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Colorado Wetlands at Chatfield Farms

Explore the riparian ecosystem at Chatfield Farms. Develop an appreciation for the balance between human, animal and plant interactions in our Colorado wetlands. We will immerse ourselves in citizen science, visit beaver dams and learn about the restoration project taking place at Deer Creek. Appropriate for K-12 teachers.

0.5 semester hours of graduate level relicensure credit from the Colorado School of Mines is available on the day of the class for an additional $40.

Composition for Botanical Illustration

The arrangement of line, shape and color in artwork is itself an art form. The difference between a pleasant picture and amazing artwork is often found in composition. This course begins with a study of recognized masters and contemporary illustrators. Learn how to use compositional elements and principles in your botanical illustration. Create your own thumbnail compositions and develop insight and expertise to enhance your future illustrations.

No prerequisites.

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


Date(s): Fri-Sun, Jan. 18-20, 9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Date(s): Thu, May 9, 16, 23, 30, June 6, 6-9 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Conifers for Colorado Landscapes & Gardens

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group II

Urban tree diversity is becoming ever more critical in our local and regional landscapes which have relied on a limited tree palette. Did you know there are dozens of lesser-known yet proven species of conifers that deserve more consideration? Conifers offer year-round interest yet require little care once established. How do you choose from the wide array offered at local nurseries? This class introduces you to the diverse world of hardy conifers and reveals the secrets to their success in our local climate. From native species to exotic cultivars, we’ll discuss practical, cultural and design considerations. A morning classroom session will be followed by a walking tour and hands-on introduction to the Gardens' conifer collections. We’ll take a half hour break for lunch on your own (bring your own or eat at the Gardens’ café). Please come dressed for the weather. Landscape and nursery professionals are especially invited.


This class qualifies as continuing education for the Colorado Certified Nursery Professional recertification. More details here: http://coloradonga.org/certification.php


This class also qualifies for continuing education credits for the ISA-RMC.” (Use this link: http://www.isarmc.org/.)


6 reasons to take this class:

1. Increase urban tree diversity: Discover a new world of hardy and resilient evergreens beyond the usual that are especially suited to our local climate.

2. Year-round interest: Add elegance, texture and structure to your fall, winter and early spring landscapes

3. Habitat enhancement: Learn new ways to provide shelter and nesting areas for songbirds and other wildlife.

4. Multi-modal learning: The classroom segment uses hands-on discovery along with stunning images, followed by a walk through the Gardens’ collections to tie together the day’s discussions.

5. Inside tips from the pros: Understand how to successfully select, plant and care for these low-maintenance plants from > 25 years professional experiences.

6. No better time: Spring is the best time to acquire and plant conifers. When this class is over, you’ll be armed with knowledge, and inspired to take your garden or landscape to new and exciting levels.


Instructor: Pat Hayward, former Executive Director of Plant Select and currently operating Phytologic Horticultural Services, a consulting and garden coaching business.

Price: $105, $95 members

Contrasting Color Combinations with Colored Pencil

Magic or mud? If your complements are not getting compliments, it is time to delve into the effective use of color wheel opposites. See how adjacent complements create brilliance and layered complements dull and shade. Learn to discern hidden complements and put them to work for you with intention. Create a series of small studies to show off your mastery of complementary color.


Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.


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



Fri-Sun, March 8-10, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Instructor: Susan Rubin


Converting Lawn to Xeriscape

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Do you want to beautify your landscape and save water at the same time?

Prepare to go into detail about how to replace some of your Kentucky bluegrass lawn with water-smart perennial and ornamental grasses, discuss soil types and irrigation adjustment requirements, and dream up some design ideas in this exciting class.


Instructor: Curtis Manning

Price: $29, $24 member


Photo: Winger Photography

Creating Flower Essence

Flower essences are a subtle yet powerful and versatile form of homeopathic herbal remedy. Learn to create two flower essences outside while discovering their unique energetic and therapeutic potential. Create a floral syrup and explore applications like sprays, libations, elixirs, baths and more! This class has us diving into fall gardening practices including sowing cool season crops, crop rotation, herbal fertilizing and extending the growing season.  


