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The Native Plant Landscapes Certificate program consists of a series of courses designed for participants to learn to appreciate and use native plants, discover the importance of habitats and ecosystems, and explore how native plants can fit into our gardens.

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.

Botany for Gardeners | Dr. Linda MK Johnson

Wednesdays: June 3, 10 and 17, July 1, 8, 15* and 29 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$154 members | $174 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to connect good gardening practice with the science that supports it

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

Why do some seeds germinate and others fail? Why should flowers be cut early in the morning? What are the effects of insect and fungi attacks? Discover the answers to these questions and get a fascinating look at how plants grow. Explore botanical principles and topics such as plants, their stems, leaves and roots, and their importance to humankind. Also, learn about performance factors, reproduction, fruits and flowers. Sustainable Horticulture and Native Plant Landscapes Certificate core course

* Class on July 15 will be held in Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall.

Plant Ecology of Western Pennsylvania | Dr. Linda MK Johnson

Thursdays: June 4 and 11 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Saturday excursions: June 6 and 13 (Heavy rain date: Sat., June 20) | 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

$110 members | $130 nonmembers
Class sessions will be held at Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park, and excursions will take place at Raccoon Creek State Park (June 6) and Beechwood Farms Nature Reserve (June 13)

Objective: To be able to identify a variety of ecological communities and the vital interactions that link them together

Level: Beginner

Prerequisite: None

Plant ecology deals with the fascinating study of plant communities, including forests, wetlands and stream sides, as well as more uncommon communities, such as barrens and bogs. Take an intimate view of specific communities in order to gain a better understanding of what plants grow naturally together and why. By exploring the local natural communities during field trips, you will appreciate the interaction of plants, animals, birds and people in the environment. We will review conservation, preservation and endangered plants. Native Plant Landscapes Certificate core course; Sustainable Horticulture Certificate elective

Backyard Entomology | Dr. Ryan Gott

Tuesdays: June 9, 16 and 23 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$66 members | $76 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To recognize and be able to differentiate between several important groups of insects and how they can help in your backyard

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

The most familiar insects to you are probably those right around your own home. Get to know them better and learn to appreciate insects of all kinds in this introduction to pests, beneficial insects and entomology (the study of arthropods). Learn about the amazing creatures that live right in your own backyard! Sustainable Horticulture Certificate and Native Plant Landscapes Certificate elective

Goodbye Grass with George Weigel

Thurs., Aug. 27 | 6:30 – 9 p.m.

Individuals: $25 members | $35 nonmembers
Couples: $35 members | $40 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Tired of reseeding, fertilizing, weed-killing, watering and constantly mowing your big “low-maintenance” lawn? Explore ways to downsize your lawn, such as groundcovers, low-care mixed gardens and other alternatives to grass. George will name some of the best plants for replacing lawns, both ones that can tolerate some foot traffic as well as ornamentals, including many native and deer-resistant varieties. Light refreshments will be served from 6:30 – 7 p.m. with the opportunity to meet the speaker. Books will be available for sale. The presentation begins at 7 p.m. Sustainable Horticulture, Landscape and Garden Design, and Native Plant Landscapes elective

George Weigel has written five gardening books, including Pennsylvania Getting Started Garden Guide and Pennsylvania Month-by-Month Gardening. George writes a garden column for The Harrisburg Patriot-News and other online gardening posts for pennlive.com and his own website. He is a retired Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist, has written for several magazines, including Horticulture, Central PA Magazine and Pennsylvania Gardener, and for 18 years created commissioned drawings and consults for home gardeners. George’s books will be available for purchase after his talk.