Our Advanced Studies in Professional Horticulture program has have changing topics relevant to landscape professionals and students. Participants can take either one-day seminars in our Green Spotlight Series or to enroll in our in-depth certificate program, which can be completed over two years. Learn more about the program below, or view all classes in our Advanced Studies program at the class listing at the bottom of the page.
Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments
This in-depth program is designed to provide advanced and comprehensive content to support landscape practitioners in reaching the next level in their business. Resilient landscape practices are connected to the evolving environment. Incorporating low-maintenance design, resilient landscapes sustain and regenerate under stressful environmental conditions, rather than falling victim to stressors. They are aesthetic powerhouse systems providing ecological services; as such, they give the landscape professional the opportunity to evolve their business, adapting to the changing environment. Class sizes are deliberately kept small to support discussion and peer-to-peer exchange. Students who wish to enroll must be current professionals in the landscape industry or enrolled in a college-level landscape, agriculture, or horticulture program.
Offered in two sections, students can choose to take both sections in one year or take one section per year (either section may be taken first). Each section consists of four weekly classes. Upon completing the entire course, students receive a certificate from CMBG. Each course counts toward recertification credits with the allied agencies listed below.
- Maine Landscape and Nursery Association (MELNA)
- Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA, AOLCP)
- New Hampshire Landscape Association (NHLA)
- Association for Professional Landscape Designers (APLD)
After taking both sections of the course, students can request a certificate of completion, if desired.
Section II: Plants and Practice
Mondays, November 28, December 5, 12, and 19th
Continuing the focus of resilient landscapes in built environments, Section II examines New England native plants for function in the landscape, including their biodiversity and beauty, achieving high performance with minimal input. Additionally, in the final two courses, the instructor will: provide step-by-step information on seasonal implementation and land-management practices relating to succession, identify concepts of green infrastructure, and discuss contractor-to-client communication essential for success. Courses are designed to be interactive, supporting students with a working knowledge of native plants to plan for the next level of design and maintenance.
Native Woody Plants
with Andy Brand, Curator of Living Collections, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Andy will take participants on a virtual tour of native woody plants, from the rare to the common to several under-used species. He’ll discuss straight versus cultivated species and how they’re used in designed resilient landscapes. Instruction will include developing plant identification skills; evaluating and selecting woody plants appropriate for specific built landscapes; and recognizing woody plants, individually and communally, that contribute habitat and structure to the year-round landscape.
Native Herbaceous Plants
with Heather McCargo, Founder of Maine’s Wild Seed Project
Students will continue to study a range of native herbaceous plants, such as those thriving in versatile conditions and those preferring specific cultural conditions, all of which lead to healthier ecological landscapes. Class content will cover trends in the native plant nursery trade, wildlife benefits, project testimonials, seasonal planting and management methods according to species’ habit and successional growth, and visual aesthetic for seasonal appeal.
Sustainable Implementation Practices
with Trevor Smith, landscape designer, and Design and Education Manager at Weston Nurseries, and David Homa, Permaculture landscaper of PostCarbon Designs
This class will examine how green infrastructure (GI) sustainably manages the water and drought conditions that impact landscape performance and practices. Just as traditionally implemented landscape designs cannot be left alone, resilient landscapes also need long-term attention as they naturally evolve. Considering environmental factors and available resources, Trevor and David will discuss project timing and execution with regard to year-round practices, as well as how to evaluate timelines while ensuring minimal harm and maximum beneficial impact.
Contractors and Clients in Unison
with Trevor Smith, landscape designer, and Design and Education Manager at Weston Nurseries
The final step between knowing and practicing is often the hardest to take. This final class examines the minutiae of the business, from working with employees and sub-contractors to explaining goals and processes to clients who may not understand ecological systems. Students will leave confident in their ability to accurately communicate their ideas and methods about achieving a beautiful, resilient landscape. Coordinating the goals and the people in a New England climate needs the deep understanding of the project manager who recognizes the importance of the whole system to achieve resilience and sustainability.
Section I: Design and Structural Components
Resilient landscape practices are connected to the evolving environment. Incorporating low-maintenance design, resilient landscapes sustain and regenerate under stressful environmental conditions, rather than falling victim to stressors. They are aesthetic, powerhouse systems providing ecological services; as such, they give the landscape professional the opportunity to evolve their business, adapting to the changing environment.
Section I of the course focuses on examining and incorporating ecological design and the influential components of water, soils, design lessons from nature, and sustainable structural materials. Classes will illustrate concepts through case studies and provide evaluation of applications, methods, and materials.
Ecological Design for Resilience
This course is an introduction to the site-based ecological frameworks and design strategies that inform the development and management of resilient landscapes. Whether transitioning from an environmentally degraded urban site or a conventionally managed backyard, every landscape has the potential to contribute to the fight against climate change. Focusing on using site documentation, inventory, and analysis to create an ecological baseline for design proposals, students will consider how soils, topography, and climate shape the growing conditions for different native plant communities and how to develop landforms, drainage networks, circulation patterns and plant palettes that support both human and wildlife habitats. In this interactive class, students will expand on lecture content through discussion and analysis of select case studies.
Applied Soils: Restore and Engineer
From the perspective of low-impact development (LID), this class examines soils according to what a landscape practitioner sees on a jobsite: soil health and fertility, restoration solutions for degraded soils, proper sourcing of any transported or engineered soils, and long-term soil management practices. Through sample lab results and case studies, discussion will include an overview of soil biology and chemistry, carbon sequestration and filtration of urban inputs, specific engineered blends for function, and lessons from sustainable agriculture applied to residential applications.
Systematic Solutions to Water Management
In this class, students will discuss methods and materials that capture and reuse stormwater and other management solutions for stormwater runoff. Class will also identify updated materials and best practices for irrigation that result in water conservation, reduced poly-made materials, and hardier and healthier plants.
Sustainable Materials: Site Specific Features and Applications
This class will examine multiple methods of erosion control, discuss biodegradable materials to apply within and above the soil, explore innovative concepts that utilize locally derived and repurposed materials, and examine what materials are most effective for a variety of settings. Class content will focus on features such as fences, access ways, patios, ponds, swales, stone walls, and terraces.