Upcoming Events

Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday, May 25 through Monday, May 27, 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

In honor of their service all active duty military and veterans are admitted free of charge over Memorial Day Weekend.

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Michigan Garden & Nursery Trip Led by Director Ed Lyon

May 30 - June 1
4 Days • 6 Meals

With a unique climate and rich growing soil, southwest Michigan is an ideal region for a horticultural tour. The Lake Effect often results in favorable growing conditions and moderate temperatures. This great Lakes state is second only to California in its diversity of agriculture. Join us as we explore this region’s notable gardens, nurseries, and more.

• Visit Frederik Meijer Gardens, on Ed’s Top 10 List of “must see” gardens
• Meet breeders and cultivators of succulents, perennials, flowers and more
• Talk with Chris Hansen, an enthusiastic plant geek and see his intensive private gardens
• Visit the renown Countryside Greenhouse, Blumen Gardens, Walter Gardens, Spring Hill Nursery and Hornbaker Gardens among others during our travels
• Enjoy behind the scenes for tours at several wholesale nurseries
• Roundtrip luxury motorcoach transportation provided from Ames, IA

Reserve your spot by March 15, 2019. First come-first served. Price per person for a double is $977 and $1,195 for a single. For more information and directions to register, click here.

Depart Reiman Gardens this morning traveling across Iowa and into Illinois to our first stop, Blumen Gardens. Over the past 29 years, Joan & Joel Blumen have developed a full-service landscaping company, year-round Gift & Garden Center and an Event Rental Facility. Blumen Gardens inhabits over two acres of beautiful and historic land that is enjoyed as a relaxing shopping destination featuring a refurbished and re-purposed historic factory brick building. Two bonuses: we will eat a catered lunch on site and you will receive a 20% discount! After our visit, we continue on to Holland, Michigan, check-in to our hotel for the next three nights and enjoy dinner with the group.

Walters Gardens, Inc., proud supplier of a brand you will recognize, Proven Winners® Perennials as well as many new cultivars they release through their own program. Here you’ll see how over 1,000 varieties of new and classic perennials are produced on a grand scale before they are shipped to your local garden center. We will tour major production greenhouses and bare root facilities and a guide will take us on the bus through vast growing fields. You can expect they will also provide a “goodie bag” with at least one newly released plant. Next, we’re off to WW Greenhouse, which comes highly recommended by Ed’s industry friends in the area. If professionals shop here for their own home gardens, it says a lot about the selection and quality we will find. W.W. Greenhouses carries an extensive line of perennials, annual bedding and potted annuals, along with extravagant hanging planters and baskets.

At Windmill Island Gardens, a municipal park located in the city of Holland, we’ll see the only authentic Dutch windmill operating in the United States. From the top, we will survey 36 acres of manicured gardens, dikes, and canals. Costumed guides, an Amsterdam street organ, a hand-painted Dutch carousel, a beautiful children’s garden and playground for families, and gift shops will complete our visit.

This afternoon, we will visit the gorgeous riverside home and property of Dale Deppe, president of Spring Hill Nursery. Here he tests new trees and shrubs. Closed to the public, we have been invited to tour not only the lovely gardens but also see and hear about new plants that we will either see sold in future years or don’t make the grade.

If you purchase a tree or shrub brand new to the market this year, there is a high likelihood it came from Spring Meadow. In recent years, they have dominated the wholesale market and are one of the primary sources of the explosion of new hydrangea releases. We will tour their expansive propagating houses and see how a state-of-the-art facility mass produces exceptional quality plants. The facilities are surrounded by trial and display gardens where you can see mature versions of plants you may own as well as new ones yet to be released.

And for the last visit of the day, can you say massive? Another garden center highly recommended by Michigan green industry folks, Countryside Greenhouse has over 21 acres of enclosed, poly covered, growing space that they utilize to grow plants with retail space for the home gardener.

The City of Holland has developed a thriving farmers’ market that includes many booths from some of the local garden centers. We will start our morning perusing a vast array of market offerings! Next, Ed has a list of the top 10 public gardens he has visited and Frederik Meijer Gardens makes that list! Ranked in the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park has grown to become an international destination. The sculpture program features more than 200 works in the permanent collection sited both indoors and outdoors on the 158-acre main campus. The gardens are integrated with fine art. Horticultural displays showcase a beautiful array of plants appropriate for the Midwest and specialized plants from regions around the world in both greenhouse and landscape settings.

Then we’re off to talk with Chris Hansen at his home. Chris is a true plant geek, as evidenced by his unique plant offerings at Garden Solutions. So much so, he created one of the most intensive home landscapes you will ever see featuring many of the plants he sells as well as a number of rare collectibles. His collection is matched only by the enthusiasm he will demonstrate when he shows off his jaw dropping display beds. After our delightful visit with Chris, we’re off to his fairly new wholesale business. We’ll be some of the first to tour the facility including a 150 foot display garden. There isn’t a plant that doesn’t fascinate Chris and he has bred many new selections of different genera, most notably hellebores and now succulents. His Chick Charms® collection is taking the market by storm and he continually adds new selections. You are likely to see exciting new plants that aren’t yet available!

Finally, we visit with Hans Hansen who heads up the WGI hybridizing team at Walters Gardens and is well-known throughout the industry for his truly new and improved plant introductions, most noticeably hostas. Over the past decade or more, Hans has introduced about 20 hostas through Shady Oaks Nursery in his home state of Minnesota. His own home garden shows his passion for plants and plant collecting. Ed assures you that you will see plants you have never seen before. We end the evening with a delicious farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

At last we say goodbye to the many wonderful growers and gardens of Holland and return to Ames. But before we’re home, one last visit is in store at Hornbaker Gardens.

