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How to Register

Use the link below each class to register or call 650–364–8300, ext. 508, Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.

Refund Policy

Click here for our Education Programs Refund Policy.

Adult Education at Filoli: Horticulture ClassesLearn from knowledgeable instructors how to grow like Filoli!

Filoli offers a wide range of horticulture classes that the home gardener and those in the profession can apply to their gardening projects. Whether it’s through a one–day class or a series, students gain an in–depth understanding of the class’ subject matter through well thought–out curriculum, one–on–one instruction and class handouts.

Our students say it best…
“Thank you for encouraging questions and discussion, and for keeping the class small. That made a huge difference. It allowed us to get to know each other and ask questions without getting too off track on the materials. Liked being out in the garden and seeing examples of what we were discussing.” From A Year in the Garden.

“Mimi is clear and patient — an excellent instructor.” From Citrus Care.

“Great class!” From Fruit Tree Espalier with Hallie Schmidt.

2016 Classes

illustration of two examples of espalier

Fruit Tree Espalier

10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Hallie Schmidt

In this two–part class, techniques required to develop and maintain an espalier fruit tree throughout the growing season are discussed and demonstrated. Participants receive valuable information on building a support structure, selecting plants, training techniques and maintaining mature trees long term.

PART I: The Espalier in Winter

Saturday, February 20, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
The dormant season is the best time to start your espalier from bare root plants. Participant will gain the knowledge and vision to develop their own espalier and care for it during the spring growing season. Participants will also prune and train Filoli’s mature espalier fruit trees.

PART II: Pruning, Training & Fruit Development

Saturday, July 9, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
After the spring growing season is a crucial period in the development of an espalier. By mid-summer, the espalier has slowed its growth and is putting energy into fruit production. The workshop will focus on pruning methods to control growth and improve the appearance of the espalier. This workshop will also discuss fruit production and how to get the most out of the fruit espalier.

Fee: $90 members; $110 non–members. There will a limited supply of apple trees available for purchase on the first day of class. Students are also welcome to bring their own young tree.

Japanese Maples

Veggie Garden Basics

Saturday, June 25, 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Instructor: Mimi Clarke

Bring diversity to your garden by growing a variety of vegetables. Learn how to grow vegetables in containers and throughout your garden. Special attention will be paid to planning and designing for a year-round harvest and figuring out what crops work in your particular situation. Whether you're an experienced gardener looking for extra tips, or a complete novice, celebrate the seasons by planting a vegetable garden!

Fee: $40 members; $50 non–members.


Succulent Care

Wednesday, July 20, 10:30 am–12:30 pm
Instructor: Mimi Clarke

Discover what it takes to keep these garden and container plants happy and healthy. You learn to care for them, propagate them and how to best use them in the landscape. Start growing these unique water-wise plants today. Each student will take home cuttings and/or plants to grow at home.

Fee: $55 members; $65 non–members.

garden water tap


Understanding Water and Irrigation

Saturday, July 23, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructors: Mimi Clarke

Gain a better understanding of how to properly manage your irrigation system and create a schedule appropriate for the Bay Area’s Mediterranean climate. This is a lecture class with time spent in the garden looking at Filoli’s Irrigation clocks and systems. Come with questions, come for mentoring, come to experience to Garden.

Fee for each class: $40 members; $50 non–members.

photo of group on a newt exploration


Urban Beekeeping 101

Saturday, August 20 – This class emphasizes harvesting and preparing for winter.
12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Instructors: Charlie Blevins, San Francisco Beekeepers Association

Come learn the basics of beekeeping with Instructor Charlie Blevins of Habitat for Honeybees. Class will cover everything from hive setup to regular maintenance of your colony. No experience or prior knowledge of bees is required as we will bring you up to speed on how these fascinating creatures operate - as well as why they need our help.

Fee for each class: $45 members; $50 non–members.

The perennial border at Filoli


Perennial Border Design

Saturday, August 20, 9:30 am – 12:00 pm
Instructor: Clare Riley

Filoli’s perennial border bursts with color and texture during the year, changing with the seasons. Find out how to design your own perennial border through insightful discussion, vivid imagery and practical methods. You will work through a collage project that covers textural changes, anchor and seasonal plantings, design methods and more.

