Landscaping & Design
Classes & Workshops

Creating a Home Landscape You Can Love and Enjoy

Select a session
  • Saturdays Sept 14 & 28, Oct 12 & 26, Nov 9: 9 a.m.-noon (150-09-14-19)
  • Saturday AFTERNOONS Sept 14 & 28, Oct 12 & 26, Nov 9: 1:30-4:30 p.m. (150-09-14-19-01) This session is canceled.
  • Saturdays January 4 & 18, February 1, 15 & 29, 2020: 1:30-4:30 p.m. (150-01-04-20)
Jim Calkins, landscape and production horticulturist, Research Information Director - MN Nursery & Landscape Assn

Do you dream about having a beautiful home landscape or have a specific landscape project in mind, but don't know how to get started? In this progressive, five-session workshop, your own yard is your class project! Learn in class and through take-home assignments: 
  • Theory and principles of landscape design
  • How to analyze soils and other site characteristics
  • Proper plant selection for your site
  • How to develop a functional, manageable, environmentally sound, cost-effective, and visually pleasing design unique to your home setting
In addition to class group learning, there will be time for the instructor to check-in and provide advice specific to each participant's project. 

Limit 16, Marion Andrus Learning Center


Saturdays Sept 14 & 28, Oct 12 & 26, Nov 9
9 a.m.-noon (150-09-14-19)
$200 member/$250 non-member, includes Arboretum admission
Couples Price! $225 member couple/$280 non-member couple for couples working together on the same project


Saturdays January 4 & 18, February 1, 15 & 29, 2020
1:30-4:30 p.m. 
$200 member/$250 non-member, includes Arboretum admission
Couples Price! $225 member couple/$280 non-member couple for couples working together on the same project


Walk with Mary: Ornamental Grasses

Thursday, September 19, 2019
4 p.m.-6 p.m.

Mary Meyer, University of MN Professor and Extension Horticulturist

Ornamental grasses provide year-round beauty, are low maintenance and provide fabulous habitat! Join Dr. Meyer for an introduction to the grass collection at its peak, and learn: 
  • More about the 200+ species in the Arboretum's collection- one of the largest in the country!
  • The seasonal peaks of beauty for various cultivars
  • The important habitat and forage grasses provide for local birds and insects
  • How to select varieties or cultivars for your home landscape
Dr. Meyer's book, Ornamental Grasses for Cold Climates, is available in the Arboretum Gift Store. NOTE Be sure to come dressed for the weather and ready to spend time outdoors!

Limit 25, Maze Parking Lot

$15 member/$30 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

Wild & Neat: Bridging the Gap between Design and Ecology

Janet Sinner Endowed Horticultural Speaker Series
Thursday, October 10
6:30-8:30 p.m.

Claudia West, Principal Landscape Architect at Phyto Studio, Co-Author of "Planting in a Post Wild World." She holds a master's degree of landscape architecture and regional planning from the Technical University of Munich, Germany. West is a sought after speaker on topics such as plant community based design and the application of natural color theories to planting design.

Plants serve as the very foundation of life on our planet. Planting more native plants in our gardens is ecologically important for a more sustainable future. However, many native plant gardens suffer aesthetically and fail to inspire the public. Great planting design is an essential part of the solution and can be achieved! Dig deeper with Claudia in this lecture as you:
  • Understand the aesthetics and functional challenges surrounding native planting
  • Learn inspiring design principles derived from wild plant communities
  • Understand how to translate classic landscape design into smaller garden spaces to help you create the ecological plant oasis of your dreams
Limit 150, Oswald Visitor Center - MacMillan Auditorium

$10 member/$25 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

Walks with Alan: Plants of Winter Interest

Thursday, December 5, 2019
2 p.m.-4 p.m.

Alan Branhagen, Arboretum Director of Operations and published horticulture author

As much as we love our gardens in the summer, there is an undeniably long winter season in which we still wish to enjoy them. On this walk: 
  • See firsthand what plants and cultivars really stand out in the winter
  • Discover the Arboretum's best cold-weather beauties, from woody and herbaceous to flowering and fruiting
  • Collect inspiration, plant lists, and a renewed motivation to enjoy your winter garden
Limit 25, Oswald Visitor Center - Carlson Dining Room

$14 member/$29 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

2020 Extension ProHort Core Course

Choose how you learn!

  • Online Class
    At-Your-Own-Pace starting January 6, 2020
  • In-Person Classes
    Fridays & Saturdays 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., January 10th through February 1st
    Minnesota Landscape Arboretum - MacMillan Auditorium

ProHort is for industry professionals, homeowners, educators and anyone looking for comprehensive horticulture foundation education from University of Minnesota Extension. The ProHort Core Course includes the same online and in-person classes offered for the Master Gardener Volunteer Core Course. Receive the same instruction without the obligation of volunteering or continuing education!

