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Mysterious Yellows

Explore and master the subtleties of painting yellow hues. See how other botanical artists have worked with this challenging color. Through demonstration and practice, learn to create the best color mixes to convey shading while keeping yellows bright and clean. Learn how to apply shadow colors using both glazing and feathering techniques. Practice the range of yellows from soft to striking. Work toward completing a plate of a beautiful yellow botanical.


Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.


Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.



Tue, Feb. 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas


Nature Notes of an Edwardian Lady: Edith Holden

It was common that Edwardian ladies kept journals filled with observational notes, learned to sketch flowers and paint their sketches in delicate glazes of watercolor. Edith Holden, a trained illustrator in the era of William Morris, recorded in her diaries impressions of flora and fauna throughout the British countryside. Work in graphite and watercolor pencil sketch on location, then complete a botanical plate from observational sketches of your own ‘”nature notes.”


Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Color Pencil I, Botanical Illustration in Watercolor Pencil I


Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.



Tue, March 26, April 2, 16, 23, 30, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


Nature Observed

Personal drawing books that belonged to old masters such as Georg Dionysius Ehret and the Bauer brothers are now preserved in the Natural History Museum in London. They include a wealth of striking, well-preserved studies of the form and nature of plants. These journals, with their informative handwritten notes, allow us to experience the moment the art was made as if it were today.


This class combines field sketching and scientific documentation. You’ll learn techniques to accurately portray both distant subjects and close-up botanicals within the scene. Different field sketching techniques will help you to see and simplify landscape elements and create compositions with dynamic depth. You will learn the process of quickly capturing accurate renderings of any object. Individual help and group critique guides you to see and record correctly while simplifying complex subject matter. You will work with graphite and/or water-soluble pencils and a water brush if outside the classroom. No matter what media you use, your personal sketchbook will be filled with pages of valuable information for future remembrance and record.


No prerequisites.

Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.


Fri-Sun, May 17-19, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak

Nature Writing Along the Platte

*Tickets will be available January 2, 2019*

Explore nature writing and nature journaling along the South Platte River Trail.Learn more about the ecology and hydrology of this important U.S. tributary as well as the challenges the South Platte and those that live along it face as Denver and the surrounding areas expand.We will explore how the South Platte s health has been affected by human activity as it flows through urban and agricultural areas.Appropriate for K-12 Teachers


Nervines: Calming the Nervous System with Nervine Herbs

In this 2 part class we look at herbal strategies that address the nervous system with a focus on stress, anxiety, sleep and depression. Learn about herbal nervines and adaptogens that soothe and support the nervous system and how to combine herbs with meditation and movement to reduce daily stress levels.


Price: $104 public

Instructors: Kimberly Thompson, Raven Rose

Kimberly has spent the last 19 years cultivating her love and passion for the natural world and sharing it with others. In addition to being a clinical herbalist, Kim is also a certified massage therapist, aromatherapist and licensed esthetician. She practices many different modalities including Mayan abdominal massage, Mayan tradition spiritual healing, Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone, lymph drainage massage, neuromuscular massage, cupping, Gua sha, cranial sacral therapy, Thai massage for the table, Ashi-atsu barefoot massage, and Ashi Thai are among the many bodywork methods that she practices. Kimberly adds a spiritual healing style to each of her treatments.  She uses an intuitive approach to help gently unwind the tissue and bring the body into balance. She loves beauty and skincare and offers facials, dermaplane, microdermabrasion and waxing. She also offers herbal consultations to assist clients in their herbal healing journey. Kimberly has worked for 18 years at Apothecary Tinctura teaching classes in herbal medicine and aromatherapy and working in the clinic. Her practice at Apothecary Tinctura and her own private practice has an emphasis on women s holistic health. She has been teaching classes for the last four years for The Denver Integrative Massage School and Herbalism Roots. She loves time in nature teaching people about wildcrafting, medicine making and plant identification. She also loves teaching and sharing her love of body work.


Raven is a menstrual health herbalist who intertwines Western herbalism with traditional healing practices. At her practice, Moon Medicine, she addresses menstrual and hormonal issues, from fibroids to hot flashes. Raven has studied herbalism, nutrition and spiritual healing in the United States, Mexico and Peru. Her teachings are focused on natural healing through the integration of herbalism with emotional and spiritual healing. Catch her in a class on herbs for hormonal balance or connecting with plant spirits.


