North Carolina Botanical Garden

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All Programs & Events: Calendar View


Upcoming Event
1:30 PM to 2/19/2020 3:30 PM
Bluets: Preschoolers Exploring Nature - Winter Series
Registration Closed
Wednesdays, Jan 22 – Feb 19, 2020 (no class 2/12; 4 sessions) 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. For ages 4-5. Learning comes naturally during this fun-filled series that fosters a sense of wonder for nature and science. Preschoolers will learn about owls, winter weather, and how plants and animals survive the cold through hands-on activities, nature walks, stories, crafts, and group play. Healthy snack provided. Note: This is a drop-off program. Fee: $80 ($72 Members)
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: The North Carolina Wildflower of the Year - A Retrospective
The North Carolina Wildflower of the Year Program is a collaborative effort between the North Carolina Botanical Garden and the Garden Club of North Carolina. For the past 37 years, this program has encouraged the use and propagation of native plants in the home landscape by promoting a different North Carolina native species each year and distributing seeds to interested gardeners in the southeastern United States. The NC Wildflower of the Year Program is a part of the 'conservation through propagation' theme of the Garden that strives to ensure that wild populations of native species are not damaged by unethical harvesting or over-collecting. Come hear a retrospective on this long-held and much loved Garden program.
9:15 AM to 2/15/2020 12:45 PM
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is a broad study in the elements that formulate a good artistic 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. Composition serves as a prerequisite for Integrating Composition and Color Theory. Note: This class involves homework assignments. The amount of time students need to spend on homework varies and usually ranges from five to 15 hours per week.
1:30 PM to 3/7/2020 4:30 PM
Winter Flora
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is designed for a broad audience as well as for students who are enrolled in either of the Garden’s certificate programs. Field trips and exercises provide experience in the use of identification keys and recognition of plants in their winter condition in natural settings. Enjoy discovering that many trees and shrubs are easily recognized when not covered with leaves!
9:15 AM to 2/21/2020 1:15 PM
Plant Taxonomy
This course builds on the fundamentals taught in Botany and prepares students for supplementary material covered in Flowering Plant Families. It is a core course for the certificate in Native Plant Studies, and is offered as an elective in the Botanical Art & Illustration certificate program. Students learn the basic concepts of the 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. This course serves as a prerequisite for Flowering Plant Families.
1:30 PM to 2/29/2020 4:30 PM
Geology for Botanists and Ecologists
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This primarily lecture course is a survey of the principles of geology most important to the distribution of native plants and natural communities. Classes cover the different types of rocks, their chemical and physical effects on the soils that form from them, the geological processes that shape the earth’s surface and the landforms that result from them, and the way natural communities align with these patterns. An optional field trip on the 5th Saturday will visit a couple of places where these principles can be seen in action. This course is intended for a broad audience, but some familiarity with natural communities, native plants, and some exposure to basic chemistry will be beneficial. Fee: $130 ($117 NCBG members).
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
FREE Second Saturday Tour
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Did you know that the Garden offers FREE guided tours the second Saturday of every month? Each month offers a glimpse into what’s happening in our unique native plant gardens – from spring wildflowers to fall color – and what makes the NCBG one of the premier conservation gardens in the US. Tours are one (1) hour and led by our skilled volunteer Garden Guides. FREE, but please pre-register. Space is limited! Meet in the Allen Education Center lobby at 10:00 AM.
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Veni, Vidi, Vici! - Secrets to Understanding Botanical Names of Wildflowers
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Get to know the origins and meanings of the Latin names of plants. Explore scientific names that are mischievous, historic, honorific, wrong, descriptive and just plain fun! No verbs will be conjugated. Fee: $24 (NCBG Members $22).
