Classes On Demand

Now you can gain gardening expertise whenever and wherever you want with Classes On Demand! Featuring several of Mt. Cuba Center’s most popular courses, each class lasts about 90 minutes. Once purchased, students are able to watch the pre-recorded videos more than once, or stop at any point and re-start it again later within 30 days of the purchase date. Please call if this is a gift that will need a specific start date.

On-demand classes are intended for independent learning by one student. They do not offer teacher interaction and are available for a limited time only.

Classes on Demand are not pre-approved for CEU credits. Please check with your accrediting organization to obtain CEU credits for these classes.


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To gift an on-demand class, simply select a class below and click Buy Class. During check out, you will have the option to choose whether you or the gift recipient receives the class via email.

Amsonia, or bluestars, are a rugged, versatile, and endlessly garden-worthy genus that deserve a place in any home garden. Without exception, bluestars are long-lived and provide multiple seasons of interest from their blue flowers in April and May, to their beautiful foliar textures in the summer, and striking golden color in the autumn. In addition to being exemplary garden plants, Amsonia support a variety of early season pollinators, including bumble bees and hummingbirds, and are even host plants for several butterflies and moths. Sam Hoadley, Mt. Cuba’s manager of horticultural research, will be your guide through the trials, sharing how Amsonia was evaluated to determine horticultural value and performance, disease resistance, and pollinator preference.

About the Instructor
Sam Hoadley is the Manager of Horticultural Research at Mt. Cuba Center where he evaluates native plant species, old and new cultivars, and hybrids in the Trial Garden. Prior to working at Mt. Cuba, he was the lead horticulturist for Longwood Gardens’ Hillside Garden. He earned his degree in Sustainable Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont.

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The beauty of using native plants in containers is that they are adapted to our local growing conditions. From short to tall, sun to shade, spring through fall, there are plenty of plants for creating a small, wildlife-friendly oasis on a balcony, patio, or porch. Leave with a list of our favorite container-loving natives.

About the Instructor
Julia Eppes was an Assistant Horticulturist working in the Formal Gardens at Mt. Cuba Center. She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with a minor in Landscape Horticulture from the University of Delaware. She formerly interned at Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library and worked at Gateway Garden Center.

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Carex are a diverse and versatile, yet underutilized genus of native plants that are overflowing with garden merit. They can fill various niches in landscapes as groundcovers and living mulch, while some can even be used on their own as specimen plants. Traditionally thought of as shade perennials, some Carex species exhibit remarkable tolerance to full sun as well, making them a viable and worthy addition to the garden. Sam Hoadley, manager of horticultural research, shares the top-performing Carex from Mt. Cuba Center’s Trial Garden and discusses strategies and examples of how to successfully incorporate Carex in home gardens.

About the Instructor
Sam Hoadley is the Manager of Horticultural Research at Mt. Cuba Center where he evaluates native plant species, old and new cultivars, and hybrids in the Trial Garden. Prior to working at Mt. Cuba, he was the lead horticulturist for Longwood Gardens’ Hillside Garden. He earned his degree in Sustainable Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont.

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Eco-friendly gardening works with nature not against it. Learn how native plant gardens support pollinators and wildlife, benefit local water resources, and provide beautiful, healthy spaces for people to enjoy. Get motivated, with practical examples and plenty of native plant suggestions, to begin a manageable project that can provide a positive eco-impact!

About the Instructor
Eileen Hazard is the Outreach Coordinator at Mt. Cuba Center, promoting our mission of ecological gardening and habitat conservation to surrounding communities while overseeing a robust volunteer program.

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Garden phlox (Phlox paniculata), a staple of gardens since colonial times, is one of the most recognizable and popular perennials today. Large clusters of colorful flowers bloom for as long as six weeks and provide nectar for dozens of butterfly species. George Coombs, Mt. Cuba Center’s Director of Horticulture, highlights the breadth of diversity within this group of native plants and discusses the top performing selections from a three-year evaluation program. Learn which cultivars are mildew resistant and attract the most pollinators in this beautifully illustrated talk.

