Home gardening workshops, nature art classes, and more!
We offer many learning opportunities for adults, including native plant gardening workshops, conservation studies programs, botanical art classes, health and well-being classes, nature walks, programs focusing on people-plant connections, 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]
For those looking to delve deeper into a topic, we offer certificate programs and series 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 3, 2023
Architects of Abundance: Indigenous Regenerative Land Management and the Excavation of Hidden History with Lyla June
Dr. Lyla June Johnston is an Indigenous musician, scholar, and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her research focuses on the ways in which pre-colonial Indigenous Nations gardened large regions of Turtle Island (aka the Americas) to produce abundant food systems for humans and non-humans. Contrary to popular belief, Indigenous Peoples leveraged immense influence on their surrounding lands, fires, and waters in ways that could heal our planet today. Whether it’s periodically burning grassland ecosystems with low severity fires to maintain habitat for deer, buffalo, antelope, etc, or building intertidal rock walls that catch sediment and warmer waters to expand clam habitat, native people have a number of innovative strategies for scaling habitat for edible plants and animals whom they often view as relatives. Her work translates this poorly understood history to the Western world and highlights the connection between Indigenous land ethics, decolonial narratives, carbon sequestration, biodiversity augmentation, anthropogenic habitat expansion, and regional ecosystems connectivity. These success of the systems is believed to be due to their underlying value system of respect, reverence, responsibility and reciprocity.
Register here for the 2023 Evelyn McNeill Sims Native Plant Lecture
See past Sims Lecture speakers
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 5, 2023
Save the date! Speaker and registration details will be announced at a later time.