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2015 - 2016 Homeschool Day Package

Homeschool Days offer families the opportunity to explore plant-based themes through a variety of hands-on activities, tours and take-home projects that families can do together. Activities are designed for children ages five and up, however all ages are welcome to attend.


Price: $11 per day per child; discounted package price (all 6 days) $55

One adult per child is free of charge. Additional adults will need to pay $6.50 each, payable on the day of the program. The program fee includes admission to the Gardens.


Exhibit Exploration: Deborah Butterfield - The Nature of Horses

• August 17, 2015 (10 a.m.-2 p.m.)

Journey through art and nature as you engage in a garden wide exploration of Denver Botanic Gardens’ current art exhibition. Learn how art intermingles with the natural world as we make connections between the Gardens and art. Discover your own creativity and make your own fanciful art piece inspired by the featured artist’s work.


Journey to Japan

• September 21, 2015 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Journey to the land of the rising sun and discover the unique features of Denver Botanic Gardens' Japanese Garden. Investigate bonsai, discover the art of Ikebana and create a miniature Japanese garden to take home with you.


Plant Detectives

• November 16, 2015 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Join us as we thank plants for all they do for us. Discover how plant fibers become fabrics, investigate different types of wood and explore the journey of several plants as they become useful products we use every day.


Prehistoric Plants

• January 25, 2016 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Become a paleobotanist for a day. Explore the plants of Colorado's past climates and discover the plants that the dinosaurs ate. Plant a relative of a prehistoric plant to take home with you.


Plants and People of the Southwest

• February 22, 2016 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Discover how native peoples of the southwest use plants in their everyday lives as you explore the plants of the Sacred Earth and Dryland Mesa gardens. Investigate the many uses of the yucca plant and learn about different traditional cooking tools used in the southwest region.



• March 21, 2016 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Pollination is essential to the lifecycle of many plants. Learn how the Gardens depends on pollinators to help it grow as you discover the relationships between plants and pollinators. Learn how to protect pollinators and create an insect hotel to take home with you.


2015 Horticulture Home Garden Tour


Have you ever wondered what our top horticulturalists' home gardens look like? Now is your chance to find out with a behind-the-scenes tour! This chartered bus tour focuses on the collections of native plants, many of them unique and rare and gathered from plant exploration travels around the world!


Three of our most experienced and popular members of our Horticulture staff, Panayoti Kelaidis, Mike Kintgen, and Mike Bone, will open up their gardens for this special opportunity.


Please chose from one of two tour times:

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

or 1:30 - 5:30 p.m.


The tours will depart from and return to Denver Botanic Gardens at York Street. A chartered bus will escort all participants, the cost of the bus is included in the price of the tour. No self guided tours available.


$46 members, $51 non-members, includes bus transportation



Home Garden of Panayoti Kelaidis, Director of Outreach

Many thousands of plants are combined for four season interest in this Plant Collector's garden. The Western half of the property is planted with native trees, shrubs and many cacti and western Wildflowers - almost eliminating watering needs. The Eastern half includes a large vegetable garden, perennial borders with many unusual perennials and bulbs, and a woodland garden that encircles the alpine garden on the east side of the house. Late May is when many of the Daphnes and Rhododendrons bloom, along with a host of classic alpine plants like saxifrages, dianthus and penstemons. There are several hundred containers located everywhere in this garden, many filled with annuals that are beginning their show as well.

By matching plants to microclimate, and combining plants of similar growth rate, we are able to create plantings that persist over time and need less maintenance than one might suspect with such biodiversity!


Home Garden of Mike Kintgen, Curator of Alpine Collections

Mike Kintgen's garden started in 2009 with a bare canvas of dead bluegrass and a few overgrown junipers in the front yard. The dandelions, bluegrass, and junipers were removed to create a series of short berms in front of the house that made way for a Legacy buffalo grass lawn planted with spring and autumn flowering bulbs. The berms showcase a wide array of steppe and rock garden plants from around the world that are tolerant to Colorado's hot dry summers and cold winters. The back yard is a mix of more traditional garden elements, a large propagation area, a small vegetable garden, and various rocks gardens.. There is also a large collection of alpine plants in troughs and containers filled with annuals for season long interest.

