Covering topics from photography and terrariums to bonsai and seed-starting, our Gardening and Botanical Classes schedule will excite and inspire you!

For more details about our programs, or to receive personalized class recommendations from our helpful staff, please feel free to contact us at edu@phipps.conservatory.org.

Handmade Valentines | Katy Dement

Tues., Feb. 4 (Snow date: Tues., Feb. 11) | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Material fee: $5
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Use cotton and other plants to make sheets of paper by hand. Then, incorporate pressed and dried flowers, ferns, fibers and vintage ephemera — including old valentines — to spontaneously create a delightful wet-on-wet collage for someone very special.

Digital Photography | Don Orkoskey

Sundays: Feb. 9, 16 and 23, March 1 and 8 (Snow date: Sun., March 15) | 9:30 a.m. – noon

$120 members | $140 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall

Explore different aspects of photography through the use of a digital camera. Topics to be covered include digital workflow, camera settings, composition, image transfer and viewing preparation. Subjects like white balance, jpeg versus raw formats, and histograms will be demystified so that they can be used as reliable tools. As you practice, you will receive instructor feedback on weekly photographic assignments. People with all levels of experience are welcome.

Make Your Own Terrarium | Monica Colantoni

Thurs., Feb. 20 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Material fee: $25
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Learn how to create a living garden under glass while discussing plant selection, visual design, proper care and different styles of terrariums, such as open versus closed and wet versus dry. Please bring a container to make your own terrarium. Anything from a glass bowl to an apothecary jar is appropriate. All other materials (including soil, moss, rocks and plants) will be provided.

Planning Your Rain Garden | Brian Funk and Andrea Haynes

Tues., March 3 (Snow date: Tues., March 10) | 7 – 9 p.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Well-designed rain gardens help to hold and infiltrate stormwater into the ground, and add a beautiful element to your home landscape. Learn about siting, designing and constructing rain gardens from a designer who has overseen rain garden projects across our region.

Orchids 101: The Basics | Tim Choltco

Wed., March 4 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$35 members | $40 nonmembers (Includes price of a Phalaenopsis orchid to take home)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Learn the essentials for growing orchids at home, including how to successfully repot an orchid. Plus, explore the wide variety of orchid species and learn more about what makes an orchid unique in the plant kingdom.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Kevin Haughey

Sat., March 7 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $30 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Master the ancient art of bonsai in our hands-on workshops, and learn the horticultural techniques of styling, wiring, potting and root pruning. Style your own tree and take it home to begin or build your collection. All classes are suitable for beginners. Materials are provided, but bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them. Class size is limited.

Note: Tropical bonsai must live indoors in the cold months, while junipers and other hardy bonsai live outdoors year round.

This class is now filled. Please see below for another session of this class.

An Introduction to Pruning | Mitch Hall

Sat., March 7 (Snow date: Sat., March 21) | 1 – 3 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Ensuring the correct pruning tools are being used and the correct cuts are being made is essential for the health and longevity of your landscape plants. Learn to identify and maintain the correct tool for the job, discover the basic approach for pruning woody plants, and learn when, where, why and how to make appropriate cuts to plants.

Houseplant Bootcamp | Jonathan King

Wed., March 11 (Snow date: Wed., March 18) | 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Beginners and experienced plant lovers alike are invited to this fast and fun overview of how to care for happy houseplants. All of the fundamentals are covered, including basic botany, sensible plant selection, lighting, watering, fertilizing, grooming and troubleshooting.

Planning Your Native Plant Garden | Gwen Wisniewski

Mon., March 16 (Snow date: Mon., March 23) | 7 – 9 p.m.

$22 members | $27 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Learn to design with and use native plants in small areas. Discover the importance of using native plants in the landscape and how to choose the proper plants for your yard based on various limiting factors, including soil, light, moisture, wind and possible pests.

Forest Bathing: An Introduction to Shinrin-yoku | Wyatt Melius

Tues., March 17 (Snow date: Wed., March 18) | 6:30 – 9 p.m.

$39 members | $44 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, meet in Botany Hall

Beat the winter blues with a visit to Phipps’ Tropical Forest Cuba and an exploration of Shinrin-yoku, which translates from Japanese to “forest bathing.” Spend time in nature and connect with it through your sense of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch — no bathtubs involved! Explore the basic principles and benefits of forest bathing, and then venture into the warmth of the Conservatory for a series of meditations.

Create Your Own Kokedama | Marina Pawlesh

Mon., March 23 (Snow date: Mon., March 30) | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Material fee: $15
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Kokedama is a Japanese form of garden art. Translated in English, kokedama means “moss ball.” These pieces are created by enclosing a small plant in a ball of soil and wrapping it in moss. Learn what materials to use and how to care for and assemble your own kokedama, then take it home!

Backyard Composting | Nancy Martin

Wed., March 25 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$70 per person | $75 per couple
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Organic materials often considered waste — such as grass clippings, food scraps, autumn leaves and paper — can be turned into a rich soil conditioner with valuable plant nutrients through the natural process of decomposition. Learn about the importance of composting, how to set up a compost pile, properly maintain it and use the finished product. You will receive a FreeGarden EARTH compost bin, an 82-gallon receptacle that is an ideal choice for urban and suburban areas. This workshop is hosted by the Pennsylvania Resources Council. To register, click below or call 412-488-7490, ext. 247. Price includes one compost unit per registration.

Beginning Bonsai with Wiring: Juniper | Bob Dietz

Sun., Mar. 29 | 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

$35 members | $40 nonmembers | Material fee: $50
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Master the ancient art of bonsai in our hands-on workshops, and learn the horticultural techniques of styling, wiring, potting and root pruning. Style your own tree and take it home to begin or build your collection. All classes are suitable for beginners. Materials are provided, but bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them. Class size is limited.

