Sparrow Envy

Were I the sparrow / brown-backed skittish and small―   I would find haven / in thorniest thickets/ search far and wide for fields lain fallow / treasure the unkempt / worship the unmown / covet the weed-strewn row / …    I would find great joy / in the mist-sodden morning / … and plead / for the gray days to stay.

―  J. Drew Lanham, from Sparrow Envy: Field Guide to Birds and Lesser Beasts

Treasure the unkempt in this season and free yourself from the pressure to create the perfect holidays.

Be perfectly imperfect and find haven with us in programs inspired by nature.

 

Scroll down for a listing of classes open for registration and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter Learn & Grow.

For more information, please contact Adult Education Programs at AdultEducation@ncarboretum.org

December Online, Onsite and Field-Based Classes

  • ONSITE | Monday, December 5, 1 – 4:30 p.m.

    Learn the meditative art of making beautiful Ukrainian pysanky eggs as holiday ornaments. First generation Ukrainian-American Andrea Kulish learned pysanky from her mother and now shares her culture along with the traditional folk art symbols, patterns and designs through her artistry and teaching. Pysanky are made with an age-old method of batik – wax-resist – dyeing. Designs are made with beeswax, which is melted in the flame of a candle, and applied to the egg using a tool called a kistka. The eggs are dipped into successively darker dyes until the beeswax is melted off to reveal intricate, colorful and personally meaningful designs. Bring this distinctive way of making into your holiday traditions! All Maker Monday materials are included as are holiday cookies to snack on while you create!

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  • ONSITE | Friday, December 9, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

    The land that makes up The North Carolina Arboretum has been home to different human groups over a span of more than 15,000 years. It has had many uses and been shaped by those who lived here. This walk, led by archaeologists Bob and Mary Noel, will give participants a chance to see and hear about past occupants of this land, and even a little history about how it became the state’s Arboretum.

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  • ONSITE | Monday, December 12, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

    Fiber Artist Rose Szabo brings both her know-how and a playful approach to this morning for makers. Learn the basics of wet felting and adding embellishments and create beads and balls to give as distinctive gifts or make into pompom garlands and other decorations to grace your holiday tree or mantle. All Maker Monday materials are included as are holiday cookies to snack on while you create!

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  • ONSITE | Monday, December 12, 1 – 4 p.m.

    Create a variation on a traditional origami or star book with handmade art papers. Makers arrive to find all the supplies needed for making two of these beautiful little books that double as ornaments. BFFs Penelope and Barbara conduct a fun and festive workshop that combines step-by-step instruction through demonstration and then allows for plenty of individualized assistance. First make one for you and then one for your BFF. We guarantee that once you learn how, you will want to make one for everyone on your list. All Maker Monday materials are included as are holiday cookies to snack on while you create!

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  • ONSITE | Thursday, December 15, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

    Katherine May’s intimate, revelatory memoir explores the ways we can care for and repair ourselves when life knocks us down. She pulls lessons from literature, mythology, and the natural world to offer instruction on the transformative power of rest and retreat. Illumination emerges from many sources: solstice celebrations and dormice hibernation, C.S. Lewis and Sylvia Plath, swimming in icy waters and sailing arctic seas. May models an active acceptance of sadness and finds nourishment in deep retreat, joy in the hushed beauty of winter, and encouragement in understanding life as cyclical, not linear. Wintering invites us to change how we relate to our own fallow times, providing nothing less than a guiding philosophy for transforming the hardships that arise before the ushering in of a new season.

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  • ONLINE | Thursday, December 15, 6 – 7 p.m.

    Take an informative plunge into the fascinating world of waterfowl without getting wet! Ventures Birding expert Simon Thompson helps us distinguish one duck from another during this winter season, the best for viewing waterfowl in the mountains. Many of the birds seen in the region should be in full color in anticipation of the upcoming breeding season. Always engaging, Simon gives an overview of species, their biology, calls and colorful characteristics.