This course consists of 14 modules

  1. Botany & Horticulture
  2. Soils, Composting & Fertilizers
  3. Herbaceous Plants
  4. Woody Plants
  5. Lawn Care
  6. Weed Management
  7. Growing Vegetables
  8. Growing Fruit
  9. Indoor Plants
  10. IPM
  11. Plant Pathology
  12. Plant Diagnostics
  13. Entomology
  14. Living with Wildlife

How it works - online
Registered participants will be automatically enrolled in the online course. You will receive course login information and details by email on January 6, 2020. and The online course consists of 14 modules, each with a knowledge quiz at the end. The online course is self-paced, and you will have access to all the online information, modules, and quizzes starting January 6, 2020. You will have until December 2020 to work through any or all of the material. A reference manual will be sent to you prior to the course start date, approximately mid-December.

Time Commitment
Expect an average of 40 - 60 hours to complete all the course material and quizzes.

Choose how you learn!
Course fee includes your choice of learning options. You may complete all the material online at your own pace, OR choose to attend any or all of the in-person sessions with University experts at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Registered participants will receive an email with a calendar of dates that each module will be covered in person at the Arboretum (in-person dates: Jan. 10 & 11, 17 & 18, 24 & 25, Jan 31st & Feb 1st). You can mix-and-match online and in-person modules as desired to suit your schedule and learning preferences.

Certificates of Completion
Earn a Certificate of Completion by passing each of the 14 online knowledge quizzes that are available after each module.

Cancellation policy$50 refund for cancellations on or before December 15, 2019. No refunds after December 15. Course registration is transferable through January 2, 2020.

Registration Deadline
Core course registration deadline: December 1, 2019


includes Arboretum admission for in-person sessions, course fee and materials


Plant Selection: Right Plant, Right Place, Right Purpose!

Choose a session
Tuesday, January 14, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 150-01-14-20
Saturday, February 22, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m. 
Julie Weisenhorn, Horticulture Educator, University of Minnesota Extension

After a long, cold winter it's easy to go a bit wild at the garden center, but proper plant selection is critical to sustainable landscapes and the overall success of a design. Learn proper plant selection by: 
  • Understanding the site itself - its soil, light, moisture, exposure, size, etc.
  • Choosing plants that will thrive in your specific site
  • Work in Extension's Plant Elements of Design plant selection database to try out your new knowledge on your own landscape
You will leave the class with increased confidence to make plant choices in your 2020 garden, and an understanding of tools that are available to help! 
A wifi-ready device, such as a laptop or tablet. Smartphones will also work, but not preferred! 
Limit 14, Oswald Visitor Center - Azalea Classroom

Optional Add-on Session: Plant Sourcing
Same day as class, 1:30-2:30 p.m.

Stay for an optional Plant Sourcing add-on to learn: 
  • How to find sources for specific species and cultivars, from local garden centers to mail in catalogs
  • Tips and tricks for choosing healthy plants
  • Leave with a list of resources so you can plan your garden with confidence

Tuesday, January 14, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
$41 member/$56 non-member, 
without add-on session
$56 member/$71 non-member, 
includes Optional Plant Sourcing add-on session
all fees include Arboretum admission and all supplies

Saturday, February 22, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
$41 member/$56 non-member, 
without add-on session
$56 member/$71 non-member, 
includes Optional Plant Sourcing add-on session
all fees include Arboretum admission and all supplies

Establishing and Maintaining Prairie Communities

Saturday, February 1, 2020
1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Beth Markhart, Prairie Restorations

Bring your laptop and learn how to bring an important native plant community onto your property, whether a small garden or large landscape. In this course, you will: 
  • Discover the benefits of prairie communities, from soil-building to attracting beneficial insects
  • Learn how to model native prairie plant communities on a scale that works for your property
  • Interact with other prairie gardeners through fun, interactive learning using internet real-time activities during class
  • Leave with a site-planning handout and list of resources, plus an understanding of how to establish your own prairie community in the spring.
Bring from home: an internet-accessible laptop (Sorry, no smart pads or phones)
Limit 40, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab

$47 member/$62 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

Creating Habitat for Birds and Butterflies in your Yard & Garden

Select a session
Saturday, February 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon 150-02-15-20-02
Saturday, March 14, 1-2:30 p.m. 150-03-14-20
Julie Boden, Gardener and Nature Enthusiast

Are you interested in attracting more birds and butterflies to your garden or patio? Come learn everything you need to know to invite a stunning variety of these winged visitors into your own backyard sanctuary!
  • Food, water and shelter
  • Which plants will best fit your location to provide food or shelter
  • Which species are attracted to different plants
  • Simple non-plant additions are helpful to meet the needs of birds and butterflies
Limit 50, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab

Saturday, February 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon
$25 member/$40 non-member, 
includes Arboretum admission 


Saturday, March 14, 1-2:30 p.m.
$25 member/$40 non-member, 
includes Arboretum admission 


New Perennials & Exciting Combinations for MN Gardens

Saturday, February 15, 2020
1 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Mike Heger, Lecturer and Author of "Perennials A to Z", Retired Owner Ambergate Gardens 

One of the most enjoyable things about designing with perennials is the myriad combination possibilities in the landscape. Explore: 
  • Selection process including flower shape, plant form, foliage color and texture
  • Exciting examples that illustrate these principles
  • Other unique possible combinations for your garden(s)
  • New and recent perennial introductions that have proven to be good performers in the North
You will leave with a comprehensive list of new perennials and combinations to try!
Limit 40, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab


$41 member/$56 non-member
includes Arboretum admission


Get Growing: A Day of Garden Workshops

Saturday, April 4, 2020
9 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Beginner to Intermediate Gardeners
Cabin fever has hit and you are dreaming of your best yard yet for 2020, but who has time to learn everything? This day-long buffet of classes is the answer - you will get "Cliffs Notes" on a wide range of gardening topics! You'll finish the day motivated and educated for the best garden season yet! 
Choose any 5 sessions
Custom-select your perfect day filled with your choice of available presentations and workshops on topics from soil and compost to trees and turf!
All-inclusive pricing
$95 member/$110 non-member, includes your custom choice of sessions, coffee, breakfast refreshments, lunch and take-home bag filled with gardening goodies
Garden Goodie Bags
All participants receive reusable bag filled with take-homes from your selected sessions--a binder of handouts and an assortment of plants, seeds, and other garden goodies!

Limit 80, Visitor Center

Sessions coming soon!
Be the first to know when sessions are posted and registration is open! Subscribe to Arboretum Gardening & Horticulture Class Alerts and you'll be notified when registration opens!! 
$95 member/$110 non-member
includes Arboretum admission

Kitchen Gardening: A Bountiful Edible Landscape

Saturday, April 18, 2020
9:30 a.m.-noon

Rhonda Fleming Hayes, Author, Photographer, Gardener, Magazine Contributor

Kick your vegetable garden aesthetic up a notch! In this class, you will: 
  • Learn about the history of "Potager-style" kitchen gardens from French Medieval times, and their resurgence into modern garden trends
  • Hear about the basic design of a potager, including symmetrical geometrical beds with the vegetables planted in patterns or groups rather than in rows, often with flowers, fruit and herbs intermingled
  • See how you can incorporate some or all of these ideas into your landscape that are useful for you
  • Learn Rhonda's tips for growing successful and bountiful kitchen gardens
Limit 24, Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center - McVay Learning Lab

$41 member/$56 non-member
includes Arboretum admission


Classes Catalog

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Arboretum Education Office Hours
          Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
          Sat - Sun, noon - 4 p.m.
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Member Perk!

Arboretum Members may invite non-members to attend a class with them at the discounted member rate! Simply register for all participants at the same time in the same order and select the "member" rate for each person at checkout.

Cancellation Policy

Prior to registering, please review the cancellation policy


The best chance of being enrolled in a sold out class is to add your name to the waitlist. Click the orange "waitlist" button and complete the steps, or call 612-301-1210. There is no obligation to register if a spot opens. If the waitlist shows enough demand, additional class sessions may be added.

Program Quick Links

          PlantMaker Studio
          NaturePlay for Wee Ones
Garden Fun Stops
1-Hour Tram Tour
          Guided Walking Tours 
          Q&A at the Yard & Garden Desk

Youth+Adult Together Programs
       Ages 3-5 with adult
       Ages 5-12 with adult

Summer Youth Programs
       Ages 6-12 Groups/Summer Field Trips
       Ages 5-13 Weekly Children's Garden
       Ages 5-7 Day Camps
       Ages 7-11 Day Camps

Gardening & Horticulture Classes
Gardening - General
       Edible Gardening
       Landscape & Design
Floral & Botanical Crafts
      Seasonal Holiday
       Pollinators - Misc
       Special Access Experiences
Fine Art & Crafts Classes

Painting & Drawing

       Mixed Media
       Floral & Botanical Crafts
       Jewelry & Wearable Art
       Fiber Arts
       Stone Balancing & Sculpture
       Open Art Studio
       Seasonal Holiday
Photography Classes
       Special Access Experiences
Food & Wine Classes
       Dine with a Chef
       Cooking Classes

       Book Club
Nature Appreciation
       Signature Guided Walks
Nature-Based Therapeutics

       Arboretum Staff
       Education Department Statistics

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