Adkins Arboretum Announces Spring Education Programs for Adults


Adkins Arboretum is offering a full slate of education programs for spring, from tree and meadow stewardship programs to poetry readings and workshops to a full complement of crafts sessions. Programs include:

The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession
Tuesday, May 4, 4-5 p.m. with a reception to follow
Fee: $15 members, $18 general public

In this beautifully illustrated talk, Andrea Wulf tells the story of a small group of 18th-century naturalists that made England a nation of gardeners. Friends, rivals and enemies, their correspondence, collaborations and squabbles make for a riveting human drama set against the backdrop of the emerging British Empire and America's magnificent forests. As botany and horticulture became a science, the garden became the Eden for everyman.

From the Tree's Perspective
Wednesday, May 5, 10-11:30 a.m.
Fee: $10 members, $15 general public

Richard Murray will introduce the concepts of tree function and defense from the tree's perspective. He will provide an overview of the basics of tree biology and how trees influence ecological associations and processes. Using samples and a hands-on approach, he will discuss how we can improve our efforts to establish and preserve trees.

Poetry Reading by Sue Ellen Thompson
Sunday, May 16, 3-5 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $18 general public

Sue Ellen Thompson will read from her most recent book, The Leaving: New & Selected Poems, as well as from her new manuscript of work written largely about living on the Eastern Shore. The Maryland Library Association recently selected Thompson as the winner of the 2010 Maryland Author Award, given to a poet every four years for his or her body of work. Two of her books - The Leaving and The Golden Hour - were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Following the reading, she will answer audience questions and sign copies of The Golden Hour.

Culinary Culture of the Underground Railroad
Saturday, May 22, 1-2:30 p.m.
Fee: $10 members, $15 general public, $20 families

Join Michael Twitty, author and interpreter of African American folkways, to explore the culinary culture of slaves and freedom seekers on the Underground Railroad. Twitty's extensive research on African American culinary history and his desire for authenticity in the interpretation of this history have led him to work with the Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, Magnolia Plantation & Gardens, and many others, in addition to collaborating with Landreth Seeds on its new African American Heritage Seed Collection.

Urban & Suburban Meadows
Saturday, June 12, 1-2:30 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $18 general public

Author and photographer Catherine Zimmerman combines her expertise in photography, storytelling, environmental issues, horticulture, and organic practices to offer meadowscaping as a lawn alternative. Zimmerman weaves her personal journey of changing her own landscaping choices into a guide that demonstrates both the need to change current, detrimental landscaping practices and the practical know-how and resources to accomplish that change. Urban & Suburban Meadows demonstrates land stewardship practices that are both ecologically sound and aesthetically appealing. An award-winning director of photography, Zimmerman has over 30 years of experience in documentary filmmaking with an emphasis on education and environmental issues.

The Forest as Muse
Wednesday, June 9, 1-3 p.m.
Fee: $10 members, $15 general public

Join published poet and Arboretum teacher Jenny Houghton for a creative writing workshop inspired by the beauty of Adkins Arboretum. Ideas will flow like the Blockston Branch as participants spend contemplative time in the woods, enjoy a sampling of nature writing from poets past and present, and share their own verse in the Arboretum gallery.

Houghton's work has appeared in a variety of literary publications, including The Pearl, Lite Magazine, Grub Street News, and Maryland Poetry Review.

Block Printing
Friday, June 11, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Fee: $70 members, $85 general public

Join Martha Graham to learn the technique for block printing, from establishing a successful design to inking and printing your block.

Bartram's Garden Field Trip
Friday, June 18, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Fee: $110 members, $125 general public

Spend a day at America's first botanic garden, which showcases the Bartram collection of North American plants and the Bartram house, a one-of-a-kind structure and National Historic Landmark.

Quilting: Historic Perspective and Beginner's Workshop
Friday, June 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Fee: $40 members, $45 general public

Join quilter Janet Pfeffer for a selective overview of quilting through time, with special attention to the Quilters of Gee's Bend, followed by a workshop to create your own potholder or placemat.

Driftwood Carving
Fridays, July 9, 16, 23, and 30, 10 a.m.-noon
Fee: $75 members, $95 general public

Join wood sculptor Tom Yates for this four-week program to learn the fundamentals of carving and how to create what you 'see' in unique pieces of wood through design, carving and finishing.

T-Shirt Quilt
Saturday, July 31, 10 a.m.-noon
Fee: $25 members, $30 general public

Join Janet Pfeffer and learn to transform a T-shirt collection into an heirloom quilt. Participants will prepare the T-shirts, create layouts, and ready the project for finishing at home.

Native Plants in Vases
Thursday, August 5, 1-3 p.m.
Fee: $10 members, $15 general public

Join longtime Arboretum docent and workshop teacher Nancy Beatty as she demonstrates three styles of flower arranging using native plants. Nancy's passion for native plants and organic gardening brought her to the Arboretum and has led her to a successful and rewarding career in gardening.

Pre-registration is required for all programs. Register online at, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. Through its Campaign to Build a Green Legacy, the Arboretum will build a new LEED-certified Arboretum Center and entranceway to broaden educational offerings and research initiatives promoting best practices in conservation and land stewardship. For additional information about Arboretum programs, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.