North Carolina Botanical Garden
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Upcoming Event
Certificate and Advanced Certificate in Native Plants
The Certificate in Native Plant Studies provides a well-balanced botany, ecology, and taxonomy curriculum that enables students to develop a greater appreciation of native flora of the southeastern United States. The program provides basic scientific background and hands-on investigative opportunities. Studies leading to the Certificate will enhance the experience of professionals as well as dedicated amateur botanists and provide strong credentials for those involved in botanical, ecological, and conservation endeavors. Classes are taught by Garden staff, UNC professors, and other area experts.
Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration
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.
Foodscaping with Native Plants - Virtual On Demand
Thoughtful design and management of landscapes is more important than ever as concerns of climate, water quality and invasive plants increase. Brie will discuss how to create a foodscape using native plants mixed with favorite seasonal food crops. The best organic products are featured and easy, earth friendly maintenance strategies are highlighted. Learn about native edible plants and the pollinators they attract that aid in ecological restoration. Get inspired to see the potential every landscape offers by transforming them into purposeful spaces that embrace solutions to modern day landscape practices.
Keep the Animals (including deer) Out of Your Garden - Virtual On Demand
Mammal browse is one of the biggest challenges that gardeners face. And we all have critters that we are sharing our gardens with, including deer, rabbits, groundhogs, even cats and dogs! The reality is, our gardens are delicious- they are fertilized, irrigated and full of tasty plants, so of course the local wildlife will take delight in eating our hard work. In this fun webinar, author, and horticulturist Brie Arthur, will explain her approach to dealing with unwanted animals. She will cover it all, including a few things that you should NOT do! From the best repellents and inexpensive fencing solutions to using a few favorite veggies to help deter problem animals, attendees will learn easy-to-apply strategies. Brie aims to make you laugh and answer all your questions in this recorded virtual session.
Spring Veggie Garden Prep - Virtual On Demand
Are you ready for the growing season? Life-long home gardener Brie Arthur shares expert advice for success in the veggie garden. She will cover everything you need to cultivate an abundant harvest. From seed selection and sowing, to bed prep, fertilization and proper crop rotations, this informative program will inspire attendees to grow all the food they love to eat. Brie will also share tips for maximizing your homegrown harvest through easy to learn processing and preserving techniques. After this session you will be ready to grow like a pro!
Botanical Art Fundamentals: An Online Program
The Botanical Art Fundamentals Program is designed to give students a foundational level curriculum combining basic scientific background, visual arts theory, and a basic level of experience using various media. Classes are taught by North Carolina art professionals and botany professionals. The program can be completed 100% in the virtual format, although individuals may also choose to take courses in-person as well. Course offerings and scheduling are designed for completion within a one and one half to two-year period.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Hybrid Lunchbox Talk: Saving Snakes - Snakes and the Evolution of a Field Naturalist
In this Lunchbox Talk, Dr. Nicolette Cagle will explore the mysteries of snakes, their conservation, and connect it to larger themes of environmental identity development and conservation ethics, sharing excerpts from her book, Saving Snakes.
7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Singing Insects Night Hike at Mason Farm
The night has been filled with the songs of insects for hundreds of millions of years – there are fossils of katydids dating back 165 million years that show the sound-producing structures on the wings with sufficient detail that the songs they made can be artificially re-produced. When we are outside at night, the chorus of night-singing crickets and katydids today is still something that should amaze us in all its diversity. This symphony reaches its peak in the fall each year and the concert hall at Mason Farm is one of the best places to hear this performance.
1:00 PM - 10/15/2023 4:00 PM
Developing Your Habit of Nature: For Caregivers
Are you a caregiver seeking to reduce your stress and improve your well-being? Do you enjoy nature, or have you enjoyed nature at some time during your life? This program is for you! Research establishes that regular engagement with nature improves cognitive, physical, and emotional health and can significantly boost caregivers’ well-being. These impacts do not require weeks-long backpacking trips or access to gardens and forests; habits of nature can be established in just minutes a week and in any setting. This program will provide you with the knowledge and skills for incorporating habitual interaction with nature into your life. You will learn about the science of habit formation and practical tools for forming a nature habit. You will engage in activities reflecting the various forms that habits of nature can take-sitting, reading, walking, gardening, writing-and will complete the program having developed a plan to foster your health through your habit of nature.