Hornbaker Gardens, Inc. offers collections of hostas, daylilies, trees and shrubs, grasses, aquatics, annuals, and other perennials, drawing plant enthusiasts from not only the Midwest, but from across the country. The Shop at Hornbaker Gardens is stocked with garden art and other garden accessories and the display gardens have turned the site into a botanical gardens and arboretum. They include two display ponds and a pondless waterfall featuring many of the aquatic plants that the garden center sells and will add to the ambiance when we have lunch on site.

Continue across Iowa for an early evening return to Reiman Gardens with plenty of new plants and ideas just in time for early summer planting.

Reserve your spot by March 15, 2019. First come-first served. Price per person for a double is $977 and $1,195 for a single. For more information and directions to register, click here.

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Youth & Family
Homeschool Day: Insects

Friday, May 31, 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Reiman Gardens’ collection of insects includes hundreds of species of moths, butterflies, and more. Investigate lifecycle stages, examine insect body parts up close, interact with live specimens, and learn about the critical role insects play in the lives of human across the globe – and the wider role they may play in the future.
Registration and orientation is from 9:00 – 9:30, with programming beginning promptly thereafter. Geared for grade levels K-5. Advance reservations encouraged.

$7 Students (K-12)
$9 Adults

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Photography: The Art of Seeing

4-week course beginning Monday, June 3, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see! This class will help you explore your photographic potential. Photography is an exercise in the art of observation. Learn to pay attention to the details and capture the moments that tell stories. Join award-winning photographer and instructor Mark Stoltenberg as he teaches you to better “see” and “capture” the world around you. This class will change the way you look at the world and what you can do with your own camera.
You will need to bring the following to each class: your DSLR camera. Note: Beginner photography or instructor permission is the prerequisite for this class. Preregistration with prepayment is required by Sunday, June 2.

$90 Members
$112.50 General Public
$76.50 Students

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Gardening & Insects
Home Gardening Series: Basic Garden Maintenance

Tuesday, June 4, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Assistant Director Aaron Steil will dig into gardening basics from watering and fertilizing to composting and plant selection. Hear about handling insects, diseases, animals, weeds, and garden journaling to track the health and growth of your planted spaces. Preregistration with prepayment is encouraged by Sunday, June 2.

$16 Members
$20 General Public
$13.60 ISU Students

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Photography: Off Camera Flash

4-week course beginning Tuesday, June 4, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Join our beloved instructor Mark Stoltenberg as he starts you at the beginning of off camera flash with the basics and one flash, and then takes you through everything you need to know; from technique to gear, to mastering the Speedlight and taking better pictures almost immediately. Mark will get you up and running with the key features and functions that will enable you to get the most out of this flash. You’ll learn about the key buttons and dials, how and when to use each setting. All throughout the class Mark will share his insights, tips, and tricks to help you get the most out of your flash and enable you to create the images you’ve been dying to create.
You will need to bring the following to each class: your DSLR camera and sturdy tripod. Note: Beginner photography or instructor permission is the prerequisite for this class. Preregistration with prepayment is required by Monday, June 3.

$90 Members
$112.50 General Public
$76.50 Students

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Youth & Family
Plant Pals

Tuesday, June 4, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Join us weekly on Tuesdays as our kids’ horticulture program covers more diverse topics and expands to other areas of the Gardens. Classes involve hands-on gardening activities, crafts, and tastings, and are great for kids of all ages to participate in with an adult.
Preregistration 2 days prior is HIGHLY encouraged, and required for groups of 8 or more. NOTE: please register for both youth and adult attendees.

$2 Member, ISU Student Youth
FREE Member, ISU Student Adults
$6 General Public Youth
$9 General Public Adults (admission)

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Landscape Photography

4-week course beginning Wednesday, June 5, 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.

Do you love the idea of grabbing your camera and heading out to beautiful locations? Then join professional photographer Mark Stoltenberg to learn the basics of landscape photography. What gear do you need, what camera settings do you want, how should you compose for maximum impact and what tips and tricks will help you get sharp photos? With this class you’ll be more comfortable when you are out on location, so you can enjoy the scenery, and make great photos while you are there.
This class is for beginning-to-intermediate digital photographers who want to understand the basics and bring their own unique artistic expression to landscapes and outdoor shooting.
You will need to bring the following to each class: your DSLR camera and sturdy tripod. Note: Beginner photography or instructor permission is the prerequisite for this class. Preregistration with prepayment is required by Tuesday, June 4.

$90 Members
$112.50 General Public
$76.50 Students

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Youth & Family
Kids’ Story Time

Thursday, June 6, 10:00 – 11:00 a.m.

Join us for this summertime favorite! Every week, hear books read aloud and join in an activity or craft. Best for children up to eight accompanied by an adult.
No preregistration required.

Free for Members, ISU Students
Free with admission for the General Public

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Youth & Family
Youth Summer Camp #1: Play with Plants!

Thursday, June 6, 1:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Join us for an afternoon of fun and educational activities focused on the science of plants, investigating seed dispersal to specialized parts to phenomena like phototropism. Explore the Gardens and the Hughes Conservatory with games, crafts, snacks, and more. STEAM activities and content are appropriate for ages 8-12.
Preregistration with prepayment required by Tuesday, June 4.

$14 Members & ISU Students
$17.50 General Public

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