Resilient Landscapes in Built Environments | Section I

Fridays, February 7, 14, 28, and March 7 | 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.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Lisa Cowan
Price: $250 / $295

Winter Gardens Book Club (Members Only)

Now that the garden is put to bed, it’s a great time to read those books you’ve been meaning to get to all season long. Join the conversation as we discuss four acclaimed books featuring plants at their core. This year, to be sure everyone can participate, we will be conducting these conversations via Zoom. Just sign up, read the selection, and then join the group by logging into the Zoom discussion that day. Selections include: Life in the Garden, The Age of Wood, The Garden of Evening Mists, and Uprooted: A Gardener’s Reflections on Beginning Again.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Vanessa Nesvig
Price: $25

The Forest Edge: Design and Ecology

The forest edge plays a significant role in ecological landscapes, both for wildlife habitat and landscape design aesthetics. In this webinar, Andy Brand and Irene Barber will discuss how and what to use to establish attractive forest edges. This “edge” concept can be very useful in urban landscapes, attracting and hosting birds and pollinators year-round. Talking points include selecting species for a variety of landscape conditions, hospitable plants for bird species, woody plants for year-round appeal, and what plants grow well together.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Andy Brand
Price: $10 / $15

Dahlias: Selection & Cultivation

Join dahlia lover and horticulturist Courtney Locke to learn the best methods for growing these stunning gems. We’ll cover all aspects of locating, planting, and growing dahlia tubers, including purchasing, site planning, soil preparation, staking, feeding, pest protection, and (finally!) cutting and enjoying these sumptuous flowers. Learn how to identify the parts of a tuber, the different types of dahlia flower forms, and determine the best fit for your garden. As CMBG’s official dahlia grower, Courtney knows first-hand the exceptional cultivars that produce the jaw-dropping blooms that are truly worth the wait.

Location: Online
Instructor: Courtney Locke
Price: $15 / $20

Favorite Perennials: Top-20 Staff Picks

In this panel presentation, four CMBG horticulturists will review their top five perennials, from longtime favorites to new darlings from the 2021 growing season. With so many beautiful perennials at CMBG, each showing off unique foliage, flowers, structure, and wildlife benefits at various times of the year, it’s difficult to choose which ones to feature—but these top-20 are a good place to start!

Location: Online
Instructor: Alicia Miller
Price: $15 / $20

Introduction to Native Plant Guilds

Choosing native plants for your landscape should be fun and creative, not daunting or complicated! When you consider plants in simple groupings, or guilds, it becomes a lot easier to design a landscape with appealing texture, color, and wildlife value throughout the seasons. Native plant guilds draw inspiration from naturally occurring plant communities in habitats like coastal plains, forests, wetlands, or mountain tops. Leave this introductory webinar inspired, with plant lists for various light and soil conditions or landscape functions and the tools necessary for selecting your own plants for beauty and biodiversity.

Location: Online
Instructor: Anna Fialkoff
Price: $12 / $18

Garden Design: History and Fundamentals

Whether designing one garden or several, the first step is to understand the history and significance of garden design before diving into its fundamentals. 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 today.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

Garden Design: A New England Lens

Geography and cultural history are pertinent factors for decisions made in garden design, particularly in New England’s unique and diverse landscapes, from river valleys to rolling fields to narrow, rocky corridors. Students will understand 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.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

Water in the Landscape: Issues into Opportunities

Trevor Smith, owner of LandEscapes, is a Green Infrastructure (GI) expert for both residential and commercial properties. In this session, he will discuss how to reenvision a property’s water issues as positive and effective opportunities. Whether there's too little or too much, Trevor will explore problem-solving strategies such as water collection, retention, repurposing, or directing in order to support surrounding habitat.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Trevor Smith
Price: $10 / $15

Grow from Seed: Vegetables & Herbs

Growing vegetables is enormously rewarding, especially when you start them from the tiniest of seeds. Witnessing and nurturing the growth of a plant, particularly one that nourishes in return, provides immeasurable fulfillment. Join professional vegetable grower John Fromer as he guides students through the selection and process of growing vegetables and herbs, whether started in your home or sown directly in your garden bed.

Location: Online
Instructor: John Fromer
Price: $18 / $24

Garden Design: Creating a Base Plan

Beginning 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! Join us as we discuss everything from how and what to measure for a new garden to translating that information into a scaled drawing on paper. Once a base plan is established, the designer can get creative, tracing over it until they are happy with (and excited about!) their design, the topic of discussion in the next class: Dreams to Design. Students will be responsible for their own design materials, supply list available upon registration.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

Favorite Annuals: Top-20 Staff Picks

In this panel presentation, four CMBG horticulturists will review their top five annuals, from longtime favorites to new darlings from the 2021 growing season. With so many beautiful annuals at CMBG, each showing off unique foliage, flowers, and structure, it’s difficult to choose which ones to feature—but these top-20 are a good place to start!

