North Carolina Botanical Garden

All Programs & Events

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All Programs & Events: Calendar View


Upcoming Event
9:00 AM to 1/29/2021 5:00 PM
Nature Box: Winter Detectives - for KIDS!
Designed for ages 5-9. Kids need a break from screen time? Ready for some hands-on, outdoor learning? Try a Nature Box! A Nature Box also makes a great holiday gift! Each box is full of fun, hands-on, seasonally themed activities and projects that get kids outdoors (and learning!). This winter, be a detective and solve some natural history mysteries! Dissect an owl pellet, create your own evergreen paintbrush, learn common animal tracks, make a critter snowflake, and more. Step-by-step instructions and supplies included. Order online, contact-less pickup at the Garden, and complete activities on your own schedule. Quantities limited. Pickup begins: December 16. *Last day to order for pickup before the Garden closes for the holidays is December 20 (for pickup by December 23). Order pickup resumes January 6. Fee: $35.00 (includes $2.44 sales tax); Members $31.50 (includes $2.20 sales tax) *Order 2 or more boxes and receive a 5% discount *Members receive 10% discount
1:30 PM to 2/26/2021 4:30 PM
Winter Flora - Fridays
Registration Closed
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!
1:30 PM to 3/5/2021 4:30 PM
Winter Flora - Saturdays
Registration Closed
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!
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Sustainable Garden Systems: Going Beyond Plants - Virtual
The winter is a great time to plan and incorporate sustainable systems into your landscape and garden. In this course, we will introduce sustainable strategies participants can use in their home gardens to reduce environmental impact, utilize nature’s resources, and promote biodiversity. Participants will also learn about the North Carolina Botanical Garden’s sustainable features and LEED Platinum facilities, including the Garden’s focus on conserving water, reducing waste through composting, utilizing local and natural materials in landscapes and hardscapes, reducing energy, and more.
10:00 AM to 2/19/2021 11:30 AM
Plant Taxonomy: Hybrid
Registration Closed
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 students enrolled in either of the NCBG public certificate programs. 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.
6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
Native Grasses in Your Landscape: Virtual
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Native grasses are tough and resilient plants that can make a great addition to any home landscape. Whether you’re hoping to provide wildlife habitat, reduce maintenance, or provide a bold statement in your landscape, there’s a native grass that can meet your needs. In this course we’ll explore the importance of grasses in our landscapes, learn how to maintain and manage these species, and look at the best native grasses for a wide range of garden situations.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Skippers in the Dunes
The North Carolina coast has its own species of butterfly – the Crystal skipper. This small brown butterfly can be found around sand dunes along the Crystal Coast from April to May, and again from July to August. The skipper is endemic to just a 50 kilometer stretch from Bear Island to Fort Macon State Park, and its total range is less than 3,300 ha. Unfortunately, the skipper is experiencing habitat fragmentation due to urban development, as much of its range overlaps with human activities, buildings and homes. My students and I work with an interdisciplinary research team to conduct butterfly counts, vegetation surveys and habitat restoration projects to help support the Crystal skipper population. Join us to learn more about this unique butterfly and the team of conservationist that are working to keep it going strong.
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
Drawing and Painting with Watercolor Pencils - Zoom Short Course
Have you ever wondered what to do with those watercolor pencils gathering dust in your studio? They can be used to make beautiful art. Watercolor pencils are an interesting blend of drawing and painting. They are fantastic for field sketching, for making art while traveling, and for working plein air. Watercolor pencils can be used to make interesting textures and they make a good addition to watercolor painting, colored pencil, and mixed media. Join Kate for an introduction to various techniques using watercolor pencils as we all work on a project over Zoom. The class will have demonstration time as well as student work time. Kate will provide a photo and a drawing, students are free to use their own subject and drawing as well.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
(New Date) Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Rare Wildflowers of North Carolina
Join us for a virtual tour across North Carolina to see some of our most rare, beautiful and sometimes overlooked wildflowers. We will explore from the mountains to the coast and learn what makes a plant rare and what is being done to protect them through stories of both woe and conservation success.
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Painting Birds in Watercolor - Zoom Short Course
Following a brief overview of bird anatomy, students will learn how to use washes and dry-brush to paint a bird. No prerequisites.
