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2016 Tree Diversity Conference - DESIGN WITH MORE. TREE. TYPES.

For a third consecutive year four noted speakers will share more ideas for diversifying the Colorado Front Range tree species palette and how to make them feel welcome and prosper in our difficult high plains conditions.

Our focus this year will also be on the way tree species diversity can enable and enhance innovative landscape design whether for water conservation or esthetic objectives.


Increased species diversity is not just about tree census numbers but also about improving our approach to landscape design. Our third tree diversity conference will focus on how greater tree variety can enhance landscape esthetics and conversely, how innovative landscape design can accommodate a broader range of tree species.

The March 3, 2016 program will feature one of the foremost horticulture professors from the Front Range; a noted landscape architect with extensive xeriscaping experience in Texas and New Mexico; a Washington state horticulture professor noted for science-based debunking of arboriculture myths; and a Midwest arboretum owner, author and introducer of new tree cultivars. In addition we will hear a presentation on how many of the lesser-known tree species already growing in our region fared when tested against the severe weather events of the past year.



$75, includes all programming and lunch

A Midcentury Icon: 50 Years of the Boettcher Tropical Conservatory

The Gardens’ Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory was completed in 1966. The building has been a midcentury architectural landmark for 50 years. Designed by architects Victor Hornbein and Ed White, the 11,500 square foot building took two years to build and is the only conservatory in the country made of cast-in-place concrete. Even before its completion, the building won international recognition for its unique design and unusual structure. More than 600 species and varieties of tropical plants are displayed. The tropical terrain includes pools, waterfalls and four resident ducks.


To celebrate this anniversary, the Gardens is hosting a special event. Guests are invited to enjoy 60s-themed appetizers and nonalcoholic beverages, tours of the conservatory and a presentation in Mitchell Hall featuring a video interview with lead architect Ed White, Dan Havekost associate architect and Richard Breaker from GH Phipps Construction. A panel discussion with architecture and history experts further explores how this building has been an icon on Denver’s architectural landscape and continues to inspire architects and enthusiasts of midcentury design. The conservatory will open to allow the rare opportunity to tour the space with horticulturists and docents after dark. Markers will identify plants that have been present since 1966.


$25, $20 member


Panel Participants:

Kurt Klanderud, President of GH Phipps Construction Companies

Kim Manajek, Associate Director of Exhibitions, Art & Interpretation at Denver Botanic Gardens

Brit Probst, Principal at Davis Partnership architecture firm

Steve Turner, Vice President of Preservation Programs at History Colorado, State Historic Preservation Officer



A test for your registration login

Please use your username and password to test your member login. If you login successfully, the registration option 'class adult' for $0 will appear and your login works. If you don't see it, email the registrar at registrar@botanicgardens.org or call 720 865 3580, leave your info and we'll send you a new password and username.

Please keep in mind if you've just renewed or purchased a membership it takes at least 48 hours to process.

Advanced Scratchboard

Registration begins December 8, 2015

You will continue exploring the potential of scratchboard in this class. As with no other medium, on scratchboard ink is correctible and can be used with a blade to combine black-and-white lines and dots, which are the basis of ink textures. Using colored ink, watercolor or gouache, you will add the color as an accent to highlight areas of specific botanical interest, or you’ll use the color as a compositional element. Demonstrations and examples will show how to create a vast range of textures to portray subjects with detail and accuracy. You’ll select favorite subjects from nature to create a composition, and you’ll work toward completing at least one final illustration. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Scratchboard I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I if working with watercolor or gouache.

• Thu, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


Advanced Vegetable Gardening - Getting the Most out of your Vegetable Garden


This class will cover advanced topics in small-scale agriculture and gardening. Topics focus on how to optimize crop health in Colorado.


Topics covered will include:

• Soil science

• Irrigation and soil hydration

• Maximizing Nutrient Density and Crop Health (electrical conductivity, brix, and automation)

• General pest and disease management in organic systems



Bryant Mason:

Bryant Mason is the founder of The Urban Farm Company, a group of passionate gardeners with a mission of making it simple to grow your own fresh healthy food right in your backyard. The Urban Farm Co. installs raised bed organic vegetable gardens for homeowners, and provides extensive resources to make urban gardening as fun and easy as possible. Bryant’s goal is to teach people how to “feed their inner farmer”, even in small spaces in their backyard. In addition to running his business, Bryant is the “chief gardening officer” for Forest City Stapleton, and is a self-taught Front Range urban vegetable grower. www.urbanfarmcolorado.com


$32 member, $35 non-member.


