Container Garden Inspirations: Styles and Management

Join horticulturists Diane Walden and Brent McHale on a tour of their container garden designs in the Burpee Kitchen Garden, the Arbor Garden, and the Great Lawn. Learn about the different styles on display, from the organized to the whimsical, the bold to the muted, and the minimalistic to the complex. Diane and Brent will describe the plant varieties providing those stylistic differences and how plant placement can affect the design and overall management throughout the summer.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, class are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, August 14, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Diane Walden
Price: $25 / $32

Highlights Tour

Join us during this hour-long tour through our central gardens. Meet by the Kitchen Garden Café and walk through the Gardens that surround the Great Lawn. Learn the origin stories of each garden and about the people who made them possible, highlights of the history of the Gardens, design elements, and botanical details.

Tours are daily May 31 through September 5, and on weekdays September 6 through October 17. Please register at the Admissions Desk when you arrive.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay

CMBG Summer Camp Club: Minibeasts! (Ages 4-9)

CMBG’s Summer Camp Club is back! Summer camp club runs from July 26-Aug. 20 and covers a different topic every week. Since these are self-guided activities, you can sign up for the camp’s entirety at any time. Starting any day the week of July 26, campers can pick-up their first week of “Minibeasts!” camp activities exploring insects and other invertebrates. A new week of activities will be made available each Monday for a total of four weeks. Activities will include secret stashes, scavenger hunts, games, experiments, art projects, recipes and more. Campers will be invited to attend small-group outdoor learning sessions with CMBG staff throughout the summer based on camp themes. Each camper will receive a special bag to keep filled with tools for investigation and discovery as well as a camp hat. Families who sign up a child for both sessions of Summer Camp Club (“Animal Kingdom” and “Minibeasts!”), will receive a 15% discount at checkout. For further essential program information before registering, click Learn More.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Price: $80

Aquatic Botanicals In Watercolor

Join naturalist and botanical watercolor artist Hillary Parker for a fascinating three-day botanical watercolor workshop exploring the submerged plant life growing along the rocky shoreline of the Gardens' stretch of the Back River.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Hillary Parker
Price: $265 / $310

Accessible Cart Tour

Our one-hour accessible cart tours are led by trained Gardens' docents, rain or shine, on our quiet electric cart. The cart can accommodate up to five people. Seating preference is decided on a first-come-first-served basis. These tours are a wonderful opportunity for those who may not otherwise be able to walk the Gardens. Tours are $10 per person, except on Wednesdays when the accessible cart tours are free.

Registration is required ahead of time. Admission to the Gardens is not included in the cost of the tour.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Price: $10

Lincoln County Resident Days

Lincoln County residents get free admission on the first Wednesday of the month throughout the regular season. For admission, please show proof of residency at the front desk upon arrival.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay

L.L.Bean Free Kids Days

Thanks to generous support from L.L.Bean, kids 17 and under are free every Wednesday in July and August, 2021. No need to reserve tickets for your young guests – just bring them along and we’ll check them in at the door.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay

Member Insider: Native Bee Exhibit Tour

Our bees are always buzzing with activity, and this year is no exception. Join us this July for a tour of our new native bee exhibit. Sarah Callan, CMBG’s Interpretation & Exhibits Educator, will walk you through our apiary and native bee exhibit, exploring our local bee populations.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sarah Callan
Price: Free

Accessible Cart Tour – Free Wednesdays

Our one-hour accessible cart tours are led by trained Gardens' docents, rain or shine, on our quiet electric cart. The cart can accommodate up to five people. Seating preference is decided on a first-come-first-served basis. These tours are a wonderful opportunity for those who may not otherwise be able to walk the Gardens. Tours are free on Wednesdays. Our other weekday Accessible Cart Tours are $10 per person.

Registration is required ahead of time. Admission to the Gardens is not included and must be purchased separately.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay

Summer Naturalist: Bees (Ages 10-17)

Learn to see the world from a bee’s-eye view! During this session, Sarah Callan will teach participants how to identify common native bees. Participants will visit the Gardens’ two bee-themed exhibits and go behind the scenes at our apiary to learn about the differences between native and non-native bees.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sarah Callan
Price: $10 / $12

Plant ID in the Field: Freshwater Wetland Plants

Wetland plants are wildly diverse and beautiful—take the marsh marigold or the wild calla, the latter related to the traditional calla lily sold by florists. Join us for this field-study class with plant ecologist Ted Elliman and develop skills to identify freshwater wetland plants, developing an understanding of their growing conditions, habits, and seasonal performance. Gain a deeper appreciation for the ecological value of these often-overlooked species.

