NOTE: All member and nonmember tickets must be reserved in advance, and masks are now optional but recommended. Learn more about how you can join us!

The Sustainable Horticulture, Landscape and Garden Design, and Native Plant Landscapes Certificate programs consist of courses that teach best management practices necessary for gardening with minimal ecological impact, design priciples and techniques for creating environmentally responsible landscapes, and essential knowledge on how to best use native plants for habitat and ecosystem preservation.

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.

Confirmations will be emailed before each class, including a Zoom link for online classes. Please check your spam/junk mail folder, and if you have not received the link, email edu@phipps.conservatory.org.

Virtual classes are recorded and made available to all registered participants for one month after the program.

All times are Eastern Time Zone.

Current Classes

Classes Currently in Progress

  • Landscape Design I: The Design Process | Michele McCann | Wed., April 27, May 11 and 18 | 6:30 – 9 p.m. | Sat., April 30 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
  • Landscape Perspective Drawing | Michele McCann | Mondays: May 9, 16, 23 | 6:30 – 9 p.m.

  • Woody Plants I: Shrubs | Leslie Kaplan | Wednesdays: May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Detailed Listings

Plant ID Walks: Spring Flowers | Joshua Beblo

Saturday, May 21 | 10 a.m. – noon

$15 members | $20 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

The best way to learn about new plants is to see them firsthand in the landscape. On each Saturday walk, landscape architecture instructor and plantsman Joshua Beblo will introduce you to dozens of plants in the landscape. Walks will focus on different themes, and any plants you pass are fair game for identification and discussion. Tune in to the wonderful world of plants all around you. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design elective. Approved for 2.0 hours of continuing education for landscape architects by LA CES.

Native Herbaceous Plants | John Totten

Thursdays: June 2, 9, 16, 23 | 6:30 – 9 p.m. 

$110 members | $130 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: to gain 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. You’ll gain a better understanding of how the plants of our region got here, how they are related to the wild plants of other places and how to grow and propagate them. Native Plant Landscapes core course and Sustainable Horticulture Certificate elective. Approved for 10.0 hours of continuing education for landscape architects by LA CES.

This class has been canceled.

Using Color Effectively in the Garden | Lynn Purse

Mondays: June 6, 13, 20, 27 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

$88 members | $98 nonmembers

Virtual program through Zoom

Objective: To be able to think more extensively about color in the garden and to learn techniques for combining plants to create beautiful vignettes.

Level: Intermediate

Prerequisite: None

Color is the first thing you notice in the garden. Learn to use flowers, foliage, and hardscape to create color harmonies and contrasts in the garden that suit your tastes and your style of gardening.  The instructor will lead you through the principles of the color wheel, show you ways to make color a part of your garden design, and teach you the techniques of combining plants to create beautiful vignettes. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape & Garden Design elective. Approved for 8.0 hours of continuing education for landscape architects by LA CES.

Creating a Water Garden | Gary Baranowski

Tuesday, June 7 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.  

$20 members | $25 nonmembers 

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: to be able to design, install and maintain residential water gardens including container gardens, ponds, waterfalls and streams.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

The sight and sound of water satisfies our senses, and the addition of a water feature can create a natural focal point in a garden. This class will cover site selection, installation, maintenance and plant choices. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape & Garden Design elective.

Plant ID Walks: Shade Foliage and Color | Joshua Beblo

Saturday, June 18 | 10 a.m. – noon

$15 members | $20 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

The best way to learn about new plants is to see them firsthand in the landscape. On each Saturday walk, landscape architecture instructor and plantsman Joshua Beblo will introduce you to dozens of plants in the landscape. Walks will focus on different themes, and any plants you pass are fair game for identification and discussion. Tune in to the wonderful world of plants all around you. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design elective. Approved for 2.0 hours of continuing education for landscape architects by LA CES.

Summer Pest Scouting Practicum | Braley Burke

Sat., June 25 | 9 a.m. – noon 

$20 members | $25 nonmembers

Botany Hall, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens  

Objective: To become familiar with common summer landscape pests and diseases.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

To keep a healthy garden, it’s important to know what can go wrong and how to address it. The first step is scouting for common pests. Become a plant investigator and learn how to get to the root of your garden’s summer issues! This class will start out with a presentation on how to search your garden for pests, and the second half will continue as an investigation of Phipps’ Outdoor Garden to scout for summer pests. This class is taught by Phipps IPM Specialist and entomologist Braley Burke. Be prepared to find and identify whatever comes your way! Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape & Garden Design Certificate elective.  Approved for 3.0 CEUs for landscape architects by LA CES.

Habitat Gardening | Juliette Olshock, Braley Burke and Jess Horenstein

Mondays: July 11, 18 and 25 | 6:30 – 8 p.m.

