Advanced Studies in Professional Horticulture
Advanced Studies in Professional Horticulture

Advanced Studies in Professional Horticulture

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is proud to offer a new education initiative: Advanced Studies in Professional Horticulture. This program, unlike any we have offered before, will have changing topics relevant to landscape professionals and students. Participants are free to take either one-day seminars or to enroll in our in-depth certificate program, which can be completed over two years.

Learn more about our new certificate program below, or follow the link to view all programs and find our seminar offerings within.

This new in-depth program is designed to provide advanced and comprehensive content to support landscape practitioners in reaching the next level in their business. Class sizes are deliberately kept small to support discussion and peer-to-peer exchange.

Offered in two sections in early spring, 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)

Students who wish to enroll must be current professionals in the landscape industry or enrolled in a college-level landscape, agriculture, or horticulture program.

Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments

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.

Students will receive a certificate in Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments from CMBG.

Section I: Design and Structural Components

CEI, Brunswick, ME
Wednesdays, February 19, February 26, March 11 and March 18
9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (lunch included) $275, member; $300 nonmember
(Both sections: $525 member; $575 nonmember. Please contact the Gardens to sign up for both sections at (207) 633-8000.)

Sign up for Section I

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.

1: Ecological Design for Resilience, Wednesday, February 19th
with Ann Kearsley, Maine Licensed Landscape Architect
This course is an introduction to the site-based, ecological 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 and analysis to create an ecological baseline for design proposals, students will consider how soils and topography 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 present examples of their own work in landscape design, construction, or maintenance, and be asked to highlight successful, unsuccessful and unanticipated outcomes. Students will consider additional and alternative project-based strategies for designing, constructing, and managing resilient landscapes.

2: Applied Soils: Restore and Engineer, Wednesday, February 26th
with John C. Swallow, PhD, Soil and Environmental Engineer
This class focuses on soil ecosystems, with an emphasis on the biological, physical, and chemical properties of soil, and building healthy soil environments into landscape projects. Dr. Swallow will highlight the features and benefits of manufactured soil blends, identify methods for restoring degraded or compacted soils for a wide variety of landscape applications, and show how various blends were applied to several local and nationally recognized projects.

3: Systematic Solutions to Water Management, Wednesday, March 11th
with Trevor Smith, Landscape Designer and Contractor, Land Escapes, MLN and AOLCP
In this class, students will discuss simple methods to capture and reuse stormwater as well as explore other management solutions for stormwater runoff. Class will also focus on identifying updated materials and best practices for irrigation that results in water conservation, reduced poly-made materials, and hardier and healthier plants.

4: Sustainable Materials: Site Specific Features and Applications, Wednesday, March 18th
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 the 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.

Sign up for Section I

Section II: Plants and Practice

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
Wednesdays, April 1, April 8, April 15, April 22
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. $275, member; $300 nonmember
(Both sections: $525 member; $575 nonmember. Please contact the Gardens to sign up for both sections at (207) 633-8000.)

Sign up for Section II

The first two courses of this section examine the use of native plants for biodiversity and beauty for high performance with minimal input. Courses are designed to be interactive and to support those students with a working knowledge of native plants to plan for the next level of design and maintenance. Additionally, in the final two courses, students will discuss long-term management of Green Infrastructure and contractor-to-client communication essential for successfully maintaining resilient landscapes.

Day 1: Native Woody Plants, Wednesday, April 1st
with Andy Brand, Curator of Living Collections, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Andy will take participants on a slide show tour of native woody vascular plants, from the rare to the common to under-used species. Straight vs. cultivated species and how they’re used in designed resilient landscapes will be discussed. Outdoor, early spring forays will help students identify native woody plants without leaves or flowers, observing how each species contributes to a dormant landscape for habitat and structure.

Day 2: Native Herbaceous Plants, Wednesday, April 8th
with Heather McCargo, Executive Director of Maine Wild Seed Project and Landscape Architect
Students will study a range of native herbaceous plants that can thrive under a variety of site conditions and which, once established, have much lower maintenance needs. We will discuss herbaceous species from a landscape design approach as well as how they contribute ecologically to a setting. Class content will cover topics such as trends in the native plant nursery trade, pollinator benefits, seasonal management, planting methods according to species’ habit and successional growth, and visual aesthetic for seasonal appeal.

Day 3: Sustainable Implementation Practices Wednesday, April 15th
with Trevor Smith, owner of Land Escapes, Landscape Contractor and Designer
The final step between knowing and practicing is a small one, but often the hardest to take. This class examines the minutiae of the business, from working with clients to explaining goals to customers who may not understand ecological systems. We’ll discuss project timing and execution as well as evaluating timelines and ensuring minimal harm while creating maximum beneficial impact.

Day 4: Contractors and Clients in Unison, Wednesday, April 22nd
with Trevor Smith, owner of Land Escapes, Landscape Contractor and Designer
In this last class, we’ll examine the concept of Green Infrastructure (GI) for sustainably managing a landscape long-term. Just as traditionally implemented landscape designs are not left alone, resilient landscapes have long-term needs as they naturally evolve. Students will leave confident in their ability to communicate and accurately convey their ideas and methods about achieving a beautiful, resilient landscape.

Sign up for Section II