Olbrich Home Donate Today to Keep the Gardens Growing!

 

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.

more


 

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 January - May 2023 arrow (PDF)

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


Youth & Family Programs

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.

GARDEN NATURALIST SUMMER CAMP

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER For Week 1: June 12-16

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER For Week 2: June 20-23

 

Anyone can be a garden naturalist! In this brand new camp, young naturalists will explore the diverse animal and plant life at Olbrich and how it connects to their own lives through observation and reflection. Campers will plant and tend to seeds in the Children’s Kitchen Garden, create unique art, and record their discoveries and questions in journals to bring home. Join us for a week full of fun including (but certainly not limited to!) nature observations, art, and scientific journaling as we connect to the natural world. The day camp program is available for children ages 7 to 12 years (youth entering grades 2-7 during the fall 2023). Campers must bring a lunch and water bottle; a snack is provided in the afternoon.

Contact Sarah Ellis at sbellis@cityofmadison.com or 608-245-5791 for more information.

Adult Classes & Workshops

FEBRUARY

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

American Roots: Author Talk with Nick & Allison Mccullough

Join us for a unique opportunity to meet and hear from authors Nick and Allison McCullough at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Take a journey across the US and get a closer look at gardens that designer Nick McCullough captured on his quest to celebrate the American garden in his new book AMERICAN ROOTS (Timber Press).

Instructor: Nick and Allison McCullough

moreMonday, February 13, 5-8:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 13

$46 / $38 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

MARCH

(Virtual) Plant Layering Options for More Color, Diversity & Habitat

A new growing season is here! Learn from Michele Chalice about how to enhance the landscape you already have. Identify your yard's gaps and see native plant options for a variety of seasonal colors and wildlife benefits. These choices can increase the diversity of your landscape and create more healthy habitats for all!

Instructor: Michele Chalice, Healthy Home Habitats

moreWednesday, March 1, 12-1 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 22

$12 / $10 member

Starting Seeds for a Beautiful Yard

Learn how to start seeds and create a beautiful flower border for your yard in this hands-on class. We will focus on plants that attract pollinators, butterflies, hummingbirds, and spectacular moths. With conservation in mind, we will also discuss some clever techniques and ideas to help enhance any spot in your yard. Each participant will take home three windowsill flats with a mix of annual and perennial seeds. This is a great class for beginner gardeners.

Instructor: Dan Unruh, Enthusiastic Gardenerer

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

Registration Deadline: February 23

$45 / $36 member

Back to Knitting Basics (6-week series)

Looking to get your knitting groove back? Join us for a reminder of how to knit, purl, cast on, and bind off. We will cover basic knitting terms, pattern reading basics, yarn weights and sizes, and knitting tools. You'll leave inspired to tackle new skill-building projects.

Instructor: Mary Jo Harris, Harris Caning and Knitting

moreThursdays, March 2 - April 6, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 23

$115 per person

Spring into the Magic of Watercolor

This Sunday afternoon workshop will guide you to complete a watercolor painting of springtime flowers in a glass jar. This workshop is great for beginners, but those experienced with watercolor will be sure to learn new techniques. You will leave with a finished 8x10 painting ready to frame and welcome spring! All supplies provided.

Instructor: Joyce Folgert, Artist

moreSunday, March 5, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 23

$85 per person

(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, March 6 - April 10, 6-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 27

$60 per person

(Virtual) Recycling Garden Debris: Functional and Funky Ways to Conserve Organic Matter for a Healthier Garden

Recycling your own garden debris - fallen leaves, logs and branches, and overwintered perennial clippings - is foundational to nurturing a healthy garden ecosystem. Keeping organic matter onsite fosters the development of fungal and invertebrate communities, builds soil, creates habitat for birds and insects, and saves labor and resources involved with material hauling. Just in time to plan for your spring garden cleanup, join us to learn easy and attractive ways to save and re-incorporate your garden's precious organic matter!

Instructor: Erin Presley, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreTuesday, March 7, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 28

$22 / $18 member

(Virtual) Repurpose a Garment with Stitches (4-week series)

Using stitches employed in Indian kantha and Japanese Boro stitching, we will completely refurbish a garment giving it a fresh, new look while meditating our way through stitches. This practice embraces a slow-making process, the love for gently worn, and repurposed materials. Ideal garments would be a nicely worn pair of jeans or jean jacket, a linen jacket, or vest. All levels are welcome.