1:15 PM - 10/29/2023 4:45 PM
Field Sketching
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 through the variety of gardens and habitats at the North Carolina Botanical Garden. 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.
12:30 PM - 10/20/2023 4:30 PM
Biophilia in the Classroom - Plant Cart Workshop for Educators
Outdoor learning and direct contact with nature has shown to be effective for students’ social emotional growth and development as well as their cognitive functioning. This workshop helps teachers learn to use indoor classroom plant garden carts to connect current learning science research and Therapeutic Horticulture strategies with NC learning standards to design classroom experiences for students to support their learning and development. Participants will learn practical tips and experience demonstrations of plant-based activities and lessons to implement in their classroom. The activities will be followed by discussions of the evidence based scientific research explaining how these activities support students' learning. The course includes both the “how” and “why” to incorporate nature-based learning into the classroom. Upon completion participants will be provided with a packet of activities and a starter kit including a resource book.
1:15 PM - 10/24/2023 4:45 PM
Intermediate Drawing - Virtual
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
In this class, students continue their journey to learn the skills needed to produce accurate tonal graphite botanical drawings from life. Covered topics include: more methods to increase accuracy, transitioning to tonal drawing, light on form fundamentals, realistic textures, and rendering fine plant details. Prerequisite: Beginning Drawing.
9:30 AM - 10/18/2023 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 of flowering plants found in North Carolina. Classroom discussions of evolutionary adaptations and relationships are combined with close-up examination of representative examples.
1:15 PM - 10/27/2023 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.
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sandhills: Full Day Field Trip
We will visit a longleaf pine sandhill landscape near Southern Pines, NC, and enjoy seeing a well-managed relict natural area reflecting North Carolina’s biodiversity and history. We’ll walk several miles and see the diversity of natural communities shaped by fire, hydrology, and time, and discuss the ecological dynamics, human history, and conservation needs of the landscape.
9:30 AM - 10/14/2023 12:30 PM
Soil Ecology
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This 6-hour course is intended for a broad audience. Students are introduced to the complex world of soils, including 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 prerequisites.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Virtual Lunchbox Talk: Okra and Collards: Saving and Savoring Two Southern Staples
The Utopian Seed Project has taken a deep dive into the varietal diversity and crop potential of many traditional southern vegetables. This class uses okra and collards to explore crop trialing, seed saving, culinary evaluations, regional and community seed work, climate adaptation, and crop development. The class aims to showcase the importance of regional seed sovereignty and share seed saving as a simple and accessible technology that all gardeners and farmers can engage with. The lessons learned here can be applied to any crop at any scale. Join us for an inspiring journey into the world of okra and collards.
1:30 PM - 11/16/2023 3:30 PM
Garden Journeys, Photographic Field Studies in the Garden
This 6-week class is designed to provide individualized and small group instruction on the technical and aesthetic characteristics of landscape photography including environmental portraiture. Students will explore the trails surrounding the North Carolina Botanical Garden and return to the classroom for critique and sharing. All cameras and lenses appropriate from smart phones to digital single lens reflex and mirrorless. All students will receive an 8x10 print suitable for framing at the conclusion of the class.
8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Art and Yoga Retreat - Heart of Peace: Nourishment from the Garden
Embody the meaning of peace in your mind, body, and heart at this semi-annual yoga and art retreat. The beautiful Autumn background invites us to reflect on a time of transition and letting go. Through the integration of mindfulness practices of gentle yoga, meditation and creative art journaling, you will have the opportunity to foster community, resilience and peaceful intention to nourish yourself for the changing season.
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Native Southeastern Medicinal Plants
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
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.