All Natural Skin Care

See how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own facial steams with herbs, cleansing grains, masques, herbal toners, astringents, blemish cream, and lip balm. Learn how to make a rich, nutrient dense moisturizer, tailoring the recipe to meet your individual skin needs and issues.


Take home materials include the lotion made in class, an extensive handout, a month supply jar of moisturizer, and a pot of lip balm.


Instructor: Christina Blume


$63 member, $68 non-member




Aromatherapy Basics and Beyond




Beginning Bonsai


Are you mystified by the many centuries old Japanese tradition of bonsai? Join us for an entertaining and informative class with local Bonsai Master, Harold Sasaki and the Gardens’ Bonsai Specialist Larry Jackel as they debunk the myths, fictions and misconceptions surrounding this living art form.


Each participant receives a tree, ceramic pot, wire, soil and gravel in this hands-on experience of creating a finished bonsai, which you can home.

$78 member, $82 non-member, includes $30 for materials.

Instructor: Harold Sasaki and Larry Jackel

There will be a break for lunch, please bring lunch or there is a cafe onsite for you to purchase lunch.




Beginning Rocky Mountain Gardening


Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

This course is designed for the Front Range gardener beginner. The basics of what is needed to adjust gardening skills from other climates to the Front Range’s finicky climate are covered. If you have never gardened here before or are looking for more success, this is the class for you! Learn the skills necessary to become an enthusiastic gardener. Annuals, perennials and vegetables are discussed, along with trees and shrubs that thrive in our climate, elevation and varying soils. Plant selection, planting and troubleshooting is discussed.

Subsequent weeks focus on the elements, water needs, fertilizers and organic gardening.

Please bring a glass jar of soil to class. (Must be see through glass jar to study layers of your own backyard native soil)



$80 member, $90 non-member.


Instructor: Patti O'Neal


Berries and Grapes for the Front Range

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Berries are easy fruits to grow and make luscious-eating whether fresh, frozen or preserved. New developments are increasing the types we can grow here. Come find out the types of berries that do well in our climate and soil, what varieties are recommended, where to purchase and how to manage and prune for best results. Grapes for our area are also discussed.


$28 member, $33 non-member

Instructor: Carl Wilson, Denver horticulturist, speaker and retired CSU Extension Agent.







Best Long Blooming Perennials




BI in Colored Pencil I

Registration begins December 8, 2015

You’ve learned to layer colored pencil, now learn techniques to draw effectively in this medium. Apply your drawing skills and learn new methods specific to colored pencils. Techniques include layering, building and burnishing in color. This versatile, portable medium is perfect for sketching on location as well as producing studio pieces. Learn through instruction, demonstration and practice on small studies of botanical subjects. You’ll be ready to produce a finished plate in Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Color Layering for Colored Pencil.


Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member


• Tue, Jan. 12, 19, 26, Feb. 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


• Wed, April 27, May 4, 11, 18, 25, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, June 17-18, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 28, 2016.

Instructor: Susan Rubin



BI in Colored Pencil II

Registration begins December 8, 2015

Take your colored pencil skills to the next level and become proficient in this fun, versatile medium. Work through a step-by-step process to create a preparatory layered drawing. Learn techniques to create texture, detail and depth to enhance your subject. Experiment with different surfaces and solvents for blending and shading. Add depth with atmospheric perspective and learn finishing techniques that will make your drawings pop. Individual attention will guide you to create a finished botanical plate. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Color Layering for Colored Pencil, Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.


• Tue, Feb. 16, 23, March 1, 8, 15, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


• Tue, April 26, May 3, 10, 17, 24, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi






BI in Pen and Ink I

Pen and ink is at the heart of botanical illustration. Expand your drawing repertoire as you learn techniques to create line, form and texture in black and white. “Expressive line” and “stipple” become part of your artistic vocabulary as you practice this traditional medium with modern and versatile technical pens. Step-by-step instruction, demonstration and practice will give you the foundation you need to draw any botanical subject accurately and skillfully. Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I; Perfecting Perspective strongly recommended.