Instructor: Patrizia Ferreira, Textile Artist

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

Registration Deadline: February 28

$95 per person

(virtual) Not Your Mother's Garden

Join Deborah Chud as she takes viewers on a photo tour of her own highly unusual, Oudolf-style garden and describe the design principles underlying it. Many of the plants are unfamiliar—even to experienced and knowledgeable gardeners. These "New Perennials" were all taken from Piet Oudolf's canon of plants, and they exhibit the qualities valued by Oudolf and his fellow New Perennialists. What's new about New Perennials and what can they do for you? Walk through Deborah's garden with her to find out.

Instructor: Deborah Chud

moreWednesday, March 8, 12-1 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 1

$12 / $10 member

Reading Group: Endless Forms: The Secret World of Wasps

With wit and intellect, Seirian Sumner redirects public fascination away from bees, beetles and butterflies towards the much-maligned wasp as she exposes their critical role as predators and pollinators in maintaining the fragile ecological balance of the natural world around us.

moreWednesday, March 8, 6:30-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 6

FREE

Gardener's Bootcamp

Thinking about gardening and not sure where to start? You're not alone! Whether you have gardened for years or never picked up a trowel, this class will benefit you and your landscape. Your instructors will share years of horticulture experience with you as they touch on basic plant biology, demystify fertilizing, share current gardening trends, and tips for purchasing plants. Together we will discuss common mistakes, Olbrich tricks, and must-have garden tools (hint... there's not many!).

Instructor: Samara Eisner and Sam Malone, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreWednesday, March 8, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 1

$35 / $28 member

Hands-on Hydrangea Pruning

Work side-by-side with Olbrich Horticulturist Dan Schuknecht to learn how to prune Hydrangeas using Olbrich's collection. We will discuss and demonstrate general pruning principles applicable to woody plants, and then you will have the opportunity to hone your skills during this hands-on workshop. Pruning tools provided. Bring gardening gloves, wear closed-toe shoes, and dress for the weather.

Instructor: Dan Schuknecht, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreSunday, March 12, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 2

$38 / $30 member

Napkin Blockprinting with a Press

Interested in exploring the linocut process and learning to print with a printing press? This class will cover the linocut process from start to finish: planning, carving, and printing your block on a small printing press. Students will be provided all materials including linoleum, linoleum cutters, cotton napkins, and ink, and will leave the class with a set of 6 napkins.

Instructor: Laurie Hunt, Artist

moreSunday, March 12, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 2

$75 per person

Backyard Birds through the Eyes of an Artist

Explore fascinating facts that a well-known local artist has learned in the process of creating stylized drawings of native Midwestern birds. You will be encouraged to see the birds in your backyard through new eyes and impress your friends with little-known aspects of bird biology. We will discuss relationships between birds and native plants, and gather tips to transform your yard into bird-supporting habitat.

Instructor: Kim Russell, Wisconsin artist

moreTuesday, March 14, 5:30-6:45 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 7

$12 / $10 member

Herbs and Fermentation for Digestive Health

Incorporating herbs and fermented food or beverages into daily life is a great way to support your body. Learn about a series of principles that make it easy to incorporate herbs and fermented food into daily life. After the presentation, we will sample several foods and remedies that help support digestive wellness, and everyone will make a digestive tonic to take home.

Instructor: Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs

moreWednesday, March 15, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 8

$63 / $50 member

(Virtual) 10 Steps to Planning a Smart Garden

The most successful gardeners take some time before the season begins to devise a simple and smart plan for the year. This class will guide you through creating a garden plan that lays the groundwork for a beautiful garden that yields lots of food for the least amount of time and money invested. This class keeps garden planning down-to-earth, practical, and fun!

Instructor: Megan Cain, The Creative Vegetable Gardener

moreThursday, March 16, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 9

$35 / $28 member

Floral Doodles with Alcohol Ink

Doodling is fun and relaxing! In this workshop you will create two 5x7 pieces, matted to 8x10, that can be displayed as a set, or separately. Guides are provided for you to trace onto translucent matte film with a POSCA acrylic paint pen. You will add vibrant alcohol inks to bring your florals to life. Ages 14+ welcome. All supplies are provided. Printed guides and POSCA pen is yours to take home!