Ted Elliman has been engaged in botanical work in New England and other northeastern states for more than thirty years. Most recently, he was a botanist and plant ecologist on the staff of the Native Plant Trust in Framingham, Massachusetts, where he conducted botanical inventories, natural community surveys, invasive species control programs, and helped publish Wildlfowers of New England.

To provide safe in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols. Rain date: Friday, August 6, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Ted Elliman
Price: $30 / $38

Member Evening

Watch the sunset and enjoy the tranquil evening hours in the Gardens, kept open until 7:30 p.m. just for members. Gardenshop will be open as well. Register early--space is limited!

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay

Gardening With Nature (Field Study)

Anna Fialkoff, Program Manager at Wild Seed Project, will offer an overview of native plant selection and and gardening practices for achieving beautiful and biodiverse gardens that require minimal manual labor. The display gardens at CMBG will serve as a living classroom, offering a visually inspiring lesson of what you, too, can do at home.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Anna Fialkoff
Price: $36 / $44

Native Plant Tour

CMBG’s native plants will begin with a stroll down the Haney Hillside, moving from cultivated native plantings to the natural Shoreland Trail. From there, we will walk along our Maine Woods Trail, past fern glens and wetlands, then to the upland spruce-fir forest off the Birch Allée. Please note: this tour lasts about an hour and a half and moves swiftly over our hiking trails. Registration is strongly suggested. To participate, please meet outside the Café building by the banner.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Vanessa Nesvig
Price: Free / $10

Summer Naturalist: Medicinal Plants, Session 2 (Ages 10-17)

In this session, participants will explore new garden areas in search of medicinal plants with CMBG horticulturalist, Jen Dunlap. Participants will be introduced to a wide variety of medicinal plants that can be used safely to treat colds, wounds, stress, headaches, and so much more. Participants will also learn what part of the plant to harvest, how to harvest, and how to dry and prepare medicinal plants.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jen Dunlap
Price: $20 / $25

11th Annual Ina and Lew Heafitz Endowed Lecture: Planting Your Path (at CMBG)

This registration is for the in-person event, which will take place indoors in our Education Center at 75% capacity. Please note: both online and in-person registration is available for this event.

In this conversation Abra Lee will discuss her garden roots from the dirt-road country of the rural South to a lesson in family history that helped define her life’s purpose. This is a story of failure, persistence, and how taking her Mama’s advice to “don’t be no educated fool” led her on a journey to uncover Black America’s legacy in ornamental horticulture.

The Ina and Lew Heafitz Endowed Lecture celebrates leading thinkers in horticulture, landscape design, sustainability, and more. These nationally-recognized speakers address cutting-edge and timely topics, presenting enriching talks centered around their work in nature-related fields. The annual lecture is free for all.

Abra Lee is a national speaker, writer, and owner of Conquer the Soil, a platform that combines Black garden history and current events to raise awareness of horticulture. She has spent ""a whole lotta time"" in the dirt as a municipal arborist, extension agent, airport landscape manager, and more. Lee is a graduate of Auburn University and alumna of the Longwood Gardens Society of Fellows, a global network of public horticulture professionals.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Abra Lee

Trees of the Trolls Tour

The trolls have emerged at the Gardens—and they’re guarding the seeds of Maine's most important tree species, hidden deep in our woods! In this guided tour, learn about some of Maine’s native trees, their significance in our landscape, and many of the threats our forests face. Take a deep dive into the lessons of forest ecology that the trolls are sharing, and discover new ways to become a better steward of this ecosystem. Please note that we will only see three trolls on this tour, and the emphasis will be on Maine’s forest.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sarah Callan
Price: Free / $10

Art in the Garden

In this interactive walking-tour, students will gain insight in including art in the landscape, at any scale, while viewing examples located throughout the Gardens.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Karl Alamo
Price: $25 / $32

Botanical Silk Scarf Paintings (SOLD OUT)

Paint a beautiful silk scarf with a botanical theme. Specimens will be provided by the Gardens to inspire your creativity and design. Students will go home with a lovely scarf and a fun new skill. Materials are provided for a $20 fee, collected on the first day of the workshop.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Kathy Faass
Price: $55 / $75

The Caterpillar Lab

Back by popular demand! Join us August 19-27 (with a break on Monday, August 23) when perennial favorite, The Caterpillar Lab, sets up its functioning caterpillar rearing, researching, photographing, filming, and educating facility in our hallways. No two days of this residency are alike! Come experience live caterpillar displays and witness how The Lab cares for and works with these amazing, surprising creatures. Learn more about the exhibit here.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sam Jaffe

