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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



Through April 20, Ames

Youth Program – Caterpillar Club
Reiman Gardens

Feature a different theme each Thursday as two books are read aloud; wrap up with related activities, 10 to 11 a.m.


April 3, 10, 17 & 24, Ames
Narrative Photography
Reiman Gardens

Four-week class, 6 to 8:30 p.m., will help you learn how to capture images and the steps involved in creating a photo book.

April 4, 11, 18, 25, Ames
Sports Photography
Reiman Gardens

Four-week class, 6 to 8:30 p.m., covers the basic principles that apply whether photographing your kids on the weekends or a professional sporting event.

April 5, 12, 19 & 26, Ames
Photography: The Art of Seeing
Reiman Gardens

Four-week class, 6 to 8:30 p.m., explores your photographic potential. Learn to pay attention to the details and capture the moments that tell stories.

April 7 & 8, Decorah
Apple Grafting/Apple School Seed Savers Exchange
Heritage Farm

Learn how to graft and care for apple trees in this half-day workshop offered six times. Discuss apple history, practice apple propagation, and take home three grafted trees to begin your orchard.

April 8, Madrid
Maple Syrup Celebration
Iowa Arboretum

Learn about the art and science of maple syrup production 8 to 11:30 a.m. Event includes timber sport demonstrations.

April 13, Ames
Brown Bag Lecture
Reiman Gardens

Bring your lunch, noon to 1:00 p.m. and enjoy an education program.

April 15, Ames
Spring Egg Hunt
Reiman Gardens

Egg hunt for children 6th grade and younger, 9 to 11 a.m.

April 18, Ames
Floral Design Series Workshop
Reiman Gardens

Learn the basics of floral design from State Fair Master Flower Show judge and floral designer Sandy Gossman, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., and create a take-home arrangement.

April 19, Ames
Behind the Scenes
Reiman Gardens

Join staff 11 a.m. to noon each month for an interactive, behind the scenes look at Reiman Gardens.

April 22, Des Moines
Downtown Earth Day Tour
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Activities, learning and earth friendly entertainment for the whole family, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free Earth Day admission sponsorship by Principal Financial Group.

April 29, Madrid
Run for the Trees
Iowa Arboretum

Join the Iowa Arboretum and the Boone County Historical Society for a beautiful scenic 5K or 1 mile Family Walk/Run on well-maintained trails, 8 a.m.

April 29, Madrid
Arbor Day
Iowa Arboretum

Celebrate trees, 10 a.m. to noon, free. Tree climbing for children will be the highlight of the morning. Demonstrations and other activities planned.

April 29 & 30, Ames
Opening Weekend of Summer Exhibit
Reiman Gardens

Washed Ashore is major annual exhibit in 2017, coinciding with the Gardens’ theme of water. Feature 10, giant sea life sculptures made from trash collected from beaches to illustrate the tragedy of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways.




Beginning May 1, Ames
Black & White Digital Photography
Reiman Gardens

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


Beginning May 2, Ames
Macro Photography 3: Water
Reiman Gardens

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


Beginning May 3 - Ames
Beginner Photography
Reiman Gardens

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


May 4 and every Thursday - Ames
Kids Story Time
Reiman Gardens

Each session (10-11 a.m.) features a theme with two or three books read aloud followed by related activity.


May 4 – 6 – Pella
Flower Show and Bulb Sale
Scholte Church, Pella Historical Village

During Pella’s Annual Tulip Time, the Pella Garden Club conducts its Flower Show and Bulb Sale. Look at the arrangements, order bulbs to be delivered in fall. For more information on the sale, Lois Boeyink, For Tulip Time,, and Pell Historical Society,


May 5 – Dallas Center
World Labyrinth Day
The Brenton Arboretum

Celebrate 1st anniversary of the Arboretum’s Labyrinth and the Labyrinth Society’s 9th annual World Labyrinth Day, 1 to 2 p.m. For more information, or 515-992-4211.


May 5 - Madrid
Garden Social & Auction
Iowa Arboretum

Hors d'oeuvres at 5 p.m. and silent auction, followed by live auction of rare and exotic plants and other items.

