Traditional hardscape surfaces like pavers, asphalt, stone aggregates, and field stone are materials landscapers have long used, some for centuries. Today, these products are being modified and adapted into permeable applications. In this presentation, landscape engineer Robert Roseen will discuss necessary considerations for applying permeable surfaces and installation dos and don'ts. These products and their engineering have come a long way, and they work—even in New England! Join us and conserve and support healthy water hydrology instead of treating it like a waste product.Learn More
In this section, Design and Structural Components, we will identify and assess the design process and factors inclusive of 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.Learn More
New England meadow plants include a wide array of genera and are wonderful succession plants for many landscapes—dry open fields or damp, shady woodland clearings, large garden borders or converted lawn spaces. In partnership with CT NOFA, this hands-on workshop welcomes all horticulture professionals, whether nursery growers, gardeners, or landscape designers, to come learn about the considerations and processes of propagating, sowing, and growing native herbaceous species. Instructors Leo Kenney from Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary and Emily Baisden from Wild Seed Project will discuss seed preservation, methods for strong and timely germination, and growing materials. Students will leave confident in the knowledge that they can incorporate these species into their businesses operations.Learn More
Whether designing one garden or several, the first step is to learn the foundation and classical inspirations of garden design. Understanding design principles and becoming aware of how garden design has evolved through the centuries and is represented through different cultures helps new designers establish a basis and broadens perspectives. In this online class, 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 to today.Learn More
Thursdays, March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 & April 6, 9:30-11:30 a.m. | Learn to paint and draw birds! In this thorough, engaging, and inspiring five-week class, students will work from photographs and online resources to learn the anatomy of eggs, nests, feathers, wings, and the whole bird anatomy. Class meets online via Zoom. Each week a new topic will be introduced through slide lectures and demonstrations of various techniques. Students may work in watercolor and/or colored pencil. After the class is over, there will be a final review bonus class where students can receive feedback from the instructor.Learn More
Attention professional gardeners, growers, farmers, and landscape designers! With demand for native plants increasing, there are plenty of reasons and opportunities to incorporate them into your professional practice, nursery business, or landscape projects. In partnership with the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and taking place at the Gardens, this hands-on workshop with Leo Kenney from Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary and Emily Baisden from Wild Seed Project will discuss the considerations and guide students through the processes necessary for effectively propagating and sowing native edible plants. Instead of foraging from wild populations, learn how to grow natives from seed for professional advantage and add function, beauty, nutrition, and delicious flavors to any garden environment.Learn More
Geography and cultural history are pertinent factors when making garden design decisions, particularly in New England’s unique and diverse landscapes, from river valleys to rolling fields to narrow, rocky corridors. In this online class, students will learn 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.Learn More
Maine’s water resources are among our state’s greatest natural assets, but disturbing soil, working with, and affecting vegetation around shorelines can involve extra care, materials, and understanding of local, state, and federal regulations. John Maclaine of Maine DEP’s Nonpoint Source Training Center will focus on vegetative buffers that include a variety of plant species effective for controlling erosion, protecting water quality, and maintaining high-quality resources for future generations. He’ll share ecological principles that guide regulatory decision-making and up-to-date information on state rules and permits. Whether wetlands, ponds, lakes, rivers, or the seashore, landscapers and gardeners working with the water’s edge will find this this presentation helpful as a refresher or for building awareness.Learn More
New and ongoing students in the Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture will attend this online session. Learn about this comprehensive program, its curriculum, the core courses, the elective courses, and the instructors. The extensive program welcomes experienced gardeners, hobbyists, and professional gardeners interested in building their proficiency about New England native plants and the horticulture practices that support ecology in the landscape.Learn More
Creating 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! This in-person class will present and allow practice in how and what to measure for a new garden or multiple gardens before translating the information into a scaled drawing. During this stage, students will begin developing a design key and practice drafting skills. A scaled base-plan will be necessary to properly pursue further design stages and enable the designer to practice sketching with trace paper and explore ideas. Upon registration, students will receive a list of supplies needed to pursue their own design project and to have ready for this class.Learn More
