UPDATE: Phipps will reopen to members on Sat., June 6 and to the public on Sat., June 13. All tickets must be purchased in advance, and new safety protocols are required. Learn more about how you can join us!

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.

Our Small World: Intro to Macro Photography | Don Orkoskey

Sundays: June 7, 21 and 28, July 12 (Rain date: Sun., July 19) | 1–4 p.m.

$80 members | $90 nonmembers

Offered as a live webinar through Zoom

Delve into the world of macro photography by creating photos of pollinators and the plants they help propagate at home or in nearby natural spaces. Learn about depth of field, lighting, color,  capturing action, processing for printing and displaying. The class will include a visit from Phipps’  Associate Director of Integrated Pest Management Dr. Ryan Gott.

You should have access to a digital camera with a macro lens and manual settings, and a basic understanding of exposure and composition. All photography skill levels are welcome. For the online class, you will need a stable internet connection and a computer or tablet with a camera and microphone.

Invasive Species Management | Celine T. Colbert, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Tues., June 9 | 12 – 12:30 pm

$7 members | $8 nonmembers

Offered as a live webinar through Zoom

Learn various techniques for managing invasive species in a home-scale environment.

Weed Control Tools and Techniques | Dan Dalton, PASA

Wed., June 10 | 4:30 – 6 p.m.

$15 members | $17 nonmembers

Live Webinar

Weeds are a challenge for any home vegetable gardener – make this the year that you take control. This course will begin by getting you more familiar with weeds – covering their life cycles and phenology, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage. You will then explore a range of preventive controls (mulching, stale seed bedding, staggered timing, and tarping) and cultural controls (tillage and flame weeding), and best practices for mechanical control with hoes, hand tools and rototillers.

Creating Beautiful Garden Videos at Home | Lynn Purse

Wednesdays: June 17, 24 and July 1 | 5 – 6:30 p.m.

$45 members | $50 nonmembers

Class to be hosted on Zoom

Learn how to take great videos of your garden, do simple edits, and share with friends or feature them on your own YouTube garden channel. Get some tips on using your smart phone’s camera settings, stabilization and framing, free or low cost apps for a professional look, and using YouTube’s Creator tools if you want to share your finished work.

A Garden by Moonlight | Leslie Kaplan

Thurs., June 25 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $25 nonmembers
Live webinar through Zoom

Learn to combine flowers, scents and garden accessories to create an atmosphere of calm and beauty in the evening. White and evening gardens have a long history that you can learn from. Plus get some tips on effective yet unobtrusive modern outdoor lighting.

Drawing Pollinators | Melissa Fabian

Tues., July 7 | 1 – 3 p.m.

$20 members | $30 nonmembers
Live webinar through Zoom

Complete mini drawing exercises of various pollinators, and then choose your favorite to depict in a final sketch. Plus, learn about the importance of pollinators and the vital role they play in the environment. No previous drawing experience is required. A material list will be provided at the time of registration, so sign up early!

Backyard Composting Workshop | Nancy Martin, PA Resources Council

Tues., July 7 | 7 – 8:30pm

$20 member | $25 non-member (optional: $70 for a home composting bin)*

Offered as a live webinar through Zoom

Are you unsure what to do with your kitchen, garden, and yard scraps? Would you like natural, home-made compost for your lawns and gardens in the spring? Join us for this information-packed webinar, learn best practices for backyard composting, and get all of your composting questions answered. 

 * Students have the option to purchase a home composting bin at time of registration. Contactless, outdoor pick-up will be available after the class on Friday, July 10 from 4-8 p.m. at Mellon Park. Details will be sent upon registration.

Using Your Camera as a Garden Design Tool | Lynn Purse

Mondays: July 13 and 20  | 4:30 – 6 p.m.

$30 members | $35 nonmembers

Class to be hosted on Zoom

You see your garden every day, but do you really see it? Do you have areas that don’t work, but you don’t know why? See your garden through a photographer’s eyes and apply simple formulas that will change the way you view your garden and give you insight on planting and design. 

Invasive Plant Management for the Home Garden | Pia van de Venne

Tues., July 14 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Observe samples of common invasive weed species and learn how to identify them. Learn what invasive plants are sold in nurseries, why they are a problem and what plants you should choose instead. Plus, learn safe strategies for removal and proper disposal, and explore what to plant once you have removed invasive species from your yard.

Pennsylvania Native Bees and Butterflies | Dr. Ryan Gott

Wed., July 15 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Get to know the local bees, moths and butterflies of Pennsylvania with Phipps’ Associate Director of Integrated Pest Management Dr. Ryan Gott. Learn basic anatomy so you can distinguish each of these groups of insects with clarity. You’ll learn about important species and actions you can take at home to support beneficial insects. Plus, take a guided walk in Phipps’ outdoor gardens to observe, appreciate and identify insects.

Introduction to Hydroponics | Mike Bechtel

Thurs., July 16 | 6 – 7:30 p.m.

$15 members | $ 20 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall and Production Greenhouse

Explore the basics of hydroponics and system construction, learn about the vegetables that are grown at Phipps and discover what you can produce all year long. Plus, see Phipps’ hydroponics system in action with crops at the height of production as you take a tour of the Production Greenhouse where the system is located.

Bonsai Re-pot and Refresh | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sun., July 19 | 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.

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. Class size is limited.

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

Protecting and Promoting Pollinators | Dr. Ryan Gott

Tues., Aug. 11 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

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.

Advanced Gardening Series | Dan Dalton, PASA

Wednesdays: May 27, June 3 and 10 | 4:30 - 6 p.m.

Full series: $40 members | $45 non-members

Live Webinar

Ready to take your home vegetable garden to the next level? Designed for intermediate and advanced level home gardeners, this three-part series will give you an in-depth understanding of irrigation, weed control techniques, and intensive tomato production. You can enroll in the full series, or just take individual classes. Get the most of our your garden this season!

Intensive Tomato Production | Wed., May 27 | 4:30 – 6 p.m.

This class will cover everything you need to know to take your tomato harvest to the next level. Become familiar with the common differences between tomato varieties, and discuss a range of cultural practices, including: fertilization, pruning, trellising/staking, protective structures, mulching for weed control, and inter planting. This course will also cover common tomato issues as well as how to maintain productivity and flavor after harvest. 

Irrigation for the Home Garden | Wed., June 3 | 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Learn the essentials of properly watering plants in the home vegetable garden, and explore low and moderate costs irrigation suitable for the home gardener. This course will also cover how to fertilize crops through irrigation water, and how to capture and utilize rain water for irrigation. 

Weed Control Tools and Techniques | Wed., June 10 | 4:30 – 6 p.m.

Weeds are a challenge for any home vegetable gardener – make this the year that you take control. This course will begin by getting you more familiar with weeds – covering their life cycles and phenology, and how to use this knowledge to your advantage. You will then explore a range of preventive controls (mulching, stale seed bedding, staggered timing, and tarping) and cultural controls (tillage and flame weeding), and best practices for mechanical control with hoes, hand tools and rototillers.