars, all about host plants and parasitoids, and discover caterpillar-finding secrets from one of the world’s foremost caterpillar hunters! This walk is appropriate for naturalists, gardeners, and explorers of all ages. It may not, however, be appropriate for more casually interested younger children.
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.
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.
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.
Celebrate the natural world by creating a work of art honoring the relationship between an animal and a plant. Block printing, a form of relief printing, is the oldest, simplest, and most direct approach to making an impression. Experience all aspects of the process, from handling and care of tools through inking and printing your own images by hand.
Plants of salt marsh communities are uniquely adapted to tolerate and survive the stress of repeated, daily salt-water flooding. Learn which members of our wild flora can withstand these harsh conditions and the various mechanisms they’ve evolved to cope with—and even thrive in—environmental conditions that would kill most plants. Melissa will lead you on a low-tide botanical journey into an iconic and vulnerable Maine habitat. Please wear boots or sneakers that can get wet (and maybe redolent of the salt-marsh…).
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.
Drip, pour, drag, layer, heat, and incise! Learn the art of encaustic painting in this hands-on workshop using pigmented wax and a heated palette! Through a rich variety of marks and surfaces, explore the various painting techniques of this seductive medium. We will also look to CMBG’s gardens as sources of inspiration.
Deepening your connection to nature through moving meditation offers enormous benefits for personal well-being. Follow Susan Bickford, forest therapy guide for the ancient Japanese practice, Shinrin Yoku, or forest bathing, as she gives you the tools to begin your own meditation practice. In this gentle class, experience how the simple practice of walking mindfully through a forest can provide deep serenity. By engaging with the forest with all five senses, we enhance awareness and presence. Despite a busy lifestyle, taking time for ourselves is enormously important—what luck that we can do so by walking in the forest!
Our Northeastern forest genera consists of a wide assortment of deciduous and coniferous species that vary throughout the macro- and micro-climatic regions of Maine. Understanding these species helps inform landowners about management, the local ecology, soils, and successional development. Join us and learn how to identify many of Maine's forest trees and about concepts like silvaculture and climate adaptive species. Autumn is the perfect time for this exploration—beyond the natural spectacle, the range of fall colors provides Allysa Gregory, Maine District Forester, the perfect palette by which to explain trees and their color choices. Leave feeling more connected to our forests and confident in identifying trees in your area.
Ever wanted to preserve your garden after the season has ended, extending the enjoyment of its bounty? Join Staff Horticulturist Jen Dunlap and learn the process of making dried wreaths from cuttings collected from your garden or surrounding property. Jen will take you through this art and craft, step-by-step. A materials list will be supplied upon registration, as will a list of suggested cuttings to have on-hand, if you’d like to make a wreath during class. If you won’t have the dried cuttings, you can still learn and keep the recorded class demonstration as reference.
Join Amanda Devine, Regional Steward Manager for Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and Portland City Arborist Jeff Tarling to discuss and learn about the important tools, prevention strategies, and resources needed for dealing with invasive plants in constructed and natural areas. As project sites are connected to the surrounding environment when it comes to invasive plants, emphasis will be on actionable ways—the methods and measures—landscape professionals can make a difference for their clients and their communities.
Get into the mood for the winter holidays by making your own evergreen wreath—there’s nothing like the sharp, clean scent of balsam fir to signal the beginning of the festive season. In this virtual workshop and demonstration, Horticulturist Jen Dunlap will lead you through the process of making your own unique winter wreath. Students can register with an option to pick up greenery from CMBG; instructions will be provided in a follow-up email. All registered students will receive a helpful list of suggested resources for other necessary supplies in that same email confirmation.
Horticulturist and floral designer Diane Walden creates wild and whimsical arrangements all year round. Join this master of her craft in this virtual workshop and create your own arrangement, a perfect reflection of your personal taste and a festive nod to the season. Everything from evergreens to birch bark, berries, seedheads, and select floral options combine to create a stunning arrangement. Diane will guide you through the steps, freeing you from the traditional store-bought arrangements. Students can register with an option to pick up greenery from CMBG; instructions will be provided in a follow-up email. All registered students will receive a helpful list of suggested resources for other necessary supplies in that same email confirmation.
The cool, damp climate of Maine and northern New England is perfect for mosses. Bill Cullina, author of newly reissued Native Ferns, Moss & Grasses, will briefly cover a dozen of the most common moss species growing everywhere from sidewalks to lawns, damp boreal forests to bogs. Helpful lessons on moss anatomy and ecology, which native ferns combine well with mosses, and how to ethically and successfully introduce mosses into a site without harming existing moss ecology will feature in the discussion. Q&A will follow at the end of the one-hour presentation.
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.
Longtime nursery grower Jeff O'Donal will discuss those often overlooked or forgotten factors that go into choosing trees and shrubs for a new landscape. While the setting itself dictates size and shape, also important to consider are tree health, the root-ball structure (whether in a pot or B&B), rate of growth, and adaptability to a new site. All this and more goes into choosing the right specimens for the right place, ensuring they thrive long into the future. Whether or not you’re a seasoned landscaper or gardener, this topic is always relevant to our practice. Come with questions and testimonials to share after the one-hour presentation.