HF&G Classes

Nature is our greatest teacher; every plant, tree and flower. HF&G classes take cues from the natural world around us and encourages participants to take a moment to get to know some of the pollinators, native plants, songbirds and wild mushrooms you can find locally and even in your own backyard!

Holden Forests and Gardens is looking for instructors, contact us if you are interested in becoming an Adult Education Instructor.

Pedogenesis: An introduction to soil science 

Monday, March 1 | 6:30-7:30 PM

Instructor: Nick Santiago, Gardener with Holden Forests & Gardens

Live, virtual program

$10 per member, $25 per non-member

Soil is the foundation of every successful garden. In this class you’ll learn why, by covering topics such as what exactly is soil?, what’s living in it and why is that important?, and How do people impact soil?. Then you’ll look at the broad diversity of soils from around the world. By developing a deeper understanding of your soil you’ll unearth the secrets that lead to successful growing, be it trees, gardens, or grass. 

Orchids on the Edge: Conservation in a Changing World 

Saturday, March 6 | 11:00 AM- noon

Instructor: Dr. Lawrence Zettler

Live, virtual program 

$10 per member, $25 per nonmember 

Every orchid on this planet – from showy epiphytes that grow on trees in tropical rainforests, to hardy terrestrials found here in the Midwest – needs a fungus to grow and survive.  Many also require specific insect pollinators which are also necessary for the orchid’s reproduction and survival.  About one half of the 27,000+ orchid species worldwide are now vulnerable to extinction, in part, because of their acute sensitivity to environmental changes.  In this presentation, Dr. Lawrence W. Zettler, Hitchcock Professor of Biology at Illinois College, will delve into the life history of the orchid from seed germination into maturity, including examples as the Ghost Orchid of Florida and Cuba, Dendrophylax lindenii, subject of Susan Orlean’s best-selling novel, The Orchid Thief, and Hollywood movie, Adaptation.  The talk will also showcase some of the orchids that grow in the tropics such in Madagascar, and what is currently being done to conserve the rarest species, as well as some tips on orchid growing and care.     

Dr. Zettler studies the effects of fungi on orchids in order to aid conservation efforts in the Orchid Recovery Program at Illinois College, growing orchids from seed in the laboratory using the fungi they require and consume in nature. 

Sowing Success: Starting Plants from Seed -Registration Closed!

Saturday, March 6 | 1-2:30 PM

 Instructor: Greg Wright, Horticulturist

 Live, virtual program 

 $60 per member, $75 per nonmember 

Experience the satisfaction of growing annual and perennial plants from seed. Wright breaks down the basics of seed anatomy, proper treatments, and appropriate environmental conditions favorable for propagation from seed. A demonstration will also be provided to walk participants through sowing their own seed at home. Each participant will receive materials to start their own annual & perennial flowers at home including: 2 seed packets, heat mat with thermostat, seed tray with humidity dome, & soil. Registration closed!

Behind the Scenes of CBG’S Butterfly Program 

Thursday, March 11 | 12:30-1:30 PM

Instructor: Matt Edwards, Animal Care Specialist

Live, virtual program 

$10 per member, $25 per nonmember 

Have you ever found yourself truly amazed by the wonder of the butterflies living in CBG’s Costa Rica Biome? In this virtual program, take a sneak peak into the behind the scenes work that goes into caring for these magnificent creatures. Learn about where the butterflies come from and how they get to the Botanical Gardens, the care that goes into receiving, raising, and releasing them, and the many missteps that can happen along the way, as well as the USDA regulations that come with live animal care in a public institution. 

Introduction to Vegetable Gardening

Monday, March 15 | 6:30-7:30 PM

Instructors: Nick Santiago and Jessica Burns, Gardeners with Holden Forests & Gardens

Live, virtual program 

$10 per member, $25 per nonmember 

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your summer vegetable garden. This class will assist gardeners of all levels in feeling more confident in planning their ideal vegetable garden for maximum harvest. Participants will learn about where and when to plant seeds, the most ideal vegetables to grow in Northeast Ohio’s climate and how to create optimal growing conditions for them, tips and tricks on how to control pests, harvesting your crops, and seed saving for next season. Feel free to bring questions about your own vegetable garden for the Q&A session.

Pot-et-Fleur:  Rediscover the Lost Victorian Art of Creating Sustainable Flower Arrangements 

Saturday, March 27 | 10-11:30AM

Instructor: Lorinda Loughlin, Gardener 

Live, in-person program 

$45 per member, $60 per nonmember 

Join in on the modern revival of Pot-et-Fleur, a Victorian art that combines cut flowers, foliage and houseplants to create versatile arrangements of ever-changing seasonal color and interest against an ongoing background of live plants. 

Guests will learn a myriad of creative options to inspire designs using their houseplants and garden cuttings in fresh new ways and will leave the class with their own “make & take” Pot-et Fleur arrangement. Plants, flowers, container and mechanics are provided. Bring floral scissors or pruners. Masks and social distancing required. 

Spring Break in Costa Rica

Saturday, April 10 | 1:00- 3:00 p.m.

Instructor: Linda Kolton

Live, virtual program 

$35 per member, $50 per nonmember 

Eating is a way to travel the world: By exploring new cultures and food you can expand your horizons without leaving home. Join Chef Linda for a culinary journey to beautiful Costa Rica,  where a wholesome, simple diet is at the heart of the culture. One region of Costa Rica, the Nicoya Peninsula, is home to one of the original “Blue Zones”, where people enjoy the longest and healthiest lives, in part, by eating a plant-forward diet. In this class, you’ll have an opportunity to cook along with Chef Linda & learn how to make plant-based versions of some of the country’s most popular dishes; Costa Rican Casado; a hearty, flavorful midday meal & tres leches cake, which Travel publisher, National Geographic, has called the national dessert of Costa Rica! Recipes and shopping lists will be emailed one week prior to the class. Registration closes on Friday, March 26. 

A Conifer Conversation–New HF&G Virtual Video Series

Part I: An Introduction to The Holden Arboretum’s Conifer Collection 

Pre-recorded video- approximately 12 minutes in length

Instructors: Ethan Johnson, Plant Recorder Curator & former Central Regional Director, President of the Central Region and President of the American Conifer Society & Margeaux Apple, Plant Recorder 

Free for members and nonmembers 

The winter months are the perfect time to ignite an interest in conifers for Northeastern Ohio landscapes. This introductory video featuring Plant Records Curator and former American Conifer Society Central Region Director, Ethan Johnson and Plant Recorder Margeaux Apple will provide the introductory context for a new series featuring a variety of topics covering the broad diversity of conifers featured on HF&G campuses. 

 This pre-recorded tour takes an in-depth looked at Holden Arboretum’s treasured Conifer Collection. Participants will learn what a conifer is, what characteristics define them, and where the Conifer Collection at Holden is. Johnson and Apple will highlight six species of conifers that are common landscape plants in Northeast Ohio, giving you tips for identification and facts about each plant that ​are sure to ignite your appreciation and affinity for conifers.

 Upcoming topics in this series include: 

  •  Dwarf cultivars and witches’ brooms  
  • Native Ohio Conifers in the Myrtle S. Holden Wildflower Garden & beyond
  • Cypress Family by Bole Woods – Cupressaceae
  • Conifers in the Core: exploring Michigan Hill, Squirrel Ridge, Spruce Knoll, & Ponderosa Pines
  • Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
  • and more added in the months to come.