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Digital Workflow for Photographers

Learn to create a solid digital photography workflow using Adobe LightRoom. This excellent program can help you organize your photo archives and process your images into exciting and personal images. Scott will take you from camera set-up through image output. All photography skill levels welcome. Some computer experience required.


Price: $50, $45 member

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


Skill level: All photography skill levels are welcome. Some computer experience is required.

Drip Irrigation for Home Gardeners

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Drip irrigation is easy for home gardeners to purchase and install themselves. It conserves water and solves many awkward plant watering dilemmas around the home. Do you want to grow container plants but dread daily watering chores and arranging for someone to water when you are away? Sprinkler watering of vegetable and annual flower gardens can increase leaf diseases but how do you convert your garden to drip irrigation? Can you create a drip irrigation setup using an outdoor faucet? Answers to these questions and more will be found in this class presented by garden expert and retired CSU Extension Agent, Carl Wilson.


Price: $24, $21 member

Instructor: Carl Wilson

Early Morning Sunday Strolls

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Immerse yourself in the beauty and history of the high plains shortgrass prairie through a guided nature hike. Experience the prairie in the soft morning light while catching some breathtaking views of the Colorado front range and the chance to view resident wildlife.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Price: $5

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013 Phone 303-326-8380


Embossed Botanicals

Embossed Botanicals

Embossing is an art form used to raise a shape from the surface of paper. The embossed shape casts a delicate shadow and, when combined with color, creates an elegant effect. We provide decorative letter and flower patterns, and you learn how to design, cut a stencil and choose the best paper surfaces for embossed subjects. Finish your project with ink or colored pencil accents and leave the class with an elegantly embossed design.

No prerequisites.

Fee: $$290 member, $$340 non-member.


Wed, April 22, 29, May 6, 13, 20, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Renee Jorgensen


Enjoying Nature with Fountain Pens

Using fountain pens is a wonderfully different and relaxing way to write and draw, especially when combined with nature! This course will teach you the basics of using and maintaining a fountain pen. You will also have an opportunity to sample various types of pens, paper and ink to help you decide which you prefer. You’ll even receive a fountain pen and notebook that are yours to keep! Open to all skill levels. Lecture style class with a hands-on portion that allows students to try out different fountain pens, inks and papers.


Price: $49, $45 member

Instructor: John Bosley is a professional photographer in Denver, CO. He is also a long-time collector of fountain pens and is the creator of FountainPenLove.com, a site dedicated to people who love using, collecting and learning about fountain pens.

Evening Vinyasa Yoga at the Gardens

Looking for an amazing place to practice your yoga skills, how about the beautiful Denver Botanic Gardens?

Vinyasa yoga weaves beautiful movement with challenging postures, and cultivates a sense of peace and calm by the end of each yoga class. Practicing vinyasa yoga on a daily basis can improve posture, flexibility, and endurance. Beyond the physical benefits, yoga helps to bring a sense of clarity to challenging situations in life, reminds us to stay present and focused in an ever-changing environment, and can help us find happiness and contentment in our surroundings.

The postures practiced in this challenging class will promote alignment, flexibility, focus, endurance and help detoxify the body.


Instructor: Blake Burger

Skill level: All levels welcome

Price: $12, $10 members

Special Instructions: Please bring a mat, a towel and water. Please register online in advance of class. This class will be located in the Morrison Center (north end of the Children's Garden).


Photo: Perfecto Insecto (Flickr)


Explore the Galleries and Living Collections (Charcoal)

Explore the Galleries and Living Collections (Charcoal)

Drawing at a large scale can be daunting, but with charcoal it is surprisingly quick! Charcoal is easier to control than most media, and in this class you will get your hands dirty while we complete four large, loose drawings. Modeled after a classic figure drawing class, we will work at standing easels (perhaps working up to 22” x 30”) and focus on single central subjects from the Gardens’ main exhibit: The Contour of Feeling by Ursula von Rydingsvard. Afterward, we will go outside and concentrate on the Gardens’ conifers. Note: We will be standing for the entirety of each three-hour class (no drawing horses are available for seated drawing).

No prerequisites.

Fee: $275 member, $325 non-member.


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

Instructor: Meredith Feniak


Family Make and Take: Leprechaun Gardens

Discover the legend of the leprechaun as you design and create a miniature garden to attract these mischievous garden friends. Materials provided are appropriate for children ages 5 and up. Preregistration is required.