7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Darwin Day Lecture: The Botanical Adventures of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin is well known for such landmark works as On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man. Far fewer appreciate that that he wrote some 17 books in all, half a dozen of which were botanical in nature: from orchids and carnivorous plants to flower structure, cross-pollination, and movement in plants, Darwin's remarkable botanical works appeared between 1862 and 1880. Easily misunderstood as tangential natural history enthusiasms, Darwin's botanical studies were in fact all of a piece with his life's work: in his decades of observation and incessant, creative 'experimentising' – often with the help of his family, friends, and correspondents – plants became Darwin's go-to group as he sought to counter his critics and marshal evidence for evolution by natural selection. Darwin's botanical adventures hold lessons for us today: exemplifying the essence of scientific inquiry, the multitude of Darwin's home-spun and seemingly odd botanical experiments are easily replicated today in home and school.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Let's Talk About Sex (in Plants)
Heterostyly, dioecy, monoecy, polygamy…oh my! The Different Forms of Flowers on Plants of the Same Species have long intrigued evolutionary biologists including Charles Darwin who penned a book by the same name in 1877. Separating sexual function between different individuals carries risks, especially for sedentary organisms. Picture yourself on a deserted island…alone. Nevertheless, many plants take that chance to ensure cross-fertilization between individuals. Join Garden Director Dr. Damon Waitt, on an exploration of the ecological and evolutionary consequences of sex…in plants.
1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Morgan Creek Valley Tour
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
The Morgan Creek Valley in Orange County holds a wealth of natural and cultural heritage, from ice-age rhododendron bluffs and rare wildflowers to American Indians and moonshiners. Come prepared for several short hikes as we explore the length of the Morgan Creek valley, journeying by van from its headwaters near Maple View Farm to the Triassic Basin bottomlands of the Mason Farm Biological Reserve, a magnificent birding area where 118 bird species have been documented. $25 ($22 Members)
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Native Plant Combinations
Take home some ideas for your yard at this lunchbox talk on native plant gardening. The focus will be on native plants that work well together. From sun to shade, spring to fall, and wildflowers to shrubs there’s sure to be something for everyone. Even if you don’t garden, come on out for some pretty plant pictures to remind you that it won’t always be February.
1:00 PM to 3/21/2020 4:30 PM
Beginning Watercolor
In this class, students are introduced to watercolor and learn basics techniques such as flat and graded washes. Students learn to paint various simple shapes (spheres and cylinders) and a small botanical subject. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing.
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Flower Heads in Watercolor
Celebrate Spring! Artists of all skill levels will enjoy this 3 hour workshop dedicated to basic watercolor techniques. Learn to capture the beautiful colors and unique details of each flower head. Photo reference or plant material provided. No previous drawing or painting experience required.
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Wildflower Gardening for a Bird-Friendly Yard
Are you interested in attracting more birds into your garden? Gardening for birds can establish sustainable landscapes that promote life of all kinds. Lauri will share ways to provide essential habitat elements like food, water, cover, and places to raise young while also creating beautiful, colorful gardens that appeal to various aesthetic preferences. Learn how to use wildflowers to make your garden a mini nature preserve for birds.
1:00 PM to 3/25/2020 4:30 PM
This four-week elective course gives the student an introduction to the fundamentals in painting gouache (opaque watercolor) and provides instruction for botanical art and illustration. Prerequisites: Beginning Drawing, Beginning Watercolor.
9:15 AM to 4/18/2020 12:45 PM
Intermediate Drawing
In this class, students continue their journey to learn the skills needed to produce a clean, accurate pencil drawing. Specifics of the course include: measuring, ellipses in perspective, and tonal gradation. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing.
9:30 AM to 3/28/2020 12:30 PM
Flowering Plant Families
This course builds on the information covered in Plant Taxonomy and focuses on the study of plant diversity by targeting twenty major and fairly stable plant families found in North Carolina. Classroom discussions of evolutionary adaptations and relationships are combined with field studies in the Garden and close-up examination of representative examples. Prerequisite: Plant Taxonomy.
1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Vernal Pool Wonders - FOR FAMILIES!
