Join us for an online introduction to CMBG's Botanical Arts Certificate program. Our program offers a broad palette of botanically inspired classes. Enrolled students select courses that suit their interests and work toward a final project. Learn about this program and its classes, and decide if this creative curriculum inspires you.
This virtual class delves deeply into using graphite to accurately depict simple botanical subjects using fruits and vegetables. Emphasis on highlights, midtones, and shadow areas. Using a light source and three-dimensional armature, artists understand concave and convex shapes. Students complete a three-part series of drawings, line, armature, and full tonal graphite drawing.
What's the difference between a wild plant and a garden crop? MOFGA's organic crop specialist, Caleb Goossen, will speak about seed selection and seed saving, identify the differences between wild plants and modern hybrid cultivars, and the strengths and weaknesses that might influence your decision to grow these wild-to-domestic varieties. MOFGA's landscape coordinator, Jack Kertesz, will share some of his favorite underutilized edible annual and perennial plants to incorporate into a variety of gardens or naturalized into the landscape.
Urban trees are indispensable in making our cities livable. In the past 15 years, researchers in urban forestry have developed methods of quantifying the ecosystem benefits provided by urban trees. In our increasingly paved cities, tree services are essential, as it has become clear that poor practices in tree selection and soil preparation have reduced the potential benefits of planting such trees. As our metropolitan areas are so heterogeneous, not all trees will do well in all sites. However, the most ubiquitous constraint to healthy, urban tree growth is soil compaction and limited accessible soil volume, leading to stunted trees that cannot withstand increasingly hot and dry summers. Fortunately, there are many practices that can overcome these challenges.
Too often, gardeners rush to buy seeds and seedlings before considering placement, growth habit, and time of harvest. In this class, Ellen Ecker Ogden, author of The New Heirloom Garden, will take you through the process of selecting and growing plants from seed, the reasons to procure seedlings, and where in a garden plants perform best to yield successful, tasty produce, easy growth, and beauty. Discussion will include best varieties for flavor, fragrant and edible flowers, growing in succession, saving your own seed for the following year, and much more. Ellen Ecker Ogden's book will be available for purchase on-site at the Gardenshop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.
Most Maine gardeners and general property owners have had to deal with deer venturing out of the wild and into the cultivated landscape. Deer are part of the ecology in Maine, but an increase in their populations, coupled with displacement of their habitat, have caused them to become a nuisance animal in residential garden settings. In this online lecture, landscape designer Cheryl Salatino will discuss design strategies, plant selection, and other deer deterrent and management methods to prevent your plant investments from being grazed upon.
Learn the fundamentals of pruning in this online lecture and demonstration. Enjoy it as a refresher or, if new to it, gain the confidence to know what, how, and when to prune. Whether you’ve attempted to prune in the past with unsuccessful results, or you've been afraid to prune because you're not sure if you'll damage your plants, you’ll leave this lecture far more confident. We'll discuss appropriate tools, timing, goals, and techniques that will assist you in your pruning projects.
In orienting students to the Certicificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture, we welcome both new and continuing students. Classes are open to those not pursuing the certificate, though priority will be given to program enrollees.
Anna Fialkoff, Program Manager at Wild Seed Project, will offer a virtual presentation explaining and featuring native plant selection and gardening practices to support and increase biodiversity whcih lead to beautiful gardens with minimal manual labor.
Perennial polycultures aim to grow useful plants together in a way that minimizes competition and maximizes cooperation. They include functional species to fix nitrogen, to serve as groundcover, and to attract pollinators and other beneficial insects. Perennial crops providing fruit, nuts, and vegetables anchor such designs. This workshop will review best practices for perennial polyculture design, introduce a palette of species suited to Maine, and allow participants to design sample polycultures.
In this online lecture, Shawn Jalbert, nurseryman and plant propagator at Native Haunts, will share the tricks to sowing, growing, and collecting the seeds of our native perennials, plants that thrive in woodlands or any shade-garden setting. He’ll discuss the ecologically responsible and effective ways to grow native plants from seed, resulting in a healthy, green living carpet that can operate as a long-term, cost-effective, and low-maintenance mulch.
