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.
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.
Wreath Making with Native Plants: A Virtual Demonstration
Join Wendy Wenck as she leads you through a wreath-making demonstration using native plants. Learn which native plant species to plant for future wreath-making projects. Wendy retired from NCBG in 2022, after serving many years as the curator of the Herb Garden and Totten Center landscapes. Upon payment, you will receive a link to view the demonstration along with a specially curated plant list.
1:15 PM - 2/24/2023 4:45 PM
Composition: The Bones of a Painting
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 - 2/17/2023 3:00 PM
Bird-Friendly Landscape Series
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Birds can be an indicator of the health and biodiversity of the landscapes around us. Our landscape design and management practices can make a big difference in whether birds decide to ignore or explore our built environments. Join landscape architect Preston Montague for a presentation series designed to help you provide more resources for birds through design and management practices. Presentations are developed in collaboration with New Hope Audubon who provides fantastic resources to the public for the improvement of resources for birds. This 3-part course provides CEUs for landscape architects.
1:15 PM - 2/25/2023 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.
1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Crafting Botanicals with Paper: Carolina Lily
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This workshop will feature North Carolina’s state wildflower, Lilium michauxii Carolina Lily, as a hands-on introduction to making paper botanicals. In the process of making several Carolina Lily blooms, participants will learn how specific components (e.g., the reproductive system, the leaves, etc.) can be rendered in paper to make a realistic replica of this beloved flower. Materials and tools will be provided.
2/7/2023 1:15 PM
Pen and Ink - Virtual
In this class, students learn to draw with pen and ink using standard techniques and conventions. Students work with both “old-fashioned” dip pens and modern technical pens to create accurate botanical drawings. Prerequisite: Intermediate Drawing.
2:00 PM - 2/15/2023 4:00 PM
Colored Pencil Fundamentals - Virtual
This course will focus on colored pencil fundamentals and is designed for artists new to colored pencil and those wishing to refresh their skills. It will cover the basic principles and techniques that form the foundation of colored pencil art including pencil strokes, pencil pressure, layering, blending and burnishing. During the two-day program, students will complete a project featuring a plant native to the Southeast. Instructor will provide group instruction and individual feedback of student progress.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Hybrid Lunchbox Talk: Increasing Seeds for Conservation Needs
There’s a problem in natural resource conservation: a lack of plant material (seed and vegetative plugs). But not just any type of plant material; there is a lack of genetically diverse, locally sourced plant material. In this talk we’ll learn about the importance of using local material, what is involved in plant materials development (wild collections, propagation, seed increase, seed storage) and what the North Carolina Botanical Garden is currently doing to address the demand.
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Hybrid Darwin Day Lecture: The hybrid in your genome: how recent advances in behavior and genetics are changing our view of Darwinian evolution
Where do new species come from? Darwin proposed that the diversity of life could be explained when population divisions become magnified into new species over time. This “tree of life” thinking became our foundational metaphor for the natural world. Hybridization –– mating between species –– undercuts “tree thinking.” Until recently, this phenomenon was regarded as an evolutionary dead end and ignored. However, new data from diverse fields point to an inescapable conclusion: hybridization is common and can significantly impact living things (including our species!). So, we will celebrate Darwin’s birthday by asking whether Darwin’s tree still adequately represents life’s diversity or if a new metaphor is needed.
9:30 AM - 4/24/2023 12:00 PM
Garden Guide Training - Youth Programs
Do you have an enthusiasm for the natural world that you’d like to share with others? Are you looking for a fun and exciting learning opportunity? Become a Youth Garden Guide! Youth Garden Guides are specially trained adult volunteers who help us to educate thousands of people each year through school field trips, discovery stations, and family special events. Our enthusiastic and committed volunteers create memorable learning experiences and serve as ambassadors of the Garden's mission.
