2017 Bold Blossoms: Pastels Inspired by Georgia O'Keefe. Photo by Ivory House Photography

Adult Education

Whether you want grow, dig or create, adult education at the Botanical Garden has something for everyone.  

Seasonal Classes and Workshops

Get growing at the Botanical Garden with our dynamic classes and workshops. Develop your gardening skills, explore your creative side or fuel your body with one of our many workshops.  

To see a complete listing of this seaon's classes and events, please view our Summer Education Catalog or visit the Calendar of Events.

Below is our policy for registering for classes, as well as our cancellation and refund policies.

Potting Bench

Designed for groups looking for a fun and exclusive outing at the Botanical Garden, Potting Bench classes are the perfect way to tap into your inner green thumb. Choose from four hands-on workshops to design a unique piece to take home and enjoy. All supplies are included in the cost of registration. Classes require a minimum of 8 people, maximum of 20 and must be booked 2 weeks in advance.  

All Classes are $40/adult. To request a workshop please fill out and submit our reservation form.

Choose from the following: 

  • Terrariums - Garden in miniature orbs and create your own small-scale ecosystem.
  • Succulent Kokedama - Learn the art of Japanese string gardens and how to care for succulents.
  • Seasonal Centerpieces - Add that finishing touch to your room or table by designing your own seasonal floral arrangement.
  • Miniature Gardens - Celebrate gardening on a small scale and draw inspiration from fairies, gnomes and spritesto create your own miniature garden.

Annual Symposium

The annual symposium is the Botanical Garden’s signature educational opportunity for advancing gardening in Iowa. Each fall, four nationally acclaimed lecturers are invited to Des Moines to speak around a current topic that impacts home horticulture, plant sciences or ecology.

This year’s keynote speaker is internationally known James Hitchmough. 

James is a Professor of Horticultural Ecology in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield in England. He researches how designed plant communities function ecologically and what key factors determine their attractiveness to urban dwellers. 

Register here.

How to Register for classes and programs

Registration is required for all classes and programs except where noted. Registration deadlines are three to five days before each class. Register early; class sizes are limited. Please note that member rates apply to named adults on the membership. For questions about registration, please call 515.323.6297.

Telephone: To register for a class by phone, please call 515.323.6297 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday thru Friday. To expedite your call, please have your credit card number ready along with class selections.

Online: Online class registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please visit the calendar of events here and follow the registration links. 

Cancellations and Refunds

Class registrants who cancel five or more days prior to a class will receive a full refund. Cancellations less than five days are non-refundable. Please consider your payment a donation to the Botanical Garden. Refunds are not given for missed classes.

Classes cancelled by the Botanical Garden due to low enrollment or other circumstances will be fully refunded. You will be notified as early as possible if a program is cancelled. Botanical Garden staff will try to contact participants by phone or email so please provide accurate contact information when registering for classes. The Botanical Garden is not responsible for lack of notification if not provided with accurate contact details.