Gardening and Garden Design Classes

Learn basic gardening techniques, brush up rusty skills and explore cutting-edge trends in gardening. Learn how to design your home landscape and care for it. Experience unique seasonal workshops and lectures that inspire you to get your hands in the soil.

Classes are offered in-person, as synchronous (live) online programs, or using hybrid methods with both in-person and virtual content. Class delivery methods are denoted next to each listing as VIRTUAL, IN-PERSON, or HYBRID.

Class Schedule April – August 2024

NEW! Plant Propagation | April 24, May 1 | IN-PERSON

Learn the principles and practices of plant propagation including cuttings, division, seed collection, stratification and germination with landscape designer and native plant horticulturist Beth Farmer. Work hands-on with cuttings, seeds and plants to learn propagation procedures for different species. By the end of the course, you’ll have knowledge to reproduce your own plants. 

NEW! Grafting Fruit Trees | April 25 | IN-PERSON

Using the North American Pawpaw as a focus, explore the what, why and how of grafting plants and trees with Mike Ferster, founder and head orchardist of Woodside Pawpaw. Learn the history and science of grafting, followed by a demonstration of two different grafting techniques. You’ll have the opportunity to graft your own Pawpaw tree to bring home. 

NEW! Spring/Summer Curated Containers | April 27 | IN-PERSON

This class will empower gardeners of any level to create beautifully, seasonally curated containers for their outdoor spaces. You’ll learn how to choose a container and select plants that fit the needs of exposure, watering requirements and other considerations. Horticulturist Sunny McGann will demonstrate planting a sample container during class. Take a brief tour of stunning container plantings in the Garden.

NEW! Cultivating a Cut Flower Garden | May 24 | IN-PERSON

Whether you have a big backyard, a tiny patio with containers, or something in between, this workshop is designed to give you the skills that you need to begin and maintain a successful cut flower garden. Floral designer Claire Smith will start by highlighting the fundamentals of creating a cut flower garden. Then, you’ll sink your hands into some potting soil to sow seeds of cut flower favorites, which you’ll be able to take home and transplant in your own garden!

NEW! Plant Diversity for Landscape Design | May 25 | IN-PERSON

People live indoors, but your garden is a dynamic, living habitat for other fauna. Science tells us that a diversity of plant materials promotes a diversity of landscape insects and a healthier, more sustainable ecosystem. Janine Lester, landscape designer and consulting arborist, will show you how your ornamental landscape can be a beautiful and edible landscape for insects, birds, and other small garden dwellers.

NEW! Berry Bliss: Strawberry Container Gardening | May 25 | IN-PERSON

Explore the art of cultivating strawberries on patios, decks, and small spaces using containers with gardener Will Nelson. Learn about selecting containers, choosing ideal strawberry varieties, proper planting techniques, maintenance, and harvesting tips to ensure a bountiful yield. Take home five bare-root, day-neutral strawberry plants and a container, ready to kick-start your own strawberry-growing adventure.


Join horticulturist and Virginia Home Grown host Peggy Singlemann at the Garden for information sessions on a variety of seasonal gardening topics. Peggy offers timely tips for your garden and all programs include a walk in the Garden with Peggy to illustrate examples. 

NEW! The Story of Invasive Plants & How to Remove Them | June 1 | IN-PERSON

In this class with horticulturist and Virginia Home Grown host Peggy Singlemann, learn how the seed catalog came to be, how catalogs influenced our society, and how advances in transportation increased access to different plants. These components help us understand how alien and invasive species were moved around the globe as gardeners, like us, desired to grow a plant no one else had. Peggy will also share guidance on how to remove invasive plants growing in your home landscape.

Building Good Garden Soil | June 15 | IN-PERSON 

Everything starts with the soil! Find out how to build your soil for spring gardening with agriculture specialist Karin Stretchko. We’ll learn the characteristics of basic soil types and how to analyze your own soils, including amendment techniques, drainage and more. A guided walk through the Garden will demonstrate how Lewis Ginter’s horticulturists remediate different parts of the Garden’s soil.

Exploring Cacao Theobroma & Chocolate | June 15 | IN-PERSON 

Explore cacao with Conservatory Horticulturist, Jayton Howard! As part of the cacao experience, we’ll snack on cacao nibs, feel the benefits of cacao butter on our skin, and see what a fresh cacao pod is like inside and out. We’ll taste raw cacao fruit and develop our pallets to a whole level of chocolate appreciation. You’ll get the opportunity to plant a fresh cacao bean and watch it emerge into a baby cacao tree in a matter of weeks and learn everything you need to keep it growing. Jayton will provide an exclusive guided tour of some of the Conservatory’s tropical plants, with special focus on our cacao tree. 