Fee for each class: $40 members; $50 non–members.

brightly colored tulips


Fall Planting for Spring Color

Wednesday, September 28, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Mimi Clarke

Fall is the time to plant for a beautiful spring display. Learn Filoli’s tricks for selecting and planting spring pots and beds. Each participant plants a pot of annuals to take home for a delightful spring bloom. This is a hands–on workshop: please dress appropriately and bring gloves and bottled water.

Fee for each class: $55 members; $65 non–members.

japanese maple leaves


Japanese Maple Tree Pruning and Care

Wednesday, October 12, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Mimi Clarke

Proper techniques for pruning your Japanese maples in a manner that is both aesthetically pleasing and horticulturally sound will be taught in this class. You will learn the proper timing of Japanese maple pruning depending upon the outcome you desire, how to properly open and "sculpt" your tree and the different approaches to pruning a "focal point" specimen versus a background tree.

Fee for each class: $45 members; $55 non–members.

japanese maple leaves


Garden Design for a Mediterranean Climate

Saturday, October 15, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Instructor: Mimi Clarke

Did you know fall is the perfect time to plant native plans and Mediterranean-climate plants? By utilizing the upcoming rain plants have an easier time getting established. Topics of this lecture class include caring for the soil, choosing the appropriate plant materials for our climate, and learning about season-appropriate tasks to keep you garden looking good year round.

Fee for each class: $40 members; $50 non–members.

Nature Hikes

Orchard Walks – A benefit of membership!

The Orchard at Filoli is 6.8 acres in size and includes more than 600 fruit tree varieties, including apples, pears, plums, quince, apricots, nectarines, plums, nuts, and more. It is an eclectic connoisseur’s collection of European and American varieties of fruits, many of which were originally grown for the enjoyment of the family of the estate.

Take a walk in our orchard and learn more about this defining landscape feature, taste fruit (when available) right off the tree and discover what Filoli is doing to conserve not only the rare fruits but the traditions of this unique heirloom orchard.

Summer and Fall Walks on Saturdays, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
Saturdays, July 9, August 13, 27, September 10, October 8, 15, or 22

Summer and Fall Walks on Sundays, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm or 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm
Sundays, July 31, August 28, September 18, 25, October 9, or 16

Evening Walks, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Wednesdays, July 20, or August 17; Thursdays, July 21 or August 18
Instructor: Filoli Nature Education Docent

Fee: Free for members or with paid admission to Filoli – $20 adults; $10 children.
Children 7 and older are welcome. Non-member fee includes same day admission to the House and Garden during normal hours.*
*Evening Walks — Filoli closes at 3:30 on Wednesdays and re–opens for evening walks at 5:30 pm. We recommend you visit the historic town of Woodside for an early evening snack or meal.

  • Program Details
  • A Year in the Garden


    2016 A Year in the Garden Series

    2017 dates to be announced October 2016.

    Instructor: Mimi Clarke

    This informative series is for the home gardener who wants an in–depth understanding of plants and gardening. Courses will cover a broad range of topics including plant growth and plant uses, garden design and seasonal maintenance. This series is suitable for the novice gardener or those with some prior knowledge or experience. A Certificate of Completion will be given to those completing all 13 courses. Unless otherwise indicated, courses take place in the garden; please dress appropriately.

    Fee for the Series: $490 members; $585 non–members. Fee includes all course materials and each course is supplemented with handouts.

    Wednesday, March 16 or Saturday, March 19
    A Year in the Garden

    Botany for Gardeners Part I

    10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    A strong foundation in botany is an important aspect in becoming a well-rounded gardener. This course includes discussions on plant anatomy, plant life cycles and reproduction and plant physiology This is an ideal class for anyone interested in plants and gardening. This course takes place indoors.

