Education

The Idaho Botanical Garden is a living museum dedicated to furthering science education within the scenic setting of its outdoor classroom and into the community. Enrich your life with a variety of continuing education classes year-round for adults and unique educational opportunities for children including field trip tours, botany camp, and pre-school programs.

  • Garden on the Road— When the plants are dormant in January & February, the Garden goes on the road to visit area daycare centers and pre-schools.
  • Nature Detectives— In June, pre-schools and daycare centers bring children to the Garden for hour-long science programs.
  • Youth Group Tours — These tours are designed to supplement school science curricula.  Custom tours are available too.  These tours run Mid-April through October.
  • Saturday Camp — Children aged 5-9 years meet for three hour-long, lively science lessons once a month May through September.
  • Nature Camp — Children ages 4-9 are invited to participate in the games, crafts and nature walks of this morning science program offered in July and August.
  • Adult Education — Over 40 classes for adults are held annually, on a wide variety of topics including plant care, yoga, composting, low water-use gardening, carnivorous plants and creating cement leaves.

Help grow the Garden’s Education Programs by making a donation. Your support will help cover the cost of supplies, lesson planning, and Garden Teachers.

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Upcoming Education Programs…


Beautiful Botanicals: 2-part class

Sat 4 Mar 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

Please bring the best water color brushes you can afford. Winsor and Newton Series 7 brushes are excellent, and sizes #0, #2 and #4 are recommended. If you wish to bring another brand, choose sable rounds in these same sizes. Also bring pencils–2H and 4H, a kneaded eraser, a sketch pad and a sturdy glass or water jar.

This class explores traditional materials and methods of drawing and painting botanicals. We will look at contemporary artwork by botanical artists who use these same techniques to achieve beautiful results. Students

will be guided in observing, drawing and painting plants. Beginners and experienced artists who are interested in developing skills needed to realistically portray subjects in watercolor will find this class helpful.

Part II is on Saturday, March 11  • 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

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Persian Plants for Treasure Valley Gardens

Thu 9 Mar 6:30 pm

The ancient Persian Empire, spanning much of the Middle East and Central Asia, occupied a diverse landscape with astonishing similarities to western North America in topography, climatic zones, and vegetation.  As a result, this area is the homeland of many plants that are perfectly suited to conditions in the Treasure Valley, flourishing in our hot, dry summers and frigid winters.  Many of these plants are known to local gardeners, but many more await incorporation into the local palette.

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Air Plant Workshop

Wed 15 Mar 6:30 pm

Air Plants, also called Tillandsias, do not need soil to grow, and use their leaves to absorb nutrients from the air and water. They make fascinating houseplants and may be displayed in a wide variety of ways. If you have an area that receives bright, indirect lighting and have the time to soak your plants at least once each week, consider growing Tillandsias. Elizabeth will discuss the natural history of the genus, provide instructions on how to grow them, show different methods for displaying air plants and then provide the materials for the students to build a small table top display with plants to take home.

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Horse Pasture Management - Growing Great Horse Pastures & Controlling Weeds

Wed 22 Mar 6:30 pm

Start the grazing season out right by finding out how you can make your pastures more productive and control weeds with a least toxic approach. Join Alayne Blickle to learn the basics of how to become a “grass farmer” including the types of pasture grasses to plant for horses, how grasses grow, rotational grazing, small farm equipment, spreading compost, creating sacrifice areas, least-toxic weed control, and effective irrigation.

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Insect Hotels

Sat 25 Mar 10:00 am

Insect Hotels make wonderful garden art. They are utilized by wild, solitary bees as nesting sites and are places where ladybugs may overwinter. Install an insect hotel near your vegetables to help them make fruit and protect them from pests. This workshop will explain the principles for making a hotel to attract mason bees and other helpful invertebrates. You will practice construction skills while building your own small, portable hotel and gain the knowledge needed to build a larger one at your desired site.

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Orchid Basics

Sat 1 Apr 1:00 pm

Been recently gifted with an orchid or considering buying one for your home? Want to enjoy beautiful blossoms after the initial ones have faded? Sharing her over 35 years of experience, Janet Crist will introduce you to the rewarding pastime of growing these extraordinary plants with an emphasis on how to encourage them to bloom year after year. Class attendees will come away with an understanding of orchids’ light, water, temperature, humidity, fertilizer and soil needs.

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Hypertufa Trough Workshop

Fri 7 Apr 6:00 pm

Hypertufa troughs make wonderful planters for shallow-rooted outdoor plants such as alpines, thymes and succulents. Rebecca will show you how to create your own trough using a cement, perlite and peat moss mixture. You’ll make your trough on the first day and finish it on the second, planting it with a variety of shallow-rooted plants.

Part II is on Friday, April 14 at 6 p.m.

* April 14 please bring: hammer, metal file, and wire brush if you have them.

