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Virtual Lecture Series - Insect Lands on a Colorful Flower

Resilient in Nature

January - May 2023

Our virtual lecture series offers an opportunity to connect with inspiring professionals in the gardening community throughout the United States and beyond. Each lecture includes a 60-minute presentation on ZOOM followed by a 30-minute Q&A with the presenter.

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Classes and Workshops

 

To register online for a class or workshop, click the link in the class title or the "More Info" button next to the date information.

To register by phone, mail, or in person arrow

Download a PDF of Classes from June - December 2022 arrow (PDF)

Read about our safety guidelines and protocols for classes and workshops here.


Youth & Family Classes

Little Sprouts

Click Here to Register for Little Sprouts Classes

Little Sprouts Gardening classes take place outdoors in the Children's Kitchen Garden where participants listen to a story, water plants, dig in the soil, and engage in hands-on learning activities. Ages 2-5 years with an adult.

$9 / $7 Member (per child/adult pair)

 

Little Sprouts Story & Stroll classes include a story, theme-related learning activities, and a stroll through the outdoor gardens or conservatory. Ages 2-5 years with an adult.

$9 / $7 Member (per child/adult pair)

Family Classes

Click Here to Register for family classes

Family classes provide an opportunity for children and adults to learn and discover together. Classes take place both indoors and in the outdoor gardens. Most classes begin with storytelling and include hands-on activities and a craft project. Some classes include an allergen-free snack. Ages 5-11 years with an adult.

Scout & K-8 Community Organizations

Register your Scout Troop or K-8 community organization for one of our nature-based programs or contact us to develop a program suited to your group's needs and interests. Programs are offered year round.

Contact Sarah Ellis at sbellis@cityofmadison.com or 608-243-0583 for more information about programs and scheduling.

Adult Classes & Workshops

JANUARY

(Virtual) Chair Yoga (4-week series)

Grab a sturdy chair with a back and join us for 45 minutes of gentle yoga from the comfort of your own home. Your instructor will thoughtfully guide you through stretches and traditional yoga poses while seated and standing. The chair will support to your foundation, allowing these positions to be more accessible. Guidance through breath exercises and meditation will be a main component of this class to enhance your overall body awareness.

Instructor: Megan Reed, Ivy Energy

moreThursdays, Jan 5-26, 10-10:45 a.m.

Registration Deadline: January 1

$60 / $48 member

(Virtual) Healthy Houseplants

Houseplants liven and rejuvenate indoor spaces, but how can we keep them thriving long-term? This virtual lecture will discuss basic houseplant care techniques including watering, repotting, and fertilizing. You will also learn to identify common pests, how to best manage pests, and explore a number of houseplant species suitable for any home.

Instructor: Lisa Johnson, Dane County Extension

moreThursday, January 12, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 5

$22 / $18 member

Cast Iron Art: Clay Mold Design Workshop

This fun and approachable workshop offers a unique opportunity to learn different techniques and inspires new ideas for making your own one-sided iron casting, starting with the clay modeling process. Finished clay designs are taken back to the FeLion Studios headquarters for sand molding, and are then cast with molten iron during the annual "Pourin' Yer Heart Out" community iron pour at Olbrich Gardens on February 18, 2023. All supplies provided.

Instructor: Alisa Toninato, FeLion Studios LLC

moreSaturday, January 14, 1-5 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 5

$125 per person

Gourd Jewelry Boxes

This project makes an excellent gift for that special person! Using a pre-formed gourd box as a foundation, create your own jewelry box using beads, wire, fastenings, and paint. Each gourd box will have a removable lid and you will have various illustrations, patterns, and color options to choose from. All supplies are provided.

Instructor: Debra Ready, Adorned Gourds

moreSunday, January 15, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 5

$63 / $50 member

(Virtual) Get To Know Your Native Plants: Elder, Echinacea, Boneset

Join us to learn how these native plants can be allies against winter ailments! This virtual lecture will focus on three plants native to Wisconsin: elder, echinacea, and boneset. We will explore how these local plants can contribute to your overall wellness this winter.

Instructor: Kathleen Wildwood, Wildwood Institute

moreWednesday, January 18, 6-7:15 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 11

$18 / $14 member

Weather Basics: Winter Weather

Winter storms are fascinating and impactful, but how well do you understand how they actually work? Storms are a useful vehicle for studying the wider workings of the atmosphere. This class will provide a synopsis of atmospheric processes in terms of a handful of basic physical concepts involving energy and motion.