Join us for a visually captivating virtual introduction to the life inhabiting CMBG’s wetlands. From inconspicuous invertebrates to loveable herptiles (i.e., amphibians), discover the diversity that flourishes in these wetland waters. CMBG's Bridget VerVaet will help students learn ways to find and identify these creatures during their own nature walks.
This program is alternately available as an outdoor field-study class.
This in-depth class for the ecologically minded land steward and gardener will delve into the properties and functions of the living system of soil. A fundamental understanding of soil science is critical in selecting well-adapted native plants or choosing amendments to mimic the natural conditions needed by various native plant communities. Students will gain an understanding of soil texture, chemistry, water-holding capacity, and how these factors influence a plant’s health.
Join Alicia Miller, our Lepidoptera specialist, to learn more about some of Maine’s native butterfly and moth species. This virtual slideshow presentation will explore key identifying features of different Lepidoptera including morphology, adaptations, difference in range and habitat, and evolutionary history. We’ll discuss the importance of host and nectar plants and how you can help support Maine’s native species right in your own backyard.
This course can be taken on its own or to accompany the “Pollinators: Butterflies and Moths” field-study course.
Soil, compost, and mulches are fundamental elements for the garden, but it’s easy to become confused, overwhelmed, or unsure about what’s what. Mark Hutchinson, Soil and Compost Educator at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, will discuss these elements, addressing in-ground and above-ground applications. Mark will provide an overview of proper selection of manufactured soil blends, mulches, and amendments and cover the basics of the soil chemistry and biology that determine the need for specified amendments.
Mark Hutchinson is an Extension Professor with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with over 20 years of compost experience, including teaching and researching. He currently oversees the University of Maine Compost Research and Education Center at Highmoor Farm in Monmouth, Maine. Mark's research is focused on the use of compost in agronomic systems and the compost process. Mark travels internationally to consult on large-scale composting systems.
In this webinar, Gary Fish, Maine’s State Horticulturist, will introduce and discuss common pests, including noxious to invasive insects, blights, rusts, diseases, and deficiencies. This class is geared toward those who aren’t necessarily scientists, but who thoroughly enjoy gardening and want to learn the symptoms and signs of infestation as well as prevention and management strategies. Students are welcome to e-mail pictures of specific plant concerns in advance of class to the class host, Irene Barber.
Gary Fish is the State Horticulturalist at the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. He is a past coordinator of the Maine YardScaping Partnership and manager of the Pesticide Control Board. He has a B.S. in forest and wildlife management from the University of Maine, College of Forest Resources and has been a licensed professional forester since 1985. An aspiring landscape and nature photographer, he attributes his love of plants to his mother and her beautiful rose and rock gardens.
Get to know your backyard pollinators by exploring the diversity of northeastern bees. This virtual bees-and-beyond tour will teach you to recognize bees and distinguish one species from another. We will also explore their lifestyle, nesting habits, and the unique adaptations that make them nature’s best pollinators. Learn about bees’ relationships with plants, including the latest discoveries in plant-pollinator interactions.
This course may be taken on its own, but makes a great accompaniment to the field-study course, “Pollinators: Bees and Beyond.”
Climate change is already impacting gardens, but how we garden can also impact climate change for good or for ill. We will look at projected changes to Maine’s climate and those gardening strategies we can employ to adapt to the new “normal.” We will also look at how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our gardens, from fertilizers to rototilling, and techniques to remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in our soils and in living perennial biomass.
Eric Toensmeier is the author of Paradise Lot, Perennial Vegetables, and The Carbon Farming Solution, and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens. He served as a Senior Fellow for Project Drawdown, for whom he authored the recent publication Farming Our Way Out of the Climate Crisis. Eric’s home garden in Massachusetts is a highly diverse edible landscape on a tenth of an acre.