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Second Saturday NCBG Tour
From March to November, join our skilled volunteer Garden Guides on the second Saturday of the month for a guided tour of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. 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 space is limited! Please register each member of your party separately.
9:00 AM - 11/9/2023 12:30 PM
Intermediate Expressive Watercolor - Virtual
This class introduces students to fluid watercolor techniques such as wet-on-wet. Students will learn to work with more water in the beginning and middle of the painting process and then rely on the skills learned in Beginning Watercolor to refine and add detail towards the end of the process. Students will create textures for backgrounds, work on color mixing using a limited palette, and learn to use glazing and masking fluid. Techniques for correcting mistakes in watercolor will also be covered. Upon completion of this course, students will have knowledge/skill of the following: • Working with various amounts of water and watercolor paint; • Working wet-on-wet; • Working with masking fluid; • Making a variety of watercolor textures such as salt, plastic wrap, etc.; • Glazing; • Working with a limited palette; and • Color mixing
1:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Early Autumn at Mason Farm
An in-depth tour of Mason Farm Biological Reserve’s Old Farm Trail that travels through some 260 years of cultural and natural history. Explore the beauty of fall, and learn about the Garden’s intense management of both field and forest on the Reserve. The walk includes a short hike off-trail into the Shagbark Hickory Forest. Wear sturdy footwear and bring water (and a walking stick if you use one). Meeting spot supplied upon registration.
1:15 PM - 11/11/2023 4:45 PM
Intermediate Expressive Colored Pencil - Virtual
This course makes use of the techniques and information covered in the Beginning Colored Pencil class. Students will continue developing skills in drawing in colored pencils with attention to form, texture and detail. Using live botanical specimens, students will apply their drawing skills to create botanical portraits of seasonal plants such as twigs, leaves, petals, flowers, pods, and fruit. We will develop personal and expressive aesthetic while maintaining scientific accuracy.
10:00 AM - 11:15 AM
Yaupon Holly and the Ethnobotany of Caffeine
This class will explore how yaupon holly, coffee, tea, and kola nut have powered the ancient and modern world. We will learn the origins of these plant-derived drinks, their production and our relationship to them. Please bring your favorite caffeinated beverage with you.
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
A Soulful Autumn Creativity & Mindfulness Series: Our Compassionate Nature
Join us to expand and deepen our sense of compassion — for ourselves, others, and nature — through creative and nature-based invitations. Though often overlooked, the natural world extends compassion to itself in a myriad of ways. And nature offers compassion to us, if we are open and willing to receive it. Using watercolor, collage, and expressive writing, we will embrace compassion in its fullness as we explore themes of reciprocity, interconnectedness, and self-compassion. We will traverse several pathways to foster a deeper personal meaning of compassion with hopes of offering kindness to ourselves and the natural world around us.
10:00 AM - 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 the gardens change through the seasons.
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Peak of Autumn at Penny's Bend
A two-mile hike through the fall landscape of this 84-acre natural area in northeast Durham. Surrounded on three sides by the Eno River, Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve encompasses mature forests and prairies with regionally rare plants. Explore the fall scenery as you learn about how the Garden manages this unique property. 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 a walking stick, insect repellant and water. Meeting spot supplied upon registration. $18 ($16 Members)
1:15 PM - 11/11/2023 4:45 PM
Intermediate Traditional Watercolor
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
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
12:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Intro to Natural Indigo Dyeing & Shibori Workshop
Are you interested in learning how to turn fabric into luxurious shades of blue by using plants alone? Ever wanted to learn how to make different Japanese ‘tie dye’ Shibori designs on fabric? Are you ready for a peek into the magical, mysterious and ancient art of Indigo & Shibori dyeing? Then join the husband & wife team behind Gaia’s Magical Goods from Carrboro as they lead their Intro to Natural Indigo Dyeing & Shibori Workshop! Courtney and Reverdy became obsessed with Indigo four years ago when searching for eco-friendly textile dyeing techniques. They have been busy dyeing ever since, selling magical handmade goods at local and online markets. They also love to share what they’ve learned about natural Indigo vat maintenance, how they make their unique designs using their favorite Shibori folding techniques and even tips on how to grow Japanese Indigo (Persicaria tinctoria) at home!
