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.

Beginning Bonsai Workshop | Kevin Haughey

Saturday, April 21 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park (please note change of venue)

Level: Beginner

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 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.

This class is now filled. Please see the Art of Bonsai class above, or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail to be placed on the waiting list.

Horticultural Tour of Fallingwater | Ann Talarek

Tues., April 24 (Rain date: Tuesday, May 8) | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (Walk will take place on May 8)

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

Level: Beginner

Few visitors take the opportunity to enjoy the stunning natural surroundings of this iconic house. 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 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.

Registration for this tour is now closed.

Wildflower Trail Hike (Rescheduled!) | Cyndi Fink

Sat., April 28 (Please note new date) | 1 – 4 p.m. (approximately two hours walking time)

$30 members | $35 nonmembers
Raccoon Creek State Park

Level: Beginner

Raccoon Creek State Park is home to a 314-acre wildflower reserve that contains one of the most diverse strands 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. Travel through a variety of habitats, including oak-hickory forest, pine plantations, woodland meadows and flood plain forest. The hike is approximately one – two miles long, with some steep, uneven or muddy trail conditions. Pets are not allowed in the reserve. Detailed directions are provided upon registration.

Make Your Own Succulent Wreath | Monica Colantoni

Mon., May 7 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Material fee: $50
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Succulents are striking, water-storing plants that make their mark in many unusual indoor and outdoor plantings. Learn about these beautiful, drought-resistant plants and use them to create your very own living wreath. Plus, discover other ways to use succulents in your home and garden.

This class is now filled. Please call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail with questions, or to be placed on the waiting list.

Organic Gardening | Sarah Meiss

Tuesdays: May 8, 15 and 22 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

Learn how to plan, implement and care for an organic garden, including what works best for your space, your time and your hope for food production. Discover methods to get the most out of your garden while practicing organic ideals such as: no synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, sustainable gardening, and pest management. Learn about organic garden preparation, care, designs and long term care.

Beginning Bonsai Workshop | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., May 12 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

Level: Beginner

In this hands-on workshop, you will have the opportunity to study the timeless and ancient art of bonsai as you learn the horticultural techniques of styling, wiring, potting and root pruning. All materials will be provided and each participant will take home a completed dwarf garden juniper bonsai. Please bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them.

This class is now filled. Please call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail with questions, or to be placed on the waiting list.

Growing Figs in Your Garden | Pat Morgan

Mon., May 14 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Have you ever eaten a luscious, juicy, fresh fig? It tastes nothing like your everyday fig newton! Learn about figs’ origin and cultural history, unusual characteristics and varieties specific to northern climes. Yes, it is possible to grow fig trees in the north! Then explore how and when to propagate, prune, harvest and preserve figs, and look at several ways to overwinter and protect figs.

Sustainable Perennials for Your Garden | Linda Roos

Wednesdays: May 16 and 23 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$40 members | $45 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center at Mellon Park and Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall

Level: Beginner to intermediate

First, attend a class at Phipps Garden Center to learn about sustainable perennials. Then, explore the Sustainable Perennial Beds at Phipps Conservatory, as well as other locations on the grounds to see some of the region’s top-performing and most reliable varieties first hand, many of which are featured in Phipps’ Top 10 Sustainable Plants lists. During the tour, you will not only see the plants as they grow, but also learn about best practices for designing, planting and maintaining a healthy sustainable garden.

Tropical Bonsai: Weeping Fig | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., May 19 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $40
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Learn how to plant, prune and maintain a weeping fig (Ficus benjamina) — an excellent bonsai specimen for the indoors. All materials will be provided and each participant will take home a completed bonsai. Participants should bring a pair of hand pruners if they have them.

This class is now filled. Please call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail with questions, or to be placed on the waiting list.

Make Your Own Succulent Wreath | Monica Colantoni

Mon., May 21 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Material fee: $50
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Succulents are striking, water-storing plants that make their mark in many unusual indoor and outdoor plantings. Learn about these beautiful, drought-resistant plants and use them to create your very own living wreath. Plus, discover other ways to use succulents in your home and garden.