9:30 AM to 3/13/2021 12:30 PM
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course is introductory in nature and designed for a broad audience. It covers basic principles of botany including taxonomy, anatomy, morphology and physiology. Class time is divided between lectures and examining/dissecting samples. There are also opportunities for making observations in the gardens.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Analyzing the Effects of Urban Noise and Light Pollution on Avian Communities
With the increase of people moving into urban areas every day, anthropogenic (human-produced) sources of noise and light are having a drastic effect on near and inhabiting wildlife. Birds have been particularly useful to study when looking at these urbanization effects, specifically urban noise and light pollution. Join Lauren Pharr, Master of Science student at North Carolina State University, for a discussion of how urbanization continues to effect local bird species.
to 4/12/2021 5:00 PM
Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture
The Introduction to Therapeutic Horticulture course is the first in an intended series of online courses that teach the theory, practice, and profession of Therapeutic Horticulture. Students will gain an overview of historical uses and theoretical foundations for the use of plants and nature for wellness. How therapeutic horticulture supports human needs, including physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and spiritual needs, will be explored. A discussion of the profession of therapeutic horticulture, related practices, and ways to pursue further study will conclude the teachings. Students will have the opportunity to research, discuss, and reflect on the people/plant relationship, and will be provided with references and resources for further study.
1:30 PM to 4:30 PM
Beginning Drawing: Virtual
An introductory level course of drawing for beginners and those wishing to refresh their skills. Includes using a sketchbook for line drawing exercises on seeing to draw, quick sketching, mapping for accuracy, and other basic principles of drawing. This is a live three hour Zoom format class divided into a group session for lecture, demonstrations and group critique with the instructor followed by one on one individual appointments for consultation and problem solving Prerequisite for Intermediate Drawing, Beginning Watercolor, and Beginning Colored Pencil. 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.
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Shade Gardening with Native Plants: Virtual
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
A shady garden can brim with wildflowers in spring, offer cool respite in summer and provide habitat in winter. This virtual class will start with a quick overview of gardening in the shade and then focus on plants suitable for such endeavors.
1:15 PM to 3/27/2021 4:45 PM
Composition: Virtual
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 3/21/2021 4:30 PM
Plant Ecology
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
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 will learn about nutrient and energy cycling within ecosystems, as well as about current threats and trends for the conservation of ecosystems. No prerequisites.
1:00 PM to 3/31/2021 4:30 PM
Advanced Expressive Watercolor
This course reviews and builds on Intermediate Expressive Watercolor techniques. Using a live plant and/or reference photographs of their choice, students will create a small series of paintings of a native North Carolina plant. Prerequisites: Intermediate Watercolor, Integrating Composition and Color Theory
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Mitigating Climate Change through NC’s Natural and Working Lands
North Carolina's Natural and Working Land Action Plan recommends 25 activities that will help increase North Carolina’s resilience to natural disasters and offset greenhouse gas emissions by sequestering and storing carbon. Developed through a stakeholder-driven process, the Action Plan recommends conserving, restoring, and managing lands in six sectors: Agriculture, Coastal Habitats, Floodplains and Wetlands, Forestry, Pocosins, and Urban Lands. It also outlines specific projects for North Carolina’s natural and working lands that sequester carbon, build ecosystem and community resilience, provide ecosystem benefits, enhance our economy, and recommend socially equitable implementation.
2:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Preparing Garden Soil for Native Plants: Virtual
We will explore basic soil science and learn what we can do to create optimum conditions in your garden for a range of native plants. Learn how to properly test your soil and amend it based on soil test results. Finally, we will explore the best way to build and maintain good soil.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Back to the Future: Suther Prairie Nature Reserve
After being cared for by generations of the Suther family for generations going back to the 1700s, this relatively undisturbed remnant Piedmont wet prairie on the floodplain of Dutch Buffalo Creek became a “must see” destination over the last two decades for scientists, conservationists researchers and reporters/writers from across the country after being listed in the natural heritage inventory of Cabarrus County.
1:00 PM to 4/28/2021 4:30 PM
Learn the fundamentals in painting with the opaque water medium, acrylic. This course offers a survey of various methods of painting with acrylic and provides instruction in using acrylic in botanical art and illustration. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing
1:30 PM to 4/29/2021 4:30 PM
Intermediate Traditional Watercolor: Virtual
This course builds upon the knowledge and skills of Beginning Watercolor. Using live botanical specimens and photo references, 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. This is a live three hour Zoom format class divided into a group session for lecture, demonstrations and group critique with the instructor followed by one on one individual appointments for consultation and problem solving. Prerequisites: Beginning Watercolor, Intermediate Drawing
1:30 PM to 4/29/2021 3:45 PM
Plant Communities of North Carolina
This course is intended for a broad audience and introduces students to North Carolina’s rich diversity of plant communities. Variations in geology, climate, soils, fire regimes, landscape positions, and other factors have resulted in the creation of distinctive ecosystems: subtropical maritime forests, salt marshes, longleaf pine savannas and sandhills, pocosins, oak-hickory forests, bottomland hardwoods, swamps, spruce-fir forests, rock outcrops and glades, fens, and grasslands. This course explores the causes and history of North Carolina’s plant community diversity.
