Living collections are at the center of botanic garden interpretation and education. Increasingly, however, gardens implement learning approaches that disconnect the concepts from the collections. How do we, as garden education professionals, craft authentic experiences that keep botanical concepts aligned with the “real place” or the “real specimen”? This interactive session offers a sampling of past and current models in the field, analyzes key factors and their application, and posits potential future models. Participants will take the session’s topic to their gardens and discuss ways to re-center their learning approaches for their collections, and/or to expand their programming reach while keeping the collections’ integrity and character at the center.