Adkins Arboretum Announces Fall Education Programs for Adults

Adkins Arboretum is offering a full slate of programs for fall, including ecology, art and writing programs. Offerings include:

Nature as Muse
Wed., Sept. 7, Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Dec. 7, 10 a.m.–noon
Free with admission
Each month this writing group will follow a different winding path through the Arboretum to quietly observe nature in detail. This will provide inspiration for expressing ideas that begin as seeds in our minds and then blossom into discovery as we write. No previous writing experience necessary. Registration required.

Migration Bird Walk
Saturdays, Sept. 3 and 10, 7:30–9 a.m.
Free with admission
Join avid birders Karen Harris and Danny Poet, each with more than 25 years of birding experience and members of Talbot County and Caroline County bird clubs, on a guided walk of the Arboretum. Scout out the fall warblers; Chestnut-sided, Tennessee and Blue Wing on their way to South and Central America. Registration required.

Yoga and Sculpture Walk
Tues., Sept. 13, 10 a.m.–noon
No charge; free-will donation encouraged
Join Centreville’s Every Body Yoga instructor Phyllis Johnston and artists Howard and Mary McCoy for a yoga meditation tour of Second Sitings, the McCoys’ outdoor sculpture exhibit. Johnston will lead participants in a walking meditation, pausing at each of the site-specific sculptures to learn about the sculptures and enjoy a gentle yoga pose. Registration required.

Eating Seasonally
Wed., Sept. 14, 1–2:30 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Learning to eat in rhythm with the seasons will attune you to your body’s special needs. Join writer and educator Elizabeth Beggins to explore where to shop, what to buy, the distinctions between confusing terms like natural and organic, and ideas for simple ways to preserve summer’s harvests. With over a decade of experience as a market gardener on the Eastern Shore, Beggins also manages The You Food Project, a grassroots initiative designed to connect youth to food and the environment through school gardens. Registration required.

Chanticleer Garden bus trip
Thurs., Sept. 22, 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Fee: $95 members, $120 general public
Truly one of the world’s most creative gardens, Chanticleer is located just outside Philadelphia in Wayne, Pennsylvania. Originally the estate was known for its majestic trees and verdant lawns. Today the trees and lawns remain, but the focus is on plant combinations, containers, textures and colors, often relying on foliage more than flowers to highlight the uniqueness and personal nature of the garden. A vegetable garden complements a cut-flower garden, while a woodland garden full of rarities leads to a water garden surrounded by exuberant perennials. Fee includes bus transportation, admission, garden guided tour, and a buffet lunch at Terrain Garden Center and Cafe. Registration required.

Exploring Nature and Five Movements of Life through Writing, Reflection, and Community Mon., Sept. 26, 1–3:30 p.m.
Fee: $25 members, $30 general public
Many cultures look to nature as teacher, and we too might use nature’s lessons to encourage our own growth and connectedness to life around us. By exploring five elements honored in traditional Chinese wisdom, we can be part of the graceful flow of seasons. Celebrate late summer as a time to reflect on the joys of summer’s passing and renew our appreciation for the abundance of earth and its fullness. Instructor Katherine Johnson is a life coach and teacher of creative practices as SoulCollage®, writing, meditation and personal growth. Registration required.

Gardening in the Woods Series
Thursdays, Sept. 29, Oct. 6, Oct. 13, 1–3 p.m.
Fee: $15 members each program or $35 for all three, $20 general public each program or $45 for all three
Join ecologist Dr. Sylvan Kaufman for this three-part series on woodland gardens. Learning about the ecology of forests provides deeper understanding of gardens that mimic the structure and function of the forest. This series is also suitable for homeowners on wooded lots who want to learn more about their forest. Programs include Forest Ecology for Gardeners, Describe Your Forest, and Woodland Native Plants. Registration required.

Herpetology Walk—Amphibians and Reptiles
Sun., Oct. 2, 1–2:30 p.m.
Free with admission
Join Scott Smith to learn about the frogs, turtles, snakes and salamanders that inhabit the Arboretum wetlands and forest. Smith is the Maryland DNR – Natural Heritage Program Wildlife Diversity Ecologist and Amphibian and Reptile Atlas project coordinator for Talbot and Caroline counties. Registration required.

Adventures in Plant Propagation
Wed., Oct. 5, 10 a.m.–noon
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
All gardeners have plants we’d like a few more of—or lust after that special something in a friend’s garden. Join Barbara W. Ellis to learn a variety of plant propagation techniques that make sharing plants easy. Participants will learn easy techniques for starting seed indoors, seed collection and labeling, taking and rooting cuttings, and much more. Registration required.

Mammals of the Arboretum Walk
Fri., Oct. 21, 10–11:30 a.m.
Free with admission
Join Pete Jayne on a wildlife-oriented walk along the Arboretum paths with a focus on the region’s mammals. While it is typically difficult to see mammals during daylight hours, they often leave signs of their presence that help in identifying what species was there and perhaps what it was up to. Jayne is the Maryland DNR, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Associate Director for Game Management. Registration required.