The overarching mission of the garden is to showcase how xeriscapes and rock gardens can be interesting, beautiful and more sustainable than traditional landscapes.


3-1/2 Season Vegetable Garden: Extending the Garden Season in Colorado

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

This class will help you to develop your skills in succession planting and extending the growing season to get 11-12 months from your vegetable garden. Learn the importance of plant family names and how to group them successfully and rotate them, cool and warm season crops and when and if you can replant for another season of certain crops. We will also cover techniques and materials to extend the season successfully so you can plant early in spring and keep certain crops going until late fall and into winter.


Members $39, Non-Members $44


Instructor: Patti O'Neal



Art Materials for the Botanical Illustrator



This information-packed class will provide detailed information about all of the art materials used throughout the botanical illustration program. From papers to pencils, inks to pens, brushes to paints, students will learn where and how to find all the right materials and how they are used. Save time and money by shopping expertly the first time. Fee: $55 member, $85 non-member. Open to everybody with no prerequisites.


• Wed, Feb. 18, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


• Wed, May 6, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


Backyard Goat Keeping


This class provides an accessible introduction for anyone interested in raising backyard dwarf dairy goats. Join Sundari Kraft, of EatWhereULive and Heirloom Gardens, to learn how to choose the perfect goats (best breeds and how/where to purchase), make housing and fencing, feed, collect milk, breed and provide proper medical care and hoof trimming. Participants also learn how to navigate financial considerations, overcome common challenges and get proper livestock licenses.


$35 member / non-member.

Instructor: Sundari Kraft



Sundari Kraft. Sundari is the proud owner of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. She is the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading," and successfully worked with city officials to improve Denver's goat laws.





Basic Floral Design


Interested in floral design? Learn how to get started in this class - how to choose appropriate flowers, select containers, use floral foam, how color influences your bouquet, and how to make those flowers last their longest. Have all your cut flower questions answered by an expert and take home an arrangement that you make yourself.


Bring a small, sharp knife; OR sharp shears that you won’t need to use again for paper or fabric; OR garden clippers (no anvil cutters). There will be some clippers to borrow if you don’t have your own. Also, professional clippers will be available to purchase for $10.00. $24 materials fee provides flowers and container.


Instructor: Margaret Binet, AIFD, CPF, PFCI

$47 members, $52 nonmembers


Image: Courtesy of Nanimo off Flickr

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


Best Fall Planted Bulbs for Perennializing

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective


Want more than one year of spring bloom from your fall-planted bulbs? Come learn about the best bulbs and varieties for year after year of bloom in our area. Whether for perennial beds or naturalized landscapes, you will learn planting and cultural tips for maintaining long life. Discussion includes how best to use bulbs and design considerations with other plants and elements in the landscape.


Sign up now to discover the best cultivars of tulips and other bulbs that perennialize on the Front Range before purchasing bulbs to plant this fall. Taught by Carl Wilson, Denver horticulturist, speaker and retired CSU Extension Agent.


$26 member, $31 non-member


Instructor: Carl Wilson

Beyond Pretty Pictures: Taking Composition Further

What makes a piece of art stand out above the rest? Why does a piece of art inspire? The answer most often lies in the composition. In this class, you address design from the very beginning. Starting with Notan (the light-dark principle), line, and shape arrangements, challenge yourself to go beyond direct imitation of what you see by initiating a drawing through thumbnails that define tonal relationships and harmony Through exercises and practice you will develop a complete, strong botanical composition and final plate, either in graphite or watercolor. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Calored Pencil I, Pen and Ink I or Watercolor I, Composition for Botanical Illustration, Light on Form or Certificate in Botanical Art and Illustration.


• Wed, Jan. 14, 21, 28, Feb. 4, 11, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


• Wed, May 13, 20, 27, June 3, 10, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


BI in Colored Pencil I

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: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Mon, Feb. 16, 23, March 9, 16, 23, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Feb. 27-28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than March 31, 2014.

