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Upcoming Event
Spaces Remaining: 4899
The Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration provides comprehensive courses to people who wish to improve their skills in drawing and painting plants in an accurate and technically detailed manner. Studies leading to the certificate will enhance the experience of both the professional and the dedicated amateur artist. The program is designed to give students a well-balanced curriculum combining basic scientific background, visual arts theory, and practical experience using various media. Classes are taught by NCBG staff, and other area art and botany professionals. $100 enrollment fee for administrative costs; courses will entail additional fees. Students must be at least 18 years of age to enroll.

Spaces Remaining: 4927
The Certificate in Native Plant Studies expands on the Garden's mission by providing 'a well-balanced botany, ecology, and taxonomy curriculum that enables students to expand their knowledge and develop a greater appreciation of native flora of the southeastern United States.' The program is designed to give students a well-balanced curriculum combining basic scientific background and hands-on investigative opportunities. Studies leading to the Certificate will enhance the experience of the professional and dedicated amateur botanist and provide strong credentials for those involved in botanical, ecological, and conservation endeavors. Classes are taught by Garden staff, UNC professors, and other area professionals. $100 enrollment fee for administrative costs; courses will entail additional fees. Students must be at least 18 years of age to enroll.

 Field Trip Programs for Schools
Spaces Remaining: 5000
School and Children's groups can visit NCBG to participate in an on-site, hands-on educational program. Different programs are available for different ages, and each is aligned to national and state curriculum standards. Each programs lasts about 60 minutes, and can accommodate up to 60 students at a time.

 Group Tours of the Display Gardens
Spaces Remaining: 5000
Botanical Garden Tour Guides lead visiting groups through our Display Gardens on a leisurely 60-90 minute walk. During this walk, your guides will point out plants that are blooming or of particular interest, give you insight into how our gardens were created, and even pass along some home gardening tips. If your group is particularly interested in a specific topic or area of the Garden, our Tour Guides will be happy to accommodate you. Guided tours for adults cost $40 for groups of up to 40 adults, with additional charges for larger groups.

- 12/7/2014
Sculpture in the Garden exhibition
Spaces Remaining: 200
Now in its 26th year, NCBG’s signature event features up to 45 large-scale sculptures created by North Carolina-based artists integrated into the Garden’s outdoor environment featuring an assortment of materials including steel, concrete, wood, marble and more. Prizes are awarded for Best in Show, Honorable Mention and People’s Choice. Come enjoy the interplay between art and nature across five acres of the Garden during its fall display. Free and open to the public. No registration required.

1:00 PM - 10/27/2014
Field Sketching
Registration Closed
Mondays, October 6, 13, 20, 27 1:00pm - 4:30pm Take your sketchbook outdoors and reconnect with plants in their natural environment. In this course, students are encouraged to shed old habits and try new techniques as they travel to a variety of gardens and habitats. Through a combination of guided exercises and free experimentation, students discover new ways of seeing plants, new problem-solving skills, and a refreshing way of thinking about layout and color. Several media are used, from ballpoint pen to watercolor to pencil. No prerequisite. Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

1:00 PM - 10/28/2014
Intermediate Drawing
Registration Closed
Tuesdays October 7, 14, 21, 28 1:00 – 4:30 pm In this class, students learn the skills needed to produce a clear, accurate pencil drawing. Specifics of the course include; contour drawing, values, tonal gradation, rendering plant anatomy, plate composition, and working with microscopes. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

1:00 PM - 11/5/2014
Intermediate Colored Pencil
Registration Closed
Wednesdays, October 15, 22, 29, November 5 1:00pm – 4:30pm This course makes use of the techniques and information covered in Beginning Colored Pencil and hones skills in composition, color matching and layering. Students complete a drawing of a native botanical subject of choice. This elective is intended for students who wish to develop a strong, more-advanced-level skill in colored pencil. Prerequisites: Beginning Colored Pencil, Intermediate Drawing Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

7:00 PM - 10/26/2014
Nature Notes Workshop
Registration Closed
Thursday, October 23, 7pm–9pm Friday, October 24, 9am–4:30pm Saturday, October 25, 9am–4:30pm Sunday, October 26, 9am–4:30pm This intensive four-day workshop with distinguished North Carolina artist and teacher Robert Johnson provides simple methods for making visual notes while exploring nature. Students take field excursions to sketch and make notes, then return to the Botanical Garden studio to enhance their “nature notes” with watercolors. All levels welcome; fee includes watercolors, color chart, brushes, sketch pad, pencil, and high quality watercolor paper. Assistant instructor Ken Moore provides fresh plant specimens for detail studies and assistance in plant identification. Fee: $400 ($375 NCBG Members). Bring your lunch! Course credit: Counts as one elective credit toward NCBG Botanical Art & Illustration certificate