Price: $94 public

Instructor: Amberle Suski

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.


Creative Basics of Photography-Classroom Session





Creative Basics of Photography-Shooting Session

In this shooting session we’ll take the new skills we’ve learned in the Creative Basics class and put them to use in the field. Scott will have a few simple exercises for you to do during the class that really bring home the skills we go over in the class and he’ll be there to answer your questions and help you along the way. It helps to take the Creative Basics classroom session prior to joining this class.


Price: $25, $20 members

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

Special Instructions: Please bring your camera and tripod for shooting outside in the gardens and dress appropriately for weather.



Crops in Pots


This class is great for apartment, condo and patio home dwellers who are short on outdoor space. Learn about the bounty of vegetable and herb container garden options. It is possible to grow vegetables without a plot of soil.

Learn about good container culture, soil, light, water, organic fertilizers, pesticides, frost protection, along with the best sized containers and how to create vertical support. You can even learn how to create mixed containers of vegetables, flowers and herbs.


Price: $37, $32 members

Instructor: Patti O'Neal


Photo: suzettesuzette (Flickr)


Cub Scout Exploration Day

All levels of Cub Scouts are invited to spend a day at the Gardens exploring plants as they prepare for the changing seasons. Visit the Gardens with your pack or as a family and investigate the story a tree can tell, learn about soils, make a miniature worm compost bin and plant seeds to take home.


Scout Exploration Days offer scout troops the opportunity to explore plant-based themes through a variety of hands-on activities and take-home projects. Each Exploration Day offers several activity stations set up throughout the Gardens for groups to explore. Pack a picnic lunch and make a day of it!


Price: $12 per scout (includes admission to the Gardens). One adult (troop leader or parent) for every five scouts is admitted free of charge. Additional adults and non-participating siblings pay $7. Non participating siblings do not participate in the take home activities. If siblings want to participate please purchase a scout ticket.


Special Instructions: Activity stations will be located outdoors. On colder days or days with inclement weather programs will utilize the indoor spaces of the Gardens. We recommend the scouts dress in layers and bring a hat, water bottle and sunscreen with them. You will receive an email with check in information a few days before your scheduled visit.


Scout Exploration Day Refund Policy: Cancellations more than one week prior to the scheduled program are subject to a 15% cancellation fee. Cancellations with less than one week’s notice are non-refundable.

Day of Mindfulness

In this workshop you will learn or deepen your understanding of the practice of mindfulness through teachings and direct experience of sitting and walking meditation, mindful yoga, and body scan. Inspired by the secular teachings of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, this workshop is designed to offer an urban retreat day as a way to de-stress and re-capture the joy of living each moment fully.


Instructor: Janet Solyntjes, MA, has taught meditation and body awareness disciplines since 1984. She teaches Mindfulness -Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in both non-profit and corporate settings internationally and is the co-founder of The Center for Courageous Living. Janet is an Adjunct Professor at Naropa University, a senior teacher for Shambhala International, and leads residential meditation programs at retreat centers in the US and Canada.

Price: $82, $72 members


Delicious Vegetarian

Discover the scrumptious side of international vegetarian cuisine! We’ll begin with a savory salad and continue with a delicious butternut squash curry, a spicy cashew veggie stir fry, a pesto and roasted veggie pizza and end with a sweet. Eat your veggies and love doing it! Recipes and full meal included.

Price: $60, $55 member

Instructor: Susan Evans



Photo Credit: WordRidden (Flickr)

Digestive System and Herb Allies

There is no denying the connection of optimal digestive function and overall health and vitality. This class covers the basic anatomy and physiology of the GI tract, common digestive complaints and their underlying etiology, and the proper and safe use of botanicals to address these issues. Also included are herbs, food and lifestyle practices to maintain optimal gut health. We sample a variety of delicious herbal preparations from the herbs discussed and each participant go home with a bottle of bitters.