Location: Online
Instructor: Jen Dunlap
Price: $15 / $20

Growing Your Green Thumb

Tuesdays, March 22 and 29

Countless new terms and often-conflicting advice can make gardening intimidating, not only for newcomers, but also for those who have been gardening for years. In this course, we’ll set gardeners up for success in the potentially overwhelming world of horticulture. Using practical, real-life examples and engaging activities, we'll review how plants are named and classified, basic plant anatomy, and how environmental factors can influence plant growth. Participants will leave with the knowledge necessary to help them make informed decisions, improving both indoor and outdoor gardening success.

Location: Online
Instructor: Katherine Garland
Price: $25 / $32

Soils, Mulches, and Amendments

Soils, mulches, and amendments are fundamental for growing plants successfully indoors or out, but it’s easy to become confused, overwhelmed, or unsure. In this webinar, we’ll review what’s what, addressing in-ground and above-ground applications pertinent to vegetable, woodland, or container gardens. We’ll also discuss the variety of manufactured soil and soilless blends, mulches, amendments like composts and mineral additives, the basics of the soil chemistry and biology, and making sustainable choices.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $15 / $20

Garden Design: Drawing from the Landscape

Whether designing a secret garden or an extensive wildflower garden, it’s critical to run an assessment of the setting—built features, where water flows, and how much sun hits the area between growing months. We'll discuss what a site assessment and inventory looks like and how sketching this information gives designers a visual diagram, providing a clearer understanding of any variables to consider. The more informed you are as a designer, the better a designer you’ll be! Students will be responsible for their own design materials, supply list available upon registration.

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $30 / $36

Perennials for Cut Flowers

This presentation highlights the ever-popular topic of growing, gardening, and designing with cut flowers. Because perennials are not endless bloomers, they often get overlooked as cut flower options. However, for sustained color all season long, there are plenty to choose from when planning a residential perennial border or farm field. John Bliss, co-owner of Broadturn Farm, and floral designer and grower Celeste Parke will discuss those hardy perennials, both herbaceous and woody, that offer fantastic, sustainable options for cut flowers, discussing details from cultivation to vase. For growers, gardeners, and landscape designers, this topic is gold.

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Location: Online
Instructor: John Bliss
Price: $10 / $15

Form and Texture in Graphite 1

Thursdays, April 7 and 14 | Delve deeply into depicting botanical subjects with graphite. Using fruits and vegetables, gain an in-depth understanding of how light affects individual shapes in nature including highlights, midtones, shadow areas, reflected highlights, and cast shadows. Great for beginners and those looking to refine their drawing and observation skills.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Mindy Lighthipe
Price: $50 / $65

Growing Orchids Indoors

Orchids are amazing plants—and an engrossing indoor hobby for us northern gardeners. In this fun and enlightening class, learn from CMBG horticulturist Courtney Locke how to successfully grow orchids year-round as houseplants. With so much advice out there, it’s inevitable that confusion would arise. Learn from a true orchid grower and enthusiast, and soon you’ll be on your way to nurturing these intoxicating plants in a variety of arranged containers.

Location: Online
Instructor: Courtney Locke
Price: $15 / $20

Wildlife in the Backyard: Amphibians and Reptiles (webinar only)

Wildlife awakens upon the spring equinox, vibrant with the sound of a new generation. In this workshop, students will learn which species belongs to which sound, identifying frogs, turtles, salamanders, and other herps (Greek for “crawling things”). Learn about the Big Night and the citizen science initiative surrounding it. From the comfort of your home attend the live instruction featuring these exceptional wetland fauna.

Location: Online
Instructor: Alicia Miller
Price: $15 / $20

Plant ID and Ecology: Wetland Plants

Wetland plants are wildly diverse and complex—take the marsh marigold or the wild calla, the native relative of the traditional calla lily. Join ecologist Ted Elliman for this online lecture and captivating visual presentation, and learn more about freshwater wetland plants. Ted will guide participants in identification, wetland classifications, habits, and the fauna that have co-evolved with these verdant plants, gaining a deeper understanding for their ecological value.

Location: Online
Instructor: Ted Elliman
Price: $15 / $20

The Right Tool For the Right Job

From gardening to landscape projects, the right tool makes the process easier, less strenuous, and more efficient. A chef wouldn’t use a butter knife to slice a roast, and a carpenter wouldn’t secure an inch-thick board with a half-inch nail! In this behind-the-scenes look at the CMBG horticulture staff's favorite tools, you'll learn why certain tools are appropriate for certain jobs. We’ll also discuss the more effective and ergonomic options out there—it might be time to replace that splintering, 30-year-old spade you're still using!

Location: Online
Instructor: Irene Barber
Price: $12 / $18

Form and Texture in Graphite 2

Thursdays, April 21 and 28, May 5 and 12 | Delve deeply into depicting botanical subjects with graphite. Using fruits and vegetables, gain an in-depth understanding of how light affects individual shapes in nature including highlights, midtones, shadow areas, reflected highlights, and cast shadows. Great for beginners and those looking to refine their drawing and observation skills.

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Location: Online
Instructor: Mindy Lighthipe
Price: $120 / $135