Landscaping & Design
Classes & Workshops

Creating a Home Landscape You Can Love and Enjoy

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. 

Read this letter from your instructor
Please bring the following information to the first workshop session:
  • A dimensioned sketch of your site (the entire property) that includes all existing buildings, structures, and hardscapes (e.g., house, garage, driveway, walkways, patios, decks, utilities, play sets, outbuildings, fencing, dog kennel, etc.) that will be retained. Existing trees and other plants that will be retained should also be included. Again, note this is just a dimensioned sketch, not a to-scale drawing.
  • A plot plan of your site if available on hand or if you can get one from your city or county
  • Pictures of your site - at minimum, you should have photos of all four elevations of the residence (front, back, and each side) and any other views that provide context and information that might be helpful to you and help others understand your site; pictures may also be stored and shared electronically with an iPad, laptop computer, or other electronic device (the minimum size for printed images should be 5" x 7").
  • A Completed Client Interview Form (provided separately).
  • A Completed Site Survey Form (provided separately).

Limit 16, Marion Andrus Learning Center

Sold out. Add your name to the waitlist, we will contact you if a spot opens.
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


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


Give the Gift of an Arboretum Educational Experience

Join the experience-giving trend this holiday season...your thoughtfulness will not only benefit the recipient, but will benefit the Arboretum, too! Learn more

Classes Catalog

View online

Request a catalog in the mail

Email Subscriptions

  • Subscribe here to opt-in to your choice of Arboretum Education email alerts. You'll only receive emails on the topics you select, so you can keep your inbox interesting and relevant to you! (Every email contains easy instructions for opting out at any time.)


Arboretum Education Office Hours
          Mon - Fri, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
          Sat - Sun, noon - 4 p.m.
Email Arboretum Education at

Call Arboretum Education at

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
          Q&A at the Yard & Garden Desk

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

Gardening & Horticulture Classes
Gardening - General
       Edible Gardening
       Landscape & Design
Floral & Botanical Crafts
      Schoolyard Gardens Conference
       Pollinators - Misc

Fine Art & Crafts Classes

Painting & Drawing

       Mixed Media
       Floral & Botanical Crafts
       Jewelry & Wearable Art
       Fiber Arts
       Stone Balancing & Sculpture
       Open Art Studio
Photography Classes
       Special Access Experiences
Food & Wine Classes
       Dine with a Chef
       Cooking Classes
       Edible Gardening
       Garden-to-Plate Workshop Day

       Book Club
Nature Appreciation
       Signature Guided Walks
Nature-Based Therapeutics

       Arboretum Staff
       Education Department Statistics

Share your feedback

Your opinions are important! 
The Arboretum strives to create classes that are relevant, useful and provide value. Use this form to share anonymous feedback about educational programming with the Arboretum Education Team.