This class is now filled. Please call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail with questions, or to be placed on the waiting list.

Protecting and Promoting Pollinators | Ryan Gott

Wednesdays: May 23 and 30 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$40 members | $45 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Pollinators provide important services without which the ecosystem would grind to a halt. There are many more pollinators besides honey bees! Explore many kinds of pollinators, the problems they face in the world today and what we can do to help them thrive.

Phipps Outdoor Gardens Walk | Jennifer Davit

Thurs., May 24 | 11 a.m. – noon

$10 members | $15 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Explore Phipps’ Outdoor Gardens with the guidance of Phipps’ Curator of Horticulture, Jennifer Davit and get an in-depth spring tour of Phipps’ perennials, shrubs and trees.

Glass Flowers, Glass Plants | Daviea Davis

Mon., June 4 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers | Material fee: $7
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Create your own summer-themed 8” x 12” sun catcher using tumbled stained glass pieces.

Garden Design and Walking Tour | Lynn Purse

Tues. June 12 | 7 – 9 p.m. | Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall
Field trip: Sat., June 16 | 10 a.m. – noon | North Hills Area; directions provided upon registration

$40 members | $60 nonmembers

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Design a home garden that reflects your personal style and connects your home to the landscape. The first class will focus on basic design principles that any homeowner can use to create a uniquely personal garden. The second class will be an onsite guided visit to the instructor’s garden where you can observe how the basic design principles are put into real life practice. The garden features deer resistant plantings — including native plants for pollinators — and fenced areas that feature mid-June blooms of roses, clematis, hydrangea and early daylilies.

Tropical Bonsai: Dwarf Jade | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., June 30 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $40
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Learn how to plant, prune and maintain a Portulacaria afra — an excellent bonsai specimen for the indoors. All materials will be provided, and each participant will take home a completed bonsai. Participants should bring a pair of hand pruners if they have them.

This class is now filled. Please call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail with questions, or to be placed on the waiting list.

Macro Photography | Bob Egan

Wednesdays: July 11, 18 and 25; Aug. 1 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Learn about the equipment and techniques you need to take photos of small objects and make them appear larger. Then, explore the Conservatory and practice those techniques with cameras and tripods. Your photographs will be reviewed and critiqued in a friendly, non-challenging environment each week. This class is open to people at all levels of experience and is hands on. Please bring cameras and close-up equipment to each session. Any type of camera is capable of producing great macro images and can be used for this class.

Planning for a Fall Vegetable Crop | Mike Bechtel

Tues., Aug. 7 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall and the Rooftop Edible Garden

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Savvy vegetable gardeners are able to maximize their harvest by planting multiple crops in the same space throughout the season. Learn the tips, tricks and timelines for successfully extending the growing season.

Garden Knots | Andrew Tomaskovic

Mon., Aug. 27 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

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.

Introduction to Orchid Care | Demetria Marsh

Thurs., Sept. 27 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

Learn all about home orchid care, discuss common varieties and discover their histories. Register by Thurs., Sept. 6 and you may choose to purchase your own Phalaenopsis grown locally by Bidwell Training Center.

Introduction to Wild Foraging: Spring Edition | Adam Haritan

Thurs., April 19 | 7 – 9 p.m.
Field trip: Sat., April 21 | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$50 members | $60 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park (lecture) and Frick Park (field trip)

Level: Beginner

Delicious, nutritious and free food—yes, it’s as local as your very own backyard! In this two-part class, learn the basics of wild food foraging, including springtime wild plant identification, tree identification, nutritional benefits of wild foods, harvesting methods, drying and storing methods, medicine making, the sustainability and ethics of foraging, and much more. Take a wild edible plant walk in Frick Park, and explore and discuss various springtime edible and medicinal plants that inhabit the area. You can expect to learn at least 15 key wild plant species of western Pennsylvania that can be used for food and/or medicine.

Introduction to Garden Care | Linda Roos

Mondays: April 9, 16 and 23 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

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.