Whether designing a secret garden or an extensive wildflower garden, it’s critical to evaluate, document, and sketch out a setting's details—built features, water movement, sun exposure throughout growing months, soil types and so on. This online session will help students develop longhand documentation and, more importantly, sketch 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 to have a scaled base-plan in-hand before moving forward with this stage. Upon registration, students will receive a supplies list that will be useful for designing a new garden.Learn More
When we design a garden, we do so much more than simply create a space to show off favorite flowers—we create one that reflects personality and a sense of place, incorporating circulation, function, and design principles. Join us at the Gardens as we explore the conceptual process that awakens creativity and trains the brain to draw freehand, while learning how to use graphic tools. We’ll practice with onsite spaces, and have time for students to apply newfound skills to their own personal projects. Upon registration, students will receive a list of supplies needed to pursue their own design project and to use during this class.Learn More
Trees, whether forest or cultivated species, are experiencing major pest problems, most of which have been brought about by human impact. We’re now left wondering what will happen to Maine's forests and what the impact to our landscape will be. Will there be economic implications? Will some species show more resistance and resilience than others? Will pest species’ life cycles persist or lessen over time? How will these pests impact Maine's nursery and landscaping industry? Allison Kanoti, State Entomologist for the Maine Department of Forestry, will dig into these questions and more, offering clarity that will help us become better prepared and informed.Learn More
Once we have the conceptual ideas narrowed down to one or two general schematics of our garden spaces, we can start shaping them with program and structure. Structure and movement consist of more than a row of shrubs, a fence, a path or a wall at your property line – this is how you shape a space, create a sense of enclosure, and lead the eye to landscape destinations. This online lecture and demonstration will identify features and design principles captured initially on trace layers, which will ensure both pragmatic and inspirational function in our gardens. After this class, students will feel empowered to practice on the personal project that will help them prepare for the next class, Garden Design: Details in the Layers. Upon registration, students will receive a list of supplies recommended to pursue their own design project.Learn More
Form and Texture in Graphite I
Thursdays, April 13 & 20, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Delve deeply into the art of graphite drawing. Using simple botanical subjects, this virtual 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 class, Thursday, April 13, and Thursday, April 20.
Friday, April 14 & Saturday, April 22 | 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.Learn More
In this class at the Gardens, we’ll look at the palette and plant choices that coordinate with the structure and movement of our design space(s), along with personal and environmental considerations. Using a base plan, we’ll focus on implementing the layers of details, from ground to canopy, onto layers of trace paper. By constructing your physical garden’s layers on layered drafts of trace paper, it’s easier to avoid becoming overwhelmed, and before you know it, your dream design is intact! Upon registration, students will receive a list of supplies needed to pursue their own design project and to use during this class.Learn More
Plants interact with their garden environments, from abiotic influences like temperature, pH, humidity, and sunlight, to biotic influences like other plants, animals, fungi, bacteria, and even humans. In this two-day hybrid class, learn how plants adapt, compete, and depend on these influences, and get familiar with concepts like parasitism, pollination, plant adaptation, and dispersal.Learn More
Whether you’re working on a new garden design or revising an existing one, this class at the Gardens will address both the large-scale process and the detailed specifics of your design. After a brief recap of the design process to ensure comprehension and strengthen the core intent of our designs, we’ll address how to merge the layers of design details, ensuring legibility is maintained. In this collaborative workshop, students will be able to present their design projects, exchange constructive feedback and discuss the means for making the design come to fruition. In this final installment of our series, students should come prepared with a design project they’ve been working on, no matter the stage. Upon registration, students will receive a list of supplies needed to pursue their design projects and to use during class.Learn More
Orientation for Certificate in Botanical Arts
Meet in-person at the Gardens for this introduction to the 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. New and current students should enroll in the orientation. The fee is $25 dollars for new enrollees; those previously enrolled do not have to pay a fee, just sign up as a current student.
Form and Texture in Graphite II
Thursdays, May 4, 11, 18, & 25, 9:30-11:30 a.m.
In a continuation of Form & Texture with Graphite Part I, students will further develop 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 a 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 on May 4, 11, 18, and 25. Pre-requisite: Suggested as a continuation of Form and Texture with Graphite Part I.