Let Mother Earth be your muse.

By Alexandra Lim-Chua Wee
May 10, 2019
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drawing class plants nybg
Credit: Courtesy of The New York Botanical Garden

As the buds start blooming and the birds start chirping, consider making like Monet this season and unleashing your inner artist in the great outdoors. With help from gardens across the country, which offer everything from botanical illustration classes to floral design and plant dyeing workshops, you can find a whole new way to be one with nature (or simply discover a new hobby!).

Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, Illinois

Visitors can find a new way to get lost in nature at this garden, one of the largest in the country, which offers a variety of botanical art classes, from wreath-making and floral-inspired mosaics to traditional watercolor techniques. And with tranquil waterscapes, including the Great Basin and the North Lake, as your classroom, there's no excuse not to let your creative side set sail.

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

Dabble in new mediums-vibrant alcohol inks on ceramics, acrylic paint on birch wood-while taking in the bucolic views of this state botanical garden. Featuring more the 970 native plants, woodlands, themed gardens, and a pollinator habitat garden, the arboretum also boasts other arts offerings including a botanical illustration series, plant-dyeing workshops, and guided garden mediations.

New York Botanical Garden in Bronx, New York

Find a slice of serenity in the concrete jungle at this world-renowned garden. Not only will the blooming magnolia trees make for the most stunning figure models in your spring foliage class, but you can also explore floral design courses, landscape drawing, live terrarium building, botanical dyes, and more.

Memphis Botanic Garden in Memphis, Tennessee

With 96 beautiful acres and over 30 specialty gardens to explore, this green space invites you to escape from the everyday bustle and retreat into nature, even if only for an afternoon. Observe turtles, koi, butterflies, and other wildlife, then render their portraits 
in a quick-sketch or watercolor class.

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