Instructor: Robert McClure

moreThursday, January 19, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 12

$12 / $10 member

(Virtual) Native Plants for Formal Gardens

How do we incorporate native plants into more formal landscapes? Explore structural well-behaved native plants for sun and shade that offer interesting architecture, distinctive flowers, and host a bevy of beneficial insects.

Instructor: Heather Prince, Fearless Gardening

moreFriday, January 20, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 12

$24 / $19 member

Introduction to Alcohol Inks

Join us to learn about alcohol ink! This incredible medium is fluid like watercolor, but more vibrant and unpredictable in its movement. In this hands-on workshop you will experiment with various techniques and create four different projects. Two of your final works will be matted and ready to frame. Ages 14+ welcome. All supplies provided.

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSunday, January 22, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 12

$100 / $80 member

(Virtual) Tai Chi Meditation (6-week series)

"Move like a great river; be still like a mountain" instructs the age-old description of the meditative exercise and movement art of T'ai Chi Ch'uan. This class offers standing movements and seated practices rooted within the Chinese tradition of Tai Chi and Chi Kung for the enrichment of body, mind and spirit. All physical abilities welcome, including those in need of chair-based practice.

Instructor: Jody Curley, Master Certified Instructor

moreMondays, January 23-February 27, 6-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 16

$60 per person

Gravel Gardens -- Gardens that Rock!

If you want a garden that truly rocks, look no further than a gravel garden. Earth-friendly gravel gardens require less of just about everything - water, mulch, energy, chemicals and most importantly labor - and give back so much more! Jeff Epping, Director of Horticulture at Olbrich Botanical Gardens, created a number of gravel gardens at Olbrich and in his own home garden (both recently highlighted in The New York Times!) that you can easily incorporate into your home landscape. Don't confuse these gardens with traditional rock or alpine gardens that can look more rocky than green and require a great deal of time to maintain. These sustainable gravel gardens are as colorful as any perennial planting around, provide food and habit for pollinators and other insects and require up to 80% less maintenance than a traditional perennial planting. Jeff will show you how to replace conventional lawns, expensive annual plantings, and labor-intensive perennial beds with these easy-to-maintain gravel gardens, just as he's done at Olbrich and elsewhere.

Instructor: Jeff Epping, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreTuesday, January 24, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 17

$28 / $22 member

Reading Group: The Book of Difficult Fruit: Arguments for the Tart, Tender, and Unruly (with recipes)

In her unique memoir, Kate Lebo offers twenty-six lyrical essays, each focusing on a "difficult" fruit. These fruits are unusual, exotic, impenetrable and at times intoxicating as they offer Lebo a lens through which to explore her own experiences with everything from botanical history to personal relationships.

moreWednesday, January 25, 6:30-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 23

FREE

Inside Look at Olbrich's Bug Scouts

Join horticulturists Katey and Sam as they dive into a general overview of all things bugs! Learn about how we are working in the garden to identify all the small creatures that run the world. Explore our iNaturalist Project observations, see videos of insects in action, and observe details of insects that you would never expect through the digital camera microscope!

Instructor: Katey Pratt and Sam Malone, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreWednesday, January 25, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 18

$24 / $20 member

(Virtual) From the Garden: Herbs for Calm Nerves

Herbs can be great allies for staying calm, reducing anxiety, and supporting the overall nervous system. Join herbalist Linda Conroy for this practical virtual presentation as we explore plants that work with the body to promote a strong foundation for staying centered. This program will offer comprehensive approaches to choosing and preparing herbs on a daily basis.

Instructor: Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs

moreThursday, January 26, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 19

$42 / $35 member

Cast Iron Art: Scratch Tile Workshop

Join us to learn more about the sand-carving process as you scratch a sand tile to create a unique iron piece! Your finished cast (scratch tile) will be filled with molten iron during the annual "Pourin' Yer Heart Out" community iron pour at Olbrich Gardens on February 18, 2023. Learn about various techniques, ideas, boundaries, and options possible within the reductive sand carving process while enjoying a relaxed and supportive environment. All supplies provided.

