Certificate program


First-year horticulture certificate program

Two semesters
August 31–December 14, 2015
January 25–May 9, 2016
Mondays, 8:30 am-4:15 pm

$2,750; members $2,475
Register online or call 215.278.7200

All classes meet once a week in the Barnes Residence at the
Barnes Arboretum, 300 N. Latch’s Lane, Merion, PA 19066

Courses include:

Herbaceous Plants and Bulbs
Instructor: Harriet Cramer, garden designer, writer, lecturer
28 weeks, 56 hours
Discover and know over 200 herbaceous plants and bulbs.  Learn the history, growth habits, cultural requirements, care, and landscape value of a wide range of ornamental grasses, ferns, culinary and medicinal herbs, native perennials, and long-blooming and unusual annuals and tender perennials.  In lectures, on walks around the Barnes Arboretum grounds, and on many field trips examine how to identify, select, and best integrate herbaceous plants and bulbs into a wide variety of garden settings.  

Soil Science
Instructor: Scott Guiser, MS in Horticulture
10 weeks, 15 hours
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. Students will perform an analysis on a soil sample.

Introduction to Visual Literacy
John Gatti, MFA, Senior Instructor for Art and Aesthetics at the Barnes Foundation
4 weeks, 6 hours
An introduction to the Barnes teaching methodology through study of the eclectic wall ensembles in the permanent art collection. This seminar addresses the creative process through an exploration of visual art demonstrated using paintings from the Barnes Foundation. Gain an understanding of artistic motivation and the creative process as exemplified through the influences of nature and the visual principals of design. This seminar includes a field trip to the Parkway campus.

Instructor: Dan Duran, PhD, Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences at Drexel University
14 weeks, 21 hours
This course introduces the major topics of ecology: the interactions of species with their physical environment and with other living things, including the aspects of predation, herbivory, competition, and mutualisms. Emphasis is on how ecology relates to human health, agriculture, and horticulture, with a focus on local plants and animals. Students learn the role plants play in an ecosystem and how this can make horticulture more sustainable.

Learning from the Landscape: Field study and observation 
Instructor: Mary Butler, horticulturist
28 weeks, 42 hours
Change the way you look at trees and plants with hands-on plant identification in the Barnes Arboretum and on private garden tours. Learn to 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. Students keep blogs that track the growth, seasonal changes, and landscape value of plants, and in the second semester, use the Barnes Arboretum archives to complete in-depth group research projects that are later archived in the Barnes horticulture library.

Instructor: Ann Mickle, professor at LaSalle University
28 weeks, 42 hours
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 (mitosis and meiosis), 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.


View our non-discrimnation clause.

Second and third year courses

Course listings are available online for Second-year and Third-year 


Members receive 10% off the cost of class tuition. Become a Barnes member today.


For more information, please call the Barnes Foundation Arboretum at 215-278-7350.