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
Annual Jenny Elder Fitch Memorial Lecture - A World of Discovery: How Science and Heart Can Make You a More Ecological Gardener
Much has been written about gardening for human senses, but how do plants and animals perceive the world around them? What do we miss when we landscape for human visual appeal but neglect the sensory experiences of our wild neighbors? Noise, light and odor pollution can have many unintended consequences. Through science, heart, and our powers of observation, we can learn to mitigate these disruptions and create sensory refuges in an increasingly noisy world.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Hybrid Lunchbox Talk: Salish Ethnobotany for Community Wellbeing
Rose Bear Don’t Walk is a researcher and educator who explores the connections between Salish people, plants, and health. In this talk, she will discuss how Salish people have cultivated and consumed local edible flora for generations, and how this practice has implications for their community health and cultural longevity.
1:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Southeastern Woody Ethnobotany
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This class will focus on the botany and applications of trees, shrubs and vines. We will go for a plant walk to learn how to identify woody plants by leaves, bark, and other characteristics. Common and obscure uses for woody plants of the Southeastern flora that may support overall biodiversity, health, well-being, and sustenance will also be discussed.
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Second Saturday NCBG Tour
From March to November, join our skilled volunteer Garden Guides on the second Saturday of the month for a guided tour of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. 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 space is limited! Please register each member of your party separately.
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Winter Holiday Cards and Tags: Art Workshop
Join nurse-artist and botanical illustrator Beverly Dyer for this expressive painting workshop where we will make beautiful hand-painted holiday cards and tags. Art Prescription workshops are designed to encourage creativity with a dose of art to promote wellness and give the immune system a boost. Have fun, reduce holiday stress, and let the muse play! Each participant will leave with 5 holiday cards + envelopes and 5 tags for gifts or place settings. Cards + envelopes provided; bring your favorite watercolor paint and brushes, a medium-size round brush, and a palette. All levels welcome!
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Weaving Culture: Learn and Create with Cattail Mats
Join us for a hands-on workshop where you will learn about the rich and diverse cultural practices of Waccamaw Siouan peoples who have used cattail mats for various purposes for centuries. Darlene Graham and Sue Jacobs, coordinators of the Healing Green Space, will share about this special cultural and environmental outdoor classroom on Waccamaw Siouan Tribal Lands. You will then have the opportunity to weave your own cattail mat to take home and enjoy. This workshop is a great way to connect with nature, learn new skills, and appreciate the cultural heritage of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe. Don’t miss this chance to weave culture into your life!
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
A Soulful Autumn Creativity & Mindfulness Series: Beholding Wonder
Many things call for our attention at any moment throughout our day. And it’s a rarity that we have the opportunity to offer our singular attention to one thing. Connecting with nature is an avenue to bring our attention to the present moment and behold the wonder it has to offer. To cultivate our sense of wonder, we will explore a nature treasure using mindfulness practices, expressive writing, art making, and poetry. We will also practice cherishing and gratitude to nurture ourselves and foster kinship with the natural world.
10:00 AM - 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 the gardens change through the seasons.
9:15 AM - 12/21/2023 12:45 PM
Intermediate Traditional Colored Pencil - Virtual
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
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.
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Graduation Preparation for the Certificate in Botanical Art & Illustration
Students will receive guidance on Independent Projects, graduation procedures and requirements, as well as organizing the exhibit, photographing and framing their paintings, and an introduction to marketing their work. Non-credit course.
1:15 PM - 1/9/2024 4:45 PM
Advanced Traditional Watercolor: The Colors of Winter - Virtual
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course builds upon Intermediate Traditional Watercolor. Students independently select a native plant or plants of their choice and design and complete a watercolor painting displaying different aspects of that plant based on the earthy palette of winter. 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.