Summer Naturalist: Caterpillar Lab Visit and Walk (Ages 10-17)

Spend time with naturalist Sam Jaffe on a special tour of The Caterpillar Lab exhibit. Hone caterpillar-identification skills and learn some of the different unique adaptations caterpillars take followed by a guided walk in the Gardens to look for caterpillars.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sam Jaffe
Price: $10 / $12

A Children’s Garden: Plants, Features, & Activities

Join horticulturist Jennifer Dunlap and Youth and Family Coordinator, Erika Huber, for a detailed tour of the plants, features, and activities that make an effective children’s garden. Jen and Erika know first-hand the wants and want-nots of a children’s garden, and they’ll share insider knowledge regarding the plants that serve as aesthetic, educational, and fun features, including edibles and good ingredient and activity plants. Discussion will include how water, soil, planting activities, creative features, and living creatures all play a part in the make-up of an unforgettable children’s garden.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols.

Rain Date: Saturday, July 17, 2021

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jennifer Dunlap
Price: $32 / $40

Moth Lighting Night

Join us and get mothing! The Gardens has teamed up with The Caterpillar Lab for an after-hours mothing extravaganza. Lightsheeting, or “mothing,” is the practice of providing an irresistible surface for insects to land on by illuminating a large white sheet. This favorite pastime of biologists has quickly become a popular hobby for nature lovers, gardeners, and the naturally curious worldwide. Popular events like National Moth Week and Mothapalooza have been attracting more and more attention—and now you, too, can be an explorer at this exclusive, after-hours event.

The Caterpillar Lab Director, Sam Jaffe, will arrange his ultra-moth-attracting setup and be on hand to help identify the hundreds of species we’ll likely attract. Come ready to be amazed by the diversity, size, and beauty of Maine’s nocturnal insect inhabitants. Before long, you too will be hooked on this popular pastime.

For the best experience, avoid bright clothing, wear long sleeves and pants, and bring a flashlight and insect repellant. This program is designed for anyone ages 10 and up, adults and families alike.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sam Jaffe
Price: $15 / $18

Gardening with Ornamental Grasses (Field Study)

Interested in gardening with ornamental grasses, but aren’t sure if you’re ready to commit or how to apply them in a garden? At Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, we have a plethora of ornamental native and non-native grasses through which Syretha Brooks, gardener and garden designer, will guide you. By studying the variety of shapes, sizes, textures, and colors, students will clearly understand how to use grasses effectively in perennial gardens or naturalized settings. Discussion will include grass management, cultivation, and habits.

To provide safe, in-person classes at the Gardens, classes are held entirely outdoors and have been reduced to 12 students. We are practicing Maine CDC social-distancing protocols. This course is alternately available in an online format.

Syretha Brooks is a horticulturist and project manager at Pretty Flowers, a landscape and design company based in Brunswick, Maine. A native of Harpswell, Maine, she has a degree in fine arts from Smith College, which has greatly aided in developing her eye for plant designing and curation. Syretha was formerly a horticulturist at New York City’s Wave Hill Gardens before returning to her home state of Maine and working as a horticulturist here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens for four years.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Syretha Brooks
Price: $25 / $32

The Caterpillar Walk

The Caterpillar Lab is moving in, and while the exhibit is filled with munching critters offering lots to explore, the real story is the one happening outdoors. In our many gardens (as well as your own backyard), these creatures are living out their strange lives in the wild. Join The Caterpillar Lab Director, Sam Jaffe, on an exploration of the Gardens in search of native caterpillars and other insects. Learn how The Lab finds its caterpillars, all about host plants and parasitoids, and discover caterpillar-finding secrets from one of the world’s foremost caterpillar hunters! This walk is appropriate for naturalists, gardeners, and explorers of all ages. It may not, however, be appropriate for more casually interested younger children.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Sam Jaffe

Flowers and Foliage for Dried Wreaths

Learn from expert wreath maker Jen Dunlap, whose amazing and imaginative harvest wreaths feature dried floral and foliar cuttings from the garden. Walk the Gardens with Jen and learn which plants are perfect for dried wreaths and other dried compositions. Jen will discuss the proper time to cut and drying methods. This class pairs perfectly with the online tutorial, Making a Harvest Wreath, happening in October.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Jen Dunlap
Price: $25 / $32

What’s Cookin’ and Good Lookin’ In the Kitchen Garden, Late Season

This late-season Burpee Kitchen Garden session will showcase eggplant, tomato, sunflowers, and dahlias and share leek, ornamental corn, and herb-harvesting knowhow. File away seed-harvesting tips for next year’s garden, and learn how to establish late-season crops like kale and radishes.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Diane Walden
Price: $25 / $32

