2018 Class Descriptions and Registration

 

Understanding Botanical Names
Instructor: John Manion
Saturday, January 13, 2018
9 am – Noon EST
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Most people, when faced with botanical names, quickly flee in the opposite direction. Because these names are in a foreign language, they can be intimidating and overwhelming to many, hence they are often avoided. Learn how fascinating, enlightening and humorous botanical names can be! You’ll be surprised how much you can discern about a plant merely based on its botanical name. Botanical nomenclature topics to be discussed will be history, formatting, pronunciation, common prefixes and suffixes, recommended references, and much more.  Join Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Kaul Wildflower Curator John Manion for an educational and entertaining class on what’s in a native plant name.

REGISTRATION FOR THIS CLASS IS CLOSED


Invasive Plant Management
Instructor: John Evans
Saturday, February 10, 2018
 9 am – Noon EST
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Invasive pest plants are an expensive and frustrating problem for landowners of all stripes.  This workshop will cover a general introduction to non-native invasive species, how and why certain plants become problematic, how to identify the most common pest plants that plague this area, the ecological concerns that result, and methods of control — mechanical, chemical, and biological — for both small scale use by homeowners and larger-scaled treatments for city parks and green spaces and other areas under land management.

 

 


Native Plant Propagation: Seeds
Instructor: John Evans
Saturday, March 10, 2018
9 am – Noon EST
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Encourage native pollinators, birds, and other wildlife as you save water and other resources by using native plants in your landscape. You can buy them at local garden centers or nurseries, or better yet, propagate and grow them at home. Learn the secrets of native species propagation through seeds in this hands-on workshop. You will take home a flat of seeds for nurturing at home indoors under lights or outdoors.  Instructor:  John Evans, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center Curator and Greenhouse Manager

Topics Include:  Seed Collection, Seed Cleaning, Seed Treatment, Propagation Times, Seedling Care

 

 


Native Plant Propagation: Cuttings and Divisions
Instructor: John Evans
Saturday, March 10, 2018
1 pm – 4 pm EST
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

In addition to growing native plants from seeds, many plants are grown from stem and root cuttings, particularly woody shrubs like Azaleas.  Learn how you can use basic methods to grow your own cuttings.  Similarly, many native perennials can be divided in the spring to create new plants and this workshop will cover both techniques.  This hands-on workshop covers the whys and how tos for native plant cuttings and divisions and participants will take home their classroom work to nurture until ready for planting.  Instructor:  John Evans, Reflection Riding Arboretum and Nature Center Curator and Greenhouse Manager.

Topics Include:  Researching propagation techniques, the science of growing roots on stems, low tech methods, cutting aftercare

 

 


Spring Wildflower Hike
Instructor: Jon Evans, PhD
Saturday, April 14, 2018
South Cumberland State Park
9 am – Noon CDT
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

This course will explore the rich spring flora of Shakerag Rag Hollow, an old-growth cove forest located on the campus of the University of the South in Sewanee, TN.  Participants will be taught how to identify over 30 species of wildflowers and learn about the ecology of this highly diverse forest community.  The wildflower display in Shakerag Hollow rivals that found in the Great Smoky Mountains and this course will occur during peak flowering time.   Participants will be required to make a ½ mile leisurely trek along a moderately steep trail into the cove and then back out again.   

 

 


Botanical Drawing
Instructor: Mary Priestley
Saturday, May 12, 2018
9 am – Noon EDT
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE CLASS (4 credits)

Botanical illustration is the art of depicting the form, color, and details of plant species, frequently in watercolor paintings. These creations require an understanding of plant morphology and access to specimens and references.  You do not need to be a skilled artist to participate!

 

 


Native Plant Communities
Instructor: Jon Evans, PhD
Saturday, June 9, 2018 
9 am – 4 pm CDT
University of the South, Sewanee, TN
CORE Class (6 credits)

Plant communities are assemblages of plant species living together in a given place.  Interactions among plant species, interactions plants have other organisms (such as animals and fungi), and interactions plants have with their physical environment (such as climate, topography, geology, and disturbance) all work together to determine the composition and structure of plant communities over time.  In this course, will examine the ecological properties of plant communities by exploring plant habitats on the southern Cumberland Plateau.  We will also discuss the benefits and challenges of protecting native plant communities in Tennessee. This class will be held at the University of the South, Sewanee, TN.

 

 


Identifying Plants with Taxonomy – “the Keys to the Kingdom”
Instructor: Richard Clements
Saturday, August 11, 2018
9 am – Noon EDT
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Taxonomy is the branch of science that names and classifies plants, animals, fungi, microbes, etc.  Using data from genetics, biochemistry, physiology, and morphology (observations of leaves, flowers, roots, etc.), a plant taxonomist analyses this information to reveal groupings, relationships, and ultimately names. Simple dissection and observation of plant parts can quickly reveal the identity of most species. We shall turn to the world of plant morphology during this course. Our goals are to familiarize you with the basic characteristics that botanists look at when investigating an unknown plant and to introduce you to the use of classic ID tools like dichotomous keys (decision trees) to distinguish this plant from that.

Registration opens April 2018


Sustainable Landscaping Practices
Instructor – Lyn Rutherford
Saturday, September 8, 2018
9 am – Noon (EDT) ELECTIVE
Location: TBD

Using native plants in landscaping is just one of many practices that improves the quality as habitat and reduces chemical inputs.  This workshop looks at additional design, installation and maintenance considerations and applies the ‘reduce-reuse-recycle” model of sustainability.

Registration opens July 2018


Native Warm Season Grasses
Instructor: Walter Bland
Saturday, October 13, 2018
9 am– 12 pm (EDT)
Location: TBD
ELECTIVE Class (4 credits)

Native grasses provide structure, texture, and interest to landscapes and gardens, as well as food and habitat for native wildlife.  Warm season grasses bloom and set seed in the fall, making this time of year an excellent opportunity to learn how to identify the keystone warm season grasses that grow in this area and how to incorporate them in your garden.  We will spend the first 1.5 hours with keys, line drawings and samples to learn the most common warm season grasses and then apply ID skills out in the field.

Registration opens July 2018


Soils & Water
Instructor: Wyn Miller
Saturday, November 10, 2018
9 am – 4 pm EST
Reflection Riding Arboretum & Nature Center
CORE Class (6 credits)

Soil is a complex mixture of weathered rock and mineral particles, the living organisms of the soil food web and the decaying remains of plants, animals and microorganisms. Soil scientists have identified more than 70,000 kinds of soil in the U.S. based on the many different combinations of mineral particles – sand, silt and clay – and various amounts of organic matter and nutrients. Students will learn how to determine the texture, structure and pH of a given soil to properly identify its makeup and type.  Also important is the course’s focus on sustainable landscaping practice to protect and promote healthy soil.  Water is a precious resource, and natural systems are of critical value for their ability to store, clean and distribute available water.  We can help protect this resource by conserving water, preventing pollution and building best practices into the design and everyday maintenance of landscapes.  Included in best practices are rain gardens, bioswales and other features that reduce stormwater, a major source of water pollution in our area. This core class will explore the fundamentals of soil and water as a requirement for healthy ecosystems as well as what landowners can do to live more sustainably through wise use of these resources.

Registration opens July 2018