Phipps recommends:
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood


Learn from the experts, gather inspiration, and shop for unique plants.

Join Phipps, Penn State Extension and Shady Side Academy for a day of insightful discussions and presentations from several special guests, as well as opportunities to shop for unique plants and accessories, at Shady Side Academy’s Hillman Center for Performing Arts in Fox Chapel.

Register by contacting us at or 412/441-4442, ext. 3925. Tickets cost $99 per person before April 1, 2013 and $115 after; includes continental breakfast and lunch. A limited number of scholarships are also available. Call 412/441-4442, ext. 3925 for an application.

Garden Marketplace is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., offering annuals, perennials, shrubs, vegetable seeds and much more.

SCHEDULE (Full Audience)

Garden Marketplace
Shady Side Ice Skating Rink
8 – 8:45 a.m.

Growing Alpines and Miniature Plants
Joseph Tychonievich
8 – 9 a.m.
Early Bird Workshop (additional $12 fee; limited enrollment)
Miniature and alpine plants are perfect for containers and small space gardens and are becoming ever more popular. Joseph will share his expertise on growing these plants in containers and in the ground, and will provide information about some of his favorite and most unusual specimens. Workshop attendees receive a free plant.

Registration/Continental Breakfast
Hillman Center for Performing Arts
8:30 – 9 a.m.

Hillman Center for Performing Arts
9:15 a.m.

The Perennial Plant Collector’s Corner
Kerry Mendez
9:30 – 10:30 a.m.
This talk is for plantaholics seeking unusual, fun, outrageous or underused perennials that will have heads turning and onlookers mumbling, “What is that?” As an avid collector, Kerry has walked miles in her muck boots to find plants that transform ho-hum gardens into extraordinary spaces.

(Choose a track for the following portion of the day’s schedule.)

Track A

Contemporary Planting Design Using Native Plants
Thomas Rainer
10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
While native plants grow in popularity, there is surprisingly little information about how to design with them in gardens and landscapes. As a result, native gardens often end up looking messy and wild. This talk offers a critique of the current approach to designing with native plants and suggests an alternative: composition based on artful interpretations of native plant communities. Thomas will examine how to read native communities, identify patterns, and artfully replicate those patterns in gardens. Above all, the lecture will focus on creating bold, modern designs that celebrate the beauty of natives.

Garden Marketplace & Ten Minute Tips Sessions
Noon – 12:45 p.m.

12:45 – 1:30 p.m.

Track B

Garden Marketplace & Ten Minute Tips Sessions
10:45 – 11:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.

Branch Out with Flowering Shrubs
Kerry Mendez 12:30 –1:30 p.m.
Do you want to add drama, winter interest and colorful flowers to your gardens while reducing maintenance time? Kerry will introduce some spectacular flowering shrubs and discuss their care.

(Full Audience)

Natural Enemies of Landscape Insect Pests

Whitney Cranshaw
1:45 – 2:45 p.m.
This image-rich talk will focus on the primary species involved in the biological control of pests, insects and mites, discussing what they look like, what they can do, and how to encourage their activities.

Chanticleer, A Pleasure Garden
Bill Thomas
2:50 – 4 p.m.
Join Chanticleer Executive Director and Head Gardener Bill Thomas for a visual tour and behind-the-scenes look at what the Washington Post calls “one of the most interesting and edgy public gardens in America.” Open to the public only since 1993, Chanticleer is known for its plant combinations featuring foliage textures and colors, its wide variety of containers, and its imaginative homemade furniture. While discussing the design principles that have led Chanticleer over the last century, Bill will explore the passions that inspired its owners and gardeners.

Concluding Remarks/Drawing
4 p.m.

This conference qualifies for Landscape Architecture CEUs, four recertification credits for Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist, two pesticide credits (PC, 06, 07, 18, 23), and elective credits for Phipps' Sustainable Horticulture and Landscape & Garden Design certificate programs.


Whitney Cranshaw, a Colorado State University professor, specializes in pests and problems affecting Rocky Mountain region plants, educating students on various entomological topics. His books include Garden Insects of North America, Pests of the West and the forthcoming Bugs Rule!

Kerry Mendez, a N.Y.-based expert on low-maintenance perennial gardening and landscaping, works as a marketing professional, consultant, designer, writer, teacher and lecturer. She is the author of The Ultimate Flower Gardener's Top Ten Lists and Top Ten Lists for Beautiful Shade Gardens.

Thomas Rainer, a landscape architect, teacher and writer from Va., advocates for designs that interpret nature and feature native plants. He has designed garden landscapes nationwide, including those at the U.S. Capitol, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and The New York Botanical Garden.