For ages 6 & up with accompanying adult. Chorus frogs, dragonfly larvae, and spotted salamanders…oh my! Nature is waking up in the garden’s vernal pools. These spring nurseries are swimming with life in early spring. Peek into the ponds with dip nets, meet live critters, and learn about the wonders and mysteries of life in a vernal pool. Fee: $12 ($10 Members) per child; no fee for accompanying adult
1:30 PM to 3/29/2020 4:30 PM
Plant Ecology
Plant Ecology is a conceptual course designed for a broad audience interested in the interactions of plants within their environments. Ecological relationships at the organism, population, community, and ecosystem levels are examined, using examples from the rich and diverse North Carolina flora. Students learn about nutrient and energy cycling within ecosystems, as well as about current threats and trends for the conservation of ecosystems. No prerequisites.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Trillium: A Natural History and Life Cycle Through Botanical Art
It is an extra special thrill hiking through North Carolina’s piedmont or mountain woodlands in the spring and suddenly encountering a Trillium or better yet, a colony of them. This exquisite ephemeral wildflower emerges in March or April and is all but camouflaged among the leaf mulch of our deciduous trees until its striking single flower announces its presence. It’s seen briefly before it disappears underground again by the end of June. The local circle of the American Society of Botanical Artists have teamed up with an instructor from the Garden’s Native Plants Studies Certificate Program to tell the complex and beautiful story of Trilliums using original artwork in a presentation portraying the species of the Piedmont and their natural history. The over twenty original drawings, paintings and illustrations will also be on display during the presentation.
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
FREE Second Saturday Tour
Did you know that the Garden offers FREE guided tours the second Saturday of every month? Each month offers a glimpse into what’s happening in our unique native plant gardens – from spring wildflowers to fall color – and what makes the NCBG one of the premier conservation gardens in the US. Tours are one (1) hour and led by our skilled volunteer Garden Guides. FREE, but please pre-register. Space is limited! Meet in the Allen Education Center lobby at 10:00 AM.
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Hike: Spring Ephemerals on the Piedmont Nature Trails
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Take a walk through the Piedmont Nature Trails with NCBG’s Battle Park Manager, Nick Adams, in search of trout lilies, sweet Betsy’s, windflowers, and many more of the spring ephemerals that brighten the forest floor this time of year. Please note that the hike is moderate to strenuous, depending on your abilities. The Piedmont Nature Trails traverse uneven and/or steep terrain at times. You are encouraged to bring a hiking stick! For the safety of our guests, dogs are not allowed on tours. Meeting spot: The breezeway at the front of the James & Delight Allen Education Center.
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Coker Arboretum Tour
Take a tour of this gem on the UNC campus with a Coker Arboretum curator! This walking tour will explore the 5-acres that make up the Arboretum, allowing time for observation and discussion. Each tour differs as wildflowers bloom and the gardens change through the seasons.
1:30 PM to 5/16/2020 4:30 PM
Spring Flora
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is intended for a broad audience as well as for students who are enrolled in either of the NCBG certificate programs. Field trips and exercises provide experience in the use of identification keys and recognition of plants in a natural setting. Upon completion of this course, students will have an understanding of basic plant morphology, naming conventions for plants and the history of scientific naming, how to identify the prominent plants of the season using a dichotomous key and field characteristics, all through a season-specific lens.
2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Hike: Dutchmen's Breeches and other Spring Wildflowers at Willie Duke's Bluff
Milo Pyne will lead you to the natural area known as Willie Duke’s Bluff. You will have the opportunity to observe an outstanding display of Dutchmen’s breeches and other rare and unusual spring native wildflowers including some of our local ephemeral favorites, including bloodroot and dimpled troutlily. This hike is somewhat difficult, depending on your abilities, and includes one steep climb. During the hike you will be off trail during times, and if there have been recent rains, parts of the trail might be muddy, so please wear sturdy shoes/boots and long pants. This traverse usually requires approximately three hours. Meeting spot provided upon registration.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Do Venus Flytraps Eat their Pollinators for Lunch?
Did you know that Venus Flytraps do not “eat” the insects that pollinate them? What are these special insect pollinators, and why do they not succumb to this carnivorous plants’ predation? Bring your lunch and come learn more about this fascinating North Carolina longleaf pine savannas research from Dr. Clyde Sorenson, entomologist from NC State University.
10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Spring Ephemeral Wildflowers in Watercolor
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Celebrate a sure sign of spring - ephemeral wildflowers! Come learn about Southeastern native spring ephemerals and how to paint them with watercolor. Bev will give instructions, demonstrations and individual guidance. No prerequisites. $30 ($27 Members) Fee includes all supplies.
