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.

Solving More Photographic Problems | Bob Egan

Saturdays: Feb. 2, 9, 16 and 23 (Snow date: March 2) | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$150 members | $170 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall

Level: Intermediate to advanced

Learn how to overcome obstacles to capture the image you have pre-visualized. Discover strategies to help you plan the solution, determine required lighting, be in the right spot at the right time, have the necessary equipment on hand, adjust camera settings, capture the image and apply any intended post-processing to produce the final image.

Handmade Valentines | Katy Dement

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

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

Level: Beginner to intermediate

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.

Tool Selection and Maintenance | Laura Schoch, Phipps Display Horticulturist

Sat., Feb. 23 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers
Production Greenhouse at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, meet in Welcome Center

Level: Beginner

Professional gardeners learn how to take care of their own tools. Why shouldn’t home gardeners? Dull, unmanaged tools can lead to hand fatigue and pain. Sharpen your skills (pun intended), and learn tool selection, general maintenance, sharpening, cleaning and conditioning of basic tools, such as shovels and trowels. Also, learn how to maintain another set of tools — your hands. Keep your hands in top gardening condition with exercises you learn in this class. Bring your pruners.

Introduction to Orchid Care | Tim Choltco

Thurs., March 28 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers | Orchid 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., March 14 and you may choose to purchase your own Phalaenopsis grown locally by Bidwell Training Center.

Introduction to Garden Care | Linda Roos

Wednesdays: April 3, 10 and 17 | 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.

Catch the Sun Mosaics | Daviea Davis

Thurs., April 11 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

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

Horticultural Tour of Fallingwater | Ann Talarek

Tues., April 30 (Rain date: May 14) | 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$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’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.

Wildflower Trail Hike | Cyndi Fink

Sat., May 4 | 1 – 4 p.m. (Rain date: May 18)

$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 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. 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 and takes about two hours, with some steep, uneven or muddy trail conditions. Pets are not allowed in the reserve. Detailed directions are provided upon registration.

Spring Garden Planning Series: Full Series

Level: Beginner
Sign up for all five classes and receive $10 off registration! ($95 members | $125 nonmembers)

PLANNING YOUR RAIN GARDEN | Sara Madden
Wed., March 6 (Snow date: Tues., March 12) | 7 – 9 p.m.
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Rainwater can be a blessing and a curse. When it falls too heavily, we can experience localized flooding and overburden our storm water system, creating environmental issues. Well-designed rain gardens help to hold and infiltrate storm water 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.

PLANNING YOUR HERB GARDEN | Andrea Jackson
Tues., April 2 | 7 – 9 p.m.
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

When considering starting an herb garden, it can be hard to know where to begin. Demystify the process, 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. Beware — once you have decided to plant an herb garden, you will be hooked for life!

PLANNING YOUR RAISED BED VEGETABLE GARDEN | Mike Bechtel
Mon., April 8 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall 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 an inspiration-gathering guided tour of Phipps’ raised bed vegetable garden.

PLANNING YOUR MEDICINAL HERB GARDEN | Jessica Graves, Una Biologicals
Thurs., April 18 | 7 – 9 p.m.
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Join Una Biologicals to learn about planning a medicinal herb garden, including identifying which plants are best for you, as well as simple garden design and plant care.

PLANNING YOUR BIRD AND POLLINATOR GARDEN | Ryan Gott
Wed., April 24 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall and the Discovery Garden

Gardens can benefit creatures beyond just humans. Plants provide resources to our native birds, pollinating insects and other animals. This course will introduce the benefits of wildlife gardening for both animals and humans and discuss some of the native perennial plants that can be used to attract and support birds and pollinators. The class will include a walk at Phipps to see some of these plants in person.

Planning Your Rain Garden | Sara Madden

Wed., March 6 (Snow date: Tues., March 12) | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Rainwater can be a blessing and a curse. When it falls too heavily, we can experience localized flooding and overburden our storm water system, creating environmental issues. Well-designed rain gardens help to hold and infiltrate storm water 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.

Planning Your Herb Garden | Andrea Jackson

Tues., April 2 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

When considering starting an herb garden, it can be hard to know where to begin. Demystify the process, 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. Beware — once you have decided to plant an herb garden, you will be hooked for life!

Planning Your Raised Bed Vegetable Garden | Mike Bechtel

Mon., April 8 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall 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 an inspiration-gathering guided tour of Phipps’ raised bed vegetable garden.

Planning Your Medicinal Herb Garden | Jessica Graves, Una Biologicals

Thurs., April 18 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $30 nonmembers | Material fee: $5
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Join Una Biologicals to learn about planning a medicinal herb garden, including identifying which plants are best for you, as well as simple garden design and plant care.

Planning Your Bird and Pollinator Garden | Ryan Gott

Wed., April 24 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

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

Gardens can benefit creatures beyond just humans. Plants provide resources to our native birds, pollinating insects and other animals. This course will introduce the benefits of wildlife gardening for both animals and humans and discuss some of the native perennial plants that can be used to attract and support birds and pollinators. The class will include a walk at Phipps to see some of these plants in person.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Saturday, March 2 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

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.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Saturday, March 30 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

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.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Kevin Haughey

Saturday, March 9 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

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.

Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Kevin Haughey

Saturday, April 27 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

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.

Tropical Bonsai: Bougainvillea | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Saturday, March 16 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

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.

Intensive Beginning Bonsai: Juniper | Bob Dietz

Saturday, April 13 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$35 members | $40 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

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.

Tropical Bonsai: Oriental Fig | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Saturday, May 18 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

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.