Note: Tropical bonsai must live indoors in the cold months, while junipers and other hardy bonsai live outdoors year round.

Drawing a Plan of Your Garden | Joshua Beblo

Tues., April 7 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Editing and expanding your garden can be very enjoyable, but sometimes those changes may seem overwhelming. Planning your garden can help you to visualize the changes and calculate the work. Discover the tools and techniques needed to draw an accurate base plan of your home garden, then walk through the process of drawing a garden plan.

Orchids: Beyond the Basics | Tim Choltco

Wed., April 8 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$40 members | $45 nonmembers (includes price of an Oncidium type orchid to take home)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Delve deeper into the wide orchid diversity in the plant family Orchidaceae. Learn about light requirements for growing orchids at home and how to successfully repot different types of orchids, including Cattleya, Dendrobium and Oncidium.

Introduction to Garden Care | Linda Roos

Wednesdays: April 8, 15 and 22 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$60 members | $70 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Calling all novice gardeners! Feel confident creating and maintaining a beautiful home landscape. With an emphasis on sustainable practices, learn about soil preparation, plant selection, proper planting techniques, maintenance, and insect and disease control for both vegetable and ornamental gardens. Also, thoroughly review perennials, trees and shrubs that are hardy to this region and create a visually pleasing and environmentally friendly garden.

Planning Your Herb Garden | Andrea Jackson

Tues., April 14 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Demystify the process of starting an herb garden, learn about site selection and preparation, and discover how to select herbs that will suit your needs. Along the way, pick up life-enhancing tips about how to use the herbs you have planted.

Glass Flowers, Glass Plants | Daviea Davis

Wed., April 15 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Material fee: $7
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Create your own spring-themed 8” x 12” sun catchers using tumbled stained glass pieces as you learn about this ancient mosaic art form in a fun, casual way.

Planning Your Raised Bed Vegetable Garden | Mike Bechtel

Mon., April 20 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$20 members | $30 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall Auditorium and the Rooftop Edible Garden

Raised beds offer a number of advantages over in-ground gardens. Explore the range of materials you can use to build and fill raised beds, learn strategies for getting the most yield and discover accessories that can be added to beds to help extend the season and ward off pests. Also, take a guided tour of Phipps’ raised bed vegetable garden.

Watershed Awareness / Rain Barrel Workshop | Nancy Martin

Tues., April 21 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

$80 per person | $85 per couple
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Learn why rain barrels are especially important in Allegheny County, how to live on the land in a way that protects our waterways, how to install a rain barrel and how to best store and use rainwater. You will receive a 55-gallon FreeGarden rain barrel. Designed with the homeowner/gardener in mind, it is affordable, attractive, easy to move and easy to install. This workshop is hosted by the Pennsylvania Resources Council. To register, click below or call 412-488-7490, ext. 247.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Kevin Haughey

Sat., Apr. 25 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $30 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Master the ancient art of bonsai in our hands-on workshops, and learn the horticultural techniques of styling, wiring, potting and root pruning. Style your own tree and take it home to begin or build your collection. All classes are suitable for beginners. Materials are provided, but bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them. Class size is limited.

Note: Tropical bonsai must live indoors in the cold months, while junipers and other hardy bonsai live outdoors year round.

Beginning Bonsai with Wiring: Juniper | Bob Dietz

Sun., Apr. 26 | 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

$35 members | $40 nonmembers | Material fee: $50
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Master the ancient art of bonsai in our hands-on workshops, and learn the horticultural techniques of styling, wiring, potting and root pruning. Style your own tree and take it home to begin or build your collection. All classes are suitable for beginners. Materials are provided, but bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them. Class size is limited.

Note: Tropical bonsai must live indoors in the cold months, while junipers and other hardy bonsai live outdoors year round.

Wildflower Trail Hike | Cyndi Fink

Sat., May 2 (Rain date: Sat., May 9) | 1 – 4 p.m.

$30 members | $35 nonmembers
Raccoon Creek State Park

Raccoon Creek State Park is home to a 314-acre wildflower reserve that contains one of the most diverse stands of wildflowers in western Pennsylvania. Join us at the peak of spring wildflower season for a walk along the trails in the reserve and learn about the plants that call this place home. The hike is approximately 1 – 2 miles long, with some steep, uneven or muddy trail conditions. Pets are not allowed in the reserve. Detailed directions are provided upon registration.

Horticultural Tour of Fallingwater | Ann Talarek

Tues., May 5 (Rain date: Tues., May 12) | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$40 members | $45 nonmembers
Meet in the Fallingwater Admission Pavilion

Join Phipps for a special landscape tour led by Fallingwater’s horticulturist, focusing on the historic landscape that surrounds the house. Trillium, bluebells, lady slipper orchids and woodland violets are just a few of the native woodland flowers in bloom that you’ll see on the hike. Also, get unique insight on the cultural landscape of Fallingwater as well as stunning views of the Youghiogheny River and Bear Run. If you are interested in house tours afterwards, please arrange directly with the Fallingwater ticketing office.

Planning Your Bird and Pollinator Garden | Dr. Ryan Gott

Thurs., May 7 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$20 members | $30 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall Auditorium and the Discovery Garden

Learn the benefits of wildlife gardening for humans and the native birds, pollinating insects and other animals that surround us. We’ll discuss some of the native perennial plants that can be used to attract and support birds and pollinators. Plus, enjoy a walk at Phipps to see some of these plants in person.

Bonsai Re-pot and Refresh | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., May 9 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $30 nonmembers | Material fee: Variable, pots available for sale
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Students should bring their own bonsai to this class.