Nature is our greatest teacher; every plant, tree and flower. HF&G classes take cues from the natural world around us and encourages participants to take a moment to get to know some of the pollinators, native plants, songbirds and wild mushrooms you can find locally and even in your own backyard!

Holden Forests and Gardens is looking for instructors, contact us if you are interested in becoming an Adult Education Instructor.

Orchids on the Edge: Conservation in a Changing World 

Saturday, March 6 | 11:00 AM- noon

Instructor: Dr. Lawrence Zettler

Live, virtual program 

$10 per member, $25 per nonmember 

Every orchid on this planet – from showy epiphytes that grow on trees in tropical rainforests, to hardy terrestrials found here in the Midwest – needs a fungus to grow and survive.  Many also require specific insect pollinators which are also necessary for the orchid’s reproduction and survival.  About one half of the 27,000+ orchid species worldwide are now vulnerable to extinction, in part, because of their acute sensitivity to environmental changes.  In this presentation, Dr. Lawrence W. Zettler, Hitchcock Professor of Biology at Illinois College, will delve into the life history of the orchid from seed germination into maturity, including examples as the Ghost Orchid of Florida and Cuba, Dendrophylax lindenii, subject of Susan Orlean’s best-selling novel, The Orchid Thief, and Hollywood movie, Adaptation.  The talk will also showcase some of the orchids that grow in the tropics such in Madagascar, and what is currently being done to conserve the rarest species, as well as some tips on orchid growing and care.     

Dr. Zettler studies the effects of fungi on orchids in order to aid conservation efforts in the Orchid Recovery Program at Illinois College, growing orchids from seed in the laboratory using the fungi they require and consume in nature. 

Sowing Success: Starting Plants from Seed -Registration Closed!

Saturday, March 6 | 1-2:30 PM

 Instructor: Greg Wright, Horticulturist

 Live, virtual program 

 $60 per member, $75 per nonmember 

Experience the satisfaction of growing annual and perennial plants from seed. Wright breaks down the basics of seed anatomy, proper treatments, and appropriate environmental conditions favorable for propagation from seed. A demonstration will also be provided to walk participants through sowing their own seed at home. Each participant will receive materials to start their own annual & perennial flowers at home including: 2 seed packets, heat mat with thermostat, seed tray with humidity dome, & soil. Registration closed!


Behind the Scenes of CBG’S Butterfly Program 

Thursday, March 11 | 12:30-1:30 PM

Instructor: Matt Edwards, Animal Care Specialist

Live, virtual program 

$10 per member, $25 per nonmember 

Have you ever found yourself truly amazed by the wonder of the butterflies living in CBG’s Costa Rica Biome? In this virtual program, take a sneak peak into the behind the scenes work that goes into caring for these magnificent creatures. Learn about where the butterflies come from and how they get to the Botanical Gardens, the care that goes into receiving, raising, and releasing them, and the many missteps that can happen along the way, as well as the USDA regulations that come with live animal care in a public institution. 

Ask the Orchid Doctor- Virtual!

Saturdays – Feb 13, Feb 27, March 13, March 27 & April 10 | 10:30-11:30 AM

Live, virtual program

Free, registration required

Join one of our expert orchid care specialists for a free informational session on how to care for your orchids. The “doctor” will be there to answer your specific questions and talk about best practices for orchid care. Classes take place on Zoom so you can even show the expert your plant from home! Staff will monitor participant questions so that everyone has a chance to speak. Sessions will be recorded and made available to those who cannot attend.

Introduction to Vegetable Gardening

Monday, March 15 | 6:30-7:30 PM

Instructors: Nick Santiago and Jessica Burns, Gardeners with Holden Forests & Gardens

Live, virtual program 

$10 per member, $25 per nonmember 

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your summer vegetable garden. This class will assist gardeners of all levels in feeling more confident in planning their ideal vegetable garden for maximum harvest. Participants will learn about where and when to plant seeds, the most ideal vegetables to grow in Northeast Ohio’s climate and how to create optimal growing conditions for them, tips and tricks on how to control pests, harvesting your crops, and seed saving for next season. Feel free to bring questions about your own vegetable garden for the Q&A session.

