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

Trees of Maine: Autumn ID & Ecology

When it comes to admiring the forest canopy and individual tree species, there’s no better time than autumn. In this field-study class, we’ll highlight the value of northeastern forests – Maine’s macro- and micro-climatic regions consist of a wide assortment of deciduous and coniferous species valuable to thousands of living organisms. Come observe Maine’s trees and learn about their variety of habits and characteristics with District Forester, Shane Duigan. We'll discuss the history of Maine's forests, identify trees (the autumn colors help with that), management tips, the role trees play in the climate, and the changes they’re living through now and into the future.

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

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

Winter Light Design: Inside the Process

Thursday, November 9, 2-5 p.m.

Nights can be long in Maine—so why not introduce a little festive night light into your world? That’s exactly what we do every year during Gardens Aglow, an annual event that attracts visitors from all over the Northeast. Because we get many questions about our design and process, we're offering this lecture and walking tour. Join Brent McHale, Horticulturist & Gardens Aglow Program Manager, and Alison Webb, Horticulturist, and light-display specialist, to learn about creative and inspiring lighting design, color selection, and practical advice for your light display. We’ll discuss sustainable choices and practices, resourcing and repurposing materials for design concepts, set-up considerations, and more. After an introductory indoor presentation, we’ll go outside to see the light display and observe intricate details like the electrical components that make the display work successfully.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $30 / $38

Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments: Plants and Practices

Tailored to emerging or current professionals in the green industry, Plants and Practices guides students through the valuable process of landscaping with native plants and working in harmony with nature to achieve high-performance, resilient landscape systems. The four-part course features detailed instruction about native woody plants and native herbaceous plants for specific environmental applications; instruction and discussion about effective implementation and long-term management practices for various projects; and how to establish comprehensive, functional, and successful communication between clients and contractors. We will discuss biodiversity in plant communities, plant adaptation, successional design and growth, erosion control, installation of green infrastructure, building trust and establishing landscape programs that include long-term management and design, and much more. These interactive virtual sessions are designed to help native-plant-savvy students plan for the next level of design and management.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $275 / $325

Make a Winter Wreath: Session 1 (Sold Out)

Friday, December 1, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Creating a wreath from sustainably harvested, fresh, and aromatic evergreen materials, berries, decorative twigs, fuzzy flower buds, and more is the perfect addition to your winter decor. Wreaths come in all shapes and sizes and represent various holidays, celebrations, and themes, and this class will inspire you to think outside the box. During this in-person workshop at the Gardens, cocoa, tea, and sweet & savory snacks will fuel you as you develop your wreath-making skills. Please bring garden clippers or pruners (scissors are not recommended). All other materials are supplied.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $44 / $55

Make a Winter Wreath: Session 2 (Sold Out)

Saturday, December 2, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m. 

Creating a wreath from sustainably harvested, fresh, and aromatic evergreen materials, berries, decorative twigs, fuzzy flower buds, and more is the perfect addition to your winter decor. Wreaths come in all shapes and sizes and represent various holidays, celebrations, and themes, and this class will inspire you to think outside the box. During this in-person workshop at the Gardens, cocoa, tea, and sweet & savory snacks will fuel you as you develop your wreath-making skills. Please bring garden clippers or pruners (scissors are not recommended). All other materials are supplied.

Location: Bosarge Family Education Center Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $44 / $55

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

Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments: Design & Structural Components

Resilient landscapes in built environments are connected to the larger, evolving environment. Incorporating low-maintenance design and high-performance results, resilient landscapes sustain and regenerate under stressful environmental conditions rather than falling victim to stressors. These are aesthetic powerhouse systems providing ecological services, giving the landscape professional the opportunity to evolve their business and adapt to the changing environment. In Section I, Design and Structural Components, we will identify and assess the design process and factors, including ecological principles, processes, and materials, in order to create systems that are resilient and regenerative. Four separate online sessions focus on: Ecological Design for Resilience, Applied Soils: Restore and Engineer, Systematic Solutions to Water Management, and Sustainable Materials. Class Level: Advanced

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Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $275 / $350

