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updated: 9/11/2014 1:38 PM

Chicago Botanic Garden offers fall adult education classes

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  • Students create a garden sculpture in a stone-carving workshop led by visiting artist D.J. Garrity.

    Students create a garden sculpture in a stone-carving workshop led by visiting artist D.J. Garrity.
    Courtesy of the Chicago Botanic Garden

Submitted by Adriana Reyneri

Internationally renowned sculptor D.J. Garrity comes to the Chicago Botanic Garden this fall to lead a garden sculpture workshop based on his book, "The Rhythms of Stone -- The Essential Guide to Carving the Face in Stone."

Garrity developed the workshop while a sculptor-in-residence at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Participants will explore a range of techniques as they carve a face from a rough block of limestone, an experience Garrity describes as "meditative."

The workshop, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, Oct. 6-9, is just one of a wide range of adult education courses presented this fall by the Joseph Regenstein Jr. School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Programs offer lifelong learning in botanical illustration, yoga, photography, wellness, birding, horticulture, garden design and many other topics. Professional development, certificate and University of Illinois Extension master gardener programs are also available.

Gardeners can brush up on their skills with a range of seasonal topics such as fall vegetable gardening and dividing perennials.

• "Preparing Your Lawn for Fall" covers proper techniques for installing sod, seeding, overseeding, aerating and fertilizing -- practices that can revitalize a tired-looking turf.

• Participants taking "Autumn Containers at the Garden" will create a cool-season mixed container for full-sun or partial-shade locations using a variety of annuals, perennials and decorative plant materials.

• "Winter Containers at the Garden" will feature ways to extend containers into the coldest season with fresh-cut evergreen boughs, brightly colored branches and berries.

• Area experts can also help residents anticipate the impact climate change is expected to have on Midwest gardens in a program called "Planting for the Future in a Changing Climate." Learn practical tips for creating landscapes that will thrive as USDA Plant Hardiness Zones move northward.

• Crafters can learn how to apply color to natural fibers using pigments from local plants, including those found in many home gardens. "Dyeing Local: Creating Color with Berries, Barks, Leaves and Flowers" will show how to extract dyes from a range of plant materials and apply them to wool, cotton, silk or natural fibers.

• "Aging in Place" is a garden design course addressing issues that prevent the elderly from continuing to enjoy the outside world as they age. Learn strategies to accommodate limited strength, mobility and stamina so that seniors can continue to receive the well-documented benefits of experiencing nature and viewing a well-maintained landscape.

• Photographers inspired by the garden's festive outdoor lighting will enjoy a workshop for digital photography called "Capturing the Holiday Lights." The class includes a review of camera settings and image-framing concepts, and teaches students how to transform their photos into holiday greeting cards.

For more information about these and other classes, go to

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