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2016 - 2017 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.


Renewable Energy - September 12, 2016 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Tree-mendous Trees - October 17, 2016 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Nature’s Art - November 14, 2016 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Rainforest - January 23, 2017 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Be a Botanist - February 27, 2017 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Plants 101: From Roots to Seeds - March 20, 2017 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.)


Register for all 6 Homeschool Days offered September 2016 through March 2017, and receive a $12 savings over the individual price.


Price: Discounted package price (all 6 days) $60

2016 Horticulture Home Garden Tour

Visit some of the highlights of Fort Collins’ high-powered horticultural scene. Start the day with a tour of the half-acre Rock Garden and 300-foot-long Hellstrip during peak season at the city’s exciting young public garden, The Gardens on Spring Creek. Dillon Hancock, curator of the Rock Garden, and Lauren Springer Ogden, designer of the Hellstrip, lead tours of their areas. Then visit Springer Ogden’s unique, naturalistic home garden and design laboratory, which has been featured in several books and magazines, but never accessible to the public. Shop her driveway for plant treasures at discounted prices courtesy of Karen Lehrer, co-owner of Laporte Avenue Nursery.



The Rock Garden at the Gardens on Spring Creek is a half-acre garden showcasing native and adapted alpine plants from multiple alpine regions across the globe. The Rock Garden was designed by Fort Collins residents Kirk Fieseler, co-owner of Laporte Avenue Nursery, and Maddie Weisz, a landscape architect. The Rock Garden opened in 2011 and was built in collaboration with the designers, Gardens staff, City of Fort Collins Forestry Department, local landscaping companies, and volunteers. The rockwork displays locally quarried stone, giving the garden a unique sense of place.

Lauren Springer Ogden’s home garden is a living laboratory for plants and plant matrices, emphasizing prairie, meadow and chaparral-inspired spaces that are a hallmark of Lauren’s regional design work. Low-water plantings dominate, along with year-round appeal and a naturalistic, serene look not based on flower color but rather on plant texture and form. Plant selection and design choices encourage pollinators and wildlife (except deer). The 13-year-old garden started as a blank slate of weedy lawn and three small trees, and has been created entirely by Lauren and her husband Scott Ogden. The couple planted every plant and laid every stone themselves, and Lauren has maintained the garden without outside help.


$51, $46 member, includes lunch and transportation from Denver Botanic Gardens


A Wild Gourmet Workshop: Foraging the Wild Edible

* This class takes place at Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield, C-470 and Wadsworth *

Become the ultimate locavore as we explore the tasty world of wild edibles. Discover how to locate, identify, harvest and prepare the wild plants growing all around you. Learn how to make tasty teas, artisan drink mixes, nutritious salads and gourmet additions for pastas, soups and side dishes. Plant foraging walk, cooking class and wild lunch with handout and recipes included.

Instructor: Susan Evans

Price: $58, $54 member, includes $25 materials fee

Special instructions: Class will be held outdoors with shade provided for cooking and dining; please dress appropriately.

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


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.


Instructor: Christina Blume

Price: $68, $63 member, includes $35 for materials

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





Art of Pressed Flowers

Discover how to collect and preserve those summer flowers and fall leaves for use in creating your own floral masterpieces. Learn the best flowers to grow and how to press for optimal color, durability and longevity. Participants will make beautiful bookmarks, cards, a dipped candle and floral votive container to take home. All materials and handouts are included. Easy and fun!


Instructor: Susan Evans

Price: $44, $39 members

Bat Encounter: Live!

See some of the rarest bats in the world, up-close and personal in this one-of-a-kind educational program.

In this family-friendly, live animal program, you'll come face-to-face with different bats from around the world. Learn how bats impact humans and keep our environment healthy.

Don't miss this fascinating show for all ages presented by Rob Mies, Director of the Organization for Bat Conservation at Michigan's Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Organization for Bat Conservation's live bat programs have won many awards and are a truly unique experience.

To view slides of some of the bats you might see and to learn more about bats, visit www.batconservation.org.

Price: $15.50 non-member adult, $12.50 member adult, $8 child (ages 3-15) includes admission to the Gardens



Beekeeping Basics

This introductory class is great for people thinking about starting a beehive. Instructor, Tracy Bellehumeur teaches about how honeybees live, different hive designs and how to get started as a beekeeper. A handout with suggested reading, supportive resources and local beekeeping groups is provided.


Instructor: Tracy Bellehumeur has been raising bees for over eight years using natural methods in Top Bar and Langstroth hives and helps maintain hives for community gardens in Boulder. She is the beekeeping instructor for Growing Gardens in Boulder and one of the teachers for the Boulder County Beekeepers Association, specializing in honeybee pests and diseases.

Price: $42, $36 members


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.


Instructors: Harold Sasaki and Larry Jackel

Price: $82, $78 member, includes $30 for materials.

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

Beginning Mushroom Identification

Whether you want to collect mushrooms just to learn about them or to eat them, you will want to be able to identify them.

The two evening lectures will cover how to properly collect and identify mushrooms using their features and environment.

Then, join us for a field trip during which participants will collect mushrooms and practice identifying them. The location of the field trip will be based on Ed's scouting trip the day before to ensure there are mushrooms available to collect.

Students will be notified of the location for the trip the day before the trip.


Instructor: Ed Lubow has been hunting mushrooms since the 1970s and has been volunteering in the Sam Mitchel Herbarium of Fungi at Denver Botanic Gardens since 2008.

Skill Level: All levels welcome

Price: $48, $43 member

Special Instructions: Note this class meets two thursdays, and has a four hour field trip as well.

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.


Instructor: Patti O'Neal

Price: $90, $80 members

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


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. Species from early blooming Galanthus, Crocus, Chionodoxa, Scilla and Narcissus through Tulipa, Hyacinthoides, Allium and Colchicum will be discussed. 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.

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

Price: $31, $26 members



BI in Colored Pencil I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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


• Wed, Aug. 24, 31, Sep. 7, 14, 21, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Nov. 4-5, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Dec. 16, 2016.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


BI in Colored Pencil II

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Sep. 9-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Oct. 14, 2016.

Instructor: Susan Rubin


•Mon, Oct. 31, Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi



BI in Pen and Ink I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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, Aug. 5-6, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Sep. 9, 2016.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Fee: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Tue, Oct. 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 8, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


BI in Pen and Ink II

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member

• Tue, Aug. 23, 30, Sep. 6, 13, 20, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


BI in Pencil I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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, May 27-29, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


• Fri-Sun, July 22-24, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


• Fri-Sun, Sep. 23-25, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


• Tue, Nov. 8, 15, 22, 29, Dec. 6, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


BI in Pencil II

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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: $240 member, $290 non-member

•Tue, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak



Fee: $350 member, $400 non-member

• In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, Dec. 9-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

All assignments are to be completed no later than Jan. 27, 2017.

Instructor: Randy Raak



BI in Watercolor I

Registration begins June 7 at 9am.

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.



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


• Wed, July 20, 27, Aug. 3, 10, 24, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Laurence Pierson


• Thu, Oct. 20, 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Laurence Pierson




Bind Your Own Sketchbook

Learn a simple, elegant and functional crossed structure binding an create your own archival leather covered art journal in one day.


Fee: $95 member, $130 non member.


Sat, July 16, 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m.


Instructor: Mervi Hjelmroos-Koski

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