Seeds are rarely depicted in art, but that’s exactly what you’ll do in this online workshop. Using a standard microscope or handheld digital microscope, participants will explore, then depict, the textures and patterns of magnified seeds. After a brief discussion of vellum’s properties and types, we'll lay out drawings before transferring them to the material itself.
Ornamental grasses can add so much to a garden setting, whether in meadow restoration or to blend colors or add textural and structural accents to perennial gardens. Join Syretha Brooks, gardener and garden designer, for this interactive slideshow and learn more about the diverse selection of safe, non-native and native grasses to consider for your landscape. Syretha will offer management suggestions and habits for the species presented. Students also have the option to register for a separate ornamental grasses field-study tour happening later in the summer at the Gardens.
Syretha Brooks is a horticulturist and project manager at Pretty Flowers, a landscape and design company based in Brunswick, Maine. A native of Harpswell, Maine, she has a degree in fine arts from Smith College, which has greatly aided in developing her eye for plant designing and curation. Syretha was formerly a horticulturist at New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens before returning to her home state of Maine and working as a horticulturist here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for four years.
In this intensive course, learn how to apply ecologically safe gardening practices to existing landscapes and garden beds. Topics will include plant materials for erosion control, different methods of composting and other eco-friendly soil amendment techniques, alternatives to pesticides and herbicides, responsible acquisition of native plant materials, and other low-impact sustainable horticultural practices that support human well-being and nature.
This class is a continuation of Form & Texture with Graphite, Part 1. Develop an understanding of graphite while applying it to more complex natural subjects such as a pineapples, pinecones, artichokes, or the interior of a pepper. Skills include rendering different pigments in greyscale and exploring the tonal quality and textural differences between surfaces. Learn to translate multi-colored subjects into tonal values while maintaining form and perspective.
Prepare for a mindful gardening season by beginning or refreshing your understanding of horticulture. This introductory course will cover a wide variety of horticultural topics important for home gardeners to consider when growing and managing plants on any scale. Subjects will range from the theoretical to the practical, beginning with scientific foundations such as plant nomenclature, biology and ecology, pollination, and propagation. Other topics will include applied and artistic practices exploring plant selection, cultivation, and installation of new plants.
This is the first of three interactive lectures by renowned photographer Ron Rosenstock. Students may take just one or all three; each program lasts approximately 50 minutes with a Q&A period to follow. In this lecture, Ron Rosenstock will cover the various infrared conversions, advantages and disadvantages of each, and showcase samples of his work to illustrate key differences.
On the grounds of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, there are a number of freshwater wetlands where, in April and May, some notable symphonies are heard. Join CMBG’s wetland guardian, Bridget VerVaet, to explore our wetlands and learn more about the perishable, too-often forgotten underwater life that thrives there.
To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 people. We are practicing social distance protocols.
Rain Date: Saturday, May 22, 2021 from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Learn the core concepts of plant biology to help ground your appreciation for working with nature. We’ll cover the basic parts of a plant and how they work together to sustain the processes of photosynthesis, respiration, and water and mineral uptake.
Do you have a hard time identifying one variety of birch from another? Did you know we have five different species of birch growing in Maine? Join District Forester Allyssa Gregory in a field study tour of the Gardens’ trees, and learn more about forest culture and where to find common species growing in different regions of the state. Discussion will include identification of tree species during the growing and dormant seasons, distinguishing features of evergreen species, and the ecological and economical functions of our forests.
Allyssa Gregory is the Maine Forest Service’s MidCoast District Forester. She obtained a forestry degree from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her professional background includes rural forestry, urban forestry, horticulture, and structure firefighting. Allyssa is involved with the Tree Farm program as a certified inspector and is a Project Learning Tree facilitator.
To provide safe in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols. Rain date: Saturday, June 12, 2021
Monday, May 24, June 7, and July 26 | Native plant expert Dan Robarts will discuss native plant selections for combinations of soil pH, sun and shade, and wet and dry substrate will be considered, as will be selecting plants for color and texture, their broader ecosystem considerations, application in niche garden communities, and their role in ecological restoration.