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.

Garden Knots | Andrew Tomaskovic

Mon., Aug. 21 | 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.

Glass Flowers, Glass Plants | Daviea Davis

Monday, Aug. 28 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

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

Nature Journaling at Jennings Prairie | Jeanne Perrier

Sat., Sept. 9 (Rain date: Sept. 16) | 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

$60 members | $70 nonmembers
Jennings Prairie

Level: Beginner to advanced

Spend the day at Jennings Prairie observing and documenting native plants. You will be provided with a journal, a list of plants currently in bloom, a map of Jennings Prairie and general instructions on nature journaling. We will head into the field to practice slowing down and discovering what nature has to offer. Your completed work will serve as a reference for general scientific information or future drawings. Choose your trails based on your physical abilities — there are many accessible locations for those who have limited mobility! Please bring your lunch and consider carpooling. Detailed directions are provided upon registration.

Bonsai: Build and Plant Your Own Ceramic Bonsai Pot | Daniel Yobp and Kyle Hauser

Wednesdays: Sept. 13, 20 and 27 | Sept. 13 and 27: 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.; Sept. 20: 7 – 9 p.m.

$80 members | $100 nonmembers | Material fee: $50
Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Ceramics Studio

Level: Beginner to advanced

Phipps and Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Center for the Arts are collaborating to offer this one-of-a-kind experience. Learn about the history of bonsai and their containers, and then build, fire and glaze your own ceramic pot. In the final week, plant your pot with juniper bonsai and learn how to care for and train them. To register, please call 412/361-0455. Online registration will be available soon. All classes will meet at the PF/PCA ceramics studio.

Introduction to Orchid Care | Demetria Marsh

Thurs., Sept. 14 | 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., Aug. 24 and you may choose to purchase your own Phalaenopsis grown locally by Bidwell Training Center.

Beginning Bonsai Workshop | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., Sept. 16 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $40
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 see below for additional sessions, or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail to be placed on the waiting list.

Insect Drawing | Marianne Pionati-Hilke

Saturdays: Sept. 16 and 30 | 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

$100 members | $120 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Using fundamental shapes, draw insects of your choice. Watch the instructor demonstrate how to draw dragonflies and grasshoppers, and learn how to build the different parts of the insect using line, texture, color and more. Start with graphite, and later try using colored pencil and micron pens.

Bulbs: Planting and Care | Linda Roos

Tues., Sept. 19 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$20 members | $30 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Bulbs provide color in the garden from early spring till 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 or review the basics and gather some new tips.

A Trip through the September Garden | Lynn Purse

Sat., Sept. 23 | 10 a.m. – noon (rain or shine)

$20 members | $30 nonmembers
Allison Park (directions will be sent to all registrants)

Level: Beginner

As summer wanes, September gardens reward us with lush foliage and deep flower color. Tour Lynn Purse’s Ridgewood Gardens, typically overflowing with hydrangea, Echinacea, rudbeckia, clematis, ornamental grasses, goldenrod, agastache and shrub roses inter-planted with annual and tropical plants. Pots of tomatoes, herbs and flowers also add color to decks surrounded by a tall, green woodland filled with the sounds of cicadas and tree frogs. It is sure to be a beautiful trip!

Harvest Teas and Tinctures | Jessica Graves

Tues., Sept. 26 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers (material fee included)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Discover which herbs are used to promote fall wellness, and learn how to formulate your own tea blends and tinctures from autumn’s harvest. Students will take home a sample of each.

Home Fermentation Series | Jill Ciciarelli

Wednesdays: Sept. 27; Oct. 11 and 25 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$30 members | $35 nonmembers (price is for one class)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park
Classes are taken individually.

Level: Beginner to advanced

Learn the foundations of home fermentation and how to preserve fresh foods using one of the world’s oldest preservation methods. Create probiotic-rich foods that not only taste good, but are also good for you. Each hands-on workshop focuses on making a different ferment that you will take home, and all materials are included. All classes include an introduction to fermentation basics.

Home Fermentation Series | Jill Ciciarelli

Sept. 27: Sauerkraut — Ferments can be as simple or as complex as you make them. Learn to make sauerkraut on your own kitchen counter.

Home Fermentation Series | Jill Ciciarelli

Oct. 11: Kimchi — Korea’s most popular food is seeing an increase in popularity on American menus and in American homes. Create your own unique kimchi with traditional and non-traditional ingredients.