4:00 PM - 4:30 PM
Story Time with Chapel Hill Public Library
Free. Drop-in program; no registration required. Celebrate winter with a story time at the Garden with the Chapel Hill Public Library! If the weather is nice, we'll meet outside in the Children's Wonder Garden. We'll move indoors to the children's classroom if chilly! Look for signs to direct you.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Hybrid Lunchbox Talk: Green Space as Cultural Space: Centering Native Leaders' Voices in Conservation Conversations
The UNC American Indian Center (AIC) and the North Carolina Botanical Garden (NCBG) each demonstrate unique leadership in conservation programming, and both aspire to deepen the focus on Indigenous-led conservation and climate strategies. The cultural and community strengths of the AIC paired with the technical and botanical strengths of NCBG have led to a partnership grounded in strong relationships and trust. We will share the many ways we are uplifting the voices and perspectives of Native conservation and climate resilience leaders and the outcomes of this work, both expected and unexpected, with our reflections on what characteristics and methods have supported, strengthened, and sustained this educational partnership.
6:00 PM - 3/18/2023 10:00 AM
An Introduction to Birds and Birding
Join instructors from the New Hope Audubon Society for an introductory course in bird identification, classification, physiology, behavior, and more. This hybrid course is aimed at bird watchers of all skill levels. Whether you're not sure if that bird at your feeder is a chickadee or a nuthatch or whether you know how to tell ruby-crowned from golden-crowned kinglets, this class will have something for you. We will meet for a two and a half-hour Zoom session as a group on Wednesday, March 1, then split into small groups for a trip to Mason Farm Biological Reserve.
9:30 AM - 3/29/2023 12:30 PM
Botany for the Artist - Virtual
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Traditional botanical illustration was relied on to record and share the identification of plants through accurate representation. Botany for the Artist is a practical course which hopes to encourage the inquisitive artist to understand, interpret and improve their botanical knowledge by reinforcing terminology, observing and notating plant structure and practicing identification with the taxonomic keys. The four lessons—Habitat, Flower Parts, Leaf Comparison, and Fruit Structure—will culminate with the students drawing a graphite work representing a specimen identified at the NCBG.
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Virtual Lunchbox Talk: The Trillium of Mt. Cuba Center
Join Amy Highland, the Director of Collections at Mt. Cuba Center, as she shares her journey with Trillium conservation in the Eastern United States. As the national collection holder for Trillium, Mt. Cuba Center houses over 80 forms of trillium. These iconic spring wildflowers were recently the focus of a report outlining the conservation statuses of Trillium and threats to its persistence in the wild. This information will guide future conservation decision making. From stories in the field to outlining new hope, Amy will prepare you for your spring wildflower viewing.
2:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Hike: Dutchman's Breeches at Willie Duke's Bluff
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Milo Pyne and Scott Ward will lead you to the natural area known as Willie Duke’s Bluff. You will have the opportunity to observe an outstanding display of Dutchman’s breeches and other rare and unusual spring native wildflowers including some of our local ephemeral favorites, including bloodroot and dimpled trout lily. 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.
8:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Art and Yoga Retreat - The Heart of Hope: Wisdom from the Garden
Participants will explore how we can embody the meaning of HOPE in our mind, body, and heart with the beautiful backdrop of the North Carolina Botanical Garden. Through the integration of mindfulness practices of gentle yoga, meditation and creative journaling practices, participants will have the opportunity to express themselves to foster community, resilience, and hopeful intention.
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.
1:15 PM - 4/1/2023 4:45 PM
Beginning Watercolor - Virtual
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
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.
1:30 PM - 3/26/2023 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.
11:00 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.
1:15 PM - 4/15/2023 4:45 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
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Hybrid Lunchbox Talk: Supporting Pollinator Communities in NC Agroecosystems
Pollinating insects, primarily bees, provide billions of dollars worth of pollination services to agricultural systems across the US each year. However, populations of these important insects are jeopardized by a multitude of stressors including habitat loss, land development, pathogens, pesticides, and climate change. There have been many conservation efforts towards protecting pollinator communities in agricultural areas, but questions still remain about how best to do so. Learn about examples of conservation efforts in North Carolina and how the pollinator community responds.
