The Forest Edge: Design and Ecology

The forest edge plays a significant role in ecological landscapes, both for wildlife habitat and landscape design aesthetics. In this webinar, Andy Brand and Irene Barber will discuss how and what to use to establish attractive forest edges. This “edge” concept can be very useful in urban landscapes, attracting and hosting birds and pollinators year-round. Talking points include selecting species for a variety of landscape conditions, hospitable plants for bird species, woody plants for year-round appeal, and what plants grow well together.

Learn More
Location: Online
Instructor: Andy Brand
Price: $10 / $15

Garden Design: History and Fundamentals

Whether designing one garden or several, the first step is to understand the history and significance of garden design before diving into its fundamentals. Irene Barber, landscape designer and the Gardens’ Adult Education Program Manager, will introduce students to garden themes from different cultures and civilizations, all of which relate to the principles and elements of design relevant today.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

Garden Design: A New England Lens

Geography and cultural history are pertinent factors for decisions made in garden design, particularly in New England’s unique and diverse landscapes, from river valleys to rolling fields to narrow, rocky corridors. Students will understand how to establish a sense of place and belonging, wherever their prospective garden is to be located. No matter what cultural elements and influences you want to incorporate, this class will help you get creative while staying true to a sense of place.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

Garden Design: Creating a Base Plan

Beginning a base plan for a plan-view design of your garden may not be the most exciting part of the process, but it is an all-important one! Join us as we discuss everything from how and what to measure for a new garden to translating that information into a scaled drawing on paper. Once a base plan is established, the designer can get creative, tracing over it until they are happy with (and excited about!) their design, the topic of discussion in the next class: Dreams to Design. Students will be responsible for their own design materials, supply list available upon registration.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

Soils, Mulches, and Amendments

Soils, mulches, and amendments are fundamental for growing plants successfully indoors or out, but it’s easy to become confused, overwhelmed, or unsure. In this webinar, we’ll review what’s what, addressing in-ground and above-ground applications pertinent to vegetable, woodland, or container gardens. We’ll also discuss the variety of manufactured soil and soilless blends, mulches, amendments like composts and mineral additives, the basics of the soil chemistry and biology, and making sustainable choices.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $15 / $20

Garden Design: Drawing from the Landscape

Whether designing a secret garden or an extensive wildflower garden, it’s critical to run an assessment of the setting—built features, where water flows, and how much sun hits the area between growing months. We'll discuss what a site assessment and inventory looks like and how sketching this information gives designers a visual diagram, providing a clearer understanding of any variables to consider. The more informed you are as a designer, the better a designer you’ll be! Students will be responsible for their own design materials, supply list available upon registration.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

The Right Tool For the Right Job

From gardening to landscape projects, the right tool makes the process easier, less strenuous, and more efficient. A chef wouldn’t use a butter knife to slice a roast, and a carpenter wouldn’t secure an inch-thick board with a half-inch nail! In this behind-the-scenes look at the CMBG horticulture staff's favorite tools, you'll learn why certain tools are appropriate for certain jobs. We’ll also discuss the more effective and ergonomic options out there—it might be time to replace that splintering, 30-year-old spade you're still using!

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $12 / $18

Sustainable Horticultural Practices

Friday, June 17 and Saturday, June 25 | Ecosystem balance and soil and water quality are all influenced by our landscape practices. This extensive, two-day study of sustainable horticulture will help students apply the principles of ecologically safe gardening practices to their existing garden or landscape.

Learn More
Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $130 / $155

Ecological Landscape Design

Fridays, October 21 and 28 and Saturday, October 29 | 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.

Learn More
Location: Online & Bosarge Family Education Center
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $155 / $180