Instructor: Alisa Toninato, FeLion Studios LLC

moreSaturday, January 28, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 19

$75 per person

Gourd Jewelry

Looking for an unusual project or a homemade gift for someone? Using pre-formed gourd shard as a foundation, use wire, beads, stains, and paint to create your own pendants, brooches, necklaces or bracelets. All supplies are provided.

Instructor: Debra Ready, Adorned Gourds

moreSunday, January 29, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 19

$63 / $50 member

FEBRUARY

(Virtual) Essentrics - Mindful Movement for Strength, Balance & Stretching (5 Week Series)

Essentrics is a full-body workout that is great for people of all ages and fitness levels. The technique develops lean, strong, and flexible muscles with immediate changes to your posture through a combination of body weight strengthening and deep stretching. With music playlists accompanying each routine, this equipment-free workout leaves you feeling energized!

Instructor: Anna Clarke, Grow with the Flow LLC

moreWednesdays, February 1-March 1, 9-10 a.m.

Registration Deadline: January 25

$75 / $60 member

(Virtual) Common Butterflies of Wisconsin - Swallowtails

Ever wish you could identify the butterflies visiting your backyard? Come explore Wisconsin swallowtail butterflies; one of the seven native families to Wisconsin. We will begin our journey by reviewing butterfly basics, then focus specifically on the swallowtail family. Join us to learn identification tricks for butterflies and caterpillars, observe fascinating swallowtail habits, and how to attract them to your garden.

Instructor: Samara Eisner, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreWednesday, February 1, 6-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 25

$18 / $14 member

Drainage Improvements Around Your House

Proper drainage around your home is essential. Join us to learn how to eliminate standing water and negative pitch towards your foundation. Strategies such as adding soil, use of drain tile and rubber membrane, extending downspouts, Wisconsin building codes, rain gardens, and correcting retaining walls will be discussed.

Instructor: David Polich, A.L.Ltd Landscaping

moreThursday, February 2, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 26

$12 / $10 member

Creating and Maintaining Meadow Gardens

Sustainable gardens make sense for many reasons - they're good for the environment and they're good for us. Many people want lush, green lawns, but don-t have the time, nor want to see precious resources like water and energy and large amounts of hazardous pesticides go into growing them. Join Director of Horticulture Jeff Epping to learn about his experience replacing traditional lawns with sustainable and beautiful meadows - both in sun and shade - and how to implement changes in your own landscape.

Instructor: Jeff Epping, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreMonday, February 6, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 30

$28 / $22 member

(Virtual) Tips and Tricks for Aspiring Herbies

Herbs add an unparalleled richness to daily life, giving much in return to even modest gardening efforts. Join Herb Garden horticulturist Erin Presley as she shares her best tips for success, even when limited by time, space, or experience. We will cover basics like starting from seed versus buying plants, site selection and growing in containers, choosing varieties, how and when to harvest and store herbs, and easy recipes. Even experienced herbies might take away a new trick or two!

Instructor: Erin Presley, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreTuesday, February 7, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 31

$22 / $18 member

(Virtual) Fiber Art: Texture in Nature - (4-week series)

Immerse yourselves in a world of intricate surfaces. Learn to represent, furry, rugged, prickly, shiny, and dull textures with thread, yarn and other unusual materials. Learn to recreate nature in all its infinite variety! All levels are welcome, but a love for stitch and textiles is necessary. .

Instructor: Patrizia Ferreira, Textile Artist

moreTuesdays, February 7-28, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Registration Deadline: January 31

$95 per person

(Virtual) Secret Ingredients to Olbrich's Annual Containers

This virtual presentation will give you the inside scoop on how Olbrich's horticulturists create their amazing seasonal container plant displays! Follow along through each season of containers as the aspects of design, color palette, and ingredients are discussed. "Recipes" describing each container will be included.

Instructor: Avery Pronschinske, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreWednesday, February 8, 6-7:15 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 1

$18 / $14 member

(Virtual) All About Jumping Worms

This virtual class covers the biology of jumping worms, their effects on the soil, how to best avoid spreading and getting them, and management techniques. While there are no current means of eradicating them, there are strategies to use to manage their population in your garden.

