Green and Growing
Classes Online, Onsite and On Demand

Each year when the month of June returns, we remember what the word green truly means. In the Blue Ridge, the green of June is a true presence, a force that surrounds us. We’re absorbed into it with each venture into the forest, and come out the other side refreshed and recharged. Venture into the green with us this month, with classes on ferns, the summer garden, aquatic habitats, walking meditation, yoga in nature, summer flora identification, and much more.

Scroll down the page for a listing of our current classes. For more information, please contact Adult Education Programs at AdultEducation@ncarboretum.org.

Onsite and Field-Based Small Group Classes

  • ONSITE  Thursday, June 17; 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    Walking through the gardens with Clara Curtis, the Arboretum’s Senior Director of Mission Delivery, is to see plants through the eyes of a designer. This year’s summer exhibit includes an awe-filled addition of sculptures that are installed in the garden through September 26th as part of Wild Art Sculpture Showcase, curated by the Arboretum’s interdepartmental exhibits and interpretation team.

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  • ONSITE  Thursday, June 17; 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

    Many insects spend their egg and larval stages in local streams, ponds and rivers. This immersive field experience starts at Willow Pond, the Arboretum’s new outdoor educational center, and ends at an area set aside for research at Bent Creek. Learn to identify and understand Benthic Macroinvertebrates that spend most of their lives in or on the water. Studying their life cycles and sampling various parts of a watershed can tell us about the health of our local and regional water ecology.  You’ll get plenty of feet-in-water and hands-on-nets time in this class!

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  • ONSITE  Six sessions: Fridays, June 18 – July 23; 9 – 10 a.m.
    Register for the series or by session

    Experience the deep peace and simple joy of slow walking meditation in the Plants of Promise Garden at the Arboretum. Each walking meditation practice begins with a series of very gentle Qigong movements, an easy, mindful movement practice that supports the body’s natural healing processes, promotes healthy circulation, invites a sense of inner calm, and releases tension from the body.

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  • ONSITE

    The Petite Posy might be small in size, but it presents a big, creative easy-to-build-on opportunity for learning the classic hand-tied design method, then using it to craft larger hand-held bouquets and floral arrangements for vases. The workshop will be held onsite at the Arboretum, a blooming and beautiful way to celebrate learning in place at our new Adult Education Outdoor Classroom on Tuesday, June 22.

    LEARN MORE Tuesday, June 22; 10 – 11:30 a.m.

    LEARN MORE Tuesday, June 22; 1 – 2:30 p.m. – New section added!

  • ONSITE  Six sessions: Wednesdays, June 23 – July 23; 9 – 10 a.m.
    Register for the series or by session

    Gentle, relaxing yoga stretches outside in the fresh air. Connect with the beauty of nature while releasing tension and building flexibility, balance, and inner calm. This in-person class takes place at the Arboretum in partial shade and is beginner-friendly.

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  • ONSITE  Friday, June 25; 2 – 3:30 p.m. 

    Let’s enjoy a quiet, mindful stroll through the woods together. A silent hike takes us to scenic treasures on the Arboretum property where we will do a restorative qigong practice. Hikes will be mindfully-paced and qigong practices easy and accessible.

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  • FIELD  Saturday, June 26; 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    Learn about the biology and identification of regional ferns. Participants will be sent course materials in advance, including a pre-recorded lecture on the biology and classification of this interesting group of plants. The day-long workshop will be comprised of a field trip to Bent Creek and the neighboring Blue Ridge Parkway.

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  • ONSITE  Tuesday, July 6; 8:30 – 10:30 a.m.

    Our new monthly Meditative Mornings provide the perfect setting for birding. No leaf blowers, no equipment noise a quiet morning to enjoy the company of birds and very quiet humans, eyes skyward! Bring your binoculars and explore the Arb’s avian bounty. Open to beginning and experienced birders alike. (Set aside the first Tuesday of every month for a standing distanced date for birding and breakfast together.)

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  • ONSITE  Thursday, July 15; 9:30 to 11 a.m.