Nesting Flowers in Colored Pencil

The Russian tradition of Matryoshka dolls, in which sets of five (or more!) shapes painted as little people nest one inside the other, is inspiration for this class, where you’ll create a Matryoshka set of nesting flowers. From smallest seed through full flower, paint with colored pencil on these charming carved wooden shapes to make a unique and beautiful statement of the life of the flower.


Prerequisite: Basic drawing skills.


Fee: $310 member, $360 non-member. Fee includes the nesting dolls.



Fri-Sun, Feb. 1-3, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Libby Kyer


Never-Fail Perennials

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group II

Learn to choose and plant a wide variety of easy-to-grow plants for years of low-maintenance enjoyment.

Shalene will demonstrate how to plan your perennial garden for a continuous succession of bloom. The final class will be a walk in the Gardens to view examples of perennials discussed in class, as well as a time for additional questions and discussion.


Instructor: Shalene Hiller

Price: $145, $122 members

North American Crop Wild Relatives: An Agricultural Family Tree

As wolves are to dogs, crop wild relatives (CWR) are to agriculture. These wild and weedy plant partners are a valuable genetic resource used to breed new crop cultivars and improve existing crops to fight crop diseases, pests and climate change challenges. Learn about these fascinating botanical ties and develop a visual “family tree” of your chosen crop wild relative and its relationship to a familiar food crop. Your research will illustrate a compelling story of the plant’s history and its challenges and benefits. Put the pieces together to create a captivating and educational botanical composition in mixed media.


Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil II, Botanical illustration in Pen and Ink I.


Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.



Mon, June 3, 10, 17, 24, July 1, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


Off The Clock Admission

Forget happy hour; come to the 2019 Off the Clock series on the first Friday of February through April! Enjoy live music and themed activities, learn from Gardens scientists, and explore the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory after dark. Offshoots Café and cash bars will offer themed specials at each unique event. Great for singles, couples and friends! For details on each month's theme, visit our events page.



Last entry is at 8:30 p.m.

*Ticket prices will increase beginning at 6 p.m. on the night of the event*

Non-Member Advance $21

Non-Member Door $27

Member Advance $18

Member Door $24


Open Studio

Open Studio is for anyone who wants to experience a creative and supportive environment without attending a structured workshop. You can work on your own projects during open hours, at your own pace. A tutor is available for help and advice (10 a.m.-noon), but there will be no formal teaching. The tutor will help you get started on a project or advise how to add the finishing touches. Attending the Open Studio is ideal for anyone who wants to advance his/her personal projects (or ideas) or needs to refresh his/her knowledge of any media.


Fee: $35/session member, $45/session non-member.


Pre-registration required.



Mon, Jan. 14, 5-8 p.m. (Constance Sayas)

Mon, Jan. 21, 5-8 p.m. (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, Jan. 28, 5-8 p.m. (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, Feb. 4, 5-8 p.m. (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, Feb. 11, 5-8 p.m. (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, March 11, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan DiMarchi)

Mon, March 18, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan Rubin)

Mon, April 1, 5-8 p.m. (Charlotte Ricker)

Mon, April 15, 5-8 p.m. (Charlotte Ricker)

Mon, April 22, 5-8 p.m. (Marjorie Leggitt)

Mon, April 29, 5-8 p.m. (Susan DiMarchi)

Mon, May 20, 9 a.m. – noon (Susan DiMarchi)

Mon, June 3, 5-8 p.m. (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, June 17, 5-8 p.m. (Susan Rubin)

Mon, July 1, 5-8 p.m. (Renee Jorgensen)

Mon, July 8, 9 a.m. – noon (Laurence Pierson)

Mon, July 15, 9 a.m. – noon (Renee Jorgensen)



Passive Solar Greenhouse Growing

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Penn and Cord Parmenter have been growing food in their passive solar sustainable greenhouse for 12 years. Their expertise is shared in this class to help take some of the mystery out of something that should be easy and yet can seem so hard. Matching appropriate plants to the microclimates within the greenhouse is crucial. Often the plants are the best teachers in the greenhouse and together participants learn how to work within the unique greenhouse eco-system.

Favorite foods, herbs and flowers are discussed as well as forcing plants for seed production, over wintering potted plants and succession planting for a year round harvest.