$45 members | $50 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To gain an understanding of the concepts necessary to create a backyard habitat while acquiring a greater awareness and appreciation of the natural world.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

A garden really comes to life when we begin to think of it as a habitat, containing more than just plants.  Participants will learn to create a landscape that is visually attractive and at the same time fosters a diversity of plants to benefit local wildlife. Welcome birds, butterflies and other critters to your garden by creating the habitats they prefer. Phipps staff take turns sharing their expertise to help guide you on your way to creating a beautiful garden that is welcoming to wildlife. Sustainable Horticulture, Landscape & Garden Design, and Native Plant Landscapes elective. Approved for 7.50 CEUs for landscape architects by LA CES.

Plant ID Walks: Summer Standouts | Joshua Beblo

Saturday, July 16 | 10 a.m. – noon

$15 members | $20 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

The best way to learn about new plants is to see them firsthand in the landscape. On each Saturday walk, landscape architecture instructor and plantsman Joshua Beblo will introduce you to dozens of plants in the landscape. Walks will focus on different themes, and any plants you pass are fair game for identification and discussion. Tune in to the wonderful world of plants all around you. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design elective.

Botanical Latin for Gardeners | Laura Schoch

Saturday, July 23 | 9 a.m. – noon

$20 members | $25 nonmembers 

Botany Hall, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 

Objective: to become familiar with botanical names of plants and understand the importance of their use  

Level: beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

You say Tomato, I say Lycopersicon… Using the appropriate name for a plant isn’t being persnickety or pedantic, it is being accurate. Botanical nomenclature will help you correctly identify and know your plants better. In this short course, we will learn the history, meaning and uses of plant names. We will explore how a botanical garden uses plant names and how you can become a better gardener by learning the basics of botanical nomenclature. Some of this class will be inside instruction and some will be outside learning through exploration and observation. Sustainable Horticulture, Landscape and Garden Design, and Native Plant Landscapes elective.

Summer Garden Care | Meg Graham

Saturday, July 30 | 9 a.m. – noon  

$20 members | $25 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: to care for your garden more sustainably to conserve resources and support wildlife

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

Learn sustainable gardening techniques for caring for your garden in the heat of summer. Learn the best way to water plants in order to conserve water and minimize the spread of disease. Explore strategies for maintaining a healthy garden that is good for plants people and planet! Sustainable Horticulture, Landscape & Garden Design, and Native Plant Landscapes elective.

Plant ID Walks: Vines and Groundcovers for Hillsides | Joshua Beblo

Saturday, Aug. 20 | 10 a.m. – noon

$15 members | $20 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

The best way to learn about new plants is to see them firsthand in the landscape. On each Saturday walk, landscape architecture instructor and plantsman Joshua Beblo will introduce you to dozens of plants in the landscape. Walks will focus on different themes, and any plants you pass are fair game for identification and discussion. Tune in to the wonderful world of plants all around you. Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design elective.

Landscape Perspective Drawing | Michele McCann

Mondays: May 9, 16, 23 | 6:30 – 9 p.m. 

$85 members | $95 nonmembers

Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Objective: To use hand-drawn graphic techniques to produce section-elevations and one point perspective drawings.

Level: Beginner 

Prerequisite: Landscape Graphics 

Section-elevations and perspective drawings are tools used by designers to evaluate early design ideas.  They may also be rendered for presentation purposes as they represent a fairly realistic view of a space.

Topics include section-elevation graphics, basic elements of a one point perspective, techniques to create a one point perspective, and rendering a one point perspective. Landscape and Garden Design Certificate elective. Approved for 7.5 hours of continuing education for landscape architects by LA CES.

NOTE:  Bring to the first class the drafting tools required for Landscape Graphics.

This class is now filled. Please email edu@phipps.conservatory.org to be placed on the waiting list.

Woody Plants I: Shrubs | Leslie Kaplan

Wednesdays: May 18, 25, June 1, 8, 15 | 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. 

$110 members | $130 nonmembers

May 18 and 25: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

June 1 and 8: Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Botany Hall 

June 15 Field Trip

Objective: To become proficient in the identification, cultural requirements and landscape use of a wide variety of hardy shrubs that perform well in western Pa.

Level: Beginner to intermediate

Prerequisite: None

Woody Shrubs are the unsung heroes of our gardens, providing year-round interest with blooms, fruit, foliage, and structure. This hands-on course will challenge you to learn to identify a wide variety of shrubs, their seasonal beauties and cultural requirements. A significant portion of each class will be spent studying these fabulous plants outdoors. Landscape and Garden Design Certificate core course and Sustainable Horticulture Certificate elective.