    Want to rejuvenate an older houseplant or share your plant with a friend? Get hands on experience propagating houseplants through seeds, cuttings, division and air layering with Production Greenhouse Manager June Smathers Jolley in this small-group workshop held onsite at the Arboretum.

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  • ONSITE  Friday, July 23; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    The Southern Appalachians are home to dozens of shrubs and woody vines, many of which are often overlooked and unknown by the average person. This class helps students gain the skills to identify many of these plants and learn about their importance to the ecology of mountain forests.

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  • ONSITE  Thursday, July 29; 9 to 11 a.m.

    North Carolina’s lush mountain forests are home to dozens of species of trees. In this field experience based in the Arboretum’s forest, students will gain practice identifying trees and woody shrubs as well gaining a deeper understanding of different forest types encountered at the Arboretum.

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  • BLENDED ONLINE/ONSITE  Three Day Intensive: Wednesday, July 28 – Friday, July 30

    Moving beyond the traditional grand scenic, this three-day workshop will help students learn ways to see more creatively and take more inspirational photographs through group discussion, photography practice and review of work. Encompassing approaches from realism to abstraction, intimate landscapes to in-camera movement to demonstrations of creative use in post-processing, the class will encourage students to work with composition, light and ideas that enhance vision and style. Open to photographers of all levels. Students should have their own photography equipment for use in the class.

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Onsite and field-based classes are subject to rescheduling due to county and state health and safety guidelines and/or inclement weather.

Online Classes: June

  • ONLINE  Four Sessions: Tuesdays and Thursdays, June 1 – 10; 10 – 11 a.m.

    Water flow across a diverse geological framework shapes the Earth’s surface. The process of surface water flow and the earth’s response to this flow is investigated across three physiographic provinces, including the Blue Ridge, Piedmont, Coastal Plains/Continental Shelf. Processes and responses include erosion, sediment transport, and formation of associated depositional environments.

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  • ONLINE  Tuesday, June 8; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Summer is a perfect time to notice plants that are at the peak of growth, flower or fruit. Fragrance is a welcome characteristic of many summer flowers, while aromatic foliage adds interest throughout the growing season. This online class will focus on plants that are at their best in summer, with a special nod to annual plants that are prevalent during the summer months.

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  • ONLINE  Thursday, June 10; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Garden maintenance takes place all year long and timing is critical to certain garden projects. Each seasonal class offers tips, projects and considerations for activities such as fertilizing, planting, pruning, pest control, planning, clearing and cleaning for gardening year round.

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  • ONLINE  Five sessions: Wednesdays, June 16 – July 14; 1 – 2:30 p.m.

    Learn to identify seasonal native mountain flora using a non-technical keying system, while studying the characteristics of plant families, the basics of plant community and the natural and the cultural history of the flora of the Blue Ridge. Presented online with plant lists and pointers provided for conducting observations in the “field,” whether that’s your own yard or neighborhood, at the Arboretum or sighted off trails in the region. Small-group walks with Instructor Scott Dean will be scheduled for experience in the field.

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  • ONLINE  Thursday, June 24; 4 – 5:30 p.m.

    Points of Connection Across Collections: Join North Carolina Arboretum bonsai curator Arthur Joura in conversation with Chicago Botanic Garden bonsai curator Chris Baker for a look inside two of the most acclaimed bonsai collections in the country through the eyes of their curators and chief interpreters. Though there are several states between them, they find common ground in their innovative approaches to bonsai and awe for trees in nature, both discovering endless sources of creative inspiration while continuously honing a craft.

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  • ONLINE  Sunday, June 27; 2 to 3:15 p.m.

    Available to register as a package or by individual session

    Package Three sessions: Sundays, June 27, July 25 and August 22; 2 to 3:15 p.m.

    Join us online for this guided lying-down meditation to induce full-body relaxation and peaceful states of awareness. This practice will help you sleep better, release anxiety, and access inner calm, compassion, and clarity. Each session begins with very gentle tension-relieving stretches that can be done seated in a chair or on the floor. No prior yoga experience is required, and students who are working with injury, illness and physical limitations will find this class to be highly accessible.