Don’t Fear the Orchid

Wednesday, March 31 | 6:00-7:00 PM

Instructor: Mark Bir, Horticulturist

Live, virtual program 

$10 per member, $25 per nonmember 

Does a Phalaenopsis send shivers down your spine?  Do Oncidiums make you quake in your boots?  Don’t fear the orchid—simplify it!  This virtual session simplifies orchid growing by giving you a common-sense orchid grower’s checklist that will lead to blooming success with almost any orchid.  And it’s a question-and-answer session, too, so we can all talk it over together!

Strolling Stories

Tuesdays in April | 10:15-11:30am

Instructor: Kristina Arthur, Hershey Children’s Garden Coordinator

Live, in-person program

$5 per member, $20 per nonmember (includes admission)

Missed out on our Strolling Stories program last fall? Don’t fret, it’s back! Each Tuesday during the month of April we’ll have a new storybook on display throughout the garden. Registered participants will spend their morning hiking the Storytrail with our Hershey Children’s Garden Coordinator before participating in a craft or activity related to the theme of that day’s story. Due to limited capacity, please register for both your child(ren) and yourself. One adult per family required. Only those who have a purchased registration will be able to participate in the program. 

April 6: If you are looking around and all you see is Mud right now, do not worry you are not alone!  Come and join us on our Strolling Stories where we read about one of the messiest and fun transitions to spring Mud by Mary Lyn Ray!  Play in some “mud” to make seed balls of native seeds to take home.

April 13: How does a garden grow?  Come on our Strolling Stories and enjoy along with Lola in Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn all the steps to make a garden grow.  Participants will leave with the materials to make a small window starter garden at home.

April 20: If you look closely you will see the trees are budding and some small leaves are on their way! Have You Seen Trees? by Joanne Oppenheim delights in trees and invites you to examine and enjoy them all year long on this Strolling Story.  Participants will make an art project using pressed leaves.

April 27: Spring is here and in the Hershey Children’s Garden our pond is waking up from winter.  Come and enjoy seeing what small ponds have to offer throughout the year on this Strolling Story reading In the Small Small Pond by Denise Fleming.  Make your own craft dragonfly to take home.

Botanical Painting & Drawing

Thursdays, April 8 to May 13 | 2:00-4:30 PM

Instructor: Susan Gray Be

Live, virtual program 

$80 per member, $100 per nonmember 

Learn composition skills and techniques of botanicals including line, form, shading techniques, and layering using inspiration from the natural world with instructor Susan Gray Bé, all the while in the comfort of your own home! This virtual class welcomes all levels of experience and mediums. This is a six-part class, registration closes at start of first class. 

Spring Break in Costa Rica

Saturday, April 10 | 1:00- 3:00 p.m.

Instructor: Linda Kolton

Live, virtual program 

$35 per member, $50 per nonmember 

Eating is a way to travel the world: By exploring new cultures and food you can expand your horizons without leaving home. Join Chef Linda for a culinary journey to beautiful Costa Rica,  where a wholesome, simple diet is at the heart of the culture. One region of Costa Rica, the Nicoya Peninsula, is home to one of the original “Blue Zones”, where people enjoy the longest and healthiest lives, in part, by eating a plant-forward diet. In this class, you’ll have an opportunity to cook along with Chef Linda & learn how to make plant-based versions of some of the country’s most popular dishes; Costa Rican Casado; a hearty, flavorful midday meal & tres leches cake, which Travel publisher, National Geographic, has called the national dessert of Costa Rica! Recipes and shopping lists will be emailed one week prior to the class. Registration closes on Friday, March 26. 

Intergenerational PreK Program: Sensational Senses @Botanical Garden

Session 1: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, June 15th, 17th & 19th, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Session 2: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, June 28th, 30th and July 2nd, 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Ages: 3-5 and an 18+ parent/guardian

$165 member, $190 nonmember (Price Includes 1 Child + 1 Adult, Each Additional Child is $40 extra)

Little ones will get an introductory taste of summer camp while their grown-ups relive those memorable camp experiences in this all-new intergenerational program. Lead by CBG staff, children and their caregivers will explore the grounds and biomes of the Cleveland Botanical Garden using all five senses in unique and interesting ways as well as participate in classic camp games and activities. Both sessions are the same and three days each.