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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



Every Thursday through winter, Ames
Youth Program – Caterpillar Club
Reiman Gardens

Features a different theme each Thursday as two books are read aloud, wraps up with related activities for two to seven years old, 10 to 11 a.m.


Through January 14, Des Moines
Holiday Exhibition
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Exhibition features more than 1,000 amaryllis throughout the conservatory, in addition to hundreds of tropical and temperate ferns, begonias, orchids, and more. The exhibition kicks off the Friday before Thanksgiving with the Botanical Garden’s holiday party, Champagne and Chocolate. For more information: visit, email or call 515-402-4274.


December 2 OR December 16, Ames
Butterfly Blizzard
Reiman Gardens

Experience a different kind of blizzard – a butterfly blizzard in Reiman Gardens’ Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing. Opportunity to release your very own butterfly in this tropical, indoor garden, 8 to 9:30 a.m.

December 2, Madrid
Dad’s Belgium Waffles
Iowa Arboretum

Dad’s Belgian Waffles returns to the Arboretum, 8 a.m. to noon, to serve mammoth waffles that fill your plate and satisfy your appetite. Santa will fly in from the North Pole for this family event, $9.

December 2 – 17, Madrid
Iowa Arboretum

Iowa Grown Christmas trees decorated by local clubs, schools, and organizations. Free and open to the public, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m., Sundays.

December 9, Ames
Breakfast with Santa
Reiman Gardens

Families can enjoy a hearty and delicious breakfast buffet, visit with Santa, create their own holiday-themed crafts, and see the train exhibit in the Hughes Conservatory. Two seating options, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

December 14, Ames
Brown Bag: Nature at Noon – Sea Ice in the Arctic: Where We Are, Where We’re Going, and Where We’ve Been
Reiman Gardens

Enjoy a nature-based education program relating to the 2017 theme of water. Topics range from gardening interests to current local science research, to holiday decorating, and more, noon to 1 p.m.

December 16, Decorah
Winter on the Farm
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Hot chocolate, cookies, horse-drawn rides through the valley, and even an heirloom potato tasting,11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free, no registration required. Visit for more details.

December 19, Ames
Floral Design Series: Submersible Centerpieces
Reiman Gardens

Incorporate water into a wintergreen centerpiece, featuring cranberries and cloves, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.




Jan. 4, 11, 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, Ames
Caterpillar Club
Reiman Gardens

Popular early child development program features stories as well as nature-based activities and crafts.

January 6, 13, 20, 27, Ames
Family Movies in the Gardens
Reiman Gardens

A warm, cozy place to entertain the kids for a few hours, every Saturday in January, the Gardens will offer movies.

January 6 - March 24, Des Moines
Learn on Saturday
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Two lectures each Saturday morning on a wide variety of topics related to horticulture, gardening, and plants. For more information:,, 515-402-4274.

Jan. 8, 15, 22, 29, Feb. 5, 12, Ames
Movement for Older Adults
Reiman Gardens

Board certified therapist Camilla Kottman will guide you through low-impact, gentle movements intended to increase joint fluidity and mental tranquility.

January 11, February 8, Ames
Brown Bag: Nature at Noon
Reiman Gardens

Bring your lunch and hear from a special speaker on a different topic each session.

January 11, 25, February 8, 15, Ames
Crafty Cocktail Night
Reiman Gardens

A different topic each session. B.Y.O.B. for ages 21+.

January 16, Ames
Floral Design: From Earth to Sky - Ikebana
Reiman Gardens

Create a floral arrangement inspired by the Japanese art ikebana, based on awareness of nature’s rhythm and order.

January 17, Ames
Behind the Scenes: ‘Green Space’ Partnership
Reiman Gardens

Hear the history of this public project, from initial and revised designs, to if and how Reiman Gardens will be involved. Includes walking tour, weather permitting.

January 20 - April 28, Bettendorf
Saturday Gardening Seminar
Wallace’s Garden Center

Seminar 10:30 a.m., Saturdays. Various weekly topics. Check for details.

January 21, Ames
Orchids 101 Workshop
Reiman Gardens

Staffers teach orchid basics, from types and characteristics, to growing them successfully at home. Practice hands-on, and take home an orchid.

January 26, Madrid
Spud Night
Iowa Arboretum

Build your own spud at the potato bar with all the fixings, and enjoy a speaker’s talk about a topical subject, 5:30 pm.



February 10 and 11, Ames
Orchid Fest
Reiman Gardens

Orchids in a variety of species and colors will be on display and available for purchase. The Central Iowa Orchid Society will also staff a Q&A booth.

February 10, Ames
Valentine Floral Tabletop Display Workshop
Reiman Gardens

Join HyVee florist Marical Greenwood in intensive workshop to create your own floral table display in reds, pinks, and whites to take home.

February 20, Ames
Floral Design: Hanging Air Plant Terrariums
Reiman Gardens

Plant your own Tillandsia, along with moss and other materials, in an open glass terrarium you can suspend in the air.

February 21, Ames
Behind the Scenes: Inside the Butterfly Wing
Reiman Gardens

In the Butterfly Wing, get a detailed tour of the hottest place in Ames by entomologist Nathan Brockman. Sign up early. This one fills fast.

February 22, Ames
Sinister Plants
Reiman Gardens

Director Ed Lyon will talk about some of the interesting, often toxic, botanical deviants that may be lurking in your home and garden.

February 23, Madrid
Soup Supper
Iowa Arboretum

Warm up with a hot bowl of soup, bread and fixings, 4 to 7 p.m. Finish with a delicious piece of cake or pie, while listing to a speaker.

February 24, Indianola
Think Spring Garden Seminar
Buxton Park

Inspiring speakers, garden marketplace, delicious catered lunch, door prizes, Master Gardeners earn 4 CEU credits. For more information:,, 515-961-9420.

Dates to be announced, Johnston
Regular Meetings
The Bigfoot Garden Club

A new garden club forming in Johnston. It is open to men, women, and children and would like to draw members from all surrounding areas. This club will be an educational, scientific, and charitable organization and will include speakers, trips, and business and social gatherings with gardening and horticultural information as the main theme. For more information, call Steve or Sheryl at (515) 278-0295, or email



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.