Fine Arts, Crafts & Books Classes
Holiday Botanical DesignHoliday Botanical Design
Writing and LiteratureWriting and Literature
Stone BalancingStone Balancing


Celebrate the seasons with floral expressions from the Arboretum. Ashley Fox Designs provides the flowers and materials, the instruction, and the inspiration. YOU create the masterpiece to take home! Advance registration strongly suggested, these workshops sell out. With Ashley Fox, in-demand floral designer and former horticulture educator at the Arboretum


Make­-and-­Take: Long-­Lasting Thanksgiving Centerpiece (100-­11­-21-­15)
Saturday, November 21, 9:30 a.m. -­ noon
Ashley Fox, acclaimed Minnesota floral designer

Level: all levels
Create a flower, fruit and vegetable long-lasting centerpiece to enjoy all week leading up to your day with family and friends. Ashley will provide instruction and hands-on personal coaching to help you strike the right balance of fresh-cut flowers, fruits or vegetables. She will also share important tips on how to keep your arrangement looking bright and beautiful up through Thanksgiving and well past the leftovers. As an added class bonus, participants will see ideas to create many different types of table decor for the entire holiday season and view a final, glowing, delicious table design by Ashley.
 (Florist value of arrangement: $100) Learning Center, Limit 24 

register $89 member/$99 non-­member, includes Arboretum admission and all class materials 
 Register for the Bundle Button Bundle and save! Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Holiday Wreath 2-class bundle for $160 member/$178 non-­member

 holiday wreath

Make-­and­-Take: Holiday Wreath (100-­12­-05-­15)
Saturday, December 5, 9:30 a.m. -­ noon
Ashley Fox, acclaimed Minnesota floral designer

Level: all levels
It wouldn't be December without a fresh, fragrant wreath to grace your front door. Learn how to design and create your own stunning statement from a professional florist, then dive in with plenty of fresh materials and hands-on time to create your own masterpiece! Using a pre-made wreath form of spruce and cedar, infuse your design with the elements you love like eucalyptus, pods, berries, etc. for a one of a kind statement piece for your holiday decor. We love it when families sign up to take these classes together! Your wreath will help you create a warm welcome for your guests that lasts well into winter.
Learning Center, Limit 24

register  $89 member/$99 non­-member, includes Arboretum admission and all class materials
Register for the Bundle Button Bundle and save! Thanksgiving Centerpiece and Holiday Wreath 2-class bundle for $160 member/$178 non-­member

 mantlepiecePhoto credit: Emily J. Followill
Southern Living Magazine 


Make-and-Take: Holiday Mantlepiece Design and Garland Construction (100-12-12-15)
Saturday, December 12, 9:30 a.m. - noon
Ashley Fox, acclaimed floral designer, educator, owner of Ashley Fox Designs

An evergreen garland or elegant mantelpiece can give your holiday decor an extra flourish. Using natural, organic, and long-lasting materials chosen for their color, texture, fragrance and beauty, Ashley will help you create a stunning 6-foot garland, suitable for placing on your mantle or railing, around a door frame or light post, or along the length of an oblong table. Limit 24, Learning Center

register $125 members/$140 non-members, includes Arboretum admission and all materials for your own take-home garland 

 Japanese Weaving SAORI class

Japanese Weaving: SAORI (125-01-16-16)
Saturday January 16, 1:00p.m. - 4:00p.m.
Chiaki O'Brien, SAORI Certified Instructor. Chiaki worked as an instructor for the SAORI head office in Japan before moving to Minnesota.

Sit, relax and let go. Your natural creativity is brought forth in this gentle, mindful and meditative hand weaving process which emphasizes improvisation and creative expression. This contemporary weaving class called SAORI is a contemporary weaving method founded in Japan in 1913. SAORI literally means weaving with individual dignity. A meditative art form where the weaver finds themselves completely absorbed and fully immersed into the weaving in front of them. The elegantly simple foot powered loom is perfect for beginners who are freed from traditional rules and regulations employed in weaving. There are no mistakes only opportunities and discoveries using techniques that are shared with the group. The instructor helps to facilitate the vibrant community which is created in each class as individuals embrace natural beauty and are encouraged to pursue the unknown. The end result is a one of kind textile perhaps a scarf, table runner or wall hanging filled with humanity that no machine could duplicate.
No experience is necessary and all supplies will be provided. Optional: bring any personal items you may wish to be woven into the work, such as handspun yarn, strips of fabric, feathers, or sticks.
Limit 9, Learning Center Tree Room


$89 member/ $99 nonmember, includes a Arboretum admission and all materials to create a take-home completed piece.