Price: $52, public

Instructor: Cat Pantaleo

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.


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: $47, $42 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.

Drawing from Your Photos- Online with On-site Component


There are times when a live specimen is simply not an option. Discover how to work from photographs to create a successful illustration long after the specimen is gone. Start with instruction on taking effective photos for reference and editing them for clarity. Learn techniques to interpret and alter composition, color and lighting that will avoid that literal “drawn from a photo” look. Create a lasting plant portrait in colored pencil from your photos.


Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Colored Pencil I.

Fee: $310 member, $405 non-member.



In-class sessions: Fri-Sat, June 21-22, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

**All assignments are to be completed no later than August 15, 2019**

Instructor: Susan Rubin


The Off-Site Learning Approach

Following the two-day concentrated classroom instruction, three internet sessions cover the remaining course elements. The successful completion of final artwork (a plate) one month (30 days) after the conclusion of the on-site session is the culmination of each of the distance learning courses.

 Students must use a scanner or digital camera to record their weekly achievements and email the high-resolution image to the instructor and the school manager. All student questions, as well as instructor answers, recommendations and suggestions are handled by email. The student must send a scan of the final plate to the instructor and the school manager in order to receive credit for the course.


Drawing on Tradition: Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Floral Designs

Artists should be true to themselves to cultivate an artistic expression born from within.”

Charles Rennie Macintosh (1868-1928), a well-known Irish architect, is best known for his exquisite architectural renderings and design work. However, throughout his life, especially after 1900, he concentrated on botanical subjects. Using a distinctive linear style, he focused on defining his floral subjects using simple contours and equally simple thin watercolor washes. In this class, break away from traditional botanical art formalities. Working from live cut specimens, practice the art of sketching and design. Inspired by the life and unique artistic approach of the artist, in-class demonstrations and exercises teach you how to turn form into pure and eloquent shape. Add simple watercolor washes to create a beautiful and distinctive graphite and watercolor flower plate.



Prerequisite: Botanical Illustration in Watercolor I.


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



Tue, Feb. 19, 26, March 5, 12, 19, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Marjorie Leggitt


Drawing on Tradition: Frida Kahlo's Botanicals

The femininity, grace and strength of Frida Kahlo resonate in her self-portraits. Whether it's because of the saturated colors or her pre-Columbian jewelry, outrageous pets or glorious tropical fruit, her work will endure.

Using mixed media to emulate her iconic style, we will surround portraits of ourselves (or a loved one) with the flora of Mexico using paint and embroidery. We will use a photo transfer method for the portrait component—no drawing or painting required.


Prerequisite: Entry-level color media in botanical illustration of your choice.

Fee: $270 member, $320 non-member.



Wed, Feb. 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 1-4 p.m.

Instructor: Meredith Feniak


Easy Drawing in the Gardens

Make drawing easier and more enjoyable by learning the basics of perspective, composition control and the use of reference points and lines. This approach can be sculptural in nature, starting with a large and basic composition and finishing with details. After classroom instruction, students move outdoors and practice the techniques by drawing and sketching 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.



Edible Wild Foods Gourmet: Identification, Harvesting and Use of Wild Plants

Explore the fascinating world of wild edibles. We'll begin with with an herb walk, identifying local wild edibles. Discover the optimum nutrition and delicious tastes provided by plants usually weeded and tossed in the compost pile.

Back in the kitchen, participants prepare a delicious four course meal using common, nutritious wild plants, including nettle, chickweed, dandelion, lambs quarters and more. Enjoy an appetizer, wild salad buffet with chicken and veggie options, a savory soup, and a delicious wild foods pesto with pasta. Explore all the ways you can add wild edibles to your current recipes to boost nutrition and flavor. Recipes, lunch, and drink included. Discover the fun and benefits of eating on the wild side!

Discover the fun and benefits of eating on the wild side!

Instructor: Susan Evans

Price: $55, $50 members, $28 materials fee included

Special Instructions: Class will take place outdoors; please dress accordingly for weather and bring water and sunscreen.


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.

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