Mushrooms and More
Fri. and Sat., Oct. 21 and 22, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Fee: $125 members, $155 general public
Mushrooms and fungi fill the forest floor in fall. These non-flowering plant forms are fascinating and diverse additions to the woodland ecology. Bill Trakat, docent naturalist and mushroom expert, will begin the workshop with an informational program and Arboretum tour to introduce these native plant forms. The remainder of the class will be devoted to documenting individual specimens in watercolor with artist Lee D’Zmura. Some watercolor experience is recommended; a materials list will be provided. Bring a sack lunch. Registration required.

Sun., Oct. 23, 1–2:30 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
This hands-on workshop will immerse participants in the exciting, sustainable, and nutritious world of foraging for wild plants with Bill Schindler, Ph.D., professor of anthropology and archaeology at Washington College. Participants will be taken into the field to learn how to indentify, harvest, and prepare many of fall’s wild edibles. It doesn’t get more local or organic than this! Registration required.

Cylburn Arboretum and Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory
Wed., Oct. 26, 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Fee: $85 members, $105 general public

Cylburn Arboretum is a 200-acre public garden and nature preserve located in Baltimore City. Wander through three miles of spectacular trails that wind through a mature piedmont forest. Enjoy award-winning gardens, including roses, daylilies, dahlias and annuals. Following the walk, a lunch of soup and salad prepared by Atwater’s will be served in the Cylburn mansion. After lunch, the group will travel to Druid Hill Park in Baltimore for a guided tour of the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory. The Conservatory features year-round displays of plant material in five distinct areas of the facility. Fee includes bus transportation, Soup n’ Walk lunch by Atwater’s at Cylburn Arboretum, and guided tour of the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory in Druid Hill Park. Registration required.

Macro and Close-up Photography
Sat., Oct. 29, 8 a.m.–noon
Fee: $35 members, $45 general public
Discover and photograph close-ups of fall colors, textures, and patterns. Learn and apply close-up techniques for creating striking images while shooting with instructor Josh Taylor. The workshop will focus on composition, close-up techniques and lighting. The workshop includes a classroom session, an illustrated handout and shooting sessions with the instructor, and will also introduce and cover some Photoshop/Photoshop Elements techniques for image enhancement, such as focus stacking, exposure blending, etc. Registration required.

A Tree Grows Quickly in the Forest: Climate Change and Accelerated Tree Growth
Wed., Nov. 2, 1–2:30 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
There is evidence that trees in the Eastern United States are growing faster than they have in the past 225 years. Small changes in their growth rate can have significant effects on weather patterns, biodiversity and climate change. Geoffrey Parker, senior scientist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, has tracked the growth of 55 stands of mixed hardwood forest plots in Maryland for more than 20 years. Dr. Parker will discuss this research, why it might be happening, and the possible ramifications of increased forest growth. Registration required.

Autumn Color in the Forest
Fri., Nov. 4, 1–3 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Have you ever wondered about the brilliant reds and golden yellows that show up in the woods in late October and early November? Both leaves and berries turn many shades of color. Learn how this happens and why these colors may have evolved, and explore the marvels of leaf and fruit color chemistry with docent naturalist and nutrition scientist Dr. Julianna Pax. This afternoon talk will include an indoor presentation and an outdoor walk in the woods to identify colorful autumn players. Many of these eye-catching shrub and tree species can be planted in your own landscape. Registration required.

Plein Air Painting at the Arboretum
Sat., Nov. 5, 1–3:30 p.m.
Fee: $25 members, $30 general public
Learn how to capture the beauty of nature’s changing fall colors on canvas under the guidance of artist and art educator Dawn Malosh. Participants will learn about composition, color, basic acrylic painting techniques and the joy of “plein air” painting while composing their own original rendition of the Arboretum in its fall splendor. Malosh is a teaching artist through her Outside Art programs and creates a variety of nature-inspired artworks in her Sherwood art studio. Registration required.
Sumi-e Painting
Sat., Nov. 19, 1–3 p.m.
Fee: $20 members, $25 general public
Learn how to meditate and relax while painting the “chi” of nature. This class will teach the traditional meditative eastern approach and style to nature and nature painting. Participants will learn about traditional eastern painting media, such as the bamboo brush, sumi-e ink, rice paper and suzuri inkwell. There will be plentiful opportunities to connect to the spirit of nature while creating beautiful monochromatic nature scenes and landscapes inspired by nature. Registration required.

Creating a Holiday Wildlife Tree
Sat., Dec. 3, 10–11:30 a.m.
Fee: $12/adult, $20/family for members; $15/adult, $25/family for general public
This program will be held at the Arboretum Nursery.
Join Children’s Program Coordinator Jenny Houghton in making natural ornaments designed to welcome wildlife. Raisin icicles, birdseed baskets, cranberry wreaths, suet pinecones and more will make your outdoor tree festive and inviting to hungry creatures. All materials are provided; participants will create a variety of ornaments to take home. The workshop will close with hot chocolate and a holiday reading. Registration required.