NEW! Monstera Care UnveiledJune 26 | IN-PERSON 

Unfurl the secrets of Monstera care and cultivate lush, thriving foliage with RVA Tropical & Exotic Plants! In this engaging two-hour session, Monstera experts will demystify the world of Monstera plants. We’ll explore the unique characteristics of different Monstera varieties and an array of care topics. This class is your passport to Monstera mastery, suitable for plant enthusiasts of all levels, new plant parents seeking expert guidance, and anyone yearning to cultivate a lush, green haven at home. 

NEW! Foodscape Harmony: Embracing Natives & Edibles | June 29 | VIRTUAL 

In a world where climate concerns, water quality, and invasive species are paramount, thoughtful landscaping takes center stage. Join author and horticulturist Brie Arthur as she explains the art of creating a foodscape that merges native plants with your beloved seasonal food crops. The best organic practices are explored, and earth-friendly maintenance strategies take center stage. Delve into the realm of native edible plants, unlocking their secrets and the pollinators they beckon for the vital task of ecological restoration.

NEW! Aquatic Plant Care BasicsJuly 20 | IN-PERSON 

In this class taught by Danny Cox, the Garden’s Vice President of Horticulture, participants will be introduced to different aquatic plants that can be grown in water gardens. We will discuss different types of aquatic plants and how they can be used in water garden design. Danny will share tips on propagation and care. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at the horticultural display incorporating aquatic plants that will be in the Fountain Garden as part of the Garden’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.


We believe that all adults in our community should have access to plant-based, nature-focused learning opportunities. The learning opportunities in this series offer several pricing tiers so you can register at the amount you’re able to pay. 

NEW! Container Gardening in Small Spaces | July 20 | IN-PERSON 

Make the most of your small space with instructor Sunny McGann, Master Gardener and adjunct horticulture professor at Reynolds Community College. Sunny will inspire and provide guidance on how to choose plants, containers and garden structures to bring color, texture and interest to your compact outdoor space. Don’t let size limit your possibilities to create the most inviting outdoor space you will be excited to live in all season!

For additional learning opportunities in this series, visit our Learning Opportunities for All page. 

Plant it Now! Fall Vegetable GardeningJuly 27 | IN-PERSON 

Learn from Horticulturist T.J. Oliver when it’s time to say goodbye to cucumbers and tomatoes and say hello to cabbage, kale and kohlrabi as you transition to fall gardening. Explore how to plan a fall garden with plants that work best in our climate through organic gardening techniques. This class will include an exclusive tour of the Kroger Community Kitchen Garden (including behind-the-scenes areas), and each participant will receive some seeds to get them started with their fall vegetable planting.

NEW! Introduction to Hydroponics | August 10 | IN-PERSON

Hydroponics is a type of horticulture that involves growing plants without soil, in water, and with a growing medium. Join Ekene Tharpe, Head Grower at Babylon Micro-Farms, for an introduction to hydroponics! Ekene will help break hydroponics down to its core elements including system types, system inputs, and the essentials of successful growing. As part of the class, Ekene will lead the class on a tour to see the Babylon Micro-Farms hydroponic growing system installed in the Robins Visitors Center. Students will walk away with the ability to grow their own leafy greens and herbs year-round indoors!

NEW! Gardening for Birds | August 17 | IN-PERSON

By planting bird-friendly plants, you can attract more birds to your garden and support local bird populations! Join Barb and Buz Sawyer, both birdwatchers since childhood, as they share experiences from their own backyard garden, highlight which plants do well in our zone, and suggest ways to attract more species to your garden with a layered approach that focuses on what birds need during their life cycle.

Creating a Backyard Wildlife Habitat | August 21, 28, September 4 | IN-PERSON

If you are looking for inspiration and guidance in creating a refuge for wildlife in your backyard, then you’re in the right place! This course with native plant specialist and landscape designer Beth Farmer will teach you how to incorporate native plants into your landscape through site evaluation and how to place the right plant in the right place. We’ll discuss specific trees, shrubs, perennials, grasses and vines, along with how each plant interacts with nature and which wildlife they would support and attract.

For creative workshops where you can use live plants to make plant creations to take home, check out our Plant Play: Make and Take Workshops learning category!

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Updated Adult Learning Cancellation Policy

As of April 12, 2024, the Garden has an updated cancellation policy for Adult Learning programs.

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