Adkins Arboretum is offering a full slate of programs for winter and spring, including landscape design, ecology, art, writing, and a speaker series. Offerings include:
Nature as Muse
Wed., Feb. 1, March 7, April 4, 10 a.m.–noon
Each month this writing group follows a different Arboretum path to quietly observe nature in detail and gain inspiration for writing. Enjoy how the Arboretum paths and the paths in your mind can lead you on an unpredictable but delightful journey. No previous writing experience necessary. Dress for both indoor and outdoor forest adventure. Registration required. This program is free with admission.
Introduction to Backyard Hobby Farming
Wed., Feb. 8, 1–2:30 p.m.
Create sustainable landscape practices in your own backyard, no matter the size of your property. Join Robyn Affron to learn about raising chickens, rabbits and dwarf goats, starting a beehive and establishing gardens that create habitat for wildlife and food for your family. Subsequent sessions in this three-part backyard hobby farming series will be offered June 6 and Sept. 22. Registration required. Member fee: $15 per program or $35 for all three in the series; general public fee: $20 per program or $45 for all three in the series.
Henry Callister: Colonial Merchant and Amateur Naturalist
Fri., Feb. 10, 1–2:30 p.m.
Henry Callister, a native of the Isle of Man, arrived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1742, working as a factor for a Liverpool-based trading company. Although most of his days were spent overseeing shipments of tobacco to England and managing the company’s stores on the Shore, his unpublished papers show that one of his many interests was a passion for local natural history. Salisbury University professor Ellen Lawler will discuss Callister’s nature writings that include brief descriptions of local birds, mammals, plants and insects. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Plants for Difficult Soils
Sat., Feb. 11, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
The soils of the Delmarva Peninsula vary considerably, from salty to hydric to sandy to clay to every mix in between. Join sustainable landscape designer Christina Pax and chemist Julianna Pax for this lively and interactive program that will answer questions about soil types, mineral content, amending soil, pH levels and helping native plants thrive in your landscape. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Planting for Native Bees
Sun., Feb. 19, 1–3 p.m.
More than 75 percent of flowering plants rely on pollinators, but pollinator populations are in decline in North America. Without them, the ability of agricultural crops and wild plants to produce food products and seeds is jeopardized. Join Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Wildlife Biologist Sam Droege to learn why “bees are not optional.” Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Wed., Feb. 22, 10–11:30 a.m.
Forcing branches is a wonderfully easy way to beat the winter doldrums by bringing the cheer of spring flowers inside. Join Samantha McCall to learn what tree branches and shrubs are ideal for forcing indoors for a bright pop of color, and discover how to “trick” these plants to bloom indoors while their outdoor counterparts remain dormant. McCall is a floral designer, Master Gardener and owner of Fleurish, an environmentally friendly floral design studio. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Becoming Bay Smart: Living Within Maryland’s Critical Area
Sat., Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
This half-day workshop is designed for citizens, new Critical Area property owners, realtors and contractors who want to learn the basics of the Critical Area Program and how it applies to where they live, work and play. Training will be presented by Critical Area Commission staff and will include a brief history of the program and how it is implemented as a partnership between state and local governments. Registration required. This program is free.
Wed., Feb. 29, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Discover how to enhance your garden landscape by making a hypertufa planter with Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners Rachel Melvin and Carol Jelich. Hypertufa is an artificial stone material that is made from several different aggregates to imitate natural tufa rock. It can easily be molded into different forms, is much lighter than concrete, and looks like weathered crumbly stone. This workshop will take place in the Nursery Greenhouse. Wear work clothes and shoes, and bring a sack lunch, long rubber gloves, and an adventurous spirit. Registration required. Fee: $45 members, $65 general public.
Fri., March 2, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., March 16, 10 a.m.–noon, and March 23, 10–11 a.m.
Join Paul Aspell to create nature-inspired ceramics using hand building techniques. Paul is known for his combination of hand-built forms with thrown elements. He incorporates elements of the Eastern Shore into his pottery, as demonstrated by his washes and glazes and his use of shells and old bricks to leave imprints in the clay. All materials will be provided. Bring a sack lunch to the first session. Registration required. Fee: $55 members, $75 general public.
Landscape Design Workshop
Sat., March 3, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
This workshop will address the typical challenges of homeowners in the Chesapeake Bay region. Come with your challenges and dreams, and leave with a landscape plan, ideas and confidence to transform your home landscape for your enjoyment and pride. Workshop leaders are Arboretum Executive Director Ellie Altman; landscape architect Barbara McClinton, formerly of the Baltimore landscape architecture and land planning firm Daft, McCune, Walker; and landscape designer and native plant enthusiast Chris Pax, a graduate of the George Washington University sustainable landscape design master’s program. Bring your own lunch. Coffee, light breakfast and break refreshments are provided. Also bring a property plat photos, and other documentation of your property. Registration required. Fee: $85 members, $110 general public.
