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Iowa Gardener Cover




Upcoming Events for Iowa

To submit your gardening event to our staff, submit it using our contact form or send an email to




June 5, 12, 19 & 26, Ames
Plant Pals
Reiman Gardens

Hands-on gardening activities, crafts, and tastings, and are great for kids of all ages to participate in with an adult. 10-11 a.m.

June 5, 12, 19, 26, Ames
Photographic Exposure
Reiman Gardens

Learn the impact your subject matter can have on exposure. Learn to adjust your camera settings to properly expose your image, even when your camera suggests something different in this four-week course. 6-8:30 p.m.


June 6, 13, 20, 27, Ames
Black & White Digital Photography
Reiman Gardens

Learn to look at the world in a whole new way as you further explore the tools, techniques, and identify the best subject matter to create black and white digital images in this 4-week course. 6-8:30 p.m.


Beginning June 7, Des Moines
Social Irrigation
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Thursday evenings beginning June 7: Back for a second year, Social Irrigation is the garden’s summer-long Thursday evening series. The garden will be open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays with live music, food, drinks, lawn games, and botanical activities. See the full line up at

June 13, 20, & 27, Waterloo
Summer Storytime
Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Join in for storytime on Wednesdays during June, July, and August. Stories will be read by friends from area non-profits, groups, and prominent figures in the community. This event is free to attend with admission to the gardens. Continue exploring the gardens after story time is finished. 10:30-11 a.m.


June 14 & 28, Ames
Plant Walk
Reiman Gardens

Get to know the works of art on a different topic each session in the living museum from an expert from 11-11:45 a.m., during an in-depth walking tour of the plants and flowers that make Reiman Gardens so special.


June 28, Ames

Youth Summer Camp #2: International Mud Day!
Reiman Gardens

Join in for a full afternoon (1-5 p.m.) of fun and educational activities celebrating International Mud Day! Explore the properties of mud and the living things found in it, spend time in the greenhouse, conservatory, and outdoor gardens, and enjoy a few mud-based activities, crafts, games, and more.

June 29, Dallas Center
Second Annual June Moon Event
The Brenton Arboretum

An outdoor fundraiser concert and dinner under the full moon. For more information phone 515-922-4211, email, or visit Website: lauritzengardens.orgdisplay at Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens.




Tuesday mornings through October, Omaha, Nebraska
Walking Club
Lauritzen Gardens 

Join us for a scenic walk through the garden. With miles of trails, you can reduce stress and strengthen your body while enjoying the friendship of other members. Free for garden members or included with paid garden admission. 

Through July 15, Omaha, Nebraska
Patriotic Perches
Lauritzen Gardens

A collection of 51 handcrafted birdhouses that combine art, geography, horticulture, and birding to educate visitors about state birds and flowers and how to attract wildlife to their garden space. Free for garden members or included with paid garden admission. 

Through July 24, Omaha, Nebraska  
Art Exhibit: Another Bloomin’ Exhibit by Omaha Artists, Inc.
Lauritzen Gardens

An exhibition of art depicting flowers, landscapes, and botanical themes in a variety of media by local artists. Free for garden members or included with paid garden admission.

Thursdays - September 27, Des Moines
Social Irrigation Summer Music Series
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

The garden will be open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays for an evening full of live music, food, and botanical atmosphere. Trellis Café will be open with small plates and your favorite beverage. From classical, jazz, and blues music as well as craft beers and lawn games. For more information, visit

July 2 & August 6, Omaha, Nebraska
Leashes at Lauritzen
Lauritzen Gardens

Bring your canine friends to walk the grounds and enjoy the great outdoors together, 5-8 p.m. Admission is $10, free for garden members. Dog admission is $5, free for garden members.

July 3, 10, 17, 24, Ames
Plant Pals
Reiman Gardens

Join us weekly on Tuesdays in July 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. 10-11 a.m.

July 3, 10, 17, 24, Omaha, Nebraska
Tempo of Twilight
Lauritzen Gardens

These family-friendly outdoor concerts provide a unique atmosphere to enjoy wonderful musical entertainment. Weather permitting, concerts are held outdoors. Concerts are free for garden members or are included with paid garden admission. 