The Parmenters share tips for keeping the greenhouse organically under control from bugs and disease. Preventative methods and what to do when an outbreak strikes are discussed.

Penn and Cord lead busy lives with three kids and a business and yet they manage to grow food year round in their greenhouses. When life gets in the way and you’re thinking of turning your greenhouse into a shed, don’t despair because there are answers for successful greenhouse growing.


Instructors: Penn and Cord Parmenter

Price: $31, $26 members

See also "Sustainable Greenhouse Design" - offered on the same weekend!

Pelargoniums in Watercolor

Pelargonium is the second largest genus, containing probably the most well-known members of the family Geraniaceae, native to South Africa. Pelargonium can be found as annuals and shrubs. They often have colorful, aromatic leaves. During this class, you’ll learn about Pelargonium’s 200-plus species and cultivars, and how to paint the intricate flowers and drought-tolerant leaves. You’ll improve your brush-handling skills and develop increased control with guided exercises. Practice paint layering techniques to create vibrant color surfaces and sharp, clear details. Create a finished portrait of your favorite pelargonium with gorgeous leaves.


Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.



Fee: $260 member, $310 non-member.



Thu, May 9, 16, 30, June 6, 13,

Instructor: Laurence Pierson

Pen Nib and Ink: Refined Hatching Technique for Scientific Illustrations

Pen Nib and Ink: Refined Hatching Technique for Scientific Illustrations

Start with a thorough review of pen nibs and the physical aspects involved in their performance. Learn methods for preserving the pen, avoiding corrosion and damage, and improving its function by sanding and always keeping it as clean as new.


You will study different pen and ink techniques but mainly concentrate on and refine the method of hatching. Explore how to render various shapes and forms in nature by using hatching and discover the existing technical choices available to render pen nib shading, with some previous graphite shading experience as your basis. Learn new skills through demonstrations, practical exercises and step-by-step individual instruction to finish an elegant final plate.


Prerequisite: Intermediate skills in pen and ink.


Fee: $360 member, $410 non-member.


Session I

Mon-Wed, April 8-10, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.


Session II (identical with Session I)

Fri-Sun, April 12-14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.



Instructor: Rogério Lupo

Rogério Lupo is one of the finest contemporary scientific illustrators in the world, with many top awards from prestigious institutions. He was born in São Paulo, Brazil, and has been teaching biological illustration since 1998. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of São Paulo and has studied art at Escola Clássica de Arte (Classical School of Art), São Paulo. He works in a variety of media, always aiming to share his experience with didactical material available for free on the Internet. He was awarded the first prize in the Margaret Mee National Contest (Brazil) in 2002 and 2003, black-and-white category, and the first prize in the 2010 and 2013 Margaret Flockton Award for Excellence in Scientific Botanical Illustration (Australia).


Perfecting Perspective

Do you shy away from complicated plants? Even experienced illustrators sometimes struggle with foreshortening and simplify their subjects to eliminate difficult elements. Work with botanical subjects that demonstrate each aspect of perspective and learn techniques for seeing and depicting perspective accurately. The class will work entirely in graphite pencil, but the principles apply to all art media. Gain confidence in your drafting skills and improve your drawings from this class forward.

Prerequisite: Light on Form.

Fee: $265 member, $315 non-member.



Tue, Feb. 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


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

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Perspective Drawing in the Gardens


How can we reproduce correctly the position and effect of distance on objects? Linear perspective attempts to do this. Learn the basics of finding horizon, object placement, and one two and three point perspective. Also, learn about elliptical and aerial perspective. This is a must foundation for drawing well. After classroom instruction, students move outdoors and practice the techniques by drawing and sketching the 2018 art exhibit in the Gardens.

Price: $44, $36 members

Instructor: Mitch Caster teaches drawing at the Art Students League of Denver, and before that, at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design. He started his career as a news artist and courtroom illustrator. Mitch now works as a fine artist and shows his paintings in galleries in Colorado, New Mexico and Texas.


Photographing Art in the Garden


Join DBG Official Photographer Scott Dressel-Martin to explore the photographic possibilities in photographing the sculptures and Art around the Gardens. We’ll talk about the technical and creative challenges of shooting Art in-situ, learn special technicques to get the most out of photographing 3D Art and pay special attention to how the light affects the dimensionality of the piece and the resulting photographs.

