Phipps recommends:
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood

Adult Programs

Do you feel a strong emotional or intellectual draw to the plant world? Join the hundreds of like-minded people who enroll in classes at Phipps to sharpen their skills, or to bring beauty to their homes and gardens.

We offer an amazing selection of classes—everything from Photoshop for the passionate garden photographer to beginner bonsai workshops.

Certificate Programs at Phipps

Phipps certificate programs offer an extensive course of study to those who wish to work toward an advanced level within a continuing education format. There is no separate enrollment for the certificate programs. Starting with your first course, we will keep records of the certificate classes that you complete.

Registrations should be made through Phipps Garden Center. Please call the Garden Center at (412) 441-4442 ext. 3925 for more information and certificate program guidelines. Non-certificate students may also register for these classes.

Sustainable Horticulture Program

The certificate program in Sustainable Horticulture consists of a series of core courses including Basic and Advanced Horticulture, Soils, Diagnosing Plant Problems, and Botany for Gardeners. These classes teach best management practices necessary for gardening with minimal impact on the earth's ecosystem. A series of electives will further enhance the student's understanding of sustainable practices that help protect soil health, water resources, air quality and land usage. Non-certificate students may also register for these classes.

Classes currently offered for this program:

  • Natural Gardening Practices

Landscape & Garden Design Program

The objective of the Landscape & Garden Design certificate program is to prepare the student to apply the basic design principles and techniques for creating an aesthetically pleasing, environmentally responsible landscape. Utilizing graphic skills and plant knowledge, students will work through the design process to develop a finished presentation plan. Non-certificate students may also register for these classes.

Classes currently offered for this program:

  • Landscape Design II: Principles of Design
  • Landscape Design III: Design Development

Native Plants Program

This certificate program consists of a series of courses designed for participants to appreciate native plants, learn about the importance of habitats and ecosystems, plus learn how to use native plants and how they can fit into our gardens. Non-certificate students may also register for these classes.

Classes currently offered for this program:

  • Grasses, Sedges and Rushes
  • Natural Gardening Practices

Floral Design Program

These programs include the most extensive course of study available in our area, covering all aspects of floral design. After completing the program, the student will have gained a wealth of information and experience in the art of floral design. The history and progression of floral design is integrated into each class so students know how and why arrangements are done in a particular way. The students are provided with a very strong foundation upon which to build with their own creativity and imagination. Non-certificate students may also register for these classes.

To receive this certificate, attendance at all class sessions is imperative. Students may attend missed sessions the next time that class is offered. Students are responsible for all material fees unless Phipps is notified of planned absences 24 hours before the class. A certificate will not be issued until all sessions are completed, or with permission of the instructor.

Classes currently offered for this program:

  • Basic Floral Design: An Introduction to Western Geometric Arranging
  • Sympathy Designs
  • Make Your Own Terrarium
  • Make Your Own Terrarium: Carnivorous Plants
  • Working with Succulents
  • Field Trip

Botanical Art & Illustration Program

Students enrolled in the Botanical Art & Illustration certificate program will learn how to draw botanical subjects with scientific accuracy, artistry and mastery of technical methods. Using a basic knowledge of plant morphology, participants will develop the skills to document plants in intricate detail, including the root system, upper and lower leaf surfaces, flowers, fruits, and seed heads. The Botanical Art & Illustration program is designed for students who are interested in pursuing art for pleasure and self-satisfaction. Students can choose between two concentrations: watercolor or colored pencil. Beginners, as well as those with art experience, are welcome. Students may repeat courses in the Botanical Art & Illustration program at a ten percent discount; however, a repeat course cannot apply toward certificate credit. Non-certificate students may also register for these classes.

Classes currently offered for this program:

  • Phipps Flora Project: Bee Beneficial Natives
  • Botanical Drawing I: Foundation Techniques
  • Botanical Art in Pastel II
  • Watercolor I

Gardening & Botanical Crafts

These non-certificate programs are a great way to spend a day or two learning something new and meeting new people. They can also be a wonderful opportunity to uncover a new talent or as an introduction to one of our certificate programs.

Classes currently offered:

  • Compositional Techniques for Macro Photography
  • An Easy Way to Draw Workshop

Green Gardening & Healthy Living Series

Phipps offers classes to help you live healthier and garden more sustainably. Reduce your impact on the environment and learn about sustainable practices you an use in your home landscape, plus learn about healthy living through yoga.

Classes currently offered for this program:

  • Local Food Preservation Series: Pickles, Salsas and Relishes
  • Local Food Preservation Series: Fall Fruits: Apples, Pears and Tomatoes

Professional Education

As a busy landscaper, you need quality continuing education to stay ahead of the sustainable curve. Our programs, offered in partnership with the Community College of Allegheny County(CCAC), are taught by experts in the field of horticulture, arboriculture, turf management, and forestry. These classes are designed to help landscapers build the skills they need to offer more environmentally-friendly services while taking care of their bottom line. Successful completion of our professional education programming earns attendees a certificate from Phipps, as well as a certificate of attendance from CCAC. Check out our current offerings below.


  • Compost Tea Workshop: A Practical Introduction to Managing the Microbiology of your Landscape