July 4, Urbandale
Independence Day
Living History Farms

Enjoy an old-fashioned Fourth of July with an iconic historic Independence Day celebration in the town of Walnut Hill. Families can take part in pie eating contests, foot races, spelling bees, the town parade, watermelon seed spitting contests, and more! To fit everything in, be sure to arrive early to tour our historic farms, enjoy the town activities, and still have time to catch the Walnut Hill Bluestockings baseball game at 2:30 p.m.

July 5 & 19, Ames
Kids’ Story Time
Reiman Gardens

Hear books read aloud and join in an activity or craft. Best for children up to 8 accompanied by an adult. 10-11 a.m.


Beginning July 5, Ames
Haiga: Poetry & Painting
Reiman Gardens

This four-week program explores the art of haiga, a style of Japanese painting that often accompanies a haiku poem. This crash combo course will offer two sessions of haiku, and two sessions of brush painting. 6-8 p.m.

July 5 & August 2, Waterloo
Free Admission Day
Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Visit the gardens for free the first Thursday of each month this season. 9 a.m.-7 p.m.


Beginning July 7, Ames
Watercolor: Butterflies in Flight
Reiman Gardens

Join creative department artist Yvonne Brune for a four-week watercolor course examining butterfly wing patterns, floral interaction, and movement. Sketch from hundreds of live butterflies in the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, then add wet media in the classroom, and even take home some wings to study in more detail. 9:30-11:30 a.m.

July 8, Ames
Garden Art Fair
Reiman Gardens

Come enjoy the work of new and returning artists who will be displaying and selling their garden and nature inspired art. These high-quality products include jewelry, painting, pottery, fabric, woodwork, glass, home décor, and much more. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

July 11, Waterloo
Gnome Party
Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Join us for an extended and fun-filled story time lead by volunteer Penny! Penny will be sharing a special story about the gnomes at the arboretum and lead gnome-themed activities. Free trolley rides will be offered after the story is read with time for questions as well. 10:30-11:30 a.m.


July 12 & 26, August 9 & 23 Ames
Plant Walk
Reiman Gardens

Get to know the works of art in our living museum from the expert herself. Join Lindsey Smith, Reiman Gardens’ plant collections curator, for in-depth walking tours of the plants and flowers that make this place so special. 11-11:45 a.m. Preregistration with prepayment two days in advance is required. Walks occur rain or shine!

July 13, Ames
Water Day
Reiman Gardens

A special kid-focused event about things water! Join us for water games, activities from Water Rocks! Music, crafts, and more. Come prepared to get wet! Shoes required. Children should wear or bring their swimsuits. 10 a.m.-2 p.m.   

July 14, Urbandale
Ioway Culture Day
Living History Farms

The farm staff will present hands-on activities to showcase how the Ioway built their homes, prepared food, and farmed. Guest presenters will share their own personal expertise in Ioway culture and technology. Be sure to allow time to ride the tractor cart out to the 1700 Ioway Farm! The last tractor cart out to the Ioway Farm will leave at 2 p.m.

July 14, Waterloo
Daylilies & Delights
Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Zora Ronan of the Central Iowa Daylily society will share information about daylilies and visitors will be encouraged to explore those located in the Stout Daylily Collection at the arboretum. 5:30-8:30 p.m.

July 17 & August 21, Ames
Floral Design
Reiman Gardens

Learn to arrange fresh garden florals & other materials each session from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

July 18 & August 15, Ames
Behind the Scenes
Reiman Gardens

Join different staff members each month for a different interactive behind-the-scenes look at Reiman Gardens. This program is perfect for volunteers! 11 a.m.-noon.

July 20-21, Decorah
38th Annual Conference and Campout: Back to Our Roots
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Celebrate our farm and garden heritage with a Friday-night potluck, seed swap, bonfire, and camping. Saturday features free lectures, workshops, garden tours, hayrides, vegetable tastings, and an old-fashioned barn dance. Free for all ages, but Saturday meals and Friday and Saturday night camping are not included; registration required. Visit for more details.

