The Barnes Arboretum


About

The Barnes Foundation's Arboretum School has been educating students in the field of horticulture since its creation under Laura Leggett Barnes in 1940. Experienced instructors integrate a combination of classroom lectures, field study, hands-on practice, and visits to other gardens in this comprehensive program incorporating science, design, and plant knowledge. Upon successful completion of the three-year program that meets one day per week, students receive a certificate of merit in horticulture.

Workshops and Lectures:
Workshop and lectures include:

Horticulture certificate program, Make More Plants: propagation workshop , Floral Design & Contemporary Botanical Illustration.Learn more

Certificate program
Our three-year certificate program takes a comprehensive approach to horticultural science, methods, and design. Learn more

Our campus in Merion, originally purchased by Dr. Barnes and his wife Laura in 1922, features a Paul Philippe Cret designed home and gallery surrounded by a 12-acre Arboretum.

The entire arboretum can be easily walked in a visit, its magnificent collection, astonishingly large and diverse for the size of the property, is worth lingering over: 2,000 species of woody plants, including collections of Stewartia, Aesculus, Phellodendron, Clethra, Magnolia, Viburnum, and Lilac, as well as 38 PA champion trees. Other collections include roses, peonies, hostas, medicinal plants, and over 200 hardy ferns. Made up of her favorite types of plants, the collection was assembled by Mrs. Barnes specifically for teaching purposes. A herbarium of more than 10,000 specimens complements the living collection and is available to the Foundation's horticulture students and other scholars by appointment.

Year 1

Mondays, September 10, 2018–May 13, 2019

(No classes on 2/18/19, 4/15/19)
$2,750; members $2,475
Reserve a general or member spot for Year 1

 

Classes

Herbaceous Plants and Bulbs
Mondays, September 10, 2018–May 13, 2019 (28 classes)
8:30–10:30 am
$1,120; members $1,008

Discover over 200 herbaceous plants and bulbs. Learn the history, growth habits, cultural requirements, care, and landscape value of a range of ornamental grasses, ferns, culinary and medicinal herbs, native and tender perennials, and long-blooming and unusual annuals. In lectures, in the arboretum, and on field trips, learn to identify, select, and integrate herbaceous plants and bulbs into a variety of garden settings.

Instructor: Harriet Cramer, garden designer and lecturer, and Charles Cresson, horticulturist
Reserve a general or member spot

 

Soil Science
Mondays, September 10–November 12, 2018 (10 classes)
10:45 am–12:15 pm
$300; members $270

Good soils are the foundation of plant health and sustainable horticulture. Learn about the physical, chemical, and biological properties that create a dynamic relationship between plants, soils, and water. Explore the role of soil amendments, fertilizers, and compost, and perform an analysis on a soil sample.

Instructor: Scott Guiser, MS in horticulture

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Learning to See
Mondays, November 19–December 10, 2018 (4 classes)
10:45 am–12:15 pm
$120; members $108

Art is more enjoyable when you understand its visual language and more meaningful when you appreciate its relationship to everyday experiences. Explore the intersection of art and horticulture, discussing the ways painters interpret landscapes in terms of color while learning to look at gardens with a painter’s eye. Consider the principles that underlie all art, and discover art’s communicative power. The class culminates with a tour of the galleries at the Parkway campus.

Instructor: Christine Stoughton, PhD

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Ecology
Mondays, January 28–May 13, 2019 (14 classes)
10:45 am–12:15 pm
$420; members $378

This course provides an introduction to the major topics of ecology: the interactions of species with their physical environment and with other living things, including predation, herbivory, competition, and mutualisms. Explore ecology’s relation to human health, agriculture, and horticulture, with a focus on local plants and animals.

Instructor: Dan Duran, PhD, associate professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, Drexel University

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Botany
Mondays, September 10, 2018–May 13, 2019 (28 classes)
1–2:30 pm
$840; members $756

Discover the general structure and function of higher plants through the study of typical morphology and physiology at the cell, tissue, organ, and plant levels. Topics include cell division, the structure of basic food chains and webs, organisms both classified as plants and historically grouped with plants, the relevance of plants to humans, and the evolutionary advances of seed plants.

