Monday, August 23, 2010

Duke Gardens September events & classes

Below is our September schedule of events. Please call 919-668-5309 or e-mail to register for an adult class, and call 668-1708 to register for a children's event. Consider joining Friends of Duke Gardens for a 20 percent discount on all classes, a free subscription to "Better Homes & Gardens" (offer ends Sept. 30), admission to the popular Plant & Craft Festival preview sale and other perks. Student memberships available.

Sept. 2, 11 a.m.
Explore wild North Carolina in these walks through our Blomquist Garden of Native Plants. Join curator Stefan Bloodworth on the first Thursday of every month to discover native flowers and design strategies, and discuss ecology and your role in protecting the health of our planet. $5; free for Gardens Friends. See all tours here.

Sept. 3, 10, 17 & 24, 10 a.m.-noon.
Look for the colorful cart near the foot of the Terrace Gardens; it's full of simple and fun activities for children. Play flower bingo or make pressed flower bookmarks, paper butterflies, pond life pictures and bark, insect or leaf rubbings. Or get some nutritious food for the Gardens' ducks. Free.

Sept. 9 & 30, 9-11 a.m.
There is an astounding range of plants displayed across our gardens, including perennial plants, annual flowers and foliage, and tropical plants. Join our expert staff to review the wonderful plant combinations and learn what is currently in bloom and which plants you may like to introduce in your own garden. $5; free for Gardens Friends. See all tours here.

Sept. 9, 16, 23, 7-9 p.m.
Create a beautiful garden with maximum impact using the design strategies and plant selections you will learn in this three-day class with Lauri Lawson of Chapel Hill’s Niche Gardens and Jan Little, Duke Gardens’ director of education and public programs. We will begin identifying your goals, discuss collecting and evaluating site information and introduce you to a broad selection of perennial plants. You will develop a plant list to match your site and goals. $75; $60 Gardens Friends.

Sept. 9, 16, 23, 30, 6-9 p.m.
(CANCELED) THE ECOLOGY OF CHANGE: Native Plant Communities
The communities of plants and animals that share our land are products of millions of years of development and refinement. The plants tell you the story of their environment simply by their presence. Norman Christensen, ecology professor at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, will explore the variation of plant distribution across the Piedmont and help you learn to decipher the saga of environment and history. $150; $120 Gardens Friends.

Sept. 10, 17, 24, 1-4 p.m.
(CANCELED) DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY: Understanding Your Camera,
Camera to Computer, and Photo Editing

Learn about your camera’s bells and whistles with photographer Jennifer Weinberg. You’ll review all functions and menus, control settings and white balance; and then learn to load, edit, and organize photos on a computer. Weinberg will also teach basic photo composition. Bring your camera and manual to each session. Classes will be in a Duke computer lab. $110; $90 Gardens Friends.

Sept. 10, 10:45 a.m.-noon; Sept. 25, 7-9 p.m.
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 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 gathering. The event on the 10th is a Chrysanthemum Tea. On the 25th, it's a Moon-Viewing Tea. $25; $20 Gardens Friends; $25 for one adult and one child age 6 or older. All seatings full. Please call to get on waiting list.

Sept. 10, 17, 24 & Oct. 1, 1-3 p.m.
Ikebana is the ancient Japanese art of arranging flowers to emphasize form, harmony and balance. Artist Muriel Roberts will teach basic Ikebana principles and help students create arrangements to take home each week. A container, a kenzan flower holder and all flowers are included. $90; $70 Gardens Friends.

Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-noon
Plant a container that will brighten your garden, patio or front entrance throughout the cold days of winter. With winter-hardy evergreens and herbaceous plants, Duke Gardens horticulturist Michelle Stay will help you create a lively arrangement of texture, shapes and color that will provide a pleasant brightness through the winter season. All plants, soil and containers supplied. $60; $45 Gardens Friends.

Sept. 11, 10-11 a.m.
Gather for nature stories and a take-home creative project with your 3- to 8-year-old child. Adults must accompany their children. Please make other arrangements for younger siblings. $3 per child. Registration required.

Sept. 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
The day will include many nature-themed activity stations and events in the Gardens. Our celebration is in conjunction with the North Carolina Science Festival: Life is Your Lab. Free admission. More info on the day's activities here.

Sept. 13, 7-9 p.m.
The Triangle Orchid Society conducts its monthly meetings at the Doris Duke Center. The public is invited. Free admission. September topic: classic cattleyas. For information:

Sept. 15, 22, 29, Oct. 6, 10 a.m.-noon.
Each season this class will cover a different group of approximately 40 plants suitable for North Carolina gardens. Bobby Mottern, Duke Gardens’ director of horticulture, will teach identification skills and design use and help you understand the culture of each plant. The fall classes will focus on plants that shine in autumn, as well as late- blooming perennial flowers. Each student will receive a portfolio of photos showing the plants studied in each season. $105; $85 Gardens Friends.

Sept. 16, 23, 30, 6-8 p.m.
Autumn light hangs low in the sky and is moving through a warm atmosphere, which creates a golden hue. Photographer Jennifer Weinberg will teach you how to make the best use of seasonal light in this class that will focus on the special qualities and scenes of the autumn season. $75; $60 Gardens Friends.

Sept. 18, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tour guides Jan Little, director of education and public programs for Duke Gardens, and Helen Yoest, field editor for Better Homes & Gardens and owner of Gardening with Confidence, will join participants in a visit to three nationally recognized private gardens in Raleigh. Learn of the goals and challenges at each garden and take home ideas to use in your own garden. $65; $50 Gardens Friends. Fee includes presentations and an ecological motorcoach with Greenway Transit. Restaurant suggestions will be distributed for lunch on your own.

Sept. 19 & 26, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Join us in the Gardens for simple drop-in science or craft projects for children and families, which include something to make and take home. Sunday Science will continue through Oct. 31. Location noted each week at our information desk. Free.

Sept. 19, 2-4 p.m.
Hear the story of one family’s foray into the world of raising chickens with Lissa Lutz, a Durham Extension master gardener. Learn to build a habitat consistent with city ordinances, develop a system that has minimum upkeep and benefit from an endless supply of fresh eggs. This lecture is part of the Master Gardeners’ Extension Gardener Series. Free, but registration required.

Sept. 21, 6:30-8 p.m.
The Durham Garden Forum is an informal group that meets once a month to enrich the members’ gardening knowledge and skill. Local experts speak about topics of interest to the group. September topic: native plants. $10; free for forum members. 668-5309. Info:

Sept. 23, 9-11 a.m.
Join water plants specialist Tamara Kilbane to see and learn about the dozens of waterlilies in the International Waterlily & Water Gardening Society’s annual New Waterlily Competition, and about annual maintenance and preparation for winter. $5; free for Gardens Friends. See all tours here.

Sept. 25, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Celebrate fall with Sarah P. Duke Gardens. The Gardens and outside vendors will sell an array of plants appropriate for this region, including plants featured in Duke. Local artisans will sell garden-related gift items. And you can also get free horticultural advice from the staff and Durham County Master Gardeners. Free admission. Join Friends of Duke Gardens for an invitation to the preview sale Sept. 24. Discount student memberships available. See our website for more info and a vendor list.

Sept. 25, 8-11 a.m.
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 age 8 or older. Please bring binoculars. Free, but registration required. See all tours here.