Certificate Programs

Our certificate programs, Botanical Arts, Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture, and our new Advanced Studies in Professional Horticulture are a great opportunity to learn new skills and nourish passions, whether for personal or professional growth. Graduates of the program(s) will earn a certificate awarded by the Gardens, which may be used as a marketable resume item, or simply as a statement of personal growth, learning for learning’s sake. For more information about our new Advanced Studies in Professional Horticulture certificates, please visit this page.

Each program consists of 11 required courses and several elective workshops or trips. Students may progress through the curriculum at their own pace; a highly-motivated student can complete the program(s) over the course of nineteen months (two growing seasons). Instructors include a combination of on-staff and expert guest instructors with a variety of specialties. Courses are held on Gardens’ grounds in our LEED-Certified Bosarge Education Center, and in the field on the beautiful Boothbay Peninsula and beyond.

For more information, and for a full list of required courses, please see our informational flyers. If you have further questions, or to enroll, please contact Irene Barber, Adult Education Program Manager, at (207) 633-8034 or ibarber@mainegardens.org.

“I have so enjoyed all of the classes in the certificate program as well as the interesting and helpful electives… These classes have been not only enjoyable but life-changing for me. I still have sooo much to learn even though I’ve been gardening since I was three. CMBG is truly a botanical gem!” – 2017 Certificate Program graduate

Certificate in Botanical Arts

The beauty of gardens and plants inspire artistic expression in many forms. The Gardens celebrates this broad palette of expression in our Certificate in the Botanical Arts program. Instructors from New England and beyond teach courses in several varieties of botanically-inspired arts, including book and paper arts, botanical and scientific illustration, plein air painting, fabric design, wood block printing, and more. Offerings are unique and ever-changing, but all incorporate our stunning gardens for subject study and inspiration.

Students are required to take a minimum of 11 courses, adding up to at least 120 hours of total course time. Of these 11 classes, 30 hours of fundamental drawing and painting courses (or course combinations) are required. Fundamentals of Botany is also required for certification. Completion of the program depends on a final independent project overseen by a mentor. Final projects can be in any media with the approval of the Education Department. Development of a body of work and a thesis will consolidate the ideas and practices of each individual student. There is a fee associated with this project. For more information about our Botanical Arts program, please see our informational flyer.

Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture

The field-based Certificate in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture program instructs both amateur and professional gardeners about Maine’s diverse flora and its uses in ecologically responsible horticulture. The program is tailored to Maine gardeners by featuring the climate conditions, specific challenges, plants, and natural communities found right here in The Pine Tree State.

Students benefit from engaging, hands-on courses describing native plants, how they function and reproduce, their natural habitats, and best garden applications. Optional workshops and field trips focusing on specific skills, such as seed collection and propagation, identification of wild plants, creating green roofs, methods of composting, etc., allow students to customize the program to suit their own interests.

To ensure a top-quality experience for participants, admission to the program is limited to only 15 new students per year. The full schedule of courses for the year is typically posted in January.
For more information about our Native Plants & Ecological Horticulture program, please see our informational flyer.