Gardening & Waterwise

Texas Native Trails Working Workshop

Wednesdays | 9am-12pm

Learn about Texas native plants while working in the Garden. We will discuss our natives’ growing requirements, characteristics, ethnobotanical and wildscape uses and learn to identify them in a naturalistic setting. Our work will be in the Native Trails areas of the Garden removing invasive plants, repairing trails, and planting new natives. Wear comfortable clothing; tools, snacks, and hydration provided. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System. WaterSaver Rewards Eligible
Fee: Free to the public; registration required.

Instructor: Gary Poole, San Antonio Botanical Garden Conservation and Adult Programs Specialist

Register for August 21

Register for August 28

Register for September 4

Register for September 11

Register for September 18

Register for September 25

How Gardens Tell the Story of Water Through the Lens of Place

Thursday, August 22 | 6pm-8pm

Tenna Florian, Associate Architect at Lake Flato Architects, will highlight four gardens from diverse climates—Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh; Naples Garden in Naples, Florida; Santa Fe Botanical Garden in Santa Fe; and Shangri La Botanical Garden in Orange, Texas—to demonstrate how each garden integrated the celebration of water into their landscapes. Florian will discuss the designing process of these water systems, how they are integral to the garden experience, how the story of water can also be a story of place, and the lessons learned. Participants will gain a better understanding of the value of water features, new perspectives on engaging the public around the issue of water, and a new appreciation for the way the story of water is told in the San Antonio Botanical Garden. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $10 ($9 member)

Instructor: Tenna Florian, Associate partner at Lake Flato Architects

Register for August 22

The Best Trees for Your San Antonio Landscape

Saturday, August 24 | 10am-12pm

Trees represent an enormous asset in any landscape so choosing trees that will work in your soil, light, and climate is very important. Join author Mary Irish as she discusses trees that are native to our region, their characteristics, and requirements for success. At the end of the class Mary will lead a walk in the Garden identifying the trees covered. Participants will also receive a free plant and a list of suggested trees. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $15 ($13.50 member)

Instructor: Mary Irish: award-winning horticultural consultant, author of several books on landscaping in the Southwest US

Register for August 24

Ethnobotany of the Plants on the South Texas Trail

Thursday, September 5 | 10am-12pm

When we look at the natural world we see plants and animals. When Native Americans and pioneers looked at the Texas landscape they saw food, medicine, and the tools they needed to survive. Nature was their grocery store and pharmacy. In this workshop, we will identify some common plants found in South Texas, learn about the ethnobotanical uses—culinary, medical, utilitarian, and ceremonial—to which these plants were put, and tour the South Texas Native Trail to see these plants in a naturalistic setting. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $10 ($9 member)

Instructor: Gary Poole, Texas Master Naturalist, member Native Plant Society of Texas

Register for September 5

Healthy Trees and Certified Arborist Preparation Course

Fridays, September 6, 13, 20, and October 4 | 9am-4pm

This four-session course was designed to prepare professional arborists for the ISA Certified exam. This course is also ideal for the citizen who wants to stay safe while improving the health of trees and learn more about the value of trees. Nonprofessionals are welcome to attend the entire course or other sessions to gain a better understanding of the benefits of trees and develop their tree ID and tree care skills. Participants receive a certificate upon completion of the four-session course. Offered in Partnership with the San Antonio Arborist Association and Alamo Forest Partnership.
Fee: $300; includes the Arborist Certification Study Guide (a $115 value)

Register for Fall Session

Native Landscape Certification Program—Level 1: Introduction to Native Landscapes

Saturday, September 7 | 8am-4:30pm

The first of a four-part certification program created by the Native Plant Society of Texas. Level 1 covers such topics as: benefits of including and preserving native plants in landscapes; characteristics that differentiate sustainable and conventional development; local Texas eco-regions and soil; and 45 recommended Texas native plants to use and 5 non-natives to avoid. Completion of Level 1 is a prerequisite for taking levels 2, 3, and 4.
Fee: $45

Instructors: Nancy Thoss and Cleveland Powell, Native Plant Society of Texas (NPSOT)

Sold Out. Sign up for wait list

Ethnobotany of the Plants on the Hill Country Trail

Thursday, September 26 | 10am-12pm

For thousands of years, Native Americans used the plants found in what is now the Texas Hill Country for their culinary, medicinal, and ceremonial needs. Join Gary Poole to discover which plants were important to these early people, what some of these ethnobotanical uses were, and how some of these same plants are used in our culture today. This class will include a tour of the Hill Country Trail and a tasting of some traditional and non-traditional foods made from these native plants. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $10 ($9 member)

Instructor: Gary Poole, Texas Master Naturalist, member Native Plant Society of Texas

Register for September 26

Native Milkweed Propagation

Saturday, September 28 | 10am-12pm

Add some plant diversity to your gardens! Join Cleve Powell and learn about the appearance, characteristics, growing, and propagation techniques of milkweeds native to Central Texas. This workshop includes a lecture portion as well as hands-on preparation of seeds. Participants will plant and take home milkweed seeds prepared for germination and propagation in their gardens. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $20 ($18 member)

Instructor: Cleve Powell, native plant propagator

Register for September 28

Native Plant Adaptations to the South Texas Climate

Saturday, October 5 | 10am-12pm

The South Texas climate is one of extremes and our native plants have developed characteristics that allow them to survive and even flourish under these conditions. Join author Mary Irish as she explains how native plants have evolved to deal with our climate and what these specific adaptations look like. She will then lead a walk in the Garden to highlight the plants discussed in class. Participants receive a free plant. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $15 ($13.50 member)