Thurs., March 8, 1–2:30 p.m. or Sat., March 10, 10–11:30 a.m.
Adkins Arboretum Nursery Manager Joanne Healey will introduce twelve native perennials that have proven themselves worthy of the home garden. Intended for beginners, this program will review characteristics of each perennial—color, foliage, cover, size, and light, moisture and soil requirements—in addition to garden placement, complement plantings and wildlife benefits. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests
Wednesday, March 14, 1–2:30 p.m.
What is happening to our forests, and what can we do to save them? Biologist and nature writer Dr. Joan Maloof, author of Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests, will discuss her love affair with ancient trees and the myriad flora and fauna that live in their midst. A scientist with a poet’s heart, she will transport you to some of the 26 forests she explored for this book and invite you to care about these imperiled lands as much as she does. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Fri., March 30, 10 a.m.–noon
Elizabeth Beggins will help you explore avenues for revitalizing yourself and your menu as she discusses growing and preparing such spring delicacies as zesty mustard, nutty arugula, and elegant pac-choy, in addition to favorites such as lettuce and spinach. Tasting samples and starter seed kits are sure to put some spring in your step. This program is part of a three-part “Season’s Bounty” series, with subsequent sessions offered on June 8 and Sept. 7. Member fee: $15 per program or $35 for all three programs in the series; general public fee: $20 per program or $45 for all three programs in the series.
The Elfin World of Mosses and Liverworts
Sat., March 24, 10–11:30 a.m.
Mosses, liverworts, and hornworts, collectively known as bryophytes, are a fascinating group of nonvascular plants that are an important component of the many habitats of the Delmarva Peninsula. Join Bill McAvoy, botanist for the Delaware Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, to learn the basics of bryophyte morphology, their life-cycles and ecology, and their place in the ecosystem. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Made For Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond
Sun., March 25, 1–3 p.m.
Join Meg Daley Olmert, author of the ground-breaking book Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond, for a discussion about the brain chemistry that flows through and between all mammals, forging powerful social bonds between the species. The first book to explain this bond, Made for Each Other traces the evolution of this shared neurobiological heritage and shows how the ability of humans and animals to activate this brain system in each other continues to quiet our hearts and minds, filling us with a very real, very essential sense of wellbeing. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Sun., April 1, 1–3 p.m.
Bill Schindler, Ph.D. returns to the Arboretum to lead this hands-on workshop that will immerse participants in the exciting, sustainable and nutritious world of foraging for wild plants. Participants will be taken into the field to learn how to identify, harvest and prepare many of spring’s wild edibles. It doesn’t get more local or organic than this! Schindler is a professor of anthropology and archaeology at Washington College. His research focuses on prehistoric foodways and technologies. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
The Swamp Monster at Home
Wed., April 4, 5–7 p.m.
Catherine Carter returns to the Arboretum to read from her new book of poems, The Swamp Monster at Home. Born on the Eastern Shore, Carter now lives in Cullowhee, NC, with her husband near Western Carolina University, where she teaches in and coordinates the English education program. Her first full-length collection, The Memory of Gills (LSU, 2006), received the 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Award from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association. Her work has also appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Orion, and Best American Poetry 2009, among others. Registration required. This program is free to the public.
Sunset Walk with Nick Carter
Thurs., April 5, 6–8 p.m.
The Chesapeake Bay region is sustained by native plants that provide food and shelter to wildlife and enhance the rich biodiversity of the Bay watershed. Join Nick Carter for a walk along the paths that bisect the rich and unique native plant habitat of Adkins Arboretum, all outstanding specimens of plants native to the Delmarva Peninsula. A longtime environmental educator, Carter retired as fisheries biologist and ecologist with Maryland Department of Natural Resources after 35 years. Registration required. This walk is free with admission.
Fri., April 20 and 27, May 4 and 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
In this four-session class, artist Lee D’Zmura will introduce the basic skills necessary to create illuminated letters as well as focus on the design of a botanical illumination using the Arboretum’s spring ephemerals as inspiration. Each student will produce several illuminated letters using gold paints and watercolors. A materials list will be provided. Bring supplies and a sack lunch to each session. Registration required. Fee: $100 members, $135 general public.
Sun., May 20, noon–2 p.m.
Andrea Wulf, author of The Brother Gardeners and Founding Gardeners, returns to the Arboretum to discuss her latest book, Chasing Venus, told as a race across the world. Rich with tales of obsession, and featuring pirates, plagues, astronomers, scientists, Catherine the Great and Benjamin Franklin, Chasing Venus bursts with action, wonderful detail and scientific excitement, revealing the spirit of the Enlightenment and man’s quest to understand the world. Registration required. Fee: $15 members, $20 general public.
Registration is required for all programs. Register at www.adkinsarboretum.org, or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.