Welcome to Denver Botanic Gardens' online registration and ticket purchasing site

Lifelong Learning


Cancellation Policy: Cancellations more than one week prior to a class are subject to a 15% cancellation fee. Cancellations with less than one weeks notice are non-refundable; please consider your payment a donation to the Gardens.


2015 Tree Diversity Conference - Even. More. Tree. Types.

Even more trees are coming to Denver! Building on the success of the March 2014 Tree Diversity Conference, five different tree experts will be speaking at the Denver Botanic Gardens this coming March to present more ideas about underutilized tree species and cultivars. The time of losing many of our ash trees to the emerald ash borer will soon be upon us and the urgency of making wise replanting choices is greater than ever.


Our outstanding new program includes a professor of plant sciences and horticulture who hails from a very cold climate, an experienced Asian plant explorer and arboretum collections director, one of our country's foremost tree nursery propagators and two of the Front Range's best-known urban foresters. In addition to specific trees, we'll be hearing about some of the challenges climate change presents and about the role government can play in promoting more varied tree selection. Join us to further expand your menu of tree choices and together let's develop a more stable and secure urban forest!


2015 Lineup

Kathleen Alexander, Boulder, CO City Forester

Kris Bachtell, Collections Director, Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL

Tim Buchanan, Ft. Collins, CO City Forester

Greg Morgenson, Woody Plant Research Specialist, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND

Keith Warren, Plant Propagator, J. Frank Schmidt Nurseries, Boring, OR.



$75, includes all programming and lunch

3-1/2 Season Vegetable Garden: Extending the Garden Season in Colorado

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

This class will help you to develop your skills in succession planting and extending the growing season to get 11-12 months from your vegetable garden. Learn the importance of plant family names and how to group them successfully and rotate them, cool and warm season crops and when and if you can replant for another season of certain crops. We will also cover techniques and materials to extend the season successfully so you can plant early in spring and keep certain crops going until late fall and into winter.


Members $39, Non-Members $44


Instructor: Patti O'Neal



All Natural Skin Care

See how easy and inexpensive it is to make your own facial steams with herbs, cleansing grains and creams, wonderful masques, including alpha hydroxy, herbal toners and astringents, and a rich creamy moisturizer that contains far more nutrients and anti-oxidants for your skin than anything available commercially.

You'll also learn how to make a profoundly healing cream for damaged skin and premature wrinkling. Learn a few tricks for blemishes and how to make a creamy, healing lip balm.

Take home an extensive handout, bag of steaming herbs, a month supply jar of moisturizer and a pot of lip balm.


Instructor: Christina Blume


$58 member, $63 non-member, includes $30 for materials.




Backyard Chicken Keeping



This class provides an accessible introduction for anyone interested in raising backyard hens. Join Sundari Kraft, of EatWhereULive and Heirloom Gardens to learn how to choose the perfect chickens (best breeds and how/where to purchase), care for chicks and create housing and fencing. Participants also learn how to navigate financial considerations, overcome common challenges and get proper livestock licenses.


$35 member / non-member

Instructor: Sundari Kraft



Sundari Kraft is the owner of a beautiful flock of Denver backyard hens. She is the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading," and successfully worked with city officials to change Denver's chicken laws.





Backyard Goat Keeping


This class provides an accessible introduction for anyone interested in raising backyard dwarf dairy goats. Join Sundari Kraft, of EatWhereULive and Heirloom Gardens, to learn how to choose the perfect goats (best breeds and how/where to purchase), make housing and fencing, feed, collect milk, breed and provide proper medical care and hoof trimming. Participants also learn how to navigate financial considerations, overcome common challenges and get proper livestock licenses.


$35 member / non-member.

Instructor: Sundari Kraft



Sundari Kraft. Sundari is the proud owner of Nigerian Dwarf dairy goats. She is the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Urban Homesteading," and successfully worked with city officials to improve Denver's goat laws.





Basic Point & Shoot Photography




Beekeeping Basics


This introductory class is great for people thinking about starting a beehive. Instructor, Tracy Bellehumeur teaches about how honeybees live, different hive designs and how to get started as a beekeeper. A handout with suggested reading, supportive resources and local beekeeping groups is provided.


$36 members, $42 non members


About our instructor:

Tracy Bellehumeur has been raising bees for six years using natural methods in Top Bar and Langstroth hives and helps maintain hives for community gardens in Boulder. She is the beekeeping instructor for Growing Gardens in Boulder and one of the teachers for the Boulder County Beekeepers Association, specializing in honeybee pests and diseases.




Beginning Bonsai


Are you mystified by the many centuries old Japanese tradition of bonsai? Join us for an entertaining and informative class with local Bonsai Master, Harold Sasaki and the Gardens’ Bonsai Specialist Larry Jackel as they debunk the myths, fictions and misconceptions surrounding this living art form.


Each participant receives a tree, ceramic pot, wire, soil and gravel in this hands-on experience of creating a finished bonsai, which you can home.

$78 member, $82 non-member, includes $30 for materials.

Instructor: Harold Sasaki and Larry Jackel

There will be a break for lunch, please bring lunch or there is a cafe onsite for you to purchase lunch.




Beginning Rocky Mountain Gardening


Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

This course is designed for the Front Range gardener beginner. The basics of what is needed to adjust gardening skills from other climates to the Front Range’s finicky climate are covered. If you have never gardened here before or are looking for more success, this is the class for you! Learn the skills necessary to become an enthusiastic gardener. Annuals, perennials and vegetables are discussed, along with trees and shrubs that thrive in our climate, elevation and varying soils. Plant selection, planting and troubleshooting is discussed.

Subsequent weeks focus on the elements, water needs, fertilizers and organic gardening.

Please bring a glass jar of soil to class. (Must be see through glass jar to study layers of your own backyard native soil)



$80 member, $90 non-member.