1:00 PM to 4/22/2020 4:30 PM
Mixed Media: Botanicals in Watercolor, Colored Pencil, and Pen & Ink
This class is designed to increase your skills and confidence in the use of the various art media taught at the Garden. The instructor demonstrates techniques to combine watercolor, ink and colored pencils to create vibrant botanical paintings. Students receive one-on-one instruction to evolve their own unique drawing and painting. Prerequisites: Pen & Ink, Beginning Colored Pencil, Intermediate Watercolor
1:30 PM to 4/29/2020 4:30 PM
Principles of Conservation Biology
This course is intended for an experienced audience and introduces the principles of biodiversity and conservation. Topics include natural diversity, island biogeography, rare plants, conservation genetics, ecological restoration, conservation landscaping, and preserve design. Prerequisites: Botany, Plant Ecology (or with instructor permission).
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
LUNCHBOX Talk: Piedmont Prairies in a Changing Climate
North Carolina’s Piedmont Prairies host rare wildflowers and a great diversity of pollinators and other species. Misty will review Piedmont Prairie plants, present some of the latest predictions from the North Carolina Climate Office, and discuss how climate changes may affect Piedmont Prairies and the plants that make them so special. She’ll leave us with ideas of small hopeful actions we can all take.
1:00 PM to 5/5/2020 4:30 PM
Intermediate Traditional Watercolor
This course builds upon the knowledge and skills of Beginning Watercolor. Using live botanical specimens, students apply basic drawing and watercolor skills to create detailed, realistic watercolor studies of individual plant structures such as stems, twigs, leaves, petals, flowers, pods, and fruit. Classes cover such topics as creating the illusion of depth and volume and portraying shape, color, and textural details accurately. Prerequisites: Beginning Watercolor, Intermediate Drawing
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Spring Wildflowers at Mason Farm
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Take a turn around the Mason Farm Biological Reserve’s Old Farm Trail, which travels through some 260 years of cultural and natural history. Naturalist Ed Harrison will point out wildflowers and discuss how the Garden’s intense management of both field and forest benefits local biological diversity conservation. About 2.5 miles in length, the hike includes a short off-trail foray into the old-growth Shagbark Hickory forest. Wear sturdy hiking footwear and bring insect repellent, water, and a walking stick, if you ever use one.
1:30 PM to 5/16/2020 4:30 PM
Plant Communities of North Carolina
This course introduces students to North Carolina’s rich diversity of plant communities. Variations in climate and soil types across the state as well as other factors have resulted in the creation of distinctive regions: subtropical maritime forests, salt marshes, longleaf pine savannas and sandhills, pocosins, oak-hickory forests, bottomland hardwoods, spruce-fir forests, rock outcrops and glades, relict prairies, and grasslands. Students explore the causes and history of North Carolina’s plant community diversity. Class sessions include nine hours of lecture and a full day field trip with Julie and UNC Herbarium director Alan Weakley. $210 ($189 Members)
2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Spring Ephemerals at Battle Park
Learn about the history and preservation of the property now known as Battle Park on the UNC campus. We'll walk through the park in the peak of its autumn glory, covering hotspots visited and named by Kemp Plummer Battle himself as well as the philosophies behind the preservation and conservation of our natural areas. Free; preregistration required.
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Identifying and Controlling Invasive Plants
This course is intended for a broad audience. Through classroom and field demonstrations, students learn the tools and methods needed to identify invasive species and effectively remove them. We'll discuss the most prominent invasive plants in North Carolina and how to identify them by habit and growth form. Then, we'll cover integrated methods for controlling invasive plants on multiple scales.
1:00 PM to 5/30/2020 4:30 PM
Integrating Composition and Color Theory
In this class students learn the basics of color and the techniques for properly mixing pigments to match a specific color. Concepts of the color wheel and analogous/complementary colors are explored through instruction and numerous exercises. The three attributes of color – hue, value and intensity are also covered. This class was formerly known simply as Color Theory. It serves as a prerequisite for the Advanced Watercolor classes and for Intermediate and Advanced Colored Pencil. Prerequisites: Composition, Intermediate Watercolor
2:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Honeybee Hive Tour at the CCG
Come learn about one of the world’s most fascinating insects. Bees are responsible for pollinating one third of the world’s food and produce one of the sweetest treats around. Participants explore a real live hive with hobbyist beekeeper, Anne Cabell. Free, preregistration required.
