Friday, May 26 & Saturday, June 3 | Learn how Maine’s native plants behave in their natural habitats. Guided by ecologist Ted Elliman, this comprehensive, two-day hybrid course will introduce students to Maine's plant communities, their defining physical environments, the plants living in them, and the natural processes affecting them. Online discussion and hands-on field work will evaluate the variety of plant communities throughout Maine and how this information influences your gardening choices.
Tuesday-Thursday, May 30-June 1, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Come out and enjoy painting in the best studio ever, the great outdoors! In spring, the Gardens offers joyous inspiration, sparking creativity after a long winter with daffodils, tulips and budding trees. Via both group instruction and putting skills to work in the Gardens, class will focus on watercolor techniques and learning what creates a good composition. Students can expect demonstrations as well as time to work independently, with plenty of instructor feedback. Though open to all levels, students will benefit from having some basic knowledge of painting with watercolor prior to these workshops. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.
Whether you live in an apartment building, on a suburban lot, or on a rural property, this class will address the opportunities everyone has for composting at home. Instead of adding to the food waste that makes up 1/3 of America's trash, you can learn how to effectively turn it into a treasure, whether the method is indoor vermiculture or outdoor bins or piles. Join Don Morrison, Master Gardener and compost aficionado, to learn about the different methods, containers, and materials that both accommodate your lifestyle and successfully compost food waste and garden debris. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.
Friday-Monday, June 9-12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Attention artists! Come join us for the annual Plein Air Days long weekend. Bring your art supplies and easels, and admission is free! You must make reservations, but you’re welcome to come any or all of the four days.
From small bellflowers to 8" wide star blossoms, clematis can show off a wide variety of colorful ornamental flowers throughout the growing season. Grow clematis vines for vertical interest or as groundcover that naturally interweaves with plant companions. Clematis are most often affiliated with cottage gardens, yet you can find them growing on vertical features made of metal, wood, or rope in any garden design. Join Cindy Tibbetts, clematis specialty grower at Hummingbird Farm, to explore and learn about the extensive array of clematis at the Gardens, garden cultivation, and what species will work for you, in pots or in-ground.
Garden tuteurs, garden obelisk, or trellis—no matter what term you're familiar with, this creative pyramidal structure supports edible or ornamental vines. These practical features add vertical interest and provide visible textural contrast, line, and structure to a garden. Join us just in time to support seasonal vines and make your own rustic wooden tuteur to add to your garden space. Instructor and CMBG Horticulturist, Kelsie Birney, will provide all needed supplies and lead students through the constructing process. Please bring your own gloves, clippers, and battery-operated or cord drill, if you have one handy. While this class is a part of our adult education offerings, it is open to advanced younger students, ages 14 and older.
Friday, June 16 & Saturday, June 24 | Ecosystem balance, soil, and water quality are all influenced by our landscape practices. This extensive, two-day sustainable horticulture class will help students apply the principles of ecologically safe gardening practices to their garden or landscape. Through online and in-person sessions, we’ll examine composting, techniques for eco-friendly soil amendments, alternatives to pesticide and herbicides, responsible native plant acquisition, erosion control methods, plant forms for function, and so much more.
Tuesday-Thursday, June 20-22, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
In a workshop designed for all levels of experience, participants will be inspired by beautiful gardens while learning to create vibrant paintings with the pastel medium. Led by artist Diana Rogers, this three-day course will introduce beginning artists to pastels with pure pigments, the perfect complement to the colorful bounty of nature. For experienced painters, the course offers techniques for loosening up compositions and using bold color and painterly mark-making. Diana will offer demonstrations and plenty of one-on-one attention and encouragement at the easel. Using fun exercises, participants will learn how to use color selection, simplified compositions, and mark-making to create expressive garden paintings. We will paint indoors in the classroom and spend time outdoors observing nature and preparing sketches. Participants will have plenty of time to paint and complete fully developed paintings.
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 methods to mitigate further plant-pest problems.
Color, color, and more color! Join us and learn how visually stunning color combinations can be achieved effectively and harmoniously in container garden design. Sometimes too much color can be overpowering, but color can be expressed in many ways—through hue, tone, shape, and texture, creating wide-ranging visual appeal. Join Brent McHale, container-garden designer and Gardens Horticulturist, to learn how to create your own colorful container garden, one that achieves its effect through flowers, foliage, and seasonal succession. All planting materials will be supplied by the Gardens. The instructor will contact you to ask if you want a shade- or sun-loving plant selection. Please bring your own garden gloves and clippers.
Join award-winning photographer Nathaniel Smalley and gain new understanding in composing and capturing the beauty of nature. In this exceptional three-day photo session, tune your creative vision in a blend of both classroom and fieldwork. An in-depth presentation on camera settings will help you maximize the photographic opportunities we’ll encounter in the Gardens, where we’ll work on capturing images of plants and flowers in both landscapes and more intimate scenes. There will be time to process your images in Lightroom or Photoshop, developing them to their full potential. Participants should have a sturdy tripod, a camera with a manual mode setting. Photographers of all skill levels are welcome, but a basic understanding of the functions of their camera’s ISO, aperture, shutter speed, light meter, and histogram is required. *Please note: This is not an introductory course on how to use your camera for the first time.
Sedges and rushes are ubiquitous and ecologically significant elements of our natural landscapes, but lacking showy flowers, they are often overlooked. This class will introduce a number of the common sedges and rushes frequently encountered in woods, wetlands, and meadows, highlighting their subtle variety and visual appeal. Join Ted Elliman, New England botanist and field-study researcher, to learn how to identify sedges and rushes, their functions in our natural landscapes, and how they provide ornamental and ecological benefits to gardens spaces.
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.
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.
Have you ever thought of flower photographs as portraits? Award-winning photographer Kathleen Clemons certainly does, and she will share the equipment and techniques she uses to create her art. Topics will include lens choice, lighting, subject selection, focus issues, aperture choices, selecting a background, and how to simplify a subject to truly capture its natural beauty.
Join trained herbalist and horticulturist Lesley Paxson for a workshop and field-study examining some of the interesting layers of herbalism, from traditional beliefs to contemporary applications. Come enjoy a tea tasting with plants freshly harvested from the Gardens, harvest medicinal plant cuttings to take home for tea, and, since July offers an abundance of blooms, she'll also demonstrate how a flower essence is made. We’ll stroll the gardens and identify five important medicinal plants historically valuable to human well-being and understand them more intimately with a tincture tasting.