Adult Programs

Duke Gardens offers classes, lectures, seminars and free programs on a wide variety of topics, from home gardening to natural history, vegetable gardening and nature photography. You can see a PDF of all adult education programs here.

Click here to register for Adult Programs.

If you are a Duke Gardens member check your email soon for your program discount code that will enable you to receive the member rate online. Learn more about membership and join here to receive education program discounts, free admission to select programs & events, and more.


Durham Garden Forum

An informal group independent of Duke Gardens, the forum meets once a month to enrich its members’ gardening knowledge and skill. Sponsored in partnership with the N.C. Cooperative Extension: Durham County Center.

Tuesdays, 7-8:30 p.m. in the Doris Duke Center. No pre-registration necessary.

Lecture fee: free for forum members with $25 annual membership; $10 per meeting for non-members, payable to Durham Garden Forum.

For membership information, email

Click here for the current Durham Garden Forum schedule

SPECIAL DATE: Wednesday, Jan. 16 | Fruits and Veggie Varieties for 2019

Craig Mauney, Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension Center, NC Cooperative Extension
Greet the New Year with information about new and emerging crops for the home garden. Perhaps expand your garden to include wasabi or upland rice! Craig will also review some exciting new varieties of both fruits and vegetables.


Feb. 19 | Edible Landscapes

Michael McConkey, Edible Landscapes, Inc.
Your landscape can be more than simply beautiful; it can also be on your dinner menu. Learn from Michael about the attributes and shortcomings of many plants that he has used to create edible landscapes beginning in 1979. Michael is both a horticulturist and a singer – be prepared to be serenaded about the subject as well.


March 19 | New Plant Picks

Jason Holmes, curator of the Doris Duke Center Gardens, Duke Gardens
Jason is a walking horticulture encyclopedia and plant enthusiast. He always seems to have the latest info on new introductions and plants we should use more frequently. Join us to hear about new selections for your garden!


April 16 | Is it Warm in Here? New Approaches to Gardening in a Changing Climate

Bryce Lane, NC State Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus
Is global warming real? Are we poised to take advantage of this phenomenon as horticulturists? We will talk about the effects of changing climate on horticulture, and identify new practices and approaches to consider using in the future.


May 21 | Composting

Rhonda Sherman, Extension Solid Waste Specialist
Rhonda is a leading authority on vermicomposting, with additional expertise in composting, recycling and waste reduction. She also brings an enthusiasm to the subject that is infectious and energizing. Join us to learn more about composting at home.


June 18 | Life Favors Conditions That Favor Life

Jan Little, director of ed. & public prog. Duke Gardens
Current research has documented the tangible benefits provided by nature – including a conclusion that living near natural areas offers benefits to individuals equal to a $20,000 a year raise! Join us to discuss those benefits and how nature, in our backyard and in our communities, offers a significant impact.


July 16 from 6-8 p.m. | 2019 Gardeners’ Fair

Featuring area experts, garden suppliers, demonstrations and lectures. Free admission.