Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ certificate programs offer an extensive course of study for those who wish to work toward an advanced level within a continuing education format. There is no separate enrollment for the certificate programs. Students simply sign up for classes, and, starting with the first one, we will begin keeping records of any courses that are completed.

For certificate completion, attendance at all class sessions is imperative. Students may attend missed sessions the next time a class is offered; however, they are responsible for all material fees unless Phipps is notified of planned absences 24 hours before the class. A certificate will not be issued until all sessions are completed, except in cases where instructor permission is granted.

All students must register for classes through Phipps Garden Center. To learn more and obtain additional certificate program guidelines, please call us at 412/441-4442, ext. 3925.

Non-certificate students are also welcome and encouraged to sign up for these courses. 

Certificate Classes

Sustainable Horticulture

The Sustainable Horticulture Certificate program consists of a series of core courses that includes Basic and Advanced Horticulture, Soils, Diagnosing Plant Problems and Botany for Gardeners. These classes teach best management practices necessary for gardening with minimal ecological impact. Electives further enhance students’ understanding of sustainable practices that help protect soil health, water resources, air quality and land usage, and result in the creation of aesthetically pleasing gardens.

Certificate Classes

Landscape and Garden Design

The objective of the Landscape and Garden Design Certificate program is to prepare students to apply basic design principles and techniques in creating beautiful, environmentally responsible landscapes. Utilizing graphic skills and plant knowledge, students will work through the design process to develop a presentation plan.

Certificate Classes

Native Plant Landscapes

The Native Plant Landscapes Certificate program consists of a series of courses designed for participants to learn to appreciate and use native plants, discover the importance of habitats and ecosystems, and explore how native plants can fit into our gardens.

Certificate Classes

Floral Design

The Floral Design Certificate program offers the most extensive course of study available in the region, covering all aspects of floral design. The history and progression of floral design is integrated into each class so that students know how and why arrangements are done in a particular way. Participants are also provided with a strong foundation for building upon their own creativity and imagination.

Certificate Classes

Botanical Art and Illustration

Students enrolled in the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate program will learn how to draw botanical subjects with scientific accuracy, artistry and mastery of technical methods. Using a basic knowledge of plant morphology, participants will develop the skills needed to document plants in intricate detail, including the root system, upper and lower leaf surfaces, flowers, fruits and seed heads. This program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing art for pleasure and self-satisfaction, and they can choose between two concentrations: watercolor or colored pencil. Beginners, as well as those with art experience, are welcome. Students may repeat most courses in the program at a 10-percent discount; however, a repeat course cannot apply toward certificate credit.

Certificate Classes

Permaculture Design

Permaculture is synonymous with ecological and regenerative design, and integrates natural environmental processes with human-made systems to enhance both human and environmental health. During this 11-session course, students will visit Pittsburgh’s premier examples of permaculture in action to get a sense of what is possible in urban sustainability. Students then will put their new knowledge into action by co-designing a space at Phipps Garden Center.

Certificate Classes

Professional Education

As a busy landscaper, you need quality continuing education to stay ahead of the sustainable curve. Our programs are taught by experts in the fields of horticulture, arboriculture, turf management, and forestry. These classes are designed to help landscapers build the skills they need to offer more environmentally-friendly services while taking care of their bottom line. 

Photos © Natalie Bowman, Brad Fetchin and Paul g. Wiegman