Family Make and Take programs offer a space for children and their grownups to connect with natural materials and create together. These self-guided and self-paced programs are designed to provide a creative environment that sparks imagination. The Gardens provides the space and supplies. You and your family provide the ideas and creativity!


Price: $15 per project fee non-members; $12 per project fee members. Each project fee includes one garden container, plant and access to a variety of natural and manmade materials to use for decoration.

Family Workshop: Chocolate Treats

Explore the chocolate tree and its celebrated history. Follow the journey of a cacao bean and discover how chocolate is made. Join us and create a box of delicious chocolate treats to take home. This workshop is designed for families with children ages 5-10.


Workshops offer families a hands-on guided opportunity to learn about the science and enchantment behind the plants in our everyday lives. Workshops include a guided garden exploration and hands on projects for grownups and children to create together while exploring the natural world.


Price: $12 non-member adult, $10 member adult; $17 non-member child, $15 member child. Pre-registration is required and class size is limited.

Family Workshop: Tabletop Gardening - Cool Season Veggies

It may still be chilly outside but now is a great time to start thinking about fresh cool season veggies from the garden. Join us as we investigate and taste a variety of tasty roots and leaves. Plant seeds in a tabletop greenhouse to start a cool season veggie garden of your own. This workshop is designed for families with children ages 5-10.


Workshops offer families a hands-on guided opportunity to learn about the science and enchantment behind the plants in our everyday lives. Workshops include a guided garden exploration and hands on projects for grownups and children to create together while exploring the natural world.


Price: $12 non-member adult, $10 member adult; $17 non-member child, $15 member child. Pre-registration is required and class size is limited.

Fearless Shrub Pruning

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Learn how to prune both deciduous and evergreen shrubs for long term plant health and appearance in this class. Various types of pruning and the situations where they are appropriate will be illustrated. An emphasis will be placed on flowering shrubs and how to prune them for best bloom. For people with overgrown shrubs, rejuvenation pruning to reduce size and reinvigorate growth will be of interest.


Price: $33, $28 member


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




Ferns Uncovered

Ferns Uncovered

Ferns predate most other plant species on Earth, and the Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory is home to specimens of many varieties that continue to thrive today. Their delicate structures and textures are fascinating to study and a pleasure to illustrate—in fact, ferns have been illustrated for more than 1,500 years! Working in pencil and brush, you’ll develop pigment-free values and master seamless gradations from lightest light to darkest dark without the usual graphite sheen. Concentrate on the stem-like rhizomes, leafy fronds and sporangia underneath the leaves. Learn to draw complex detail without losing overall form. All the skills that you learn in this class can be transferred to any other medium, improving your overall confidence in your artistic skills.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Pencil II.

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


Tue, March 24, 31, April 14, 21, 28, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Randy Raak


Flower Color - Uses, Meaning and Impact

This class teaches you how to choose flower color for the most impact. Learn how to use color to evoke emotion and create visual interest. Gain information about color combinations for seasonal interest and learn to think about flower color choices differently.


Price: $18, $16 member

Instructor: Debi Borden-Miller


Debi Borden-Miller is a University of Vermont graduate with a bachelor’s in plant and soil science.

Since moving to Colorado, she has worked at Fruehauf’s Garden Center, Wilmore Nursery, Little Valley Wholesale Nursery and Welby Gardens Company where she spent a total of 28 years in sales and marketing.

Debi is a board member of the Colorado Garden & Home Show and represents the Colorado Nursery and Greenhouse Association on the management team of ProGreen Expo. She also serves on several CO Nursery and Greenhouse Association committees and is a long-time board member and former president of the Colorado Greenhouse Growers Association and GreenCo.

Focus on Foliage

Focus on Foliage

Focus on foliage and fill the need for green this winter. Here is your chance to explore the Boettcher Tropical Conservatory and be bold, paint glossy and produce some vibrant greens. Enhance your color-mixing knowledge with the many shades of green. Start with leaf studies and learn techniques to tackle variegation, margins and shine. Your expanded painting skills for depicting leaf form and color will advance your future botanical paintings.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

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


Wed, March 25, April 1, 15, 22, 29, 9 a.m. – noon

Instructor: Constance Sayas


Focus on Natural Forms: Feathers and Bark

Focus on Natural Forms: Feathers and Bark

Explore ways to create finely fashioned feathers and textured tactile bark. Ann will demonstrate the techniques she uses such as underpainting, resist and embossing to build up textured layers and capture the exquisite detail of feathers and bark. In this class you will use both graphite and colored pencils.

Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I or intermediate skills in graphite and colored pencils.

Fee: $365 member, $415 non-member.

Date(s): Fri-Sun, May 1-3, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Instructor: Ann Swan, U.K.


Forest Bathing Morning Series at the Gardens

Onsite at Denver Botanic Gardens

Start your day with a relaxing, immersive sensory experience in the early morning atmosphere of the Gardens. This series of mini-forest bathing walks allows you to experience the Gardens in a whole new way. Studies show that regularly spending time immersing our senses in nature may reduce blood pressure, heart rate and stress hormones. Move slowly and mindfully through the landscape of the Gardens with guided invitations to engage your senses for closer connection to nature.

Price: $60, $55 member

Instructor: Leona Campbell

Leona is a professional photographer and owner of Wind in Pines LLC, which provides public and private forest bathing walks in the greater Denver area. Leona is a certified forest therapy guide, through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy (ANFT).

Special Instructions: All walks begin promptly at the start time and last 90 minutes. Participants move slowly and mindfully, covering about a quarter to a half mile over the course of the walk.


Forgotten Legacy: Colorado's Lost Apples II

Forgotten Legacy: Colorado’s Lost Apples II

We continue the documentation of Colorado’s heritage apple varieties and devote this session to flowers. In Forgotten Legacy: Colorado’s Lost Apples, you visited the site of your variety during the blooming season and observed the structure of the flower in detail, including the color. During this one-day session, you’ll receive guidance on how to add the finishing touches.

Prerequisite: Forgotten Legacy: Colorado³ Lost Apples.

Fee: $85 member, $105 non-member.


Tue, June 30, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Randy Raak


From Seed to Plant

From Seed to Plant

We are fascinated by process, so let’s start at the beginning and illustrate the seed first. Learn how to sprout a bean seed for observation and document its development week by week as the sprout adds roots and foliage. The process begins with a talk by a Gardens’ expert on seed selection and development as well as directions for scientific observation. In weekly color illustrations, you’ll note changes as the plant begins to grow. In the meantime, you’ll have a mature plant to illustrate in graphite as a backdrop for your weekly botanical snapshots. Learn how to integrate two compositions in different media for an effective presentation. Over the course of five weeks, you’ll see your plant change from seed to shoot to seedling, and you’ll gain a better understanding of germination and growth to share through your own botanical plate in colored pencil and graphite.

Prerequisites: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I, Composition for Boatnical illustration, Botany for the Botanical Illustrator.

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


Mon, April 27, May 4, 11, 18, June 1, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Susan DiMarchi


Full Moon Hike

Presented and Managed by the City of Aurora

Discover Aurora's true nature under the light of the full moon and learn a little about its history with this guided nature hike.

The City of Aurora's Parks, Recreation & Open Space department's mission is to encourage active lifestyles and create healthy environments for people, nature and community.

Price: $5

Location: Plains Conservation Center, 21901 E. Hampden Avenue, Aurora, CO 80013 Phone 303-326-8380


Garden Guru Tour

Immerse yourself in the Gardens with a horticulturist as your guide. Gain insight into living museum collections and walk away with gardening tips from an expert. Please note that every tour has its own emphasis and is led by a different horticulturist.


Thursday, February 6, 2 p.m.: “Orchids” with Nick Snakenberg, curator of tropical collections and associate director of horticulture

Tuesday, March 24, 10 a.m.: “Spring Garden Preparation” with Dan Johnson, associate director of horticulture, curator of native plants

Friday, June 19, 10 a.m.: “Plant Select®” with Sonya Anderson, horticulture specialist, Plant Select and pollinator gardens

Tuesday, July 7, 10 a.m.: “Annuals” with Bridget Blomquist, horticulture specialist - annuals

Wednesday, July 22, 10 a.m.: “Medicinal Plants” with Blake Burger, horticulture specialist

Tuesday, September 15, 9:30 a.m.: “Fall Garden Preparation” with Mike Bone, curator of steppe collections


Price: $17, $15 member


Special instructions: Tours can be both indoors and outdoors; dress accordingly for the weather. Water, sunscreen and sunglasses are recommended. Please bring booking confirmation. Meet guide in the lobby of the Boettcher Memorial Center after entering through the Gardens main entrance. Tours are one hour long.


Notes: Prices include admission to the Gardens. Tours with low registration are subject to cancellation. These tours are not available for private parties.

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