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

Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 1

Growing native plants from seed secures stronger genetic diversity and adaptability to our changing climate. This class covers the basic set-up and the correct steps and considerations to grow native woody plants from seed. Through a hands-on workshop, we will explain and demonstrate the ins and outs, including the processes of collection, seasonal timing, germination rates, materials, and the steps of caring for the plant collection to the point they're sold or planted in your clients' gardens or landscapes. Instructors will teach the content according to the plants' natural communities, from coastal maritime to freshwater wetlands and other communities throughout Maine and New England. Please note that the March 6 session will cover different plants from the February 15 session (Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 2). It is recommended that you take both classes. Class Level: Intermediate - Advanced

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

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

Invasive Plant Management: Lessons Learned

Support healthy gardens while tackling invasive plant issues with skills learned in this valuable presentation. Chris Polatin, restoration ecologist with Land Stewardship, Inc., will discuss how he incorporates Integrated Pest Management into successful mitigation practices. Developed over 20 years as an ecological restoration practitioner, Chirs has honed his skills and will share what to do, what not to do, and what are the most feasible outcomes. Additionally, we'll cover commonly encountered and emerging invasive plant species, seasonal consideration and prioritization, and native plant revegetation strategies. Landscape and garden professionals will leave with tangible mitigation tools and resources for additional support.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Chris Polatin
Price: $15 / $18

Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 2

Growing native plants from seed secures stronger genetic diversity and adaptability to our changing climate. This class covers the basic set-up and the correct steps and considerations to grow native woody plants from seed. Through a hands-on workshop, we will explain and demonstrate the ins and outs, including the processes of collection, seasonal timing, germination rates, materials, and the steps of caring for the plant collection to the point they're sold or planted in your clients' gardens or landscapes. Instructors Shawn Jalbert, owner of Native Haunts Nursery, and Nikki Lively Savage, from New England Wetland Plants, will teach the content according to the plants' natural communities, from coastal maritime to freshwater wetlands and other communities throughout Maine and New England. Please note that the March 6 session will cover different plants from the February 15 session (Growing Native Woody Plants from Seed, Session 1). It is recommended that you take both classes. Class Level: Intermediate-Advanced

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

Form and Texture In Graphite I

Delve deeply into the art of graphite drawing. Using simple botanical subjects, this online class will give students confidence in accurately depicting various fruits and vegetables. Using a light source and three-dimensional armature and an emphasis on highlights, mid-tones, and shadow areas, artists will develop an understanding of concave and convex shapes. Students will complete a three-part series of drawings, line, armature, and full tonal graphite drawing. This is a two-day online Zoom class on Thursdays, March 7 and 14. The classes are recorded and available for future viewing.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Mindy Lighthipe
Price: $65 / $75

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

Orientation to the Certificate in Native Plants & Ecological Horticulture

For prospective and current students of the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture course. This session initiates a student's enrollment and provides a detailed overview of the comprehensive curriculum. We will explain the different tracks for completing the program, including specific information about core and elective courses, the instructors, and the schedule that can be adapted to students' budgets and availability. Experienced hobbyist gardeners or professional gardeners interested in building their proficiency in New England native plants and horticulture practices that support ecology are encouraged to attend the orientation session to learn more about the entire program.

Class Level: Intermediate

Location: Online
Instructor: Multiple Instructors
Price: $25

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

Form and Texture In Graphite 2

In a continuation of Form & Texture with Graphite Part I, students will further develop their understanding and application of graphite to more complex natural subjects. By using pineapples, pine cones, the interior of a pepper, and so on, students will develop their skills, including working on rendering different pigments in greyscale. Explore the tonal quality and textural differences between the papery skin of garlic and the deep, dark shine of an eggplant. Learn to translate multi-colored subjects into tonal values, all while maintaining form and perspective. This class will meet via Zoom from 9:30-11:30 a.m. on March 21 & 28 and April 4 & 11. Pre-requisite: Suggested as a continuation of Form and Texture with Graphite Part I. These classes are recorded and available for future viewing.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Mindy Lighthipe
Price: $145 / $165

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

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