1:00 PM - 11/21/2014
Plant Taxonomy
Registration Closed
Fridays, October 24, November 7, 14, 21 1:00pm - 4:00pm This course builds on the fundamentals of the Botany course and prepares students for supplementary material covered in Flowering Plant Families. It is a core course for students enrolled in either of the NCBG certificate programs. Students learn the basic concepts of taxonomy of vascular plants and how to identify plant families by making observations of selected characteristics. The use of taxonomic keys is introduced. Interesting examples are studied to illustrate current issues in plant taxonomy and nomenclature. Prerequisite: Botany Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
The Literary Bartram
Spaces Remaining: 32
William Bartram's Travels published in 1791 has served as a fount of imagination for many drawn to his lush descriptions of the American South and pioneering observations of its native people. Two noted southern poets will show us how Bartram's ideas about the natural world influenced poets and writers. Georgia poet Philip Lee Williams will read from his book The Flower Seeker: An Epic Poem of William Bartram. Jeffery Beam will read poems inspired by Bartram’s work, including those from Romantic writers including Cooper, Thoreau, Moore, Carlos Williams, and Taggart. Beam is currently the poetry editor for the journal Oyster Boy Review. Fee: $15 ($10 NCBG Members)

9:30 AM - 11/19/2014
Registration Closed
Wednesdays Oct. 29, Nov. 5, 12, 19 (inclement weather date: Nov. 26) 9:30am - 12:30pm This course is designed for anyone who wishes to learn to identify most of the common Piedmont tree species. Students spend much of the class time outdoors in the Garden learning to identify trees using morphological characteristics such as leaves, bark, twigs, and fruits. In addition, the ecology and natural history of each tree species are discussed. No prerequisites Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Stalwarts of the Southern Garden: William Bartram and the Oakleaf Hydrangea
Spaces Remaining: 154
Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Bartram’s Travels transcended scientific boundaries and deeply influenced Coleridge, Wordsworth and other Romantic poets. William Bartram became the first person to collect, describe or illustrate forty-two species of plants, among them the oakleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia. Dallmeyer will trace how Bartram’s path intersected with this beloved native plant now known around the world. Dallmeyer directs the Environmental Ethics Certificate Program of the College of Environment and Design at the University of Georgia and is President of the Bartram Trail Conference. She also manages the Southern Nature Project, an e-community promoting writing about the Southern environment. Free; advanced registration required

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Introduction to Mushrooms (Short Course)
Spaces Remaining: 8
This course is intended for a broad audience as an introduction to mushrooms, including their identification, ecology and cultivation. Session includes classroom discussion on the basic taxonomy of fleshy fungi and a foray to a nearby forest. Directions for the foray will be provided. Serves as 1/2 elective credit for the Certificate in Native Plant Studies. Bring your lunch. No prerequisite. Fee: $70 ($65 NCBG members)

9:30 AM - 12/6/2014
Soil Ecology
Spaces Remaining: 15
Saturdays, November 1, 8, 22, December 6 9:30am - 12:30pm This course is intended for a broad audience. Students are introduced to the complex world of soils including information on how they are formed, characterized, and populated by a wide array of organisms. An overview of soil types is presented, followed by the study of typical Piedmont soils and their properties. The various roles that soils play in both human society and ecological systems are discussed. No prerequisite. Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

1:15 PM - 11/23/2014
Spaces Remaining: 6
Sundays, November 2, 9, 16, 23 1:15 – 4:45 pm This course is a broad study in the elements that formulate a good composition. Students learn how to make visual choices and determine how parts of a plant are arranged on the page to balance botanical accuracy and artistic sensitivity. No prerequisites. Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

10:30 AM - 11/24/2014
Intermediate Watercolor Techniques: Wet and Wild
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Mondays, November 3, 10, 17, 24 10:30am - 1:00pm The Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program now offers two complimentary tracks of instruction with two watercolor tracks, one emphasizing techniques for the high detail and accuracy needed for illustrations (Intermediate Watercolor for Illustrators) and this new course of techniques for a looser, expressive art while still emphasizing drawing accuracy. This course builds upon the knowledge and skills of Beginning Watercolor and provides instruction based on a fluid brush style combined with careful observation of plants. 'It focuses on learning general methods for using a brush to create forms, adding details, using masks and creating backgrounds. Prerequisites: Beginning Watercolor, Intermediate Drawing. Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Sweet Peas 'Animal Tails'
Spaces Remaining: 6
Share a morning of discovery with your growing “sweet pea” and nurture their natural curiosity for the world around them. Each class will focus on a different nature theme, and may include stories, songs, mini-hikes, crafts, and puppets.

