Getting schooled at the Barnes Arboretum

Getting schooled at the Barnes Arboretum

arboretum school

If the phrase “horticulture education” conjures up sitting in a dim and stuffy classroom room, trying not to nod off while a professor drones on about angiosperms or monocots, you are obviously not an alumnus of the 74-year-old Barnes Arboretum School in Merion, PA. Classes there meet one day a week for three years, and experiential learning outside the classroom takes place each day.

Students learn basic and advanced propagation skills in the greenhouse.


The wet lab is used for hands-on projects, from fruit dissection to assembling bog gardens.

Fruit Lab

The grounds of the arboretum are the school’s greatest resource. With over 3,000 woody plants assembled specifically for teaching purposes, students acquire extensive knowledge through field observation.

field observation

On field trips to the region’s most spectacular private gardens, students gain exposure to the finest examples of horticulture and meet its most talented practitioners.

Field trip

Graduates receive a Certificate of Merit in horticulture and leave the Barnes to take on a wide range of exciting projects, both personal and professional. And friendships built at the Barnes endure long after the end of the program.


Learn more about the Barnes Foundation Arboretum School here. For questions about the program, contact Horticulture Education and Programs Manager Nicole Juday at or 215-278-7373.

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