Adkins Arboretum Programs and Events—May 2009

Columbia, MD, fine art photographer and mixed-media artist Denée Barr will exhibit new works through May 29. Barr’s work features Adkins Arboretum, as trees are an inspiration for her work. Call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail for information. 

Saturdays, May 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 at 11 a.m. Enjoy the beauty of the forest in spring on a guided walk led by an Arboretum docent naturalist. Guided walks are free for members and are included with admission for the general public. All tours start at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center and last approximately one hour. For more information, call 410-634-2847 ext. 0 or e-mail

Wednesday, May 6, 9 a.m.–noon
Fee: $15 members, $18 general public. Pre-registration is required.
Join teaching artist and naturalist Maureen Mikolajczak and build your own journal. Using nature as our inspiration, we will experiment with papermaking from natural materials and create our own handmade journals. Bring dried flowers or any plant material you may wish to include in your own distinctive journal cover. A variety of artistic materials will be provided. We also will wander the Arboretum paths to enjoy the spring ephemerals and write about our experience. Call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail to register. 

Wednesday, May 6, 1–2:30 p.m.
Join Land Stewardship Coordinator Sue Wyndham and Gardener Buck Schuyler on a stroll around the Arboretum’s Spring Native Plant Sale area. See what new plants are offered and learn about perennial favorites. Plants won’t be for sale until Saturday, May 9, but this is a great opportunity to ask questions and plan your garden. Call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail for information. 

Saturday, May 9, 9 a.m.–1 p.m.
Shop for the region’s largest selection of native flowering trees and shrubs, perennials, ferns, and grasses for spring planting. Members receive a 10% discount on plants. Call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail for information.

Saturdays, May 16 and 23, 8–9 a.m.
Fee: $75 members, $95 general public. Pre-registration is required.
Learn to hone your photography skills while capturing images of the Arboretum’s natural world. Participants will learn techniques for capturing striking images of flowers, animals, and landscapes, as well as compositional elements and strategies for obtaining the best images possible. The May 16 program will feature an orientation and an outdoor shooting session. The May 23 program will include an outdoor shooting session, photo critique, and an introduction to photo editing software. 

Instructor Joshua Taylor Jr. has presented photography workshops at the Smithsonian National Orchid Show, the U.S. National Arboretum, the U.S. Botanic Garden, as well as for public gardens, preserves, and horticultural societies across the region. In addition to teaching in the Smithsonian Studio Arts Program and at the Corcoran School of Art and Design, he exhibits his work regularly and speaks at camera and garden clubs. He is a member of the North American Nature Photography Association, Garden Writers Association, National Association of Photoshop Professionals, Fujifilm Talent Team, a member and past president of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society. He was voted best garden club speaker in 2005. Call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail to register. 

Wednesday, May 20, 3 p.m.
Fee: $10 members, $15 general public. Pre-registration is required. 
What makes a garden “authentic”? This question can be vexing for American gardeners. Because America is a fairly young nation that has not yet defined its own garden style, gardeners often turn to the styles of other nations for inspiration. The result of this stylistic borrowing is gardens that bear little relationship to local landscapes and history and that hold little connection with our daily lives. 

Claire Sawyers shows how to reverse this tendency—how to create gardens that are rooted in their surroundings and satisfying to the gardeners who tend them. Drawing on her knowledge of a wide array of American and foreign gardens, she will identify the five principles that help instill a sense of authenticity and make a garden that is true to a specific time, place, and culture, and that captures and reflects an authentic spirit so that the garden, in turn, nurtures the spirit of those who cherish and dwell in it. 

Sawyers has been director of the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College since 1990. She holds master’s degrees from both Purdue University and the University of Delaware, where she was a Longwood Fellow. She is an avid lecturer and has spoken at Arnold Arboretum, New York Botanical Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Morris Arboretum, University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and many others. Cal 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail to register. 

Soup ’n Walk: Nature, Nurture, and Nutrition
Saturday, May 30
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Fee: $18 members, $20 general public
Discover woodland wildflowers growing on creek banks and the beauty of the Arboretum’s bottomland forest. Look for the pink and white flowers of mountain laurel and azalea, pink lady’s slipper, may apple, and fringe, tulip, and black cherry trees. Following a guided walk with a docent naturalist, enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch followed by a brief talk about the meal’s nutritional value. Copies of recipes are provided. Pre-registration is required; call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail to register.