Home gardening workshops, nature art classes, and more!
We offer many learning opportunities for adults, including home gardening workshops, botanical art classes, nature walks, and Lunchbox Talks, just to name a few. Offerings range from one-hour lectures, to short classes, to longer, multi-day courses and certificate programs. We have something for everyone!
- Advance registration is required for all programs.
- All classes are held at the Allen Education Center, off of Old Mason Farm Road in Chapel Hill, unless otherwise indicated.
- Members receive a 10% discount on class fees. Not a member? Join here!
- Need to cancel or request a refund? Cancellation and refund policy[PDF]
While a number of on-site classes are being held, we are pivoting to offer more virtual educational programs. Most of these programs are delivered via Zoom webinar. Zoom works on nearly every platform including iOS, Android, Windows, and MacOS. You can use Zoom in your browser or you can download the app on your devices. In a Zoom webinar, your audio and video are turned off by default (unlike in a typical Zoom meeting). Learn more about participating in Zoom webinars here.
For those looking to delve deeper into a topic, we offer certificate programs in several areas. Explore our offerings below!
Botanical Art & Illustration
Conservation Gardening 101
Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture
Every spring the Garden offers a lecture focused on native plants and their conservation and ecology. The lecture series was initiated in 2000 with a gift from Botanical Garden Foundation Board member Nancy Preston. Mrs. Preston wanted to honor her mother, Evelyn McNeill Sims, on the occasion of her 90th birthday. Born in Lumberton, North Carolina, Mrs. Sims was educated at UNC-Greensboro and later moved to Kingsport, Tennessee, with her husband and daughter. Wildflower excursions in the mountains surrounding Kingsport were a favorite activity for Mrs. Sims, who eventually became a volunteer guide at Bays Mountain Nature Park.
Sunday, April 11, 2021
Dr. Drew Lanham, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Master Teacher, and Certified Wildlife Biologist, Clemson University
Author, The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature
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.
A native of Edgefield, South Carolina, J. Drew Lanham is the author of The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature, which received the Reed Award from the Southern Environmental Law Center and the Southern Book Prize, and was a finalist for the John Burroughs Medal. He is a birder, naturalist, and hunter-conservationist who has published essays and poetry in publications including Orion, Audubon, Flycatcher, and Wilderness, and in several anthologies, including The Colors of Nature, State of the Heart, Bartram’s Living Legacy, and Carolina Writers at Home. An Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Master Teacher at Clemson University, he and his family live in the Upstate of South Carolina, a soaring hawk’s downhill glide from the southern Appalachian escarpment that the Cherokee once called the Blue Wall.
Jenny Elder Fitch Memorial Lecture
Named in memory of Jenny Fitch, local plant enthusiast and passionate gardener, this lecture takes place each fall. Mrs. Fitch passed away in 1995. The endowment for the lecture series was graciously donated by her husband, R.B. Fitch, in 1997 after friends and family sent scores of memorial gifts to the Garden. We have been able to bring a renowned gardener or horticulturist to Chapel Hill each year since 1999 to present the Jenny Fitch lecture.
Sunday, November 7, 2021
During this special lecture, Bland Simpson will read from and speak about his new book, North Carolina: Land of Water, Land of Sky. He will present and discuss photographs from the book, with help from the photographers, including his wife Ann Cary Simpson and Tom Earnhardt.