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSaturday, March 18, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 9

$100 / $80 member

Bitter Herbs for Better Digestion & Beyond

Learn how to promote overall health and wellbeing with bitter herbs and foods. Join us to explore ways to promote digestive health, the history of bitters, and fun ways to incorporate them into your life. You will get to make, and take home, your own bitter tincture.

Instructor: Jennifer Helmer, Eureka Astrology and Healing

moreSunday, March 19, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 9

$42 per person

(Virtual) 5 Steps to Simple, Sustainable Home Landscaping

Discover five steps to improve your home landscape's environmental impact and increase your soil's fertility. Michele Chalice will share strategies to reduce the use of costly resources such as water, fertilizers, and pesticides, saving time and money. Learn how to increase the health of your landscape, your family, and our community.

Instructor: Michele Chalice, Healthy Home Habitats

moreWednesday, March 22, 12-1 p.m.

Registration Deadline: February 15

$12 / $10 member

Birdscaping: Attracting Birds in all Seasons

Habitat loss is the greatest cause of decline in populations of native birds. Replicating natural habitats in our home gardens can make meaningful impacts as they create sanctuaries for native birds. Join us to learn about plant selection, garden design, and landscape management techniques to turn your yard into a bird sanctuary.

Instructor: Zannah Crowe, Heyden's Gardens

moreWednesday, March 22, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 15

$24 / $19 member

Alcohol Ink Easter Eggs

Create a dozen colorful eggs for Easter using alcohol inks. We will apply the ink to white plastic eggs that can be used year after year. No experience is necessary. Ages 14+. All supplies are provided, including an egg carton to transport your eggs home safely.

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSaturday, March 25, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 16

$100 / $80 member

Beaded Gourd Bowl or Vase

Create your own unique gourd bowl or vase using a methodical beading technique that generates beautiful outcomes! You will learn how make a pattern around the upper rim of a prepared gourd using various colors of 6mm beads. There will be two patterns available to guide you. All supplies are provided.

Instructor: Debra Ready, Adorned Gourds

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

Registration Deadline: March 16

$72 / $58 member

(Virtual) Beyond the Herb Rack: Using Herbs Creatively in the Vegetable Garden

There are few greater delights than grabbing a handful of fresh herbs to complete your evening meal. Creatively incorporating herbs into your garden design can help elevate your garden from ordinary to extraordinary. Your instructor will share the simple step by step process of building an herb spiral to add structure and interest to your garden, how to artistically mix herbs into your plantings, unique and colorful varieties to grow, and super easy ways to preserve herbs for off season use.

Instructor: Megan Cain, The Creative Vegetable Gardener

moreThursday, March 30, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 23

$35 / $28 member

(Virtual) Native Plants for Small Gardens

Explore a curated list of native plants that can enliven the home garden without growing out of bounds. We will examine plants for all types of sites from shady to sunny; wet to dry. Discover how to layer in natives to attract pollinators and birds, plus give you seasons of color and pleasure.

Instructor: Heather Prince, Fearless Gardening

moreFriday, March 31, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 23

$24 / $19 member

APRIL

Watercolor with Helen Klebesadel: A Fresh Start

This is an introductory two-day watercolor workshop designed for absolute beginners and for those who have some experience painting with watercolor but seek a refresher to start painting again. Learn or re-learn basics of watercolor including experimental wet-into-wet techniques that give you enough understanding of the medium to enjoy painting watercolors on your own. This workshop does not require drawing skills.

Instructor: Helen Klebesadel, Helen Klebesadel Art

moreSaturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2, 10:30-4:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 23

$145 per person

Mushrooms for Food and Medicine

"Whether you grow, forage, or purchase mushrooms, it is easy to bring them into your kitchen and medicine chest. Join us to learn how to prepare mushrooms for optimal benefit. We will discuss the healing qualities of specific mushrooms, tips on foraging, and where to source them. Everyone will make a mushroom tonic to take home.

Instructor: Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs

moreSaturday, April 1, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 23

$70 / $56 member

Abstract Florals with Alcohol Ink

Learn how to create three different abstract florals using alcohol inks. Various techniques to guide and mix the inks will be shared. All three paintings will be matted to 8x10" so you will leave with three works of art ready for framing. Great for beginners, but those experienced with alcohol inks will be sure to pick up new tips and techniques. All supplies are provided.

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSunday, April 2, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 23

$100 / $80 member

Seasonal Yoga Flow (5-week series)

Join us for fun and dynamic yoga classes that reflect on the seasons. As we check in with our bodies we will discover what we can learn from the natural world surrounding us and internalize these connections through a physical asana practice. We will follow a vinyasa flow class structure with room to include restorative postures and yin practices.