About the Instructor
George Coombs is the Director of Horticulture at Mt. Cuba Center. Previously he was Manager of Research at the Center in which he trialed cultivars and species of native plants to determine their horticultural and ecological value.

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Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) is a hardy and adaptable native shrub with tremendous horticultural and ecological value. Their abundant white to pink blooms, produced from June to July, are both eye-catching and attract a wide range of vitally important pollinators. Sam Hoadley, manager of horticultural research, delves into the top performing species and cultivars from Mt. Cuba Center’s Trial Garden research and discusses how to successfully incorporate and care for these versatile shrubs in your home landscape.

About the Instructor
Sam Hoadley is the Manager of Horticultural Research at Mt. Cuba Center where he evaluates native plant species, old and new cultivars, and hybrids in the Trial Garden. Prior to working at Mt. Cuba, he was the lead horticulturist for Longwood Gardens’ Hillside Garden. He earned his degree in Sustainable Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont.

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Evergreens form the “bones” of the garden and are an indispensable part of all home landscapes. Learn the overall size, cultural requirements, and ecological benefits of both broadleaf and needle-leaf evergreens that you should consider adding to your yard for year-round interest.

About the Instructor
Duncan Himmelman, PhD, is the former Education Manager at Mt. Cuba Center. He earned his doctorate in Ornamental Horticulture at Cornell University, taught college for 24 years, and has contributed to a number of horticultural publications. Duncan managed a 20 acre estate in Greenwich, CT and has designed landscapes for both private and public clients in New York City, Toronto, and Chicago.

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Although mulch is a commonly used groundcover, a beautiful tapestry of foliage and flowers is more visually dynamic and ecologically valuable. Discover a selection of tough, versatile native plants to use as groundcovers in a variety of growing conditions. Gardeners of all levels will benefit from this addition to their gardening expertise.

About the Instructor
Duncan Himmelman, PhD, is the former Education Manager at Mt. Cuba Center. He earned his doctorate in Ornamental Horticulture at Cornell University, taught college for 24 years, and has contributed to a number of horticultural publications. Duncan managed a 20 acre estate in Greenwich, CT and has designed landscapes for both private and public clients in New York City, Toronto, and Chicago.

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Keep your trees and shrubs healthy, attractive, and long-lived using expert pruning techniques. In this hands-on workshop, learn basic pruning principles including how to make the correct cuts, the best times of year to prune various plants, and how to select and use the right tools. Gain the confidence to prune your plants in a more naturalistic, appealing, and professional way.

About the Instructors
Megan Schiff is an Education Assistant at Mt. Cuba Center where she manages the internship program. She has a master’s degree in Entomology and enjoys learning about the natural world. Raymond Carter is a 2019 graduate of Longwood Gardens’ Professional Gardener Program. He was an Assistant Horticulturist at Mt. Cuba Center, gardening around the Ponds and along the Main Drive.

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Weeds got the best of you this summer?? Don’t let it happen! Horticulturist Duncan Himmelman, PhD, and Scott Freedman, Mt. Cuba Center’s Grounds and Plant Health Care Specialist, present 13 common summer weeds and how to wrestle them into submission using ecologically friendly methods.

About the Instructors
Duncan Himmelman, PhD, is the former Education Manager at Mt. Cuba Center. He earned his doctorate in Ornamental Horticulture at Cornell University, taught college for 24 years, and has contributed to a number of horticultural publications. Duncan managed a 20 acre estate in Greenwich, CT and has designed landscapes for both private and public clients in New York City, Toronto, and Chicago.

Scott Freedman is Mt. Cuba Center’s Grounds and Plant Health Care Specialist. Prior to this he managed a commercial maintenance company, where he oversaw operations, equipment maintenance, scheduling, and purchasing.

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