Instructor: Mary Irish: award-winning horticultural consultant, author of several books on landscaping in the Southwest US

Register for October 5

Fairy Garden Workshop

Saturday, October 5 | 1pm-3pm

Step into the world of enchanting fairy gardens by designing your own fall or Halloween-themed creation. Use your imagination to construct a magical and festive piece to enhance your garden for the season. Fee includes all supplies; additional fairy garden supplies will be available for additional cost in the Garden Gift Shop. This program is designed for ages 8 and up.
Fee: $45 ($40.50 member)

Instructor: Diane Allen, gardener and experienced display designer

Register for October 5

Watersaver Landscape Design School

Saturday, October 5 | 8am-1pm

Watersaver Landscape Design School
Saturday, October 5 | 8am-1pm
Many of us inherit landscapes that are wasteful of resources, difficult and expensive to maintain, and are not hospitable for wildlife. In this workshop, you will learn how to convert a traditional landscape into a WaterSaver landscape. Instructors will go over what types of plants work well in South Texas climate, efficient irrigation designs, and thematic planting area techniques. Bring photos or a simple sketch of your yard or an area that you want to design and receive one-on-one consultation. Attendees will receive three full color landscape and plant guide books with a four-part seminar led by landscape specialists. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $30 individual, $50 household; WaterSaver Rewards Eligible

Instructor: Gardening Volunteers of South Texas

Purchase tickets at Gardening Volunteers of South Texas

Entomophagy: Historical and Contemporary View of Insects as Food

Wednesday, October 16 | 10am-11:30am

Entomophagy, the consumption of insects as food, is a very long-standing human activity. Due to environmental degradation and an uneven worldwide distribution of protein sources, it is also a very contemporary human activity. Join Ryan Lassiter of Aspire Foods as he delves into this history and its modern variant. He will discuss the importance of entomophagy today and the processes by which insects are converted into food for human consumption. He will also bring samples for braver participants.
Fee: $10 ($9 member)

Instructor: Ryan Lassiter, Entomology Lab Manager at Aspire Food Group

Register for October 16

Lunch N’ Learn: Latest Research on Monarch Butterfly Health, Milkweeds, and OE

Friday, October 18 | 11am-1pm

Monarchs are imperiled, and they face further challenges from infectious diseases including from a protozoan parasite called OE (Ophryocystis elektroscirrha), which affects monarch flight and survival. Re-wilding our American landscapes with native milkweeds and other plants can help monarchs rebound and keep parasites at bay. Join Dr. Dara Satterfield (American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellow; Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center) and learn how native versus tropical milkweeds affect monarch health and migration, how to test live monarch butterflies for OE, and more.
Fee: $15 with lunch, $10 without ($13.50/$9 member)

Instructor: Dara Satterfield, PhD in Ecology, AAAS Science Policy Fellow

Register for October 18

Plant ID Using Dichotomous Keys and Online Resources

Saturday, October 26 | 1pm-4pm

Identifying Texas plants doesn’t have to involve looking through hundreds of plant photographs trying to find the right one. Join conservation botanist Michael Eason in this class and learn how to use the tools botanists use to identify unknown plants: dichotomous keys, field guides, and online resources. Michael will discuss the advantages of each tool and model their use. There will be hands-on activities in class where students will have the opportunity to put these tools to work identifying collected plants. Participants will receive a free plant. Optional: Students may want to bring a hand lens or magnifying glass, Wi-Fi capable laptop/tablet, camera/phone, and notebook.
Fee: $20 ($18 member)

Instructor: Michael Eason, author, conservation botanist, and San Antonio Botanical Garden Plant Conservation and Research Director

Register for October 26

Succulents in Landscapes: Beautiful, Distinctive and Drought Tolerant

Saturday, November 9 | 10am-12pm

Mary Irish will provide an overview of succulent types, their drought tolerant characteristics and discuss their requirements and use in landscapes. She will have specimens to view and will lead a tour of the garden to show plants in a naturalistic setting. Sponsored by San Antonio Water System.
Fee: $20 ($18 member)

Instructor: Mary Irish; award-winning horticultural consultant, author of several books on landscaping in the Southwest US, manager of plant sales at the San Antonio Botanical Garden

Register for November 9

Cultivating Orchids in Your Home

Saturday, November 16 | 10am-12pm

There is nothing more intriguing, exotic, or beautiful family of plants than orchids. In the plant world, their diversity and range are matched only by the sunflower family. Despite the fact that most orchids grow in tropical climates, many gorgeous specimens can be successfully grown in San Antonio. In this workshop, Luis Valdez, former president of the Alamo Orchid Society, will discuss the natural history of the orchid plant, the environments in which they grow, and provide detailed instruction on how you can successfully propagate this plant at home. He will also have specimens on hand to examine and will lead a tour through the orchid room at the Lucille Halsell Conservatory.
Fee: $20 ($18 members)

Instructor: Luis Valdez, former president, vice president and board member of the Alamo Orchid Society

Register for November 16

Many Guided Walks are available and included with admission

Bird Walks
Water Saver Walks
Native Plant Walks
Sustainability Walks

Check them out here!