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.

Watershed Awareness / Rain Barrel Workshop | Nancy Martin

Tues. Sept. 3 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

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

Harvesting rainwater can save money, benefits water quality in our region and makes
good sense for backyards and gardens. 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 "Register with PRC" below or call 412/488-7490, ext. 247. Pre-registration is required.

Garden Knots | Andrew Tomaskovic

Mon., Sept. 9 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

A well-tied knot is as beautiful as it is effective. Spend an evening immersing yourself in the world of knots. Learn knot terminology and practice tying the most essential knots for any gardener to know with the support of a practicing arborist.

Houseplant Bootcamp | Jonathan King

Wed., Sept. 11 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 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. Learn how to prepare houseplants to come inside for the winter after they have been outside all summer. All of the fundamentals are covered, including basic botany, sensible plant selection, lighting, watering, fertilizing, grooming and troubleshooting. Learn through presentations and a hands-on repotting demonstration.

Capture the Light Mosaics | Daviea Davis

Thurs. Sept. 12 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

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

Intensive Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Bob Dietz

Sat., Sept. 14 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$35 members | $40 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.

Fall Gardening: Season Extension | Dan Dalton, PASA

Mon., Sept. 16 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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

Just because the first frost is approaching doesn’t mean that your garden harvest needs to come to a halt. Learn more about crops that can succeed late into the year and how to create low-cost structures such as cold frames and low-tunnels that can keep you harvesting into winter.

Orchids 101: The Basics | Tim Choltco

Thurs., Sept. 19 | 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 | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., Sept. 21 | 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.

Bulbs: Planting and Care | Linda Roos

Tues., Sept. 24 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Bulbs provide color in the garden from early spring until the first frost. Fall is the time to plant winter-hardy bulbs for your spring display and to start thinking about how to store the tender bulbs that give tropical flair to the summer garden so they’ll be ready for planting next year. Whether you’re new to bulbs or an old hand, learn the basics and gather some new tips.

Papermaking for All Occasions | Katy DeMent

Thursdays: Sept. 26, Oct. 3, 10 and 17 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$80 members | $90 nonmembers | Material fee: $30
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Learn about traditional and modern papermaking techniques, color, texture, surface design and composition as you create your own recycled paper out of plant fibers collected from your home and garden. Plus, explore the process of producing pulp from both dry and green fibers, learn how to use pressed and dried leaves and flowers as embellishments, discover how to make seeded papers, and experiment with various methods, such as dyeing plant fibers and wet-on-wet collage. Dry handmade paper sheets will be hand-bound into sample/recipe books with more handcrafted papers to keep and share.

Make Your Own Terrarium | Monica Colantoni

Mon., Sept. 30 | 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.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Kevin Haughey

Sat., Oct. 5 | 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.

Capture the Light Mosaics | Daviea Davis

Thurs. Oct. 10 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

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

Tropical Bonsai: Oriental Fig | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., Oct. 12 | 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.

Backyard Composting | Nancy Martin

Mon., Oct. 14 | 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 "Register with PRC" below or call 412/488-7490, ext. 247.

Price includes one compost unit per registration. Pre-registration is required.

Healthy Soil for the Vegetable Garden | Dan Dalton, PASA

Wed., Oct. 16 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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

Healthy, fertile soil is the key to growing healthy plants and improving the yield in your home vegetable garden — and fall is the perfect time to invest in your garden’s soil. Learn effective organic fertility management techniques, as well as how to read soil tests and translate them for the home garden. Plus, discover the practical use of various soil amendments, including cover crops.

Door Charm | Lorrie Easudes

Tues., Oct. 22 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Material fee: $30
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Craft a striking autumn accent for your home. Make a door charm using dried grasses, dried florals, autumn accents and fall leaves.

Create Your Own Kokedama | Marina Pawlesh

Tues., Oct. 22 | 7 – 8:30 p.m.

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

Kokedama is a Japanese form of garden art and is sometimes known as a “poor man’s bonsai.” 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!

Organic Lawn Care: Fall Maintenance | Walter Jarosh

Wed., Oct. 23 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Lush lawns that are safe for children, pets and the environment begin with the creation of healthy soil and fall is a great time to get started. Learn how to grow an organic lawn that is free of synthetic chemicals in accordance with Phipps’ Safe Lawn Program. Discover the best practices for mowing, watering, fertilization and aeration, and discuss insect and weed control with a focus on fall lawn care.

Herbs from the Witch's Garden | Andrea Jackson

Mon., Oct. 28 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Discover the mystical qualities of herbs and how you can use them to bring a little bit of magic into your life.

Tropical Bonsai: Dwarf Jade | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., Oct. 26 | 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.

Paper Making: Holiday Card | Katy DeMent

Wed., Nov. 6 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Use cotton and other plants to make sheets of paper by hand.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Kevin Haughey

Sat., Nov. 9 | 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.