Instructor: Patti O'Neal


Berries and Grapes for the Front Range

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective

Berries are easy fruits to grow and make luscious-eating whether fresh, frozen or preserved. New developments are increasing the types we can grow here. Come find out the types of berries that do well in our climate and soil, what varieties are recommended, where to purchase and how to manage and prune for best results. Grapes for our area are also discussed.


$28 member, $33 non-member

Instructor: Carl Wilson, Denver horticulturist, speaker and retired CSU Extension Agent.







Botany for Gardeners

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group I

This class provides an overview of basic plant biology, including structure, development, transpiration, photosynthesis and plant chemistry.

Students will gain essential knowledge for acquiring high-level pruning skills, for designing gardens based on specific plant requirements of the Rocky Mountain region, and for understanding interactions between plants and their microenvironments.

Required Text- Botany for Gardeners by Brian Capon, found online or in most book stores.


$213 member, $255 non-member.


Instructor: Sheridan Samano


Building my First Vegetable/ Kitchen Garden

Rocky Mountain Gardening Elective


**This is a 2 part class with two 5 hour sessions.

This intensive workshop is designed for the first time vegetable gardener. Learn how to feed a family of four from one, 4’ x 6’ raised bed. Discuss succession planting, harvesting, season extension (early and late), tools, vertical space gardening using trellises, soil prep, space optimization, French kitchen garden design and more. Develop a customized design based on your garden situation and your family's needs. Learn how to build a raised bed and how to keep the soil thriving for future seasons. Instructor, Patti xxx, focuses on small gardens and containers, but this workshop also provides invaluable ideas and resources for improving year-round production in a garden of any size.

Participants have the opportunity to draw and plan beds with an intensive planting plan and start some seeds for the home garden. Handouts are provided for future reference.

As this class is five hours per session, please bring a sack lunch and snacks. Offshoots Café will be open to purchase food.



$145 member, $157 non-member.


Instructor: Patti O'Neal


Bungalows and Gardens

Ever wondered about the history of bungalows and the gardens that were created with this iconic house style? Do you have a bungalow and would like to recreate that garden look with today’s plants in our dry desert climate? Come learn more about the house and style of garden that goes with it. Get some fresh, new ideas to update your garden.


Instructor: Marie Peacock


$26 member, $31 non-member

Calling all Chocolate Lovers


Chocolate, “the food of the gods,” is one of the most amazing tastes, but there is so much more to chocolate than foiled-wrapped bars. Chef Elizabeth Buckingham teaches a fascinating chocolate class where participants learn about the botanical properties of Theobroma cacao, how cacao is grown, harvested and processed into familiar chocolate treats. The health benefits of chocolate and aphrodisiac qualities are also discussed along with savory chocolate recipes. Participants receive handmade chocolate treats, just in time for Valentine’s Day!


$47, $42 members


Instructor: Elizabeth Buckingham




Cold Process Soap Making




Companion Planting

Have you heard of the Three Sisters of the garden? According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash are three inseparable sisters that only thrive when planted together. Companion planting has occurred throughout the history of the earth. Nature knows how to grow by bringing complementary plants together and keeping antagonists apart. You can do the same in your garden and greatly increase the health and well-being of your plants as well as the yield. Roses love garlic and tomatoes love basil and there is usually more than one reason why. Come and learn the science and the lore and make companion planting a natural part of your garden. If you are a vegetable gardener, companion planting can help keep the food fully organic. Crop rotation and soil building, a vital part of companion planting, are also covered. From ancient techniques to recent experiments and 17 years of personal experience growing food, herbs and flowers together, Penn and Cord Parmenter discuss a range of beautiful, diverse and stunning combinations. Don't miss this one - it's never too late to plant companions!



Penn and Cord Parmenter.

Penn and Cord Parmenter are high altitude food growers. They live in the Wet Mountains in South Central Colorado and they apply a multitude of techniques to overcome the challenges of the high country. Their totally sustainable greenhouse provides food year round for them and their three boys.


Cooking with Whole Grains


A diet based around whole grains, vegetables and heart-healthy fats is one of the most sensible ways to eat. The grocery store’s bulk department is an amazing source of tasty and inexpensive whole grains. Chef Elizabeth Buckingham teaches how to cook many different grain varieties with great techniques and delicious recipes including soups, risotto and bread. All the recipes showcase whole grains. Learn how simple it is to add these easy, healthy grains to your daily diet!


$45, $40 members


Instructor: Elizabeth Buckingham



Delicious Vegetarian


Discover the scrumptious side of international vegetarian cuisine! The hands-on cooking class begins with a savory salad and moves on to a delicious butternut squash curry, a spicy cashew veggie stir fry, a pesto and roasted veggie pizza and ends with a sweet. Eat your veggies and love doing it! Recipes and dinner included.


$42 member, $47 non-member


Instructor: Susan Evans





Photo Credit: WordRidden (Flickr)

Digital Workflow for Photographers


Join the Gardens’ official photographer, Scott Dressel-Martin, for photography instruction. Learn how to create a solid digital photography workflow using the Adobe program LightRoom that can help you organize, process, print and post images. Dressel-Martin runs through the process from camera set-up through image output. All photography skill levels are welcome. Some computer experience is required.


Instructor: Scott Dressel-Martin


$42 members, $47 non-members



Ecology for Gardeners

Rocky Mountain Gardening Required Course Group I

Ecology is the study of interactions in nature. It seeks to understand the relationship between organisms to their environment and to each other. Successful gardening involves understanding and applying these principles. Basic principles of ecology will be explored in relationship to conditions in the Rocky Mountain region. Current environmental issues of the region will also be considered.


$81 member, $91 non-member.


Instructor: Sheridan Samano


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