1:00 PM - 11/25/2014
Advanced Watercolor for Illustrators
Spaces Remaining: 15
Tuesdays, November 4, 11, 18, 25 1:00 – 4:30pm This course builds upon Intermediate Watercolor for Illustrators. Students independently select a native plant of their choice and design and complete a watercolor painting displaying different aspects of that plant. Instructor is available for consultation and problem solving, as well as in-class critiques. Students prepare a written analysis of their work, explaining their design choices, as well as report describing the botanical details of their selected plant. Prerequisites: Prerequisites: Intermediate Watercolor for Illustrators, Color Theory Fee: $125 ($115 NCBG members)

8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Winter Bird Walk around and through the Big Oak Woods
Spaces Remaining: 2
Join Haven, who specializes in animal behavior and ecology, for a winter bird walk at Mason Farm Biological Reserve. Participants will look for woodpeckers, sparrows, and the newly arrived winter birds. Fee: $15 ($10 NCBG Members)

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Sweet Peas 'Animal Tails'
Spaces Remaining: 5
Share a morning of discovery with your growing “sweet pea” and nurture their natural curiosity for the world around them. Each class will focus on a different nature theme, and may include stories, songs, mini-hikes, crafts, and puppets.

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Family Gardening Series: 'Scarecrows'
Spaces Remaining: 9
We need a scarecrow to keep pests out of the vegetable garden! Help us build a scarecrow, explore and taste from the fall garden, and learn about some of the animals just as interested in the plants as we are!

1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Edibles on Paper: Squash and Pumpkins in Watercolor
Spaces Remaining: 10
Spend a fall afternoon getting acquainted with autumn vegetables. They are colorful, flavorful, flamboyant, and odd looking, just right for transparent watercolors. Instruction will include drawing for accuracy, painting wet into wet with saturated color, followed by dry brush to bring out the details. No prerequisites, although some watercolor knowledge is helpful. Fee: $40 ($35 NCBG members)

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Sweet Peas 'Terrific Turkeys'
Spaces Remaining: 7
Share a morning of discovery with your growing “sweet pea” and nurture their natural curiosity for the world around them. Each class will focus on a different nature theme, and may include stories, songs, mini-hikes, crafts, and puppets.

10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Holiday Tree Ornament Workshop: Leaf Garlands and Pressed Flowers
Spaces Remaining: 11
Join us for a Holiday Tree ornament making workshop! Participants will create leaf garlands and make pressed flower ornaments on paper to adorn the NCBG Holiday Tree. Materials will be provided, though your own pressed flowers and leaves could add to the variety of designs. Free, but pre-registration required.

10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Sweet Peas 'Terrific Turkeys'
Spaces Remaining: 7
Share a morning of discovery with your growing “sweet pea” and nurture their natural curiosity for the world around them. Each class will focus on a different nature theme, and may include stories, songs, mini-hikes, crafts, and puppets.

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Birds and Squirrels at Your Feeder
Spaces Remaining: 192
Bring your lunch and join us for a free lecture! Join Haven, who specializes in animal behavior and ecology, for a discussion of the challenges and solutions to feeding (or not feeding) these animals at our feeders. Free, but pre-registration required.

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Family Workshop: Natural Ornaments
Spaces Remaining: 9
Decorate for the holidays naturally with acorns, pinecones, milkweed pods, and more! Use your imagination to craft your own unique ornament with materials that nature supplies. Enjoy a mug of hot chocolate to celebrate your creative work. All materials included. Fee is for child only; no fee for adult chaperone.

10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Family Gardening Series: 'Ready for Winter'
Spaces Remaining: 6
Winter is coming and we need help putting the vegetable garden to bed! Learn about what happens to a garden in winter, what work needs to be done to be ready for spring, and enjoy planting some cold season veggies. We will also have the opportunity to sample garden treats.

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Author Poetry Reading and Book Signing 'Mountain Gravity' Laurence Avery, Author and Poet
Spaces Remaining: 198
Do yourself a favor and don't miss this reading by Laurence Avery from his first collection of poems Mountain Gravity. Avery, a very engaging speaker, had a decades long career as a teacher and scholar at UNC Chapel Hill where he served as chair of the English Department. He has published numerous articles and six books on British and American playwrights and has won numerous awards. His poems have been published in numerous literary reviews. The poems in Mountain Gravity touch the reader with historical stories of Cherokee Indians who lived in the North Carolina mountains, of contemporary Southern families maturing in a fast paced world but who ground themselves in nature, and of Carolina flora and fauna, beloved by Avery, adapting to rapidly changing habitats. “Avery is alert, direct, quietly witty and always thoughtful; it is in his poetic nature to appreciate and to celebrate, a difficult thing for many writers to do but from the first poem of Mountain Gravity to the last – where ‘monarch butterflies swirl and light, frantic, then calm’, he does it beautifully.” Michael McFee. Free, but pre-registration required.

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Winter Solstice Concert: A Tuba Holiday Concert
Spaces Remaining: 195
For its 2014 Winter Solstice concert, the Village Band Tuba/Euphonium ensemble will perform a selection of Pre-Christian and Christian winter carols, to include “Deck the Halls”, “Good King Wenceslas”, “The Holly and the Ivy”, “The Wassail Song”, “Carol of the Bells”, “Greensleeves”, “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming, “Pat-A-Pan”, and others. Free, no registration required.


For registration questions or feedback, please contact the Registrar: 
phone: 919-843-8524 

phone: 919-962-0522
fax: 919-962-3531

general email:
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