Friday, February 26, 2010

Duke Gardens March Events

Japanese Tea Gathering / Photo by Jon Gardiner, Duke Photography

Following is our March events calendar. Please call 668-1707 to register, or e-mail Please see our website for information on how to become a Friend of Duke Gardens.
We hope to see you here!

Tuesday, March 2, 1-3 p.m.
Conifer Trek
Meet a few favorite conifers as you walk through the Gardens with conifer expert Flo Chaffin, owner of Specialty Ornamentals Nursery in Georgia. Participants will learn about a variety of plants, their cultural requirements and tips for incorporating them into your own garden. $20; $15 Gardens Friends. Read more about conifers in this blog post.

Tuesday, March 2, 7-9 p.m.
Conifers in the Garden: Adding Structure & Emphasis
Flo Chaffin, owner of Specialty Ornamentals Nursery in Georgia, will introduce a palette of plants that is far larger and more varied than one might imagine.
"By virtue of the fact that they are evergreen, and also by virtue of the fact that there are many different shapes, sizes, habits, textures, colors, [conifers] can not only give you a basic structure or backbone," says Chaffin, "but also can enhance the structure" of anyone's garden.
Discuss these plants with Chaffin, see conifers in garden settings and discover unique planting combinations that make the most of each conifer's qualities. $15; $10 Gardens Friends. Read more about conifers in this blog post.

Wednesdays, March 3, 10, 17, and 31, 2-4 p.m.
Flowering Trees and Shrubs: Identification and Use
Each season has hardy plants that add delight to our gardens. Meet an expanded palette of trees and shrubs that will bring flower, scent and texture to your garden year-round. Class continues at the same time March 10, 17 and 31. $95; $75 Gardens.

March 4, 11 a.m.-noon
Tour: Walk on the Wild Side
Explore wild North Carolina in the Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. Join curator Stefan Bloodworth on the first Thursday of every month to see which plants are in bloom, learn strategies to design with native plants and discuss regional ecology and global environmental issues affecting native ecosystems, and your role in protecting the health of our home planet. $5; free for Gardens Friends. Registration required.

Fridays, March 5, 12, 19, 26, 1-3 p.m.
Beginning Ikebana Workshop
Ikebana is the art of beautifully arranged plant material in a container. This floral art evolved in Japan more than seven centuries ago. Instructor Muriel Roberts will teach you the principles through a series of four hands-on sessions, and she'll demonstrate the basic skills necessary to create these lovely arrangements. Each week students will complete an arrangement to enjoy at home. All supplies included. Class continues March 12, 19 and 26. $80; $65 Gardens Friends.

March 5, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Nature for Sprouts: Pond Walk
Explore our duck pond and learn what animals need to survive. Discover who lives here on our scavenger hunt. Make a creature who lives in the pond, and feed the ducks. For children aged 3 to 5. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $6 per child.

Saturday, March 6, 8 a.m.
Bird Walk
Enjoy an early morning stroll in the Gardens with fellow bird enthusiasts and Cynthia Fox, of Chapel Hill's Wild Bird Center. Cynthia will help you to spot, identify and learn more about the birds that call this region home, even temporarily. Don't miss this opportunity to experience that one remarkable bird sighting. Children are welcome if they are 8 years old or older. Please bring binoculars. If the weather is iffy, please call Alice Le Duc at 730-2503 to check the status of the walk. Free, but registration required.

March 6, 10:45 a.m.-noon.
Traditional Japanese Tea Gathering: Family Tea
As a guest to Tea, you will experience the patterns and poetry of Chado, or the Japanese 'way of tea,' while enjoying an enticing bowl of whisked tea and a seasonal treat. The practice of Tea is characterized by the phrase ichigo ichie, or 'one moment, one meeting.' The small class group of all ages will meet at the Doris Duke Center to be escorted by instructor Nancy Hamilton to the Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion in Duke Gardens for this intimate family-themed tea gathering. $30 per adult or adult with child; $20 Gardens Friends.

March 9, 6:30-8 p.m.
Durham Garden Forum
Forum meets monthly to learn from expert speakers and to troubleshoot. This month: blooming sequence with Jason Holmes, curator of the Doris Duke Center Gardens. $10/ free for members. Information: 237-3376;

March 12, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Nature for Sprouts: Ants, Grasshoppers & Other Crawly Creatures
Explore ants, grasshoppers and other crawly creatures and discover what parts they have and how they change. Construct an insect to take home. For children aged 3 to 5. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $6 per child.

Saturday and Sunday, March 13 & 14, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Curator Basics
Discover the elements of a well presented portfolio and work on building your portfolio for showing. Instructor Bruce Dickson, of Dickson Images, will assist you with captioning, labeling, organizing and filing your photography. We will also identify potential markets and discuss how to submit work for publication. $75; $60 Friends.

Tuesday, March 16, 2-4 p.m.
Organic Vegetable Gardening
A bounty of delicious vegetables rewards the gardener who nurtures diversity in soil and plants. From starting seeds to mulching melons, instructor Ken Fager -- a researcher at NCSU's Center for Environmental Farming Systems -- will discuss production principles and guide you through practical examples of organic gardening. This presentation will focus on crop sequence and developing a calendar for your garden. $35; $25 Gardens Friends.

Thursday, March 18, 1-4 p.m.
Spring Pruning
Some plants simply must be rehabilitated occasionally through skillful pruning. Instructor Jonathan Smith, of Bright Leaf Landscaping, will demonstrate several pruning techniques to help you manage plants in your home garden. $25; $20 Gardens Friends.

March 19, 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Nature for Sprouts: Birds, Birds, Birds
Find out what makes a bird a bird. Go on a bird-watching walk and discover how birds behave. Make a bird feeder for your garden. For children aged 3 to 5. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $6 per child.

Sunday, March 21, 2-4 p.m.
Successful Gardener Series
Attracting Bees and Butterflies to Your Garden

Curious about how to attract more bees and butterflies to your garden? Come learn what makes bees, butterflies and other insects beneficial pollinators in our landscape and what specific plants provide nourishment and protection during each stage of their life cycle. Durham County Master Gardeners Gene Carlone and Faye McNaull will also include tips and perspectives on the proper use of herbicides and insecticides in the gardens and lawns that we share with these valuable creatures. Free (registration required).

Thursday, March 25, 7-9 p.m.
Color in the Garden
All of us perceive colors a little bit differently from others. That makes color both interesting and useful in the garden. Jan Little, the Gardens’ director of education and public programs, will outline some basic strategies to use color as reinforcement for other garden goals. Then she will show some applications that will help you make the best use of color given your particular site situation. $15; $10 Gardens Friends.

March 26, 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Nature for Sprouts: Tree Home
Who lives in a tree? Discover what creatures make a home in a tree. Look closely at trees to see who lives there, find out the parts of a tree, and make a bark-rubbing. Make an owl puppet and a tree home in a bag. For children aged 3 to 5. Children must be accompanied by an adult. $6 per child.

Saturday, March 27,1-4 p.m.
Japanese Tea Gathering
Enjoy a traditional Japanese tea gathering and tea tasting to celebrate the early bloom of Japanese cherries. The event will take place rain or shine. But if the weather is nice, there'll be an additional guided stroll through the serene Culberson Asiatic Arboretum and the new Durham-Toyama Sister Cities Pavilion on the hillside above the Teien-oike Lake. You'll also see a display of Ikebana and Bonsai exhibits in the Doris Duke Center, where the event begins. $20; $15 Gardens Friends.

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