July 21, Ames
Indigo Dyeing
Reiman Gardens

Explore the plant and science magic of dyeing with indigo. Indigo is a plant-based dye that’s used to create beautiful blue colors. Instructor and fiber artist extraordinaire Maggie Howe of Prairieland Herbs will provide two items to dye, but feel free to bring an extra T-shirt, scarf, fabric, yarn, or any natural fiber item to dye. We will fold, scrunch, or twist the item to make cool designs, and then dye it with indigo – nature’s tie-dye! 9:30-11 a.m.

July 25, August 1 & 8, Waterloo
Storytime at the Arboretum
Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Join us for stories on a different topic each session read by friends from area non-profits, groups, and prominent figures in the community. This event is free to attend with admission to the gardens. Free trolley rides are available after the event and families are encouraged to explore the gardens after storytime is over. Admission is $5 for adults (ages 18+), $2 for children (ages 5-17). Children 4 and under and members are free. 10:30-11 a.m.

July 29, Omaha, Nebraska
Hosta Collection Guided Tour
Lauritzen Gardens

Take a break from the heat and let the Omaha Shady Choice Hosta Society guide you on a tour of our extensive hosta collection, 11 a.m. Cost is free for members, and $10 for non-members.



August 2, Ames
Serendipity Dyeing: Making Magic with Flowers, Leaves, and Berries
Reiman Gardens

Join expert Maggie Howe from 6-8 p.m. to explore a dye experience like no other. Create a one-of-a-kind silk scarf as well as beautiful cotton fabric using a huge variety of easy-to-obtain dyestuffs: fresh garden flowers, herbs, leaves, and a variety of everyday items, such as copper pennies, spent teabags, berries, kitchen spices, and much more. The results are always varied and completely unique!

August 3, Ames
Reiman Gardens After Hours
Reiman Gardens

Kick back and relax at Reiman Gardens After Hours! This quarterly event is an opportunity to enjoy good company and live music in a beautiful garden setting. 5-8 p.m.

August 4, Urbandale
Grain Harvest
Living History Farms

Living History Farms “original” community event! Get your hands dirty and help our interpreters bring in this year’s grain harvest using methods from 1850 to the present. From hand power to horsepower, witness it all as you hear the smash of the flail and the roar of the steam-powered thresher. Demonstrations will be weather dependent.

Beginning August 7, Ames
Pastel Painting: Motion Studies
Reiman Gardens

Examine the gardens in pastel as they change from week to week in this four-week course with creative department artist Yvonne Brune from 6-8 p.m. Work outside like Monet, Pissarro, and Renoir, to capture the subtleties of color and movement in an area of your choice.  Each student will complete a triptych showcasing a scene with these variations.  

August 18, Waterloo
Sunflower Sip & Paint
Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Gardens

Attendees will learn about growing sunflowers and be led by volunteer Mary Meier in a simple painting while enjoying the beauty of the arboretum. Attendees will receive door prizes and goodie bags. A variety of wines will be served. All materials provided by the arboretum. 5-8:30 p.m.  Cost $35 for non-members, $30 for members.

August 21, Mason City
Business Meeting & Program
Gardeners of North Iowa

Business meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. and program at 7:30 at The Manor, 4 3rd Street NW. Please use street parking. Speaker: Derek Carwood, curatorial horticulturist from Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden. Topic: Gravel Gardening and information on the Corpse Flower.

August 17-19, Decorah
Sixth Annual Seed School
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Learn how to grow, harvest, store, and save seed from experts while discussing the importance of preserving crop diversity in your own backyard. Discover how to engage your community in seed stewardship through seed libraries, seed swaps, and community gardens. Cost: $200, includes vegetarian lunches on Friday and Saturday as well as light snacks throughout the weekend; registration required. Visit for more details.


Contacts for facilities with multiple events

Cedar Valley Arboretum & Botanic Garden

Phone: 319-226-4966

Lauritzen Gardens
Phone: 402-346-4002
The gardens are at 100 Bancroft Street, just across the river in Omaha, Nebraska.

Living History Farms
Phone: 515-645-9817

Reiman Gardens
Phone: 515-294-2710


State-by-State Gardening assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of listed events. It is recommended that you verify the date, time and location of any event you plan to attend.