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  • Forest BathingONSITE | Saturday, December 17, 1 – 3:30 p.m.

    Join a certified forest therapy guide for a relaxing 2.5-hour walk in the Arboretum forest. Be present in the moment and deepen your connection in nature and in community. Guide Christa Hebal will extend a series of invitations, instructing participants in mindful practices that encourage deepening levels of awareness of inner and surrounding landscapes. Inspired by Shinrin-Yoku, the Japanese art of immersing oneself in a forest environment, a forest bathing walk can invite healing on many levels, starting within and moving outward in the renewed intention to protect where we are in place and on the planet.

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  • ONSITE | Monday, December 19, 1 – 4 p.m.

    Learn basic floral design principles and express your creativity while making floral accents for your home and holiday table. Floral designer Theresa Clower guides participants in assembling impressive arrangements with confidence and creative flair. Weather permitting, we’ll take a foraging walk in the Arboretum forest to pick up some greenery and other distinctive embellishments. No prior experience is necessary, just come and make something beautiful for yourself or to give as a special gift. All Maker Monday materials are included as are holiday cookies to snack on while you create!

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January Online, Onsite and Field-Based Classes

  • ONSITE | Thursday, January 12, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

    Children’s literature gives the young and young at heart permission to connect in the natural world in ways that are engaging and easily understood. Join Adult & Continuing Education Specialist Ann Kast, a former elementary school teacher and children’s literature enthusiast, in a discussion of how Wait, Rest, Pause: Dormancy in Nature aptly shares the natural process of rest and speaks to the child in each of us.

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February Online, Onsite and Field-Based Classes

  • ONSITE | Thursday, February 2, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

    Connect to the liberating power of rest, daydreaming, and naps as a foundation for healing and justice. Tricia Hersey, aka The Nap Bishop, asks what it would be like to live in a well-rested world. Hersey casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted and our worth does not reside in how much we produce. Informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, Rest Is Resistance is a call to action, a battle cry, a field guide, and a manifesto for all of us who are sleep-deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.

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Asynchronous | On Demand Classes

  • ONLINE Year Round Asynchronous Course Open for Ongoing Registration! 

    The Curator’s Journal by Bonsai Curator Arthur Joura is a year-long course offering the ultimate insider’s view of bonsai at The North Carolina Arboretum. Regular entries chronicle growing an art and growing an enterprise. Subscribers will have exclusive access to all-new original content generated by Joura and will be notified each week when a new entry is posted.

    Preview free entries on the Curator’s Journal site and join us for this learning journey. With Joura as a knowledgeable guide, Journal subscribers forgo the map and travel in time to meet remarkable trees, each with stories and life lessons worth sharing.

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  • ON DEMAND – Available through March 31, 2023

    Join Clara Curtis, the Arboretum’s senior director for mission delivery, to learn how to make a festive holiday wreath. Participants will be sent a pre-recorded video tutorial to watch on their own time, learning classic wreath making methods and creating a full-sized door wreath using the hand-wrapped bundle method.

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  • 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.

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  • ON DEMAND – Available through March 31, 2023

    Correctly pruning woody trees and shrubs improves their general appearance and promotes plant health. In this On-Demand course, professional horticulturist 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. Though it can be hard to know where to start, what to cut and what to leave, to keep trees and shrubs in your landscape healthy and beautiful, this class will help both with providing a thorough and practical approach while instilling confidence.

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  • ON DEMAND

    Want to rejuvenate an older houseplant or share your plant with a friend? Arboretum Production Greenhouse Manager June Smathers-Jolley covers the basics of propagating houseplants through seeds, cuttings, division and air layering in this informative video, produced in-house by the Education Department’s creative team and available to watch “on demand” at your own convenience. Whether you have a colorful coleus, an aging aglaonema, a peppy peperomia, or a savvy succulent, you will pick up some proven techniques for expanding your houseplant collection.

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