Instructor: Jessica Zuniga, Yoga Instructor

moreTuesdays, April 4-May 2, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 28

$75 / $60 member

(Virtual) Rejuvenate Yourself With Spring Tonics

Spring is the season when old energies are cleared away and bodies renew themselves. Traditional herbal spring tonics, easily grown in your yard, can help you do this safely, gently, and effectively. Join us in this virtual lecture to learn the modern uses of these wonderful herbs for improved metabolism, stable moods, and clear skin.

Instructor: Kathleen Wildwood, Wildwood Institute

moreTuesday, April 4, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: March 28

$18 / $14 member

Spring into Gardening - Get Ready for the Season!

Motivate yourself for the growing season through this lively spring garden walk! For beginners, we will discuss the basics of spring pruning, perennial clean-up and soil division, soil prep, and mulching. Experienced gardeners can expect some handy tips to save time and effort, as well as tips to protect the health and diversity of pollinators and other friendly organisms living in your garden.

Instructor: Samara Eisner and Erin Presley, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreWednesday, April 12, 5:30-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 5

$28 / $22 member

Chair Yoga (4-week series)

Chair yoga allows you to be guided through stretches and traditional yoga poses while seated and standing, using a chair as a home base. The chair serves as support to your foundation and allows 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, April 13-May 4, 10:30-11:15 a.m.

Registration Deadline: April 6

$60 / $48 member

(Virtual) Woody Plants for Butterflies

Did you know an oak tree is the larval host for more than 500 species of butterflies and moths? Discover additional trees, evergreens, shrubs, and vines that are home to a wide array of Lepidoptera. This information-packed session will explore the host plants and life cycles of common favorites and rare beauties.

Instructor: Heather Prince, Fearless Gardening

moreFriday, April 14, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 6

$24 / $19 member

Mixed Media Bouquet

Explore several options to compose your own 9x12" bouquet with printed collage paper, alcohol ink, and acrylic paint. Your final piece will be matted to 11x14", ready for framing. All supplies are provided.

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSaturday, April 15, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 6

$100 / $80 member

Mystical Herbs for Prosperity and Vitality

Mugwort, Wood Betony, Blue Vervain, and Yarrow are a few of the many herbs used throughout history for healing and divination. Join local herbalist and astrologer Jennifer Helmer as she discusses the history, lore, and medicinal uses of local and nonnative herbs. Explore these herbs with your senses as you make your own herb sachet to take home.

Instructor: Jennifer Helmer, Eureka Astrology and Healing

moreSunday, April 16, 1-2:45 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 6

$30 per person

Writing Your Life (6-week series)

We all have stories to tell, stories about our life experiences, stories about our friends or stories about our families. Our stories define us. Through the Greater Madison Writing Project's "Writing Your Life" workshop series, we will help you find the stories you want to tell and give you strategies to help you craft them into stories you will want to share. Join us to learn how to incorporate different writing strategies like descriptive writing, sense of place, capturing someone's unique character and personality, using dialogue in meaningful ways, exploring story arcs, developing focus and flow and finding the best beginnings and meaningful endings to the stories.

Instructor: Mark Nepper, Greater Madison Writing Project

moreMondays, April 17-May 22, 1-2:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 10

$75 / $60 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, April 17-May 22, 6-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 10

$60 per person

Nature's Heart Glass Art

Create unique glass art and bring the garden inside to enjoy year round. Using a 6x6" heart as a base, learn how to create a flower or garden image by placing small glass embellishments. You will have a big selection of materials to use in creating your design so it reflects your individual style. Your final design will be fired in a kiln and available for pick up at Olbrich. Class fee includes heart shape, embellishments, and kiln firing. Larger precuts will be available for purchase. Please bring glasses and do not wear shorts or open-toed shoes.

Instructor: Judy Shumway, Glass Garden LLC

moreTuesday, April 18, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 11

$98 / $80 member

Creating the Urban Pollinator Garden

Pollinator gardens can thrive in urban areas in many different ways. Join us to explore how both native and non-native plants meet pollinator needs. Learn sources for the plants you can use to create rich gardens in your own urban space. Your new understanding of how pollinators and plants work together will guide your plant selection, leading to your personal urban pollinator refuge.