1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Among Trees: A Mindfulness Workshop
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Although much of the North Carolina Piedmont’s forest habitat has been altered, or eliminated, for housing, commerce, and highways, we remain, in a sense, forest dwellers. This workshop is an opportunity to deepen our awareness of trees and forest ecosystems at a time when the Piedmont forest is waking up from winter. This workshop will take place in a North Carolina Botanical Garden natural area (place TBA). After an introduction to the forest ecosystem, we’ll use techniques derived from forest bathing, mindfulness practice, and prompt writing to explore and share our kinship with the forest.
10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Making Herbal Liquid Soap from Scratch
Join Deena Class for this fun workshop on how to make herbal liquid soap in your kitchen with very simple equipment. During the workshop, Deena will teach you the basics of liquid soapmaking: 1) SAFETY, 2) Formulating a recipe, 3) choosing herbs to infuse in your oils ahead of time (we’ll be using violet leaves for this batch), 4) herbs to add when you dilute your soap paste if desired, and 5) diluting your soap paste into your own unique liquid soap suitable for your skin type and any skin issues you face.
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Penny's Bend: A Half Day Field Trip
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
Penny’s Bend Nature Preserve is an 84-acre site that protects numerous rare plant species. It is surrounded on three sides by the Eno River in eastern Durham County, North Carolina. This half day field trip will include a visit to distinct plant communities including a remnant Piedmont prairie, rich mesic and alluvial forests, and dry shortleaf pine-dominated bluffs. Rare species found on the Preserve include the smooth purple coneflower (Echinacea laevigata), eastern prairie blue wild indigo (Baptisia minor var. aberrans), hoary puccoon (Lithospermum canescens), and Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria). 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 - 4/26/2023 3:15 PM
Principles of Conservation Biology
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
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.
10:00 AM - 4/27/2023 12:30 PM
Sketching Landscapes in the Garden
Have you ever wanted to loosely capture what you see in a sketch while out on a hike or sitting in your own backyard? In this class, the North Carolina Botanical Garden will become our classroom as we experience the healing benefits of sketching while out in nature. You can lower your stress levels and promote mental calmness as we sketch the landscape before us. This class is about loosely capturing the essence of the natural world, so don’t worry if you don’t have a lot of drawing experience as we won’t be focusing on all the little details. This class is for all skill levels.
9:15 AM - 5/3/2023 12:45 PM
Advanced Traditional Colored Pencil - Virtual
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.
1:15 PM - 5/13/2023 4:45 PM
Botanical Sketchbook: Virtual
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 in their home areas. 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.
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Battle Park Tour
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 spring 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.
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.
1:30 PM - 5/13/2023 4:00 PM
Intermediate Drawing - Hybrid
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.
1:15 PM - 5/31/2023 4:45 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
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Native Plant Propagation
Event is Full: Accepting Wait List Registrations
This course 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.
1:30 PM - 6/24/2023 4:00 PM
Advanced Drawing: Botanical Plates - Hybrid
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, as well as mapping and cross-contour drawing for accuracy. Prerequisites: Intermediate Drawing, Composition.
9:30 AM - 6/24/2023 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. No prerequisites.
8:00 AM - 5/13/2023 5:00 PM
Hybrid Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture
The Hybrid Certificate in Therapeutic Horticulture (HCTH) provides comprehensive online and in-person instruction to professionals and students in allied health, education, and design fields who wish to incorporate therapeutic horticulture into their practice. This nine-month program allows maximum flexibility for those who need convenient, self-paced, evening, and weekend learning opportunities. Students will build foundational knowledge and explore how Therapeutic Horticulture supports human health & wellness, including physical, cognitive, emotional, spiritual, vocational, and social needs.