Instructor: Ann Mickle, PhD, professor of biology, La Salle University

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Landscape Analysis: Field Study and Observation
Mondays, September 10, 2018–May 13, 2019 (28 classes)
2:45–4:15 pm
$840; members $756

In the arboretum and on private garden tours, learn to identify and assess the use of plants in the landscape by observing textures, colors, shapes, scents, growth habits, and ornamental features. Become familiar with technical nomenclature, learn to select the best plant for the site and purpose, and identify plants by their family traits and Latin names. Maintain a blog that tracks the growth, seasonal changes, and landscape value of plants. In the second semester, use the Barnes archives to conduct group research projects to be archived in the horticulture library.

Instructor: Paul D. Orpello, CPH, Gardens and Horticulture Supervisor, Hagley Museum and Library

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Year 2

Tuesdays, September 11, 2018–May 7, 2019

(No classes on 4/16/19)
$2,750; members $2,475
Reserve a general or member spot for Year 2

 

Classes

Cultivated Trees and Shrubs
Tuesdays, September 11, 2018–May 7, 2019 (28 classes)
8:30–10:30 am
$1,120; members $1,008

Learn basic diagnostic tools to identify and compare woody trees, shrubs, and vines in the Barnes Arboretum and on field trips to local botanical gardens. Become familiar with the cultural needs and landscape uses of trees, shrubs, and vines. This course also includes an introduction to the identification of common plant families, plant taxonomy, and nomenclature.

Instructor: Bill Barnes, horticulturist, propagator, nurseryman

Reserve a general or member spot

 

History of Gardens and Landscape Architecture
Tuesdays, September 11- October 23, 2018 & March 19 – May 7, 2019 (14 classes)
10:45 am–12:15 pm
$420; member $378

Study gardens throughout history to gain a comprehensive understanding of landscape design and horticulture. Focus on major developments in the history of gardens, from their Eastern and Western origins to contemporary design. Students take field trips to exemplary local gardens to discuss historical influences, special developments, design principles, and horticulture.

Instructor: Harriet A. Henderson, RLA, Principal, Cushing & Henderson

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Introduction to Plant Taxonomy
Tuesdays, October 30- December 11, 2018 & January 29 - March 12, 2019 (14 classes)
10:45 am–12:15 pm
$420; member $378

Acquire skills for plant identification by studying the botanical characteristics that distinguish plant families. This course will enable students to understand the relationships between plants and their nomenclature. More than 50 common plant families will be covered, giving students the tools to identify most of the plants that they’ll come across.

Instructor: Jason Ksepka, curator at Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Garden Practicum
Tuesdays, September 11–October 23, 2018 and March 19–May 7, 2019 (14 classes)
1–4:15 pm
$840; members $756

Learn and practice gardening skills in planning, planting, propagating, and maintaining various plants, landscape features, gardens, containers, and garden tools. Additionally, experience an introduction to a range of professional opportunities in the field.

Instructor: Drew Lehrian, Barnes head gardener

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Landscape Design I
Tuesdays, October 30–December 11, 2018 (7 classes)
1–4:15 pm
$420; members $378

Learn how thoughtful manipulation of form can communicate feeling and meaning. Discover the importance of structure, organization, light, color and pattern, and composition to the landscape design process. Through a series of lectures and design exercises, gain familiarity with design principles and vocabulary and learn basic visual communication through landscape graphics.