Books in the Garden


Books in the Garden AUTUMN SERIES with Toni McNaron: Nature As Character (100-10-14-15)

Second Wednesdays October - December, noon - 1:30 p.m.

     * October 14: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
     * November 11: Renascence by Edna St Vincent Millay
     * December 9: Home by Marilynne Robinson

Toni McNaron, Award-winning University of Minnesota professor emerita of English

Landscape and setting have such an influence on our lives they often stand as their own characters in the literature we love to read. Join our thriving "book club" to expand your mind and meet new people. Read and explore several titles chosen by Toni that offer fascinating views of nature and how it affects several beloved characters in books familiar as well as new. Consider how the land has an impact on our lives and how we as humans have both tried to tame it and have been tamed by it. You'll delve into why the author decided to put nature at the heart of the writing. You'll leave refreshed by the congenial spirit of book lovers and keen
insights into the words and images. 

These books are easily available in libraries or can be custom ordered for you by the Arboretum Bookstore. 
Limit 24, Snyder Building - Fireplace Room


Sold out. Add your name to the waitlist, or sign up for the spring series, below!
$49 member/$65 non-member for the 3 sessions
 includes Arboretum admission

books in the garden


Books in the Garden SPRING/SUMMER SERIES 2016: Digging Deeper into Gardens and Gardening (100-04-13-16)
Second Wednesdays April - September, noon - 1:30 p.m.
April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14

     * April 13: Writing the Garden
     * May 11:  Writing the Garden PART 2
     * June 8: The Botany of Desire 
     * July 13:  The Botany of Desire PART 2
     * August 10: The Morville House 
     * September 14: 
The Morville House PART 2 

Toni McNaron, Ph.D., award-winning professor emerita of English, University of Minnesota

In these meetings, we will explore in a leisurely fashion three books about the intricacies of garden-making and plant/flower life. We'll read approximately half of each book for each month's session before having our usual lively and productive discussions.

April and May: Writing the Garden: A Literary Conversation Across Two Centuries by Elizabeth Barlow Rogers
June and July: The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-eye View of the World by Michael Pollan
August and September: The Morville House by Katherine Swift

Limit 24, Snyder Building - Fireplace Room

register $98 member/$130 non-member for the 6 sessions, includes Arboretum admission 


 stone balance

The Power of Balance: Stone Sculptures for Your Garden (200-­11-­07­-15)
Saturday, November 7, 1:00 p.m. -­ 3:30 p.m.
Peter Juhl, stone balancing artist,

Back by popular demand! Stone­sculpture artist Peter Juhl will dazzle you with what looks like magic, but is closer to meditation or art. He will show you how to balance three or more rocks in seemingly impossible fashion without the aid of bolts, duct tape, or glue. Then he'll guide you through the steps of "coaxing a rock into position" to create your own sculpture. You'll leave grounded, refreshed, and able to repeat your balancing act in your own garden. You'll never look at stones in the same way again. (Peter will bring rocks to practice with in class). Limit 24, Visitor Center

register 4 spots left
$42 member/$55 non-­member,
includes Arboretum admission

To Register for Class

To register online, click on the "Register" button listed with the class. Or call 612-301-1210 to register by phone. You can also view the Spring/Summer 2015 Classes Catalog  to see the full class offerings and use the registration form.

Call 612-301-1210
or email:

Cancellation Policy
Registration cancellations must be made two weeks prior to class date in order to receive refund. A $5 processing fee will apply.

December Art Exhibit and Sale
All 2015 Arboretum Fine Art and Photography class participants are invited to participate in the Arboretum's
Artistry of Nature Student Exhibit and Sale
Saturday, December 5, 2015: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Sunday, December 6, 2015: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m
Students, visit the Exhibitor Information page to register for your table at the show!