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 20-21, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Dec. 22, 2015.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt

Spring semester registration starts December 8, 2015

Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Wed, Jan. 13, 20, 27, Feb. 3, 10, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


• Thu, March 24, 31, April 7, 14, 21, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


BI in Pen and Ink II


Take your pen and ink skills to a new level of sophistication. Explore the Gardens’ limitless world of color, texture and complex botany and incorporate this information into black-and-white illustrations. Working with both technical pen and traditional quill, learn advanced techniques to make strokes mimic the fuzz on a fern, the down in a milkweed pod or the mottled colors of a variegated begonia. Learn how to layer and manipulate lines and stipples to develop a full range of value, texture and atmospheric perspective. Pen techniques take on new meaning as you flesh out the final inked illustration of a plant of your choice. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Pen and Ink I, Perfecting Perspective, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.


Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, March 18-19, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than March 28, 2016.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Thu, April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen





BI in Pencil I

Registration opens December 8, 2015.

Learn to draw! Begin with a brief history and an overview of the specific elements of botanical illustration. Learn the skills of careful observation and realistic drawing in graphite pencil, including line drawing, shading and perspective. Step by step, added techniques help you render accurate perspective, texture and detail. This is the entry course for every program student and a prerequisite for all required courses to follow. You’ll emerge from this class with the tools you need to draw anything. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. No prerequisites.

• Fri-Sun, Jan. 29-31, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas


• Tue, Feb. 23, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 9 a.m.-noon.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


Schissler Academy of Fine Arts – Loveland

• Fri-Sun, March 11-13, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


• Mon, April 4, 11, 18, 25, May 2, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


• Fri-Sun, April 15-17, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


• Fri-Sun, May 27-29, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak



BI in Pencil II


Simple and classic, pencil drawing is a timeless art form. Expand on the drawing skills you learned in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I as you reinforce and refine your knowledge of graphite pencil. Learn additional techniques for shading, texture, perspective, depth and composition. A good drawing is the basis of botanical illustration in any medium. Group instruction and individual attention are tailored to help you complete a botanical plate in this subtle and striking medium. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.


•Wed, Sep. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Dec. 11-12, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Jan. 22, 2016.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


Spring semester registration available December 8, 2015


• Wed, March 16, 23, 30, April 6, 13, 9 a.m.-noon

Instructor: Randy Raak


• Wed, June 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak




BI in Watercolor I

Registration begins December 8, 2015


Become part of the watercolor botanical tradition. Combine drawing skills and your knowledge of color mixing as you discover the delight of putting brush to paper to learn the specific techniques of transparent watercolor. Instruction, demonstration and practical exercises will guide you through a variety of watercolor techniques: flat and graded washes, highlights and drybrush detail. Learn to build washes for depth of tone and shading, and how to create soft and hard edges. With these foundational skills you’ll be ready to create a finished plate in Botanical Illustration in Watercolor II. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing.


• Tue, Feb. 23, March 1, 8, 15, 22, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sun, May 20-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than June 24, 2016.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson




BI in Watercolor II

Registration begins December 8, 2015

Watercolor basics got you started; now develop your confidence as you work toward completing a finished plate from a live specimen in this most traditional of botanical media. The emphasis here is on bringing it all together. Learn and refine additional techniques through instruction, demonstration and practice, with special attention given to layering, shading and building form. Discover brush techniques and colors that enhance perspective and depth. Follow painting steps through completion, from broad washes to final detail. Learn how to fix mistakes and understand why watercolor is a forgiving medium. Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Light on Form.


• Wed, Feb. 17, 24, March 2, 9, 16, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas


• Wed, April 13, 20, 27, May 11, 18, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson



Birds in Graphite

Registration begins December 8, 2015

This class teaches common approaches to illustrating birds and how to overcome the challenging proportions and perspective of bird illustration. Start with a specific how-to session on bird photography and learn how to effectively use photographic references in artwork. The second session takes place at the Denver Zoo, where you will study a moving subject while sketching and photographing it at rest and in flight. Learn bird anatomy and physical characteristics through group instruction and individual attention. Using provided props, students will reference sketches and/or photos to create a sophisticated bird portrait ready to be framed, submitted to an exhibit or included in a portfolio. Fee: $310 member, $370 non-member (includes the entrance fee to the zoo on March 24). Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Light on Form, Perfecting Perspective strongly recommended or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.

• Thu, March 17, 24 (off site), 31, April, 7, 14, 21, 9 a.m.-noon

Instructor: Randy Raak


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