1:30 PM to 4/23/2021 4:30 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.
2:30 PM to 4:00 PM
Virtual Annual Evelyn McNeill Sims Lecture: Coloring the Conservation Conversation
Dr. Lanham will discuss what it means to embrace the full breadth of his African-American heritage and his deep kinship to nature and adoration of birds. The convergence of ornithologist, college professor, poet, author and conservation activist blend to bring our awareness of the natural world and our moral responsibility for it forward in new ways. Candid by nature — and because of it — Lanham will examine how conservation must be a rigorous science and evocative art, inviting diversity and race to play active roles in celebrating our natural world.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Bigleaf Magnolia at Redlair Preserve
Redlair Preserve is best known for the charismatic bigleaf magnolia which has the largest leaves of any tree species in the nation. The Preserve also has an incredible diversity of plant species and vegetation types. Robert Peet will start by describing the Redlair Preserve and then discuss the vegetation pattern across this landscape and the challenges for management. He will then discuss the distribution of bigleaf magnolia across the Southeast and will place it in the context of other rare or geographically disjunct species of the Piedmont. Fisher Stines will then present a summary of his research at NC State University on the distribution, abundance and population structure of bigleaf magnolia across the Redlair Preserve.
1:00 PM to 4:30 PM
The Anatomy of Shadows: Form and Cast in Watercolor - Zoom Short Course
Have you spent time on a sunny day studying shadows and the patterns they create? Have you looked at the soft subtle shadows as a subject turns from the light? Shadows are an important and useful tool for artists to create form as they accurately render their subjects. Shadows can be used creatively to enhance compositions. Join Kate to study and paint shadows in watercolor. The subject and drawing will be provided, students have the option of using their own subject matter. The course will consist of presentations, demonstrations, handouts, and student work time.
1:00 PM to 5/26/2021 4:30 PM
Beginning Colored Pencil
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. No prerequisites
1:15 PM to 6/17/2021 4:45 PM
Integrating Composition and Color Theory: Virtual
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
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: How Trees Can Save the World - And What We Can Do to Help
Trees were – and are – one of Nature’s most powerful tools for creating the planet we know and love today. If we plant many new trees and care for the ones we have, we can begin healing our planet.
1:30 PM to 6/3/2021 4:30 PM
Intermediate Drawing: Virtual
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 12:30 PM
Vegetative Propagation of Southeastern Native Plants
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Learn the fundamentals of vegetative propagation and how to propagate plants native to the southeastern United States. We’ll focus on low-tech methods you can apply at home, and all participants will have a newly stuck cutting to take home in a rudimentary, DIY mobile greenhouse. This workshop will feature a lecture, in-class demonstrations and participation, and a tour of the NCBG nursery.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Monitoring and Management at the Green Swamp Preserve
Monitoring studies are essential for the management and preservation of select species, but also for restoration and management on a broader community scale. The Nature Conservancy has supported long-term studies on longleaf pine restoration, the endangered species Lysimachia asperulifolia, and Venus flytrap in the Green Swamp and other preserves. The studies are particularly important for determining the success of restoration efforts but also in quantifying impacts of seasonal controlled burns.
3:30 PM to 6/15/2021 5:00 PM
Principles of Conservation Biology: Hybrid
This course is intended for an experienced audience and introduces the principles of biodiversity and conservation. Students learn about rare plants, conservation genetics, ecological restoration, conservation landscaping, and preserve design.
1:00 PM to 6/30/2021 4:30 PM
Intermediate Colored Pencil
This course adds to the information covered in Beginning Colored Pencil and hones skills in color, value and layering. Students will be introduced to new surfaces and techniques. 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.
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Virtual LUNCHBOX Talk: Pawpaws and Other Native Tree Fruits
Interest in native tree fruits is growing as people are exploring permaculture, homesteading and a renewed attentiveness to food self-sufficiency. Native fruits have less pest problems and are well-suited to the growing conditions of their bioregion. Mary Jac Brennan will talk about pawpaws, American persimmons, chinquapins, and more in time to prepare your site for fall/winter planting.
9:30 AM to 6/26/2021 12:30 PM
This course is designed for a broad audience. Students learn insect family recognition and common species identification, insect ecology and conservation, basic life cycle biology, and how to improve insect habitat and conservation in the urban environment.