Spring classes are in full bloom at Morris Arboretum

Text by Jeanne Leong

Spring is the season of renewal, and the Morris Arboretum’s slate of spring classes may help someone spark an interest in a new hobby or express his or her creativity.

Garden Chair Building
In a class designed for first-time carpenters, the “Garden Chair Building Workshop,” to be held on Sunday, May 17, will allow participants to build their own red cedar wood garden chair. Photo by Morris Arboretum

Spring is the season of renewal, and the Morris Arboretum’s slate of spring classes may help someone spark an interest in a new hobby or express his or her creativity.

The Arboretum is offering nearly a dozen “Creative Expressions” educational programs related to plants, gardens, and nature. Each two- to three-hour class allows participants to create an item to take home the same day.

Garden Chair Building
In a class designed for first-time carpenters, the “Garden Chair Building Workshop,” to be held on Sunday, May 17, will allow participants to build their own red cedar wood garden chair. Photo by Morris Arboretum

“It’s a great way to meet new people and develop a new skill,” says Jan McFarlan, the Arboretum’s assistant director of education and internship programs.

On Saturday, April 4, participants in the “Green Roof Nest Box Workshop” will construct a bird nest box and learn how to mount and maintain it, and also how to attract birds.

The “Resin Casting with Natural Materials” class on Sunday, April 12, allows learners to create a floral or leaf necklace or paperweight. Attendees can bring their own flowers or leaves, or choose items that the instructor will provide. 

“The hardest part of the class is mixing the epoxy resin and the hardener,” says instructor Jenny Lauer. “If you have too much of one, it doesn’t harden. If you have too much of the other, it can cause dis-colorization in the resin.”

In a class designed for first-time carpenters, the “Garden Chair Building Workshop,” to be held on Sunday, May 17, will allow participants to build their own red cedar wood garden chair. Using pre-cut pieces of wood, the students in the workshop will follow instructor Dan Benarcik’s step-by-step instructions to construct the chair and take it home to enjoy.

Benarcik has been teaching the workshops at gardens and arboretums in the Philadelphia region for about 10 years. He says he watches as participants evolve from being fearful to becoming more confident about their abilities.

“An hour into it, they’re gluing and screwing and having fun putting the chair together,” he says.

Morris Arboretum also offers more courses in horticulture, botany, health and wellness, and culinary adventures. 

For more information and to register for a class, visit the Morris Arboretum website. Prices vary.

Originally published on .