Instructor: Susan Rubin


Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, May 14, 21, 28, June 4, 11, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


BI in Colored Pencil II

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.


Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

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

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, June 19-20, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 27, 2014.

Instructor: Susan Rubin


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, March 27-28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than April 27, 2015.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, May 7, 14, 21, June 4, 11, 9 a.m. – noon

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, April 24-25, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than May 27, 2015.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Thu, June 18, 25, July 9, 16, 23, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


BI in Pencil I

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.


• Fri-Sun, Feb. 6-8, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


• Tue, Feb. 17, 24, March 10, 17, 24, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


• Fri-Sun, April 3-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


• Tue, May 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


• Fri-Sun, June 26-28, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas


• Mon, June 15, 22, 29, July 6, 13, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


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.


Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Wed, March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, June 5-6, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than July 10, 2015.

Instructor: Randy Raak



BI in Watercolor I



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: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sun, April 10-12, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than May 11, 2014.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member

• Mon, May 4, 11, 18, June 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


BI in Watercolor II

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: $230 member, $285 non-member. Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Pencil I, Color Mixing, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator, Light on Form.


• Tue, Feb. 17, 24, March 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas


• Wed, June 17, 24, July 1, 8, 15, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Constance Sayas


Bonfils Stanton Lecture Series - 2015

Local Heroes: Rediscovering Our Own Backyards


We primeval forests felling, We the rivers stemming, vexing we and piercing deep the mines within, We the surface broad surveying, we the virgin soil upheaving, Pioneers! O pioneers!


Colorado men are we, From the peaks gigantic, from the great sierras and the high plateaus,

From the mine and from the gully, from the hunting trail we come, Pioneers! O pioneers!

~ Walt Whitman


With the support of the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation and in line with the Gardens’ mission of connecting people with plants, we are excited to bring you our annual speakers’ series starting in June.


This year’s series celebrates remarkable home-grown local heroes and covers fascinating topics geared specifically for the Front Range gardener and nature lover. Discover the ins and outs of successful gardening in our unique environment from some of the country’s best experts! Topics include transforming your garden into a habitat for a variety of creatures with David Salman from the famed High Country Gardens and popular garden author Lauren Springer Ogden, as well as working with the challenges (and opportunities!) of gardening in our dry climate with the Gardens’ world-renowned horticulturalists. We are excited to welcome the inspiring nature photographer and publisher John Fielder as he takes us on a photographic journey along Colorado’s Yampa River to discover its history, beauty and the current efforts to keep this 200-mile river wild and strong.


Lecture Series, which also includes all pre lecture tastings. (does not include tours or workshop)

$70 member, $95 non-member


Botany for the Botanical Illustrator

What is the difference between a carpel and a pistil? Where can I find the stamen? The science of the subjects you draw determines what you see! Put away your pencils for this enlightening lab class designed specifically for students of botanical illustration. Take a close look at plant anatomy and learn to recognize botanical details that will make your drawings more accurate and realistic. Learn plant morphology through detailed instruction and supporting visuals. All of your botanical art will improve when you understand the subjects. Fee: $230 member, $285 non-member. No prerequisites.


• Fri-Sun, Jan. 30-31, Feb. 1, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski


• Tue, May 5, 12, 19, 26, June 2, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski


• Fri-Sun, July 10-12, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski




Building a Schoolyard Garden


Learn how to create a simple vegetable garden in your schoolyard (in the ground or in containers) and ways to incorporate the garden into your classroom curriculum. Learn tips on gardening, discover plants that you can plant in spring or fall and harvest before school ends or it gets cold, and get ideas on how your garden can be incorporated into your reading, writing, math, science and social studies time.


The activities covered in this class are appropriate for PreK-6th grade teachers, however, the information on planting a vegetable garden is applicable to all grade levels.


A 30 minute lunch break will be provided. You may either bring your own lunch or purchase a lunch from Offshoots Cafe. Participants should be prepared to spend time outdoors.


One-half semester hour of graduate level relicensure credit from the Colorado School of Mines is available on the day of the class for an additional $35.


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