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Adult Education

Providing horticulture education for aspiring gardeners is a large part of the mission for the Massachusetts Horticulture Society. We offer an array of gardening workshops, courses and lectures throughout the year that cover a wide variety of gardening topics and interests. Below is the list of upcoming classes.

Thursday Night at the Hort


In this annual lecture series, a different expert each week will offer a presentation sure to please the armchair gardener to the Master Gardener. Topics range across the horticultural spectrum from soil to seeds to gardens and everything associated with them.  

Click here to see a schedule and descriptions of the lectures.

Hands on Hort

We all have different learning styles. In this year round program of hands on workshops Mass Hort is looking to support those individuals who enjoy the “Learn by Doing” model of education. Throughout the year we will provide a variety of workshops across the spectrum of horticulture. Our goal is offer you the opportunity to learn and do in a professional setting from leaders and experts in the horticultural world.

Click here to see a schedule and descriptions of the lectures.

Art in the Garden

Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the New England Watercolor Society (NEWS) have joined forces to offer you an exciting new way to appreciate the beauty of Elm Bank. From May through October, the gardens will provide the inspiration for a series of watercolor workshops taught by award winning professional artists of NEWS. Each instructor, demonstrating their unique style and technique, will take you through the elements that go into creating a painting. Whether you are an experienced artist seeking new inspiration or have longed to try watercolor for the first time, choose a workshop to suit your needs and take advantage of this perfect opportunity to express the beauty of Elm Bank through watercolor.

Click here to see a schedule and descriptions of the classes. 

Massachusetts Master Gardener training program

Mass Hort also hosts the Massachusetts Master Gardener Associations Master Gardener Training Program. To learn more about this course and the Association please visit the Massachusetts Master Gardener Association website.

PPA Symposium: Exploring Design & Perennial Selection for the Landscape

On Friday, September 12, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society and the Perennial Plant Association are teaming up to offer a day-long symposium entitled, ‘Exploring Design & Perennial Selection for the Landscape’. Some of the best writers and creative plantsmen in the business will be here, and you’re invited to listen, learn and ask questions.

Here's what you can look forward to:

9:00 am - 10:00 am
Gardening Simplified For Changing Lifestyles
Kerry Mendez - Perennially Yours

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Let’s Have a Plant Orgy In An Earth Friendly Way
Brent Heath - Brent and Becky’s Bulbs

11:30 am - 12:30 pm
A Look At The Shady Characters For The Garden.
Dr. Steven Still - Perennial Plant Association

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Perennial Garden Care For Plant Geeks
C.L. Fornari - The Garden Lady

3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Native Plants Enhance The Garden
Peter van Berkum - Van Berkum Nursery

4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Container Gardening: Drama For Every Season
Paul Zammit - Toronto Botanical Garden

Registration Fee: $99/person before September 5. $109/person after September 5.

About the Presenters

Kerry Mendez owner of Perennially Yours in Kennebunk, Maine, is dedicated to teaching people of all ages the art of low-maintenance perennial gardening and landscaping. As a garden consultant, designer, writer, teacher and lecturer, she focuses on time-saving gardening techniques and workhorse plant material as well as organic practices. Over 8,000 people have taken her classes. She has been in many national magazines including Fine Gardening, Garden Gate, and Better Homes and Gardens’ Garden Ideas & Outdoor Living, plus her gardens have been in several published gardening books.
Brent Heath

Brent Heath Brent is a third generation bulb grower and co-owner with his wife, Becky, of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, a wholesale/retail mail-order flower bulb catalogue and web site business that provides numerous types of bulbs to many botanical gardens, cities, universities, landscape designers and discriminating gardeners across the country. Brent and Becky have received numerous awards including the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Gold Medal of Honor, National Garden Club of America Gold Medal and the Garden Writers Association Hall of Fame.

stevenstillDr. Steven M. Still, is professor emeritus of Landscape Horticulture, Ohio State University. His college teaching included programs at Kansas State University and Ohio State University. For 30 years he taught courses in herbaceous and woody plant materials. Dr. Still is the author of the Manual of Herbaceous Ornamental Plants used at many universities and colleges. He has received the American Nursery and Land- scape Nursery L.C. Chadwick Educator Award, Garden Club of America Award of Merit for Teaching, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society Gold Medal Award, and the American Horticultural Society Liberty Hyde Bailey Award. Dr. Still travels world wide in his quest for visiting nurseries, garden centers, public and private gardens.

peter-van-berkumPeter Van Berkum, along with his wife, Leslie, started Van Berkum Nursery in 1986. It is a wholesale perennial nursery specializing in natives and wicked ruggeds, plants that perform well and last a long time in New England landscapes. Peter has a degree in Plant Science at the University of New Hampshire, and spent a year studying horticulture in The Netherlands. He is a past president of the New Hampshire Plant Growers Association, as well as a founding member of the New Hampshire Horticulture Endowment.

paul zammit1Paul Zammit, a graduate of the University of Guelph, is the Nancy Eaton Director of Horticulture at the Toronto Botanical Garden. Formerly, he was employed at Plant World, a large retail garden centre where he was the perennial department manager for almost two decades. Paul’s container designs have been showcased several times in many gardening magazines, most recently, in an issue of Canadian Gardening. In has won first place in the Scotts Miracle-Gro, Do Up The Doorstep competition, for his container entry at Canada Blooms.

clfornariC.L. Fornari is the author of six books including her latest, Coffee For Roses. She hosts Gardenline, a live two-hour call-in radio show on Saturday mornings on and speaks to a variety of audiences. Her website can be found at and she blogs at She grows perennials and all manner of other plants at Poison Ivy Aces on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.


Registration Fee: $99/person before September 5. $109/person after September 5.
This price includes lunch.

Sign up nowCall 614-771-8431 if you have questions.



About the Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Massachusetts Horticultural Society LogoFounded in 1829, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society is dedicated to encouraging the science and practice of horticulture and developing the public's enjoyment, appreciation, and understanding of plants and the environment.

Calendar & Courses


Mass Hort Classes & Events

Thu Oct 23 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Tree Pruning and Care
Sat Oct 25 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Floral Design for Jewelry and Crafts
Sat Oct 25 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
Learn Floral Design
Thu Nov 06 @ 1:00PM - 02:30PM
Spice Up the Holidays with Herbal Infused Alcohol
Sat Nov 08 @10:00AM - 12:00PM
Invasive Plants of the Northeast -- A Walking Tour
Thu Nov 13 @ 7:00PM - 08:30PM
Seasonal Floral Arrangements: A Demonstration
Fri Nov 28 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees
Wed Dec 03 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
Fesival of Trees
Fri Dec 05 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees
Sat Dec 06 @10:00AM - 02:00PM
Festival of Trees Holiday Wreath Workshop
Sun Dec 07 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
Festival of Trees Kids Craft Workshop
Wed Dec 10 @ 4:00PM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees
Fri Dec 12 @10:00AM - 08:00PM
Festival of Trees
Sun Dec 14 @10:00AM - 06:00PM
Festival of Trees
Sun Dec 14 @12:00PM - 01:30PM
Festival of Trees Kids Craft Workshop