R. William Thomas, executive director of Chanticleer near Philadelphia, leads the continued development of the young garden using an environmentally sensitive and multi-century approach. He holds a B.S. and M.S. in ornamental horticulture from University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Joseph Tychonievich, nursery manager for Arrowhead Alpine in Mich., has a love of plants that once sent him to Japan to work for Akira Shibamichi. He is the author of Creating New Heirlooms: A Gardener's Guide to Breeding Plants and holds a B.S. in horticulture from Ohio State University.

Other Featured Exhibits & Events

Butterfly Forest
April 26 – Sept. 1, 2014
Watch as gorgeous butterflies emerge from their chrysalises to soar and glide among colorful, bug-friendly blooms. One may even land on you!
Garden Railroad
Now Open
A unique twist on the traditional Garden Railroad, this year's display takes you to Phipps Prehistoric Park — a whimsical world where dinosaurs are brought back to life! Full of surprises, detailed models, moving parts and trains, this can't-miss exhibit is a thrilling adventure for all ages.
Bowties & Butterflies
Thursday, April 24, 2014
6:30 – 10 p.m.
Join us for a spring time garden gala as we welcome beautiful butterflies back to our Stove Room and toast the return of warmer weather.
Natives on the Rooftop
April 4 – June 8, 2014
Tuesdays – Saturdays, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park
Visit Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park to view gorgeous illustrations of native plants by our talented botanical art students.
Used Bulb Sale
Saturdays, April 5, 19 and 26, 2014
10 a.m. – noon
Attend our Used Bulb Sale for a chance to mix and match enough bulbs — including hyacinths, daffodils and lilies — to plant two pots, all for just $5!
Biophilia: Pittsburgh
Next Meeting May 1, 2014
5:30 p.m.
Biophilia: Pittsburgh is the pilot chapter for a Biophilia Network of creative minds meeting monthly to discuss strengthening the bond between people and the natural world through education, discussion and action. Meetings are free to attend; advance RSVP is required. Join the conversation!
Party in the Tropics
Select Fridays
Next Party May 2, 2014
7 – 11 p.m.
Ages 21+
Gather your friends and get ready to dine, drink and dance the night away at Phipps! Make our paradise your own as you indulge in sweet and savory morsels, taste unique cocktails, and dance to the beats of a live DJ in our Tropical Forest Conservatory. Entry is free with Conservatory admission.
30th Annual Great Plant Auction
May 2, 2014
6 p.m.
This annual event is a plant lover’s dream: Enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres as Phipps Garden Center in Mellon Park transforms into an auction house for unique plants and garden accessories. Reservations are required.
May Market and National Public Gardens Day
May 9 and 10, 2014
Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Saturday, 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
A fun family outing held just before Mother’s Day, our 78th annual May Market features a wide selection of plants, including organic seedlings, specimens from our greenhouses and more. This event is free and open to the public, and in honor of National Public Gardens Day, admission to Phipps is half price during market hours.
Summer Flower Show
May 10 – Oct. 5, 2014
The whimsical miniature world of Garden Railroad takes center stage at Phipps this summer. With themed railroad displays in multiple exhibit rooms enhanced by unique plantings, interactive features and more, this show will bring the wonder of childhood to visitors of all ages.
Inspire Speakers Series
Second Thursday of every month, November 2013 – May 2014, except where noted
Next Event May 15, 2014
5 – 8 p.m.
Green Building Alliance (GBA) and Phipps collaborate to host a second year of all-star local and national guest speakers at the Center for Sustainable Landscapes. Registration with GBA is required.
Discovery Garden Day
May 25, 2013
11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bring the whole family to the Children's Discovery Garden for a day of hands-on, sensory fun. Together, you’ll learn about plants and their pollinators through games, potting stations, crafts and more — all free with Conservatory admission.
From the Ground Up: Community Feast
May 31, 2014
12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
Join us for a lunchtime celebration with the high school student participants in our From the Ground Up food and culture program.
Farmers at Phipps
Wednesdays, June – October 2014
2:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Refresh your food shopping experience! Visit our sustainably managed front lawn to browse organic and Certified Naturally Grown fruits, vegetables and more from local farms.
Peek Behind the Petals
June 28, 2014
9:30 – 10:15 a.m.
Take a fascinating members-only look at what it takes to bring the magic of our beautiful glasshouse to the public. This event is free for members; however, space is limited and reservations are required by June 20. To reserve, please contact us at 412/622-6915, ext. 6505 or
Tropical Forest India
Now Open
Explore our new exhibit showcasing one of the most botanically rich regions of the world. Highlights include an Ayurvedic healing garden, spice and tea market displays, a stunning temple facade on Special Events Hall, and more!