Instructor: Lisa Johnson, Dane County Extension

moreThursday, February 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 2

$22 / $18 member

(virtual) Birth of a New Perennial Garden

Join Deborah Chud for a personal introduction to the design principles underlying naturalistic landscaping. Her 5 years of research on New Perennial gardens led to her own garden in that style, and a unique database of plant combinations. This engaging lecture is part memoir, part history, and part design theory - with some practical "dos and don'ts" for gardeners at every level.

Instructor: Deborah Chud

moreWednesday, February 15, 12-1 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 8

$12 / $10 member

(Virtual) Get To Know Your Native Plants: Mullein, Plantain, Violet

Looking to learn more about how native plants can benefit your health and well-being? Join us to examine the medicinal uses of three plants that are native to Wisconsin: mullein, plantain, and violet. You will learn identification, harvesting tips, preparation advice, and a bit of lore and history!

Instructor: Kathleen Wildwood, Wildwood Institute

moreWednesday, February 15, 6-7:15 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 8

$18 / $14 member

Frosty Birches with Alcohol Ink

Create your own winter scene of moonlight casting long shadows among a group of birches. We will use masking techniques to form contrast between the textured trees and the night sky. Your 9x12 painting will be matted to 11x14, ready for framing. No experience necessary. Ages 14+ welcome. All supplies provided.

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSunday, February 19, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 9

$100 / $80 member

Bringing the tropics to the Midwest in the Thai Garden at Olbrich Botanical Gardens

A tropical effect can be achieved in Wisconsin using both tropical plants and Midwest natives. Join us to discuss how the Thai Garden gets this look and feel, plants that work well in various roles, techniques to use tropicals at home, and Wisconsin plants that fit the bill.

Instructor: Dan Schuknecht, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreTuesday, February 21, 5:30-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 14

$20 / $16 member

(Virtual) Design Inspiration for a Creative Vegetable Garden

Tap into your creative spirit by adding simple and fun elements to showcase your garden's beauty. This interactive virtual workshop will share fresh ideas to elevate an ordinary garden to an extraordinary one with plenty of photos to get the creative juices flowing. Learn how to design a garden that inspires joy, tips for adding artistic touches, and favorite colorful and unique varieties to grow.

Instructor: Megan Cain, The Creative Vegetable Gardener

moreThursday, February 23, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 16

$35 / $28 member

From The Garden: Herbs for Topical Applications

Herbs are wonderful allies for healing the skin and useful for absorbing healing remedies into the body. Join us to learn more about these helpful herbs. You will learn how to make and use poultices, compresses, infused oils, salves, lotions, sprays, and much more! Everyone will take home remedies made during class. All supplies provided.

Instructor: Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs

moreSaturday, February 25, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 16

$75 / $60 member

Snow Cap Blooms with Alcohol Ink

Learn how to create flowers with translucent white petals on organic alcohol ink backgrounds. You will leave with two 5x7 paintings matted to 8x10, ready to frame. This workshop is great for beginners, but those experienced with alcohol inks will be sure to pick up new tips and techniques. Ages 14+ welcome. All supplies provided.

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSunday, February 26, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 16

$100 / $80 member

Understanding Severe Weather

Learn what conditions lead to severe weather and how atmospheric ingredients come together to produce it. Basics of instability, shear, atmospheric capping, and vorticity will be explained in order to provide an understanding of how thunderstorms work and how they produce tornados, hail, and strong straight-line winds. Previous enrollment in Weather Basics is suggested, but not required.

Instructor: Robert McClure

moreMonday, February 27, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 20

$12 / $10 member

Behind-the-Scenes Spring Show Set Up

Ever wonder what it takes to transform the Atrium into a beautiful blooming paradise for Olbrich's Spring Show? Come and enjoy the chaos before the show! Join Horticulturist, Katey Pratt for an interesting sneak preview before the show is completely finished. She will explain the overall design concept and ideas behind specific scenes, explain the building process, and point out unique details along the way. You may even get to see our plants being grown in our new production greenhouse or help create a small item to add to part of the show!

Instructor: Katey Pratt, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreTuesday, February 28, 5:30-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 21

$28 / $22 member

 

To register online for a class or workshop, click the link in the class title or the "More Info" button next to the date information.

To register by phone, mail, or in person  arrow

Download a PDF of Classes from June - December 2022 arrow (PDF)

Read about our safety guidelines and protocols for classes and workshops here.

 

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*If you do not already have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader software, you can download it by clicking on the icon.

 

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719