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  • ONLINE  Two sessions: Tuesday, June 29, and Thursday, July 1; 1 to 2:30 p.m.

    Watch your Step! Don’t touch that! Is it poisonous? Take your knowledge beyond “leaves of three, let them be,” and learn to look for outdoor hazards including bees and other stinging insects, venomous snakes and spiders, ticks, poisonous plants and mushrooms. These and more covered in this two-part online survey course that prepares you to enjoy summer without the sting.

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  • ONLINE  Tuesday, June 29; 3:30 – 5:00 p.m.

    Sign on to congratulate the first graduating cohort of the Blue Ridge Eco-Gardener program. Graduates will share photographs and describe ways they’ve applied their learning in their own home landscapes and in service projects for their communities. The second half of the meeting is a round table discussion with faculty, current students and anyone interested in the Blue Ridge Eco-Gardener (BREG) program. Get a preview of upcoming classes online and hear about some exciting new opportunities for learning in place!

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Online Classes: July

  • ONLINE  Tuesday, July 20; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    The Southern Appalachians are home to dozens of shrubs and woody vines, many of which are often overlooked and unknown by the average person. This class helps students gain the skills to identify many of these plants and learn about their importance to the ecology of mountain forests.

    LEARN MORE

  • ONLINE  Sunday, July 25; 2 to 3:15 p.m.

    Available to register as a package or by individual session

    Package Three sessions: Sundays, June 27, July 25 and August 22; 2 to 3:15 p.m.

    Join us online for this guided lying-down meditation to induce full-body relaxation and peaceful states of awareness. This practice will help you sleep better, release anxiety, and access inner calm, compassion, and clarity. Each session begins with very gentle tension-relieving stretches that can be done seated in a chair or on the floor. No prior yoga experience is required, and students who are working with injury, illness and physical limitations will find this class to be highly accessible.

    LEARN MORE

  • ONLINE  Tuesday, July 27; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

    Western North Carolina’s lush mountain forests are home to dozens of species of trees. In this online class, students will learn how to identify many of the area’s tree species based on their habitat preferences, individual characteristics, including leaves, and their uses both by humans and wildlife.

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Registrants also have the opportunity to view recorded videos on demand for select online classes if they are unable to attend the live session.

On Demand Online Classes

  • ON DEMAND

    Arboretum Production Greenhouse Manager June Smathers-Jolley leads this engaging and packed-full-of-useful-information class on how to be a good plant parent to your houseplants. June shares on-trend resources from the horticulture industry, popular magazines, and social media that will make you want to adopt a few new family members of the botanical variety. Topics to be covered include selecting the best plants for different locations and conditions in your home, proper watering techniques, repotting, fertilizing, and pest identification/management.

    Register Here

  • ON DEMAND

    Follow along in this on-demand class anytime to take a break and focus on nature and love in this season. Begin with a brief online introduction to mandalas, practice a loving kindness meditation, and have a nature experience from your home, or in your neighborhood, the Arboretum, or elsewhere. Then settle in to design your own mandala inspired by nature and loving kindness.

    Register Here

  • ON DEMAND

    Correctly pruning woody trees and shrubs improves their general appearance and promotes plant health. In this On-Demand course, professional horticulturalist Ben Pick will discuss and demonstrate various types of pruning — structural, aesthetic, regenerative, and corrective — along with tools, techniques and timing, for successful pruning of small trees and flowering shrubs.

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  • ON DEMAND

    Used by over 30 million people world-wide, Star Chart is an app that provides a magical star gazing experience like no other. In this online introductory class for adults, originally presented in April of 2020, Astronomer Stephan Martin introduces you to Star Chart and other free stargazing apps so that you can carry around a virtual planetarium in your pocket! Look through your smartphone or other handheld device to help you bring the whole visible universe into focus. Steve will share insights on the treasures of the night sky that you can see this spring, including tips for viewing Meteor Showers!

    Register Here

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