The Sustainable Horticulture Certificate program consists of a series of core courses that includes Basic and Advanced Horticulture, Soils, Diagnosing Plant Problems and Botany for Gardeners. These classes teach best management practices necessary for gardening with minimal ecological impact. Electives further enhance students’ understanding of sustainable practices that help protect soil health, water resources, air quality and land usage, and result in the creation of aesthetically pleasing 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.

Native Herbaceous Plants and Their Uses in the Landscape | John Totten

Mondays: Nov. 4, 11 and 18 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Objective: To have a working knowledge of the native plants around us and how they can be used in the landscape
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

Using a plant-community-based approach, we’ll explore the diverse flora that surrounds us and learn how these plants can transform our landscapes and enrich our lives. Gain a better understanding of how the plants of our region got here, how they relate to the wild plants of other places, and how to grow and propagate them. Native Plant Landscapes Certificate core course, and Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design Certificate elective

Gardening in the Shade | Leslie Kaplan

Tuesdays: Nov. 5, 12 and 19 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Objective: To have an appreciation of the shade garden and be able to select and situate appropriate plants for the shady site
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

Gardening in the shade is not difficult — it is just different! Shade gardens provide a peaceful retreat where you can highlight the simplicity and elegance of plants. Expand your plant palate and learn to combine a variety of forms, foliage textures and variegation to make your garden come alive. Discuss different types of shade, annuals, perennials and shrubs that thrive in shady conditions. Explore tried and true varieties as well as some of the newest cultivars that have recently been introduced to the trade. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design elective

Tree and Shrub Maintenance | Walter Jarosh

Tuesdays: Jan. 21 and 28, Feb. 4 and 11 (Snow date: Tues., Feb. 25) | 7 – 9 p.m. Field day: Sat., Feb. 29 (Snow date: Sat., March 28) | 10 a.m. – noon

$115 members | $135 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To understand the basics of woody plant care and to use this knowledge to ensure proper personal and professional selection and maintenance of trees and shrubs
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

Learn the basics of arboriculture as we cover tree biology, plant selection, site preparation, planting, pruning, fertilization, and diagnosis and control of insect and disease problems. Plus, attend a hands-on field session in Mellon Park. Sustainable Horticulture, Landscape and Garden Design, and Native Plant Landscapes Certificate elective

History of Landscape Design | Joshua Beblo

Mondays: Feb. 3, 10, 17 and 24, March 2 and 9 (Snow date: Mon., March 16) | 7 – 9 p.m.

$132 members | $152 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to integrate design principles with architectural styles based on landscape history knowledge
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

A garden’s form and the sense of place it creates can only fully be understood by studying the culture and individuals who brought it into existence. Learn to apply knowledge of garden history in evaluating today’s materials and spaces. Landscape and Garden Design Certificate core course; Sustainable Horticulture Certificate elective

Soil Ecology | Walter Jarosh

Thursdays: March 12, 19 and 26, April 2 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$88 members | $98 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To understand soil’s role in the garden and to learn to modify it for successful gardening
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

Healthy soil and the beneficial bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms it harbors provide the foundation for optimal plant growth and development. Learn about the physical properties of soils, best management practices, and soil tests and fertilizers. Sustainable Horticulture, Landscape and Garden Design, and Native Plant Landscapes Certificate core course

Landscape Revitalization | Leslie Kaplan

Tuesdays: March 17, 24 and 31, April 7 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$88 members | $98 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to revitalize and refresh a home landscape without starting from scratch
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

An aging, established landscape often does not need to be removed entirely — only re-envisioned and reworked in order to revitalize it. Learn techniques for enhancing an existing landscape. Discover how to give the landscape a new look by adding fresh plants, removing those that are no longer thriving, engaging in selective pruning and incorporating other garden elements while still using existing plants. Use these skills to think through changes to your own property. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design elective

Seed Starting | Linda Kramer

Wed., March 18 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$22 members | $27 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To be able to successfully start seeds at home
Level: Beginner
Prerequisite: None

Learn the steps to successfully start seeds and transplant them. Discuss heirloom and hybrid qualities and gain the confidence to successfully start seeds at home for spring. Sustainable Horticulture and Native Plant Landscapes elective

Basic Horticulture | Xuri Zhang

Mondays: March 30, April 6, 13 and 20, May 4 and 11 | 6:30 – 9 p.m.

$198 members | $228 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To understand the basic concepts and practices related to plant care
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

The study of horticulture includes both the science and the art of growing plants. Learn about plant anatomy and lifecycles, propagation, soils, plant nutrition, greenhouse pests, environmental factors that affect growth and development, basic nomenclature, and more. Sustainable Horticulture Certificate core course

Principles for Natural Garden Design | Joshua Beblo

Mondays: April 6, 13 and 20 | 7 – 9 p.m.

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

Objective: To begin to be able to design a garden based on the natural ecology of the site and incorporate appropriate native plants and wildlife needs into the landscape
Level: Intermediate to advanced
Prerequisite: None

Let the natural environment dictate the design of the landscape. Starting with a site analysis, become inspired by natural plant communities and structural elements that keep ecology in mind. With an emphasis on sustainability, incorporate native trees, shrubs and wildflowers into your landscapes. Native Plant Landscapes core course; Landscape and Garden Design Certificate and Sustainable Horticulture Certificate elective

Landscape Design III: Design Development | Acadia Klain

Thursdays: April 9, 16 and 23, May 7 | 7 – 9 p.m.

$120 members | $140 nonmembers
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To gain the experience and graphic skills needed to complete a master plan
Level: Intermediate
Prerequisite: Landscape Graphics, Landscape Design I and II

Using skills learned in Landscape Design I and II, work through design development to create a master plan. Please bring the following items to the first class: an engineer’s scale, straight edge triangles (45° and 30° -60° -90°), mechanical pencils (one soft and one hard lead), a chisel point black marker, an extra fine point black Sharpie® marker and a small roll of tracing paper (bum wad). Landscape and Garden Design Certificate core course; Sustainable Horticulture Certificate elective