Certificate program


The three-year certificate program takes a comprehensive approach to horticultural science, methods, and design. Students spend one day a week during the academic year attending all their courses: first year is taught on Mondays, second year on Tuesdays, and third year on Wednesdays.

Upon successful completion of the program, students receive a certificate of merit in horticulture and 8 PCH CEUs; students and graduates may elect to sit for the Pennsylvania Certified Horticulturist exam.

Year 1
Mondays, September 12, 2016–May 8, 2017
8:30 am–4:15 pm
$2,750; members $2,475.

Classes meet in the Barnes Residence at the Barnes Arboretum, 300 N. Latch’s Lane, Merion, PA 19066. Call 215.278.7200 for more information.

Herbaceous Plants and Bulbs
28 classes
Instructor: Harriet Cramer, garden designer, writer, and lecturer
Discover over 200 herbaceous plants and bulbs. Learn the history, growth habits, cultural requirements, care, and landscape value of a range of ornamental grasses, ferns, culinary and medicinal herbs, native and tender perennials, and long-blooming and unusual annuals. In lectures, in the arboretum, and on field trips, learn to identify, select, and integrate herbaceous plants and bulbs into a variety of garden settings. 

Soil Science
10 classes
Instructor: Scott Guiser, MS in horticulture
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, and perform an analysis on a soil sample.

The Elements of Art
4 classes
Instructor William Perthes, MA
One of the oldest forms of expression and communication, art is more enjoyable when you understand its visual language and more meaningful when you appreciate its relationship to everyday experiences. Learn the principles that underlie all art and discover its communicative power—the class culminates with a tour of the galleries at the Parkway campus.

14 classes
Instructor: Dan Duran, associate professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Science, Drexel University
An introduction to the major topics of ecology: the interactions of species with their physical environment and with other living things, including predation, herbivory, competition, and mutualisms. Emphasis is on ecology’s relation to human health, agriculture, and horticulture, with a focus on local plants and animals.

Learning from the Landscape: Field Study and Observation
28 classes
Instructor: Mary Butler, horticulturist
In the arboretum and on private garden tours, learn to identify and 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 archives to do group research projects that are later archived in the horticulture library.

28 classes
Instructor: Ann Mickle, professor of biology, LaSalle University
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.

Year 2
Tuesdays, September 6, 2016–May 2, 2017
8:30 am–4:15 pm
$2,750; members $2,475.

Year 2 classes can be audited individually, space permitting.

Cultivated Trees and Shrubs

28 classes, September 6, 2016–May 2, 2017
8:30 am–10:30 am
$1,120; members $1,008.

Instructor: Kathy Salisbury, MS, horticulturist
Learn basic diagnostic tools to identify and compare woody trees, shrubs, and vines in the Barnes Arboretum and on field trips to local botanical gardens. Become familiar with the cultural needs and landscape uses of trees, shrubs, and vines. This course also includes an introduction to the identification of common plant families, plant taxonomy, and nomenclature.

History of Gardens and Landscape Architecture
28 classes, September 6, 2016–May 2, 2017
10:45 am–12:15 pm
$840; members $756.
Instructor: Emily T. Cooperman, MS, PhD
By studying gardens throughout history, gain a comprehensive understanding of landscape design and horticulture. Emphasis is on major developments in the history of gardens, from Eastern and Western origins to contemporary design. Students take field trips to exemplary local gardens to discuss historical influences, special developments, design principles, and horticulture.

Garden Practicum
14 classes, September 6–November 1, 2016 and March 14–May 2, 2017
1–4:15 pm
$840; members $756.
Instructor: Drew Lehrian, Barnes head gardener
Learn and practice gardening skills in planning, planting, propagating, and maintaining various plants, landscape features, gardens, containers, and garden tools. Students are also introduced to a range of professional opportunities in the field.

Landscape Design I
7 classes, November 8–December 20, 2016
1–4:15 pm
$420; members $378.
Instructor: Jesse Forrester, RLA, Jonathan Alderson Landscape Architects
Learn how thoughtful manipulation of form can communicate feeling and meaning. Discover the importance of structure, organization, light, color and pattern, and composition to the landscape design process. Through a series of lectures and design exercises, gain familiarity with design principles and vocabulary and learn basic visual communication through landscape graphics.

