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 Photographic Problems | Bob Egan

Saturdays: Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24 (Snow date: March 3) | 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

Wed., Feb. 7 (Snow date: Tues., Feb. 13) | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Make sheets of paper by hand using cotton and other plants. 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. 24 | 10 – 11:30 a.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers
Head House 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.

Plant Tour: Tropical Forest Cuba | Jennifer Davit, Phipps Curator of Horticulture

Wed., March 7 (Snow date: March 14) | 10 – 11 a.m.

$15 members | $25 nonmembers
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Level: Beginner to advanced

Get an in-depth tour of our all-new Tropical Forest: Cuba exhibit with Curator of Horticulture Jennifer Davit. She will introduce you to the fascinating growth habits of the Cuban plants on display and share the cultural stories behind the plants. This tour will enrich your experience of Phipps’ Cuba exhibit and give you a deeper appreciation for the rare plants that will be on display.

Introduction to Orchid Care | Demetria Marsh

Thurs., March 8 | 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., Feb. 22 and you may choose to purchase your own Phalaenopsis grown locally by Bidwell Training Center.

Make Your Own Hypertufa Container | Lauren Weeks, Phipps Grower

Tues., March 27 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$30 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $10
Head House at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, meet in Welcome Center

Level: Beginner

Hypertufa is a semi-porous, weather resistant stone that resembles tufa stone—a material used throughout Phipps Palm Court. You can make it into containers yourself inexpensively. Hypertufa containers are handsome and made to last, commonly planted with alpine plants or succulents. Make your own hypertufa container in class to cure at home, and learn tips and tricks for adding texture and other personal touches.

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.

Build Your Own Beneficial Bug Hotel | Ryan Gott, Phipps Integrated Pest Management Specialist

Tues., April 3 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

Beneficial insects provide pollination and natural pest control for your garden free of charge. Help attract these beneficial insects to your garden by providing luxury accommodations. Discover the benefits of bug hotels, key design and management considerations, and methods to attract particular species of insects. Furnish your own crate-size bug hotel in class to take home. All materials will be provided.

Catch the Sun Mosaics | Daviea Davis

Wed., 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.

Wildflower Trail Hike | Cyndi Fink

Sat., April 14 | 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.

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.

Horticultural Tour of Fallingwater | Ann Talarek

Tues., April 24 (Rain date: May 8) | 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 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.

Spring Garden Planning Series

Sign up for all four Spring Garden Planning classes below and receive $10 off registration!
$70 members | $90 nonmembers

Spring Garden Planning Series: Planning Your Rain Garden | Sara Madden

Tues., March 6 (Snow date: March 13) | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

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.

Spring Garden Planning Series: Planning Your Cut Flower Garden | Jonathan Weber

Mon., March 26 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

Have you ever wondered whether any of the flowers in your yard could be cut and used in arrangements? Discuss varieties of annuals, perennials, bulbs and woody shrubs you might want in a cutting garden, and how best to go about planning, starting and planting them. Plus, learn how to condition them for best vase life and how to use them in arrangements.

Spring Garden Planning Series: Planning Your Herb Garden | Andrea Jackson

Wed., March 28 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

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!

Spring Garden Planning Series: Planning Your Raised Bed Vegetable Garden | Mike Bechtel

Tues., April 10 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
$20 members | $25 nonmembers

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall and the Rooftop Edible Garden

Level: Beginner

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, strategies for getting the most yield, and 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.

Tropical Bonsai: Ficus nerifolia | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., March 10 | 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.

Cascading Bonsai: Juniper | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., March 24 | 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.

Art of Bonsai Workshop | Daniel Yobp

Sat., March 31 | 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.

Beginning Bonsai Workshop | Kevin Haughey

Saturday, April 7 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall

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 Workshop | Kevin Haughey

Saturday, April 21 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall

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.

Bonsai Re-pot and Refresher | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., April 14 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

Level: Beginner

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. Bring your own bonsai and learn about maintenance and repotting. Class size is limited.