Instructor: Ann Pedder Reilly, Naturalist Educator

moreSunday, April 23, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 13

$30 / $24 member

Brush Painting: Focus on Fruits and Vegetables

Enjoy a creative day learning Asian brush painting techniques such as dry brush, wet-in-wet, and glazed brush painting strokes. Join us to learn both traditional and modern watercolor techniques and paint the following subjects on rice paper: vegetables with a basket, sweet corn, loquat fruit tree with birds, and grapes on a vine. You will also learn the calligraphy for each of the subjects taught. Bring your own supplies, or reserve and purchase a $25 supply kit from the instructor on the day of the class.

Instructor: Stella Dobbins, National Watercolor Society

moreSunday, April 23, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 13

$90 / $70 member

Essentrics for Gardeners - Stretch, Strengthen and Grow! (5 Week Series)

Whether you are planting, digging, or weeding, your body needs to stay strong and mobile to prevent injuries. Join this 5-week series that will prepare your body for gardening season and make you feel your best! This no-impact practice will help your flexibility, range of motion, and improve posture by gently strengthening and stretching all your muscles and joints. This series is suitable for all levels.

Instructor: Anna Clarke, Grow with the Flow LLC

moreMondays, April 24-May 22, 8:30-9:30 a.m.

Registration Deadline: April 17

$75 / $60 member

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, April 26-May 24, 6-7 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 19

$75 / $60 member

(Virtual) Native Plants and Pollinators

This virtual lecture will focus on groups of insect pollinators and how you can attract and support them by growing various native and nativar plants. We will also discuss a number of recommended native plants attractive to pollinators that grow in sun and shade, reviewing their characteristics and maintenance needs.

Instructor: Lisa Johnson, Dane County Extension

moreThursday, April 27, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 20

$22 / $18 member

A Natural History of Elms

From pre-settlement to today, discover the many ways humans, birds, animals and insects have used and treasured these magnificent trees. We will examine where elms are typically found in nature, their myriad uses over the centuries, folklore and stories, plus faunal partnerships.

Instructor: Heather Prince, Fearless Gardening

moreFriday, April 28, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 20

$30 / $24 member

Advancing Your Watercolors with Helen Klebesadel

Join us in this two-day watercolor workshop for painters with some experience. Designed for artists with an interested in advancing their creative and technical approach to watercolor painting, and in expanding their subject matter. Build upon the skills you have acquired to create stronger artworks.

Instructor: Helen Klebesadel, Helen Klebesadel Art

moreSaturday & Sunday, April 29 & 30, 10:30-4:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 20

$145 per person

MAY

Gentle Yoga (5-week series)

Nourish your body and come alive with spring! In this series, your instructor will kindly guide you through gentle, opening postures using the breath and a focused mind. Some postures will be restorative in nature and others will flow with the breath to break up stress and tension from everyday life. Through meditation we will bridge the mind and heart allowing your energy to feel lighter and brighter, improving your overall experience in your day to day living.

Instructor: Megan Reed, Ivy Energy

moreTuesdays, May 2-30, 9-10 a.m.

Registration Deadline: April 25

$75 / $60 member

Creative Screening: Beyond Arborvitae

Many of us desire to screen a part of our garden. While arborvitae is a favorite traditional hedging evergreen, there are many more options to enliven your space! We will explore evergreen and deciduous plants that offer a buffer in a tight space, be it sunny or shady.

Instructor: Heather Prince, Fearless Gardening

moreFriday, May 5, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 27

$30 / $24 member

Alcohol Ink Jewelry

Learn how to create beautiful pendant necklaces featuring your own alcohol ink designs. You will create four pendants - plenty to use as gifts for Mother's Day! All supplies are provided, including chains for each pendant necklace.

Instructor: Beth Kluth, Ink Art by Beth Kluth

moreSaturday, May 6, 1-4 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 27

$100 / $80 member

Perspective Secrets: Create more Depth in Soft Pastel

Linear and atmospheric perspective are the two best tools we have for creating depth in our paintings. In this workshop, you will create one soft pastel painting that utilizes both types of perspective. Several initial exercises will introduce or reinforce perspective concepts before you start your own landscape or gardenscape with plenty of guidance from the instructor. Some previous pastel experience is helpful but not required. Please bring a bag lunch.