Instructor: Jesse Forrester, RLA, Jonathan Alderson Landscape Architects

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Landscape Design II
Tuesdays, January 29–March 12, 2019 (7 classes)
1–4:15 pm
$420; member $378

This course is a continuation of the fall semester and puts to use the design principles and skills covered in Landscape Design I. Landscape Design II focuses on practical application, with an emphasis on planting design and technical graphic communication. Subject matter is presented through project examples and complemented with design exercises and discussion with visiting practitioners. Topics include the design process, site analysis, use of plants and other materials to shape outdoor space, and graphic communication.
*Prerequisite: Landscape Design I

Instructor: Linda Walczak, PLA, ASLA, principal at TEND Landscape, Inc.

Call 215.278.7350

 

Year 3

Wednesdays, September 5, 2018–May 8, 2019

(No classes on 9/19/18, 11/21/18, 4/17/19)
$2,750; members $2,475
Reserve a general or member spot for Year 3

 

Classes

Advanced Horticulture Practices
Wednesdays, September 5, 2018–May 8, 2019 (28 classes)
8:30–10:30 am
$1,120; members $1,008

Learn about advanced propagation methods for woody plants, including propagating from seed, cuttings, and grafting. Study plant culture and develop pruning techniques for all types of woody plants, including vines, trees, shrubs, and hedges. Understand the principles of hardscape construction as they relate to ponds, walks, patios, and walls.

Instructor: Bruce Keyser, Keyser Design Associates

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Landscape Design III*
Wednesdays, September 5, 2018–May 8, 2019 (28 classes)
10:45 am–12:45 pm
$1,120; members $1,008

Develop a style through the study of landscape design. Refine the knowledge and skills acquired in the beginning and intermediate design courses to take site analysis, planting design, and graphic communications to a higher level. With an emphasis on problem solving, landscape design-specific challenges are explored through a small project and an individual landscape plan. In this advanced course, students gain a basic understanding of landscape construction and cost estimating.
*Prerequisites: Landscape Design I and II

Instructor: Michael J. De Vos, ecological landscape designer and public speaker

Call 215.278.7350

 

Plant Pathology
Wednesdays, September 5–October 17, 2018 (6 classes)
1:30–4 pm
$300; members $270

Learn to identify signs and symptoms of woody plant diseases, including the most common biotic and abiotic diseases in the Delaware Valley. This course emphasizes the diagnostic process, the importance of performing systematic assessment, and the concepts of abiotic disorder and predisposing stresses. The most commonly observed and serious plant disorders, diseases, insect pests, and more will be discussed and observed in the field.

Instructor: Kathryn Belville, certified Master Arborist and educator

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Conifers
Wednesdays, October 24–December 12, 2018 (8 classes)
1:30–4 pm
$400; members $360

Learn to identify and classify a range of ornamental conifers, including the best species and cultivars for our region. This profusely illustrated course focuses on the major coniferous genera, highlighting identification, growth patterns, and landscape uses, from dwarf specimens for containers to large trees for screening. The instructor's Pocket Guide to Conifers is a required text.

Instructor: Dr. Richard Bitner, horticulturist and author

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Weed Science
Wednesdays, January 30–March 13, 2019 (7 classes)
1:30–3:30 pm
$280; members $252

Weeds exist wherever we cultivate plants. This course addresses the biology and classification of these unwanted plants and covers management options using an integrated pest management approach. Learn about common weeds like crabgrass, poison ivy, and ragweed, and recent invasive species like mile-a-minute, Japanese stiltgrass, and giant knotweed.

Instructor: Scott Guiser, MS in horticulture

Reserve a general or member spot

 

Entomology
Wednesdays, March 20–May 8, 2019 (7 classes)
1:30–3:30 pm
$280; members $252

This course introduces major topics in entomology. Students learn about the profound effects, both positive and negative, that insects have on natural ecosystems, human health, agriculture, and horticulture, with a focus on local insects whenever applicable. Students will be exposed to different aspects of plant-insect interactions ranging from pollination to pest control to conservation.

Instructor: Dan Duran, PhD, associate professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth and Environmental Science, Drexel University

Reserve a general or member spot

Contact

300 N Latches Lane
Merion Station, Pennsylvania 19066-1729
United States of America

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