9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Hike: A Meadow Full of Lilies
Enjoy a leisurely walk with Ken Moore along trails of the Triangle Land Conservancy’s Johnson Mill Nature Preserve where late spring wildflowers welcome the full flush of ferns beneath an impressive canopy of giant specimen trees. Following the forest walk-about, the group will visit a near-by open meadow filled with atamasco lilies (Zephyranthes atamasca), one of the very few such wet meadows surviving the destructive footprints of human urban development and large-scale farming. Plan for a morning of about 2 ½ hours, beginning at 9:00am, and be prepared for wet walking along the meadow edge. Water, a snack, binoculars and walking sticks are recommended. Upon completed registration, participants will be provided instructions for assembling at a public parking area to car-pool to the walk sites.- Zephyranthes atamasca
1:00 PM to 6/18/2020 4:30 PM
Advanced Traditional Watercolor
This course builds upon Intermediate Traditional Watercolor. 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 and a report describing the botanical details of their selected plant. Prerequisites: Intermediate Traditional Watercolor, Integrating Composition and Color Theory.
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Blue Wild Indigo at Penny's Bend
This hike will provide a wonderful opportunity to see rare flora at Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve, owned by the Army Corps of Engineers, and managed by the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Baptisia aberrans is an imperiled species at the state level and survives in only a small number of remnant Piedmont prairie or savanna patches. The Garden’s management practices at Penny’s Bend has favored a variety of prairie and savanna flora. About 2 miles in length, much of this hike is on primitive trails over uneven terrain, with one short, steep climb up from the river. Wear sturdy hiking footwear and bring insect repellent, water, and a walking stick, if you ever use one.
1:00 PM to 6/30/2020 4:30 PM
Advanced Drawing: Botanical Plates
In this course, students work towards refining drawing skills in creating a plant portrait. Specifics to this class include rendering a tonal botanical plate, working with live plants, studying plant anatomy, using microscopes, as well as mapping and cross-contour drawing for accuracy. Prerequisites: Intermediate Drawing, Composition.
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Native Southeastern Medicinal Plants
Explore the beauty of native southeastern medicinal plants through field identification. Using the expansive resources of the NCBG display gardens and the Piedmont Nature Trails behind the Garden, students take in the abundant medicine that our local flora has to offer. Topics include field identification, ethical gathering and harvesting, history and lore of each plant, therapeutic and medicinal uses as well as preparations. No prerequisites. $32 ($29 Members)
1:00 PM to 6/24/2020 4:30 PM
Beginning Colored Pencil
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Colored pencil is a next step in advancing from drawing to painting, and introduces the full array of fine art pigments. This course is a hands-on introduction to commonly used materials and techniques such as layering, blending, burnishing and tonal gradation. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing.
1:00 PM to 6/25/2020 4:30 PM
Advanced Colored Pencil
This course builds on Beginning and Intermediate Colored Pencil techniques. Using a live plant and/or reference photographs of their choice, students will create a small series of colored pencil pieces of native North Carolina plant(s). Prerequisite: Intermediate Colored Pencil.
9:30 AM to 6/20/2020 12:30 PM
This nine hour course is designed for a broad audience. Most aspects of insect biology will be covered, with an emphasis on the adaptations that have made them the most diverse group of organisms. The variety of orders, families, and species will be reviewed, using examples found in the local area. Observational techniques will be demonstrated in a field trip to Mason Farm, and a tour of the Garden’s display areas will be used to discuss how to improve habitats for insects in our own backyards.
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Native Plant Propagation
This workshop is intended for a broad audience. Students learn fundamentals of vegetative propagation and techniques for propagating southeastern native plants by means of stem and root cuttings. Class includes hands-on propagation and a tour of the vegetative propagation facilities of NCBG.