Price: $47, $42 member

Instructor: Scott Dressel-Martin, official photographer of Denver Botanic Gardens

Special Instructions: This is an intermediate class that requires basic knowledge of photographic skills and functions. Bring your gear as this is both a lecture and shooting class. Dress for outdoor weather.


Plains Conservation Center Wagon Tour

Get to know the prairie in a whole new way. On our ride across the plains, participants watch for wildlife in the landscape, from prairie dogs to pronghorn antelope and birds of prey, beneath the great stretching sky while learning about the short grass prairie ecosystem along the way. With stops at the sod homes and Cheyenne camp, your group will experience what it was like to be a homesteader and a Cheyenne Indian living on the prairie in the 1800's. Take a guided tour of the sod homestead and see the sod homes, schoolhouse and blacksmith shop. Then visit the Cheyenne camp to learn about how the Cheyenne lived on the prairie and followed the bison as a seminomadic tribe.

Please note: Tours are weather dependent. If a tour is cancelled due to weather, you will be contacted.

Date: Select Saturdays

Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013



Planning A Medicinal Plant Garden

A home garden can both beautiful and useful. This class offers advice on growing medicinal plants and culinary herbs in the garden. Learn about a variety of herbs that thrive in the unpredictable Colorado climate. Learn how to grow these plants and receive tips on harvesting and uses in cooking, cleaning and medicinal remedies.

Instructor: Blake Burger

Price: $34, $29 member

Plant Identification

In this class we spend the day hiking to deepen our exploration of the botanical diversity in the Front Range. We review basic botanical terminology, plant families and ecology, and introduce the concept and practice of ethical wildcrafting and stewardship. We discuss edible and medicinal properties of the plants we encounter as well as some botanical first aid.


Price: $168, public

Instructor: Cat Pantaleo and Amberle Suski

Cat is a holistic practitioner and wellness educator with 19 years of professional experience assisting people to achieve optimal physical and emotional health. Utilizing her skills as a certified herbalist, nutritionist, nature and forest therapy guide, and practitioner of nonviolent communication, she skillfully incorporates a combination of wellness practices into her work with the intention of empowering people to co-create optimal wellness for themselves and their communities. Currently, her focus is facilitating resilience, restoration and deep nourishment for body, mind and spirit through optimal nutrition, plant medicine and nature immersion. She offers a variety of community classes, plant walks and nature connection experiences, and is pursuing a master s degree in ecopsychology in alignment with her commitment to bridge the perceived gap between humans and the natural world for the benefit of both.


Amberle is a Colorado native who has been working as a holistic healthcare practitioner in the Denver community for over seven years. She is trained and certified in community herbalism, permaculture design, reflexology, reiki and wellness coaching. Amberle aims to connect with people in need of support to enable them to mindfully, skillfully and confidently care for themselves, others and their environment. She believes that people flourish as they take ownership of their health and quality of life through tapping into education, intuition, empowerment, community, nature, spirit and sharing the highs and lows of life. She can be found farming, gardening, telling people way more than they wanted to know about plants and playing with plants in an unending variety of inspired ways! Her herbal products, integrative healing sessions, educational offerings and therapeutic gardening guidance and services are uniquely tailored by employing a variety of strategies such as bodywork, traditional spiritual healing, gems and essences, nature exploration, in-depth interactive research, DIY formulations, permaculture, regenerative growing, and plant-based foods and medicines.



Play On! Performing Arts at Denver Botanic Gardens

Gardening and performing arts come together to spark creativity and imagination in this new program series. Children will engage in acting, music and movement activities throughout this five-week series as they are guided by a Play On! teaching artist to create, rehearse and perform a play based on the story of the “Runaway Garden” by Jeffery L. Schatzer. This program series is designed for children ages 5-10.


Play On! is a locally owned and operated small business that encourages Denver-area school age children to explore their passion of the arts. Play On! offers highly collaborative performing arts programs using a hands-on creative approach that allows for a student to find their voice on the stage and beyond.


Session Dates:

- Tuesday March 12, 2019

- Tuesday March 19, 2019

- Tuesday March 26, 2019

- Tuesday April 2, 2019

- Tuesday April 9, 2019


Price: $100 per child for 5-week series. One adult per child is free of charge. Adults are required to stay onsite during the program.

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