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Raised Bed Gardening

Sat 8 Apr 1:00 pm

This class will present the benefits and advantages of raised bed gardening. A variety of planter styles will be addressed. These will include permanent and non-permanent structures. We will discuss topics of soil choices, watering, planting for increased yield, and how to clean up at the end of season so the bed is prepped for the next growing season.

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Chip Carved Gourd Birdhouse Workshop

Sat 15 Apr 9:00 am - 1:00 pm

In this fun class students will create a unique, one-of-a-kind home for our fine feathered friends. With the help of a compass and a U-shaped palm gouge, students will learn how to make a series of cuts to form a unique S-shaped pattern around the entry hole of a birdhouse. Dyes and a sealer will then be applied which will enhance the carving and bring the new gourd birdhouse to life.

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What's Eating My Vegetable Garden?

Thu 20 Apr 6:30 pm

Are you left wondering why your tomatoes curl and produce scarce fruit every year? Or how to combat aphids that seem to attack everything? Or why your squash seems to rot on the vine? If so, come to this class on sustainable pest management for vegetable gardens class.  You will learn how to: spot the difference between insect, viral, bacterial and fungal damage and diseases, identify common Treasure Valley pests, and create your sustainable management plan.

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Wildflower Walk

Thu 27 Apr 6:30 pm

Come join a celebration of our foothills wildflowers. Botanists will lead participants on a 1.5- to 2-hour leisurely walk on trails behind the Old Penitentiary. Native and not-so-native species will be identified and discussed during the session.

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Raised Bed Gardening

Sat 29 Apr 1:00 pm

This class will present the benefits and advantages of raised bed gardening. A variety of planter styles will be addressed. These will include permanent and non-permanent structures. We will discuss topics of soil choices, watering, planting for increased yield, and how to clean up at the end of season so the bed is prepped for the next growing season.

Learn More »





Glorious Containers Workshop

Tue 2 May 6:30 pm

No matter where you live, flowering pots beautify your abode. Learn from Michele how to make an eye-popping arrangement and keep it vigorous all season. Bring your favorite 12”-18” container and we’ll provide the soil, fertilizer and flowers for you to create your own beautiful living arrangement for a sunny location. You will go home with information for creating a container planting perfect for the shade.

Bring garden gloves, a trowel and a 12” – 18” diameter container.  You may have trouble carrying away a container that is very deep.

Register for either Tuesday or Thursday.

Each session limited to 15 participants.

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Wildflower Walk

Thu 4 May 6:30 pm

Come join a celebration of our foothills wildflowers. Botanists will lead participants on a 1.5- to 2-hour leisurely walk on trails behind the Old Penitentiary. Native and not-so-native species will be identified and discussed during the session.

Learn More »





Glorious Containers Workshop

Thu 4 May 6:30 pm

No matter where you live, flowering pots beautify your abode. Learn from Michele how to make an eye-popping arrangement and keep it vigorous all season.  Bring your favorite 12”-18” container and we’ll provide the soil, fertilizer and flowers for you to create your own beautiful living arrangement for a sunny location.  You will go home with information for creating a container planting perfect for the shade. Choose to attend either Tuesday or Thursday.

Bring garden gloves, a trowel and a 12”-18” container. .  You may have trouble carrying away a container that is very deep.

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Fairy Garden Adult/Child Workshop

Sat 6 May 1:00 pm

Adult/child pairs will work together to create a single fairy-sized outdoor container garden sure to entice any pixies wandering through your neighborhood. Elizabeth will help you plant a container with fairy-scale plants and construct fairy furniture to set the scene. Set it outside to attract magical creatures or add your own favorite fairy statuettes.

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Fairy Garden Adult/Child Workshop

Sat 6 May 10:00 am

Adult/child pairs will work together to create a single fairy-sized outdoor container garden sure to entice any pixies wandering through your neighborhood. Elizabeth will help you plant a container with fairy-scale plants and construct fairy furniture to set the scene. Set it outside to attract magical creatures or add your own favorite fairy statuettes.

Learn More »





Fairy Garden Adult Workshop

Wed 10 May 6:30 pm

Would you like to create a Fairy Garden but have no child to build it with you? Come to this class! Elizabeth will help you plant a container with fairy-scale plants and construct fairy furniture to set the scene. Set it outside to attract magical creatures or add your own favorite fairy statuettes.

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Concrete Leaf Workshop

Mon 15 May 6:00 pm

Create a garden ornament using concrete and a large leaf. Cover your leaf with wet mortar mix and and return to the Garden a week later to finish your unique garden treasure. All materials will be provided to make your own concrete leaf to use as a small birdbath or garden decoration.

Part II is on Monday, May 22 at 6 p.m.

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Four-Season Beauty

Thu 18 May 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Did you know some plants actually flower during winter?  A garden can be as interesting in December as it is in Spring, Summer and Fall by selecting the appropriate plants and placing them strategically in the landscape.  Terry will walk you through the design process and plant selections to achieving four-season interest in your garden.  Handouts will be provided.

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