Member Insider: Foraging for Edibles

Have you ever seen some wild blueberries or blackberries and just had to grab a quick snack? Berries are just the tip of the iceberg so to speak when it comes to edibles to forage in our rich forests and fields. Come along with Curator of Living Collections, Andy Brand, on this tour as we explore lesser-known edibles that grow throughout our native habitat.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Andy Brand
Price: Free

Sow for the Future: New England Meadow Plants

Seeds are miracles of the plant world – a lot of power packed into a small case that sustains nature’s biodiversity. Former horticulturist and lead propagator of Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary and native seed specialist, Leslie Duthie, will guide students through the process of growing meadow plants from seed. Whether you’d like to convert a lawn into a mini meadow-scape, diversify an existing field, or start a large-scale meadow from scratch, Leslie will share the secrets of making meadows succeed. Using the palette of the Gardens’ naturalized areas, discussion will include seed collection, storage, and plant selection as pertaining to the environmental conditions of a setting.

Leslie Duthie is a lifelong gardener. She was formerly employed at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary where she was the horticulturist and plant propagator for over 38 years. An accomplished grower of ferns and wildflowers, she says you can't really know a plant until you have grown it from seed. Now retired, she continues to volunteer at various gardens and works to protect land for her local Conservation Commission and land trust.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Leslie Duthie
Price: $32 / $40

Block Printing Workshop: Flora and Fauna Relationships and Interactions

Celebrate the natural world by creating a work of art honoring the relationship between an animal and a plant. Block printing, a form of relief printing, is the oldest, simplest, and most direct approach to making an impression. Experience all aspects of the process, from handling and care of tools through inking and printing your own images by hand.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Holly Berry
Price: $220 / $255

Member Insider: Lerner Garden of the Five Senses Design Tour

Join Horticulturlist Lesley Paxson on this tour of the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through one of our most beloved gardens while learning about its unique design and planting themes.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Lesley Paxson
Price: Free

Sow for the Future: Native Trees and Shrubs (Field Study)

Whether grown from seed or transplanted as seedlings, native woody species can adapt to changing conditions and challenging environments, benefitting urban communities and rural developments or woodlots by filling in empty spaces and protecting and bringing nutrients back to the soil.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Shawn Jalbert
Price: $25 / $32

Introduction to Encaustics

Drip, pour, drag, layer, heat, and incise! Learn the art of encaustic painting in this hands-on workshop using pigmented wax and a heated palette! Through a rich variety of marks and surfaces, explore the various painting techniques of this seductive medium. We will also look to CMBG’s gardens as sources of inspiration.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Hélène Farrar
Price: $220 / $255

Member Insider: Apple Cultivating & Pressing

Nothing says autumn like apples. Ron Ross, CMBG volunteer and apple expert, will explain how to cultivate new varieties of apples, going into some detail about breeding for desirable traits. The tour will end with a bit of apple pressing—can you guess how many apples it takes to make one gallon of cider?

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Ron Ross
Price: Free

The Art of Forest Bathing: Shinrin Yoku

Deepening your connection to nature through moving meditation offers enormous benefits for personal well-being. Follow Tracey Hall, certified guide in the ancient Japanese practice, Shinrin Yoku, or forest bathing, as she gives you the tools to begin your own meditation practice. In this gentle class, experience how the simple practice of walking mindfully through a forest can provide deep serenity. By engaging with the forest with all five senses, we enhance awareness and presence. Despite a busy lifestyle, taking time for ourselves is enormously important—what luck that we can do so by walking in the forest! 

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Tracey Hall
Price: $20 / $26

Fall Botanicals in Colored Pencil

Using autumn plants and flowers, learn and/or further your colored-pencil skills. We’ll discuss how to observe and draw a specimen, then transfer the sketch to a final piece. The ability to draw and/or sketch is required for this class. Learn how to pick out pencil colors and combine those colors using layering techniques.

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Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Kate McGillivary
Price: $210 / $255

Tree ID: Forest Species of Maine

Our Northeastern forest genera consists of a wide assortment of deciduous and coniferous species that vary throughout the macro- and micro-climatic regions of Maine. Understanding these species helps inform landowners about management, the local ecology, soils, and successional development. Join us and learn how to identify many of Maine's forest trees and about concepts like silvaculture and climate adaptive species. Autumn is the perfect time for this exploration—beyond the natural spectacle, the range of fall colors provides Allysa Gregory, Maine District Forester, the perfect palette by which to explain trees and their color choices. Leave feeling more connected to our forests and confident in identifying trees in your area.

Location: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay
Instructor: Allysa Gregory
Price: $25 / $32