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PLANT. EDUCATE. SUSTAIN.

The Desert Landscape School is a signature credentialing program at Desert Botanical Garden, offering professionals, homeowners and gardeners an opportunity to learn from experts about all aspects of desert landscaping and earn a credential upon completion.

Learn Garden horticulturists and landscape architects

LEARN

Experienced Garden horticulturists and landscape architects take you through a comprehensive learning journey, showing you the ropes of landscape design, installation and maintenance.

practice your newly acquired knowledge through practical

PRACTICE

Fortify your newly acquired knowledge through practical, hands-on exercises at the Garden. Receive guidance from our experts as your cohort provides feedback that helps build skill and confidence.

Earn credibility

EARN

Gain credibility when you complete all six Desert Landscape School certificates, and earn the credential. Distinguish yourself and promote your accomplishment with Desert Botanical Garden.

Become part of a community of practitioners

SHARE

Become part of a community of practitioners who care about making sustainable choices in desert landscape design and maintenance. Receive and offer practical advice in our discussion groups and events.

CERTIFICATE PROGRAMS

Desert Ecology and Plant Biology

DESERT ECOLOGY AND PLANT BIOLOGY

Critical concepts of plant structures and functions with an emphasis on how they relate to desert landscapes

Desert Plant Palette

DESERT PLANT PALETTE

A selection of trees, shrubs, vines, grasses, cactus, succulents and other plant forms used in desert landscapes, field identification and proper placement in the landscape

Planting and Maintenance

PLANTING AND MAINTENANCE

Appropriate techniques in planting, pruning and diagnosing plant problems

Sustainable Desert Landscapes

SUSTAINABLE DESERT LANDSCAPES

Designing sustainable desert landscapes, using knowledge in soil sciences, hydrology, horticulture and sustainable practices in landscape design and management

Desert Design

DESERT DESIGN

Creation and rendering of a residential design concept from a functional diagram to preliminary designs and a finalized master plan

Desert Landscape Installation

DESERT LANDSCAPE INSTALLATION

Learn the appropriate methods and progression of building a landscape, then apply this knowledge by working on a real-life installation project

Desert Landscape School Frequently Asked Questions

Where are classes held?

With only a few exceptions, classes are held at Desert Botanical Garden, where students have access to a state-of-the-art learning lab and the Garden’s collection of desert plants.

How do I earn the Desert Landscape School credential?
The School offers six different certificate programs, upon successfully completing all six Desert Landscape School certificates.
How long does it take to complete a certificate?
Most of our programs consist of 20 hours of instruction, and participants can complete it in 11-12 weeks after enrollment.
When are classes held?
Most classes are scheduled on weekends or weekday evenings to accommodate working professionals.
What are the requirements to achieve a certificate?
Students who wish to receive a certificate upon completion of each program must meet the attendance requirement and reach or surpass the minimum score set for the program’s assessment.
How many hours of studying on my own can I expect?
Students should expect to spend two to four hours each week during the program devoted to studying the materials, reading and/or completing assignments.
How many times a year is each certificate program offered?
Each certificate program is offered twice a year.
How do I register for each certificate program?
Students can register online or call 480.481.8146.
Which certificate is right for me?

The description for each certificate is a good resource for deciding if the program will meet your needs. If you have further questions about the curriculum, please contact Adult Education Program Development Manager Angelica Elliott at aelliott@dbg.org or call 480.481.8171.

Search and Verify Credentials

Desert Landscape School credential holders have the opportunity to list themselves in this online directory. This tool also allows users to verify if a professional currently holds the credential.

Search and Verify Credentials
Desert Landscape & Maintenance guide book

Desert Landscape Guide

Learn how to select, install and maintain plants in a desert landscape. Filled with best practices, illustrations and instructions, this guide translates plant science into practical advice, making it perfect for landscape professionals, homeowners and gardeners.

Read our Registration & Cancellation Policies for information about member discounts, refunds and more.

This month, the Garden closes at 4 p.m. (last admission 3 p.m.) and reopens at 5:30 p.m. for Luminaria ticketholders.