    A Year in the Garden

    Landscape Tree and Shrub ID

    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
    This course presents a detailed study of the visual characteristics, nomenclature, cultural requirements and design applications of woody landscape plant material. You will learn to recognize the plants in different landscape settings and become familiar with them, based on the various training and pruning techniques applied. This class teaches you to recognize how the treatment of a plant specimen can achieve different results. This course takes place outdoors.

    Wednesday, April 13 or Saturday, April 16
    A Year in the Garden

    Botany for Gardeners Part II

    10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    This class is a continuation of Botany for Gardeners Part I.


    A Year in the Garden

    Pruning Demystified

    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
    In this course you will learn the basic principles and practices of proper pruning techniques. You will become familiar with the terminology, and practices of commonly used techniques for pruning a variety of landscape plants. This course takes place outdoors.

    Wednesday, May 18 or Saturday, May 21
    A Year in the Garden

    Plant Propagation

    10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    This class covers the principles and practices of reproducing plants. Topics include propagation by seed and vegetative methods including cuttings, layering, and division. This class takes place outdoors.

    A Year in the Garden

    Pruning Spring Bloomers

    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
    Now that the blooms are gone, it�s time to ensure continued growth and new buds. Learn how to prune and care for those early bloomers such as camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas. This course takes place outdoors.

    Wednesday, June 15 and Saturday, June 18
    A Year in the Garden

    Soil Management

    10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    Soil structure is an essential element in creating a successful garden. No garden can thrive if the soil conditions are poor. This course teaches you about soil structure, fertility and water availability in order to give you a better understanding of the whole picture. You will also learn about different ways to improve the soil through amendments and other techniques. This course takes place indoors.

    A Year in the Garden

    Landscape Perennial and Annual Plant ID

    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
    This class presents a detailed study of the visual characteristics, nomenclature, cultural requirements and design applications of herbaceous landscape plant material. You will learn to recognize the plants in different landscape settings and become familiar with them at their various stages of maturity. This class is intended to broaden your plant palette, so that you can create a more varied planting plan. This course takes place outdoors.

    Saturday, July 9 and Wednesday, July 13
    A Year in the Garden

    Pest Management

    10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    Skilled gardeners must familiarize themselves with the various pests and diseases that plague our gardens. It is essential to be able to identify and control them. This class provides you with the knowledge to identify. Prevent and control pest and disease outbreaks. Proper plant selection, site preparations and selection, soil conditions and other methods of control, with an emphasis on non-chemical control, is discussed. This class takes place outdoors.

    A Year in the Garden

    Garden Design

    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
    This course covers the design process and is intended to help you learn to evaluate plants to combine them successfully in your garden. An emphasis will be placed on how to work with the space you have, becoming familiar with a variety of materials and selecting the right plant for the right place. This course takes place indoors and outdoors.

    Date: Wednesday, August 24 and Saturday, August 27
    A Year in the Garden

    Preparing for Fall

    10:30 am – 12:30 pm
    As the summer season comes into full bloom discover how to maintain that vigorous growth as well as how to prepare for the upcoming seasons. This class covers a broad range of practical information such as how to prune summer blooming perennials and annuals to achieve lasting blooms and pruning spring flowering shrubs in the summer to prepare for the fall. During the fall season of the garden a lot happens to get the garden ready for the upcoming winter months and spring season. Learn good gardening practices such as garden grooming and pruning, soil preparation and selecting and planting bulbs and annuals for your spring display. This class takes place outdoors.

    A Year in the Garden

    Seed Collecting and Preserving

    1:30 pm – 3:00 pm
    Seed collection plays an important role in the preservation and continuation of garden plants – it’s also a lot of fun! Learn how to collect, clean and preserve seeds for years of successful plantings from your vegetable and flower garden. Take home seeds from the Filoli garden to grow in your garden.

    Wednesday, September 14 and Saturday, September 17
    A Year in the Garden

    Garden Project Overview and Luncheon

    10:00 am – 1:00 pm
    Review what was taught throughout the year, discuss your garden projects and get input and advice from the instructor to help you see them through to completion. This is an open session so bring your garden plans, ideas and questions and share them with the other students and the instructor. Celebrate the completion of this thirteen-part series with a brunch provided by Filoli.