Landscape Design II*
7 classes, January 24–March 7, 2017
1–4:15 pm
$420; $378 members

Instructor: Linda Walczak, PLA, ASLA, principal at TEND Landscape, Inc.
This course is a continuation of the fall semester and puts to use the design principles and skills covered in Landscape Design I. Landscape Design II focuses on practical application, with an emphasis on planting design and technical graphic communication. Subject matter is presented through project examples and complemented with design exercises and discussion with visiting practitioners. Topics include the design process, site analysis, use of plants and other materials to shape outdoor space, and graphic communication.
*Prerequisite: Landscape Design I

To register to audit, please call 215-278-7308.

Year 3
Wednesdays, September 7, 2016–May 3, 2017
8:30 am–4 pm first semester; 8:30 am–3:30 pm second semester
$2,750; members $2,475. 

Year 3 classes can be audited individually, space permitting.

Advanced Horticulture Practices
28 classes, September 7, 2016–May 3, 2017
8:30–10:30 am
$1,120; members $1,008.

Instructor: Bruce Keyser, owner of Keyser Design Associates
Learn about advanced propagation methods for woody plants, including propagating from seed, cuttings, and grafting. Study plant culture and develop pruning techniques for all types of woody plants, including vines, trees, shrubs, and hedges. Understand the principles of hardscape construction, including ponds, walks, patios, and walls.

Landscape Design III*
28 classes, September 7, 2016–May 3, 2017
10:45 am–12:45 pm
$1,120; members $1,008.

Instructor: Victor J. DePallo, AICP, RLA, licensed landscape architect and professional planner
Develop a style through the study of landscape design. Refine the knowledge and skills acquired in the beginning and intermediate design courses to take site analysis, planting design, and graphic communications to a higher level. With an emphasis on problem solving, landscape design-specific challenges are explored through a small project and an individual landscape plan. In this advanced course, students gain a basic understanding of landscape construction and cost estimating.
*Prerequisites: Landscape Design I and II

Plant Pathology
6 classes, September 7–October 19, 2016
1:30–4 pm
$300; members $270.

Instructor: Mark Shaw, ISA board-certified master arborist at Bartlett Tree Experts
Learn to identify signs and symptoms of woody plant diseases, including the most common biotic and abiotic diseases in the Delaware Valley. Emphases are the diagnostic process, the importance of performing systematic assessment, and the concepts of abiotic disorder and predisposing stresses. The most commonly observed and serious plant disorders, diseases, insect pests, etc. will be discussed and observed in the field.

8 classes, October 26–December 14, 2016
1:30–4 pm
$400; members $360.

Instructor: Dr. Richard Bitner, horticulturist, author of Designing with Conifers and Conifers for Gardens: an Illustrated Encyclopedia
Learn to identify and classify a range of ornamental conifers, including the best species and cultivars for our region. This profusely illustrated course focuses on the major coniferous genera, highlighting identification, growth patterns, and landscape uses, from dwarf specimens for containers to large trees for screening. The instructor's Pocket Guide to Conifers is a required text.

Weed Science
7 classes, January 25–March 8, 2017
1:30–3:30 pm
$280; members $252

Instructor: Scott Guiser, MS in horticulture
Anywhere we cultivate plants, weeds exist. This course addresses the biology and classification of these unwanted plants and covers management options using an Integrated Pest Management approach. Learn about common weeds like crabgrass, poison ivy, and ragweed, and recent invasive species like mile-a-minute, Japanese stiltgrass, and giant knotweed.

Register to audit.

7 classes, March 15–May 3, 2017
1:30–3:30 pm
$280; members $252

Instructor: Dan Duran, associate professor, Department of Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Science, Drexel University
This course introduces major topics in entomology. Students learn about the profound effects, both positive and negative, that insects have on natural ecosystems, human health, agriculture, and horticulture, with a focus on local insects whenever applicable. Students will be exposed to different aspects of plant-insect interactions ranging from pollination to pest control to conservation.

Register to audit.



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


For more information, please call the Barnes Arboretum at 215.278.7350.