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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





Beginning June 2 – Des Moines

The Summer Exhibition: HortEcology
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Four-month exhibition features a wildflower and grains meadow, interpretation and programming that explore connections between horticulture and ecology.


Beginning June 5 - Ames

Intermediate Photography: Take Control of Your Camera
Reiman Gardens

Four-week program, Mondays, 6 to 8:30 p.m.


Beginning June 6 - Ames
Photography Master Study
Reiman Gardens

Four-week program, Tuesdays, 6 to 8:30 p.m.


June 7 - Ames
Landscape Photography
Reiman Gardens

Four-week program Wednesdays, 6 to 8:30 p.m.


June 8 – Des Moines
Spring Luncheon
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Annual luncheon tradition featuring headline speaker and lunch.


June 17 - Ames
Rose Fest
Reiman Gardens

Iowa Rose Society Rose Show, a juried show open to the public immediately following judging (about 1 p.m.) until 4:00 p.m., in the Garden Room.


June 17 – Urbandale
Pioneer Wedding
Living History Farms                                                  

Pioneer Farm recreates 1850’s wedding, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with ceremonies at 11a.m. and 1:30 p.m.


June 18 - Ames
Father’s Day
Reiman Gardens

Dads admitted free, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


June 23 - Urbandale
Teacher Appreciation Day
Living History Farms

Teachers admitted free; family members pay regular admission fee, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


June 24 - Ames
Iowa Regional Lily Show
Reiman Gardens

Iowa Regional Lily Society’s  Annual Lily Show,  9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


June 24 - Ames
Pollinator Fest
Reiman Gardens

Celebrate National Pollinator Week,10 a.m. to 2 p.m., education and fun events.




July 2, Dubuque
Sundaes in the Gardens
Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Free event at the Porch & Garden Room, 2 to 4 pm. The Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens are open 365 days, dawn until dusk.


July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, August 6, 13, 20, 27, Dubuque
Music in the Gardens
Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

Free concert series, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Packard Pavilion. Guests sit on lawn chairs, enjoy food, the company of friends and a delightful variety of entertainment, surrounded by the beauty of nature and the gardens.


July 3, Ames
Independence Day Fireworks
Reiman Gardens

Opens 9 a.m. to the conclusion of the fireworks display, at 6 p.m.


July 4, Urbandale
Independence Day
Living History Farms

Historic Independence Day celebration in the 1875 town of Walnut Hill. Fun for the entire family including pie eating contests, foot races, spelling bees, watermelon seed spitting contests and more! Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; activities begin 11 a.m.


July 6, 13, 20 & 27, August 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31, Ames
Kids Story Time
Reiman Gardens

Each session runs from 10 to 11 a.m. and features a theme with two books read aloud, followed by a related activity.


July 8, Decorah
Mason Jennings Benefit Concert
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Feature singer-songwriter Mason Jennings, folk rock artists The Pines, and indie-Americana songstress Pieta Brown, 7 p.m.


July 9, Ames
Garden Art Fair
Reiman Gardens

Enjoy the work of more than 50 artists displaying and selling their high quality, garden- and nature-inspired jewelry, watercolor, pottery, woodwork, glass, and more, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


July 12 and August 9, Ames
Free Admission Day
Reiman Gardens

Second Wednesday of the month, visit Reiman Gardens free, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


July 13 & August 10, Ames
Brown Bag: Nature at Noon
Reiman Gardens

Bring your lunch and enjoy a nature-based education program, noon to 1 p.m. Topic relates to 2017 theme, Water. August 10 topic is “The Reiman Gardens Intern Experience.”


July 14, 15, 16, Decorah
Conference and Campout
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Cultivate community, knowledge, and an appreciation of seeds during the 37th annual Conference and Campout. Gardeners, educators, and agricultural leaders converge on Heritage Farm for a weekend of unforgettable classes, tours, and food.


July 15, Urbandale
Ioway Culture Day  
Living History Farms       
The people of the Ioway nation were among Iowa’s first farmers. Explore this Native American culture  that gave Iowa its name. Experience how the Ioway built their homes, prepared food, and farmed,. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; activities 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


July 18 & August 15, Ames
Floral Design Series: Wet & Wild - Tropical Arrangements
Reiman Gardens

Tropical flowers arranged in a contemporary design, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. August 15 class features fan-shaped arrangements.


July 19 & August 16, Ames
Behind the Scenes: Hillside Garden Project
Reiman Gardens

Each month 11 a.m. to noon, staff presents an interactive, behind the scenes look at Reiman Gardens. Each month’s topic features a mini-tour, interesting facts, and the chance to see many things not typically open to the public. July’s topic is Hillside Garden Project. August is Outdoor Butterfly Walk.


July 29, Urbandale
Circuit Court Day
Living History Farms

Join the citizens of Walnut Hill for an afternoon of law and order. Lawyers, witnesses, judge and court clerks, re-created by costumed interpreters, present real court cases from 1870s Iowa courts. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., activities 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.




August 4, Ames
Reiman Gardens After Hours
Reiman Gardens

Quarterly event presents live music in a beautiful garden setting, 5 to 8 p.m. Buffet dinner and dessert and cash bar available.


August 5, Urbandale
Grain Harvest     
Living History Farms   
Experience the many methods to harvest oats and wheat, from 1850 to the present. Help bring in the harvest that will feed the animals throughout the winter. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., activities 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


August 12, Urbandale
Victorian Birthday       
Living History Farms         
Visit the Flynn Mansion for a glimpse of childhood’s pleasures from times past. Victorian mansion decorated for a little girl’s party, complete with historic streamers and examples of birthday gifts. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., activities 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.


August 18, 19, & 20, Decorah
Seed School
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Learn how to grow, harvest, store, and save seeds; discuss the importance of preserving crop diversity in your backyard. Registration required.


August 26, Decorah
Cooking with Heirlooms
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Indulge your senses sampling new fruit and vegetable varieties and re-create classic recipes during hour-long culinary workshop, featuring heirloom plants, 11 a.m. Registration required.



Contacts for facilities with multiple events

The Brenton Arboretum
Phone: 515-992-4211 

Living History Farms
Phone: 515-278-5286  

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.