Holiday Decorating Workshop
Sat., Dec. 3, 10 a.m.–noon
Fee: $35 members, $45 general public
Create beautiful natural decorations for the holidays at this workshop led by Nancy Beatty, Arboretum docent and garden designer. Participants will make an elegant table centerpiece from fresh greens of cedar, pine, boxwood and other natural materials and create an indoor wreath of dried statice and nature’s ornaments. Also learn how to dress up your window boxes for creative outdoor displays. All supplies will be provided, but if you have a special container in mind for the table centerpiece, please bring it. Bring a sturdy box or basket to carry home your creations. Registration required.

Sat., Dec. 3, 1–4 p.m.
Fee: $35 members, $45 general public
This program will be held in the Greenhouse at the Nursery complex.
Create your own Adkins Arboretum signature swag, just like those that decorate the Arboretum’s entrance bridge each winter. Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Kathy Carmean and Arboretum volunteers will guide you through the construction and design process. All necessary natural greens, materials and tools will be provided, but feel free to bring any additional ornamentation that you may like to include on your own creation. Registration required.

Basketry: Free-form Basket
Thurs., Dec. 8, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Fee: $45 members, $55 general public
Bring a lunch, basin or small tub, clippers, awl and jackknife, and join the fun. Make a free-form rimmed basket with wild jasmine vine and natural and dyed rattan using traditional melon basket technique. Instructor Lee Zimmerman Nelson has exhibited her award-winning basketry for more than 30 years, nationally and abroad, and teaches regularly at Arrowmont (Tennessee) and the John C. Campbell Folk School (North Carolina), as well as in Maryland and Virginia. She integrates her knowledge of the craft and love of teaching in a relaxed and informative manner. Materials will be provided. Bring a sack lunch. Registration required.


First Saturdays, September 3, October 1, November 5, December 3, 10 a.m.
Free with admission
Explore the Arboretum’s diverse plant communities on a guided walk led by an Arboretum docent naturalist. Explore the bottomland forest and upland paths, meander through majestic beech trees, traverse the native meadows and follow the narrow Tuckahoe Creekside path to glimpse creek waters and wildflowers. Guided walks are free for members and free with admission for the general public. Tours begin at the Visitor’s Center and last approximately one hour.

To schedule a guided walk for more than 10 participants, contact Adult Program Coordinator Ginna Tiernan at or 410-634-2847, ext. 27.

Second Saturday Walk
Sat., September 10 and October 8, 1–2:30 p.m.
Free with admission
Come on a unique journey toward understanding native plants and how they can become a greater part of your home garden. Horticulturalist Eric Wittman will lead a walk about gardening with ornamental native plants. Wittman is co-owner of Terra Firma Plantcare, where he is responsible for ornamental IPM, invasive plant management and specialty maintenance programs. A tireless and passionate spokesman for ornamental native plants, he shares a wealth of knowledge and experience during these entertaining Arboretum walks. Registration required.

Fall Soup ’n Walks
Nature, Nurture, and Nutrition
Sat., Sept. 10, Oct. 15, and Nov. 12, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Fee: $20 members, $25 general public
Track the changing landscape from summer to fall. Following a guided walk with a docent naturalist, enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch along with a brief lesson about the meal’s nutritional value. Copies of recipes are provided.

September 10—See the Sunny Meadows with the Golden Brown Grasses and Many Yellow and Purple Flowers
Plants of interest: Milkweed, black-eyed Susan, goldenrod, Maryland golden aster, purple love grass, pearly everlasting, Indian grass, big bluestem. Registration required.

Sweet potato leek soup
Quinoa, green bean, and tomato salad
Wheat bread with seeds and hummus spread
Oat berry scones

October 15—Check out the Meadow for Later Grasses and Some Mushrooms/Watch for Early Fall Color Along the Edges of the Meadow
Plants of interest: Indian grass, big bluestem, little bluestem, goldenrod, milkweed pods, mushrooms, red and orange sweet gum, sassafras, sumac, tupelo, and dogwood leaves. Registration required.

Spicy black bean and potato stew
Pear, orange, and pine nut salad
Best bran muffins
Apple pie with crumb topping

November 12—Search for the Yellow Fall Colors that Dazzle our Eyes and Nuts and Berries to Feed the Wildlife
Plants of interest: dogwood, holly, sumac, hearts a bursting, devil’s walking stick, and jack-in-the-pulpit berries; hickory and beech nuts and oak acorns; yellow tulip tree, paw paw, and hickory leaves. Registration required.

Roast turkey vegetable soup
Apple date salad
Rye walnut bread with orange ricotta
Chocolate snack bars with cocoa sauce

Registration is required for all programs. Register at or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

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.

In photo: Washington College professor Bill Schindler will lead a program on foraging this fall at Adkins Arboretum. The Arboretum has announced a broad array of programs for adults, focusing on ecology, art, wildlife and writing. Photo courtesy of Mike Hardesty, Washington College.