NEW! Online Classes | Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens | Pittsburgh PA

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Presented as a live webinar through Zoom
Materials: Students may source their own materials to “make along” with the instructor, or enjoy as a demo.
Objective: To be able to make classic bows for your holiday decorating
Level: Beginner
Prerequisite: None

Presented as live webinar through Zoom
Materials: Students may source their own materials to “make along” with the instructor, or enjoy as a demo.
Objective: To learn to make and decorate a wreath or swag for your holiday door.
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None 

Personalize your home for the holidays!  Rose will demonstrate the mechanics needed to actually make your own wreath or swag with live materials.  You can decide if you want to work along, if you’d like to purchase a live wreath from a nursery or garden center to decorate yourself, or to just observe for inspiration. Floral Design Certificate elective

Presented as live webinar through Zoom
Materials: Students may source their own materials based on their containers and personal preferences. It’s recommended to watch the class as a demo, then design your décor following the course.
Objective: To be able to design attractive and long-lasting winter displays for your home
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Prerequisite: None

Learn how to enhance your home’s curb appeal during the winter season with outdoor décor. Polly will design unique outdoor arrangements based with evergreens in a pedestal urn and decorative porch container options that can be customized to your home’s style. Natural botanicals and trim options will be displayed. Instructional guidelines will be provided with design tips, evergreen options, and tools/supplies needed. Floral Design Certificate elective

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom
Materials: Students may source their own materials to “make along” with the instructor, or enjoy as a demo.
Objective: To be able to create a sculptural holiday centerpiece
Level: Beginner to advanced
Prerequisite: If making along, please have at least one prior flower class completed.

In this class, students will see how to make an armature to create extra interest for their holiday centerpiece. Various techniques will be displayed, and a discussion on design elements in order to create the best piece possible will be included. Floral Design Certificate elective

Presented as live webinar through Zoom
Materials: Students may source their own materials to “make along” with the instructor, or enjoy as a demo. Instructional guidelines will be provided with container and evergreen options, natural botanicals, ribbon yardages and décor accent ideas.
Objective: To be able to design a natural looking winter seasonal urn arrangement and personalize it to your home décor for the holiday season.
Level: Beginner to intermediate; Basic floral design recommended, but not required
Prerequisites: None

Using a variety of natural materials and winter foliage, create a classic urn arrangement. This design features fresh evergreens with natural cones and pods, accented with faux berries and trims for winter seasonal appeal. Learn how this piece can be personalized to your home décor with the addition of unique trims for the holiday season. Floral Design Certificate elective

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom
Materials: Students may source their own materials to “make along” with the instructor, or enjoy as a demo.
Level: Basic to Intermediate
Prerequisite: Basic Floral Design recommended, but not required
Objective: Light up and learn the mechanics to create themed holiday lantern displays.

Western Pennsylvania Gardener Series | Gabe Tilove and Juliette Olshock

Wednesdays: Sept 16, 23, 30, Oct. 7, 14, 21, 28, Nov 4

Full Series: $220 members | $250 non-members (6:30 – 8:30 p.m.)

Presented as a live webinar through Zoom

Fall is for gardeners! This series is designed for home gardeners in western Pennsylvania looking to upgrade their expertise and grow gardens that are beautiful and well adapted to the ecology of our region. Learn the essential skills needed to create a thriving garden, connect to local resources, and get your all your garden questions answered.

Students may register for individual classes, or the entire series. Full series participants will have an additional 30 minutes of class each week for follow-up Q&A and discussion from the previous class. Full series students will also have access to a Google Classrooms page to share resources, ask questions throughout the week, and connect with fellow students.

Sessions will be taught by Phipps staff, Gabe Tilove and Juliette Olshock.

Gabe Tilove is the associate director of adult education and community outreach for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where he works to connect people more closely to the beauty of the natural world through education and outreach. Gabe oversees Phipps Master Gardener program, and is a passionate home gardener.

Juliette Olshock is the Sustainable Landcare Program Coordinator for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, where she organizes trainings and educational opportunities for local landcare professionals and homeowners. Juliette enjoys playing in the soil, growing a variety of plants, and creating a backyard oasis at her home in Hazelwood.

Native Plants for Beautiful, Biodiverse Yards | Gabe Tilove

Wednesday, Sept. 16

Native plants are essential to a thriving backyard ecosystem – join us to learn more about what makes a plant “native” to western Pa. and how they support birds and butterflies. Discover our favorite native perennials, shrubs and trees for a variety of landscape uses, learn about Phipps’ Sustainable Plant finder, and connect with local and mail order nurseries to source great native plants – it’s not too late to plant this fall!

Weed and Invasive Plant Management | Juliette Olshock

Wednesday, Sept. 23

Without proper management, weeds and invasive plants can take over a garden, choke out preferred plants, and damage your backyard ecosystem. This class will familiarize you with key strategies for managing weeds, clarify the difference between a weed and invasive plant, and introduce you to some of the most common species in our region.

Easy to Grow Backyard Fruit | Juliette Olshock and Gabe Tilove

Wednesday, Sept. 30

Fruits are one of the most satisfying crops you can grow at home! Learn the differences between types of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries and how to purchase, plant, and maintain them. An overview of other less common fruits will also be included.

Pruning, Planting and Maintenance: The Fall Garden | Gabe Tilove

Wednesday, Oct. 7

Fall is a wonderful time to get busy again in the garden after the heat of summer has subsided, Join us for a comprehensive review of fall garden activities. Sharpen up your pruning skills, review planting techniques for trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs, get tips to thicken up your lawn, learn about soil testing, and discuss fall clean-up best practices that support both plant and pollinator health.

Creating and Managing Healthy Soil | Juliette Olshock

Wednesday, Oct. 14

Healthy soil is essential for good plant growth. In this class, learn the fundamentals of soil characteristics including the physical, chemical and biological aspects of soil, as well as the strategies for improving soil health in order to grow healthy plants and minimize pest and disease pressure. The importance of soil tests will be discussed as well as how and why to take a soil test.

Deer, Shade and Hillsides: Addressing Western PA Garden Challenges | Juliette Olshock

Wednesday, Oct. 21

Learn how to manage the many challenges of gardening in Western Pa. What plants are safe from deer? How do you manage shade? And what to do with a steep sloping garden. Learn unique strategies for dealing with these difficult sites in order to create a beautiful garden.

Managing Water in your Landscape | Gabe Tilove

Wednesday, Oct. 28

Water moves through every landscape, and can be both a blessing and a curse. This class will introduce you to the key strategies and landforms that can help you slow down and infiltrate water flow in a way that is good for your garden and our local waterways.

Creating Backyard Habitat for Birds, Pollinators and more | Juliette Olshock

Wednesday, Nov. 4

Our gardens can support a variety of life; providing wonder and entertainment. Learn how to create a backyard habitat that attracts birds, pollinators and other wildlife, as well as the benefits of native plants and the importance of different habitat elements. Students will receive locally relevant plant lists and other resources.

The full series option is now closed. Individual sessions are listed above.