Instructor: Kay Brathol-Hostvet, Brathol-Hostvet Studio

moreSaturday, May 6, 10:30-4:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 27

$130 per person

Your Own Backyard as Inspiration for Writing and Reflection

Using a classic piece of literature, Acres of Diamonds, we will explore what richness rests right outside our own back door, literally and metaphorically. Join us for a dedicated moment to explore, celebrate, write, and reflect on the little things in front of us.

Instructor: Elizabeth Turner, Writer

moreSunday, May 7, 1-3 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 27

$55 / $44 member

The Skies Have It! Soft Pastel Workshop

Learn how to create clouds, haze, rain shafts, and other atmospheric conditions in the soft pastel medium. Challenge yourself to create a more engaging painting that goes beyond your photo references by exaggerating or changing colors, increasing or reducing contrast, and creating hard and soft edges. Some previous pastel experience is helpful but not required. Please bring a bag lunch.

Instructor: Kay Brathol-Hostvet, Brathol-Hostvet Studio

moreSunday, May 7, 10:30-4:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: April 27

$130 per person

Wild Food and Wild Medicine Seasonal Plant Walk

Join us for a lively spring walk to explore seasonally available plants for wellness. You will learn to identify the plants of the season, how to respectfully harvest them, and best practices for preparing them for food and medicine.

Instructor: Linda Conroy, Moonwise Herbs

moreTuesday, May 9, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: May 2

$42 / $34 member

Reading Group Discussion: Best Reads

Join us for an open discussion of favorite gardening and nature books! We will swap ideas, talk gardening plans, and share favorite titles. Each participant will receive a curated reading list for the summer ahead

moreWednesday, May 10, 6:30-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: May 8

FREE

Spring in the Woodland Garden Walk

Olbrich's Woodland Garden puts on a spectacular spring floral show every year around this time, and you're invited! Join Olbrich horticulturist Erin Presley as we look for bloodroot, trilliums, Virginia bluebells, Jack-in-the-pulpit, and other early bloomers, and might even spot a lady's slipper. We will also talk about plants and creative ideas to extend the season of interest for your woodland garden throughout the entire year!

Instructor: Erin Presley, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreThursday, May 11, 6-7:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: May 4

$20 / $16 member

Beginning Chair Caning

Ever wonder how a caned chair seat is made? Do you have caned chair seats to replace? In this class, participants will hand cane a wooden trivet of their own using natural strand cane to learn the chair caning process. We will also discuss the difference between various types of caning, different caning materials, the 7-step method of hand caning, how to care for caned furniture, and additional chair caning resources.

Instructor: Mary Jo Harris, Harris Caning and Knitting

moreSunday, May 21, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: May 11

$115 per person

Make your Own Bonsai

The ancient art of bonsai is an exercise in patience, time, and artistry. We will abbreviate the process by turning a container-grown nursery juniper into a living sculpture over the course of this class, with hands-on work on your very own tree. Bring a shallow 6-10" pot (or we'll provide a plastic one) to take your tree home in, and gloves since juniper is prickly.

Instructor: Dan Schuknecht, Olbrich Botanical Gardens

moreMonday, May 22, 6-8 p.m.

Registration Deadline: May 15

$55 / $45 member

The Art of Silk Painting

This is an exciting and stimulating workshop to explore design, color and painting on silk. Colors on silk are breath-taking. Design techniques are easy to apply and painting florals are perfect for this art form. Classes are taught in an open and relaxed manner and geared for anyone interested in exploring silk painting. By the end of this two-day workshop you will have three beautiful new scarves to take home. Some supplies needed.

Instructor: Jamie Kirkell, Kirkell Silk Studios

moreWednesday & Thursday, May 24 & 25, 10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

Registration Deadline: May 17

$220 per person

Watercolor Bold & Free II, From Realism to Abstraction

Experiment with different contemporary watercolor techniques to paint abstract, realistic, and landscape paintings. You will learn how to float the watercolors on western watercolor paper, create texture in a landscape, find abstract shapes in a landscape, monoprint with colors, paint with pure colors, use colored paper, use a single shape, use narrow paper, emphasize verticals, use wet washes, and focus on horizontals to create a tapestry of color. Bring your own supplies, or reserve and purchase a $25 supply kit from the instructor on the day of the class.

Instructor: Stella Dobbins, National Watercolor Society

moreSunday, May 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Registration Deadline: May 18

$90 / $70 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 January - May 2023 arrow (PDF)

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

 

acrobat
*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