May 6 - Ames
Mid Iowa Woodcarvers Show
Reiman Gardens

Carving contest entries, carving demonstrations, and lesson in whittling, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


May 6 - Decorah
Spring Garden School and Plant Sale
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Learn how to start seeds, plan your garden for seed saving, and start composting, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. workshop, and discover and shop rare heirloom seeds and plants from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


May 6 - Madrid
Plant Sale
Iowa Arboretum

Unique and interesting plants for your Iowa garden, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


May 7 - Urbandale
FFA, 4-H, and Scout Appreciation Day
Living History Farms              

Noon to 4 p.m., wear your uniform or present a membership ID. Group leaders also admitted free.


May 8 – Johnston
Central Iowa Gardeners Spring Plant Sale
Crown Pointe Center

The sale feature unusual varieties of annuals and perennials from members’ gardens will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5560 Merle Hay Road.


May 10 and June 14 - Ames
Free Admission Day
Reiman Gardens

Second Wednesday every month, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


May 11 and June 8 - Ames
Brown Bag: Nature at Noon
Reiman Gardens

Bring your lunch and enjoy a nature-based education program, relating to the 2017 theme of water, noon to 1 p.m.


May 11-14 – Des Moines 
Spring Garden Festival 
Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden

Four-day pop-up festival with more than 500 limited-edition varieties of plants and exclusive garden merchandise, educational sessions and family friendly garden activities.


May 12 - Ames
National Public Gardens Day
Reiman Gardens

Half-price admission, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.


May 12 to 14 - Ames
Spring Fling Weekend
Reiman Gardens

National Public Gardens Day,Friday; Mother’s Day, Sunday with moms admitted free; and Plant Sale Extravaganza all three days.

May 13, Johnston
Annual Plant Sale
The Gardeners of America Headquarters

Sponsored by the Central Iowa Gardeners of America at Gardeners of America Headquarters, 5560 Merle Hay Road. Information: or 515-278-0295.


May 13 - Urbandale
Tractor Day
Living History Farms                                                           

Display of new and antique John Deere tractors, fun tractor related activities, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


May 14 - Decorah
Mother’s Day Cider and Strudel
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Enjoy apple cider and strudel as you tour Historic Orchard during peak apple blossom time, 1 to 2 p.m.


May 16 and June 20 - Ames
Floral Design Series
Reiman Gardens

May topic, Succulent Dish Gardens; June topic, In the Navy: Patriotic Arrangements, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.


May 16 and June 20 – Mason City
Regular Monthly Meeting
The Gardeners of North Iowa

This club is open to men and women and meet the 3rd Tuesday of each month. For more information contact The Gardeners of America Headquarters at 515-278-0295 or email


May 17 and June 21 - Ames
Behind the Scenes
Reiman Gardens

Staff members provide behind the scenes tour, 11 a.m. to noon.


May 18 – Dallas Center
Meditation Around Town
The Brenton Arboretum

Monthly group meditation by Meditation Around Town, 5:30 to 8 p.m. For more information, or phone 515-992-4211.


May 27 - Urbandale
Decoration Day
Living History Farms                                               

Memorial Day traditions, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Walnut Hill Bluestockings’ 1870s-rules baseball game, 1:30 p.m.




June 2 - Ames
Reiman Gardens After Hours
Reiman Gardens

Social gathering, live music in garden. Buffet dinner and dessert available, along with cash bar. You must be 21 years old to attend.


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.


June 3 - Decorah
Garden Bugs: Pollinators, Pests, and Friends
Seed Savers Exchange, Heritage Farm

Learn to identify and manage common garden insects, while attracting pollinators, 11 a.m. to noon; 12:15 p.m. garden tour.


June 4 - Madrid
Classic Car Day
Iowa Arboretum

Car registration, 10 a.m. to 12 noon; show noon to 3 p.m. Registration and show free and open to the public.

June 4 - Urbandale
Fido on the Farms
Living History Farms                                                        

Bring your well-behaved pup to tour the museum, and enjoy an afternoon in Walnut Hill with activities and demonstrations for dogs and their people, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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.



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.