Home Fermentation Series | Jill Ciciarelli

Oct. 25: Fermented Drinks: Kombucha, Shrubs and Kefir — Fermented drinks are a great way to add probiotic foods into your daily routine. Learn how to make three of the most popular drinks so you are ready for any occasion.

Bonsai Over Rock for Beginners | Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., Sept. 30 | 10 a.m. – noon

$25 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Learn how to plant, prune and maintain bonsai by creating a root-over-rock specimen — in this case, a juniper trained over tufa rock. Please bring a pair of hand pruners if possible.

Fall Horticultural Tour of Fallingwater | Ann Talarek

Tues., Oct. 10 (Rain date: Oct. 17) | 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$40 members | $50 nonmembers
Tour begins at the Fallingwater Visitor Center

Level: Beginner to intermediate

There is no better time than fall to enjoy the natural surroundings of this iconic house. Join Phipps for a special landscape tour led by Fallingwater’s horticulturist, Ann Talarek, focusing on the historic landscape that surrounds the house and the tree species that provide the best fall displays. 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.

Art of Bonsai Workshop | Daniel Yobp

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

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

Level: Beginner

Bonsai is an ancient art that combines horticultural and artistic creativity. Learn how to design and nurture a Juniperus procumbens into a bonsai through specialized techniques, such as pruning, wiring and potting. All materials will be provided and you will take home a completed bonsai. Please bring a pair of hand pruners if possible.

Make Your Own Terrarium | Rose Kocher

Tues., Oct. 17 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

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.

Fall Foraging for Wild Edible Plants and Mushrooms | Adam Haritan

Thurs., Oct. 19 | 7 – 9 p.m.
Field trip: Sat., Oct. 21 (Rain date: Sun. Oct., 22) | 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

$40 members | $45 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park (lecture) and Schenley Park (field trip)

Level: Beginner

Autumn is a great season to learn the skills you need to forage for various wild greens, roots, nuts, seeds, fruits and edible mushrooms. Identify wild edible plants, trees and mushrooms, discover the nutritional benefits of wild foods, explore drying and storing methods, learn how to harvest and process acorns, and much more. We will also learn about late-season wild foods, including those available into the winter months. Plus, take a walk through Schenley Park to find wild edible plants and mushrooms.

Bonsai Forest Workshop | Dr. Norbert Pietrzak

Sat., Oct. 21 | 10 a.m. – noon

$30 members | $35 nonmembers | Material fee: $45
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Using three maple seedlings, create a landscape that replicates nature. Learn how to plant, prune and maintain this spectacular style of bonsai. Please bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them. Class size is limited to 15 participants, so be sure to register early.

Bird Drawing | Marianne Pionati-Hilke

Saturdays: Oct. 21 and 28 | 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

$100 members | $120 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Working with basic shapes, learn to draw birds using value, line, color, texture and more. In the first class, the instructor will demonstrate the process of drawing bird feathers, eyes, beaks and feet. Begin by drawing with graphite and later try out colored pencil and micron pens.

Make Your Own Terrarium | Rose Kocher

Tues., Oct. 24 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

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.

Herbs for Stress Relief | Jessica Graves

Thurs., Oct. 26 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$25 members | $30 nonmembers (material fee included)
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Level: Beginner

Prepare for the upcoming holiday season by learning about traditional herbs used to maintain healthy body balance and release tension, stress and anxiety. You will take home an herbal stress reduction tea as well as a relaxing essential oil blend.

Beginning Bonsai Workshop | Kevin Haughey

Sat., Oct. 28 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

Level: Beginner

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 in this hands-on workshop, and you will take home a completed dwarf garden juniper bonsai. Please bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them.

Digital Photography | Bob Egan

Saturdays: Oct. 28; Nov. 4, 11 and 18 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

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

Level: Beginner

Explore different aspects of photography through the use of a digital camera. Topics to be covered include digital workflow, camera settings, composition, image transfer and viewing preparation. Subjects like white balance, jpeg versus raw formats, and histograms will be de-mystified so that they can be used as reliable tools. As you practice, you will receive instructor feedback on weekly photographic assignments. People with all levels of experience are welcome.

Beginning Bonsai Workshop | Kevin Haughey

Sun., Oct. 29 | 10 a.m. – noon

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

Level: Beginner

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 in this hands-on workshop, and you will take home a completed dwarf garden juniper bonsai. Please bring a pair of hand pruners if you have them.