Phipps recommends:
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

Native Plants

You can update your knowledge and skills with this certificate program. Learn to identify, select and incorporate native plants in your larger designs and practice.

Native Woody Plants and Their Uses in the Landscape

Dates: Monday, Sept. 8 and 29; Oct. 20
Time: 7 - 9 p.m.
Instructor: Joshua Beblo
Objective: To be able to identify the characteristics, needs and landscape uses of a variety of native woody plants
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: Ecology and Conservation Concepts for Landscape Design suggested but not required
Fee: $ 66 members; $96 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

Students in this course will gain proficiency in identifying characteristics of native woody plants by surveying taxonomic features such as growth habits, size, flowering sequence and cultural requirements. Along with acquiring knowledge of these attributes, students will also learn the importance of site placement in creating ecologically informed landscape designs.

This class is currently in progress. Please call 412/441-4442 or e-mail with questions.

Native Plant Landscapes core course, and Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design Certificate elective; PCH 6.0 | LA CES 6.0

Ecology and the Designed Landscape

Dates: Tuesday, Oct. 7, 14 and 21 | Field Trip: Saturday, Oct. 11
Time: 7 - 9 p.m.; Field Trip 10 a.m. - noon
Instructor: Linda Kramer and John Totten
Objective: To be able to apply the basic concepts of plant ecology and local plant communities to the designed landscape
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 88 members; $128 non-members
Location: Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park

(Formerly known as Ecology and Conservation Concepts for Landscape Design)

The fields of ecology and landscape architecture grew up together in the late 19th century. Their close alliance was nearly lost in the mid-20th century but has since been rediscovered as interest in ecological landscape design and sustainability has grown. Students in this course will explore the basics of plant ecology and the plant communities of western Pennsylvania and then learn to apply these ideas to the designed landscape. A field trip to a new plant community based landscape will help students see how these principles can be applied.

This class is now filled. Please call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 or e-mail with questions or to be placed on the waiting list.

Native Plant Landscapes Certificate core course, and Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape and Garden Design Certificate elective; PCH 8.0 | LA CES 8.0

Native Plant and Sustainability Conference

Dates: Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Instructor: N/ A
Level: N/A
Prerequisites: None
Fee: $ 105 members; $115 non-members
Location: William Pitt Union at the University of Pittsburgh

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ annual Native Plant and Sustainability Conference brings together national experts for a one-day forum on plants, landscapes and our roles as stewards of the Earth. Join us, Rick Darke and Doug Tallamy, and learn how you can positively impact the environment.

The price of registration, which includes a catered lunch, is $90 for Phipps/OSHER members and $100 for nonmembers on or before Oct. 11; the cost increases by $15 after this date. Please register in advance by visiting and selecting “Classes and Programs” or by calling 412/441-4442, ext. 3925. This conference will be held at the William Pitt Union at the University of Pittsburgh.


Looking at the Layered Landscape: Rick Darke will discuss the living layers in local and regional landscapes, both as they naturally occur and as they are modified by humans. This exploration will provide a basis for understanding the essential characteristics of healthy layers and how they can be conserved and enhanced in home gardens and shared landscapes.

Specialized Relationships in Nature: Doug Tallamy will explain how specialized relationships between plants and animals work; why these relationships determine the health of local food webs that support animal diversity; why it is important to restore biodiversity to our residential properties; and what we need to do to make our landscapes function as ecosystems.

Designing and Maintaining the Living Landscape: Rick Darke will illustrate how an understanding of living layers and relational biodiversity can be put to practical use in creating and maintaining residential gardens and community landscapes. He will also present detailed strategies for employing organic architecture in building beautiful, highly functional layers.


Rick Darke is an author, photographer and design consultant whose work blends art, ecology and cultural geography in the design and stewardship of livable landscapes. He has been featured in publications like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, and Gardens Illustrated, and his books include The American Woodland Garden: Capturing the Spirit of the Deciduous Forest, In Harmony With Nature: Lessons from the Arts & Crafts Garden, The Encyclopedia of Grasses for Livable Landscapes, and The Wild Garden: Expanded Edition. His latest work, The Living Landscape: Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden, was written in collaboration with Doug Tallamy.

Doug Tallamy is a professor in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 80 research articles and taught courses for 32 years. Chief among his goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. In 2007, he published Bringing Nature Home: How Native Plants Sustain Wildlife in Our Gardens, a Garden Writer’s Association silver medalist, and in 2014, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, was released. Tallamy has also received a Garden Club of America Margaret Douglas Medal for Conservation and a Tom Dodd Jr. Award of Excellence.

Sign up online or call 412/441-4442 ext. 3925 to register. Call or e-mail with questions.

Sustainable Horticulture and Native Plant Landscapes certificate elective | PCH 3.75 | LA CES 3.75