Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

Most Special Events Included With Admission
$10 for Adults, $5 for Ages 5-12

Daily Guided Walking Tours "From Saguaros to Tequila Plants" at 11:00 am
Our volunteer tourguides research, study and prepare themselves to answer an array of interesting questions – just ask veteran guide Rich Adams. Guests often ask whether its true that Saguaro cacti grow arms to counter-balance the trunk; what plant tequila is distilled from, whether an extract from creosote bush produces the pungent coating on railroad ties - and if palm trees are native to Arizona. Where does BTA get its water? And how do those massive boulders of volcanic rock stay in place above the ‘Switchbacks’ section trail below Picketpost Mansion? Learn about the Sonoran Desert and hear the answers to those and many more questions on a guided 11a.m. tour; they're included with daily admission of $10 (free, for our BTA annual members), and depart from the breezeway lobby of BTA's visitor center daily at 11am. Read more about Daily Guided Tours

Craft Workshop: Thunder Gourds January 29, Thursday
9am - 1pm. Repeats February 1 & 28, also March 1. $75-$85. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Thunder gourds make a low rumbling noise like thunder when shaken, BTA "Artists-In-Residence" Vicki and Gerald Johnson will demonstrate how to make your own version of this popular noisemaker in this unique new class. Students will burn a design onto the gourd, then color it. After the gourd is sealed with a topcoat, students will attach a membrane and spring to the bottom of the open gourd. All materials including a clean, prepared gourd are included. Would your music club, drum circle or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at

Friday Yoga for BTA members-only January 30; February 6, 13, 20
4:00-5:00PM in the Smith Building Lobby
Free to BTA members and their guests, we offer a relaxed Friday afternoon session for all-levels fusing various styles of hatha yoga. Meet in the Smith Building lobby, located between the display greenhouses, on Fridays from 4:00-5:00. Classes are free to BTA annual members and their guests. Yoga coach Lance has been teaching the style since 2001. He has a degree in sociology/religious studies and possesses an extensive background in massage therapy and instruction. Questions? email Lacey

Guided Bird Walks at 8:30am January 31, February 7, 21 and 22
8:30 am
Black-chinned Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Northern Cardinal were reported following recent bird walks here week;Read recent bird checklist reports and join us for guided walks to learn basic bird identification skills, and where to find birds at BTA. Guides scheduled include Anne Leight and Marceline Vandewater January 31, Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton lead the walk February 7, and February 8 guides are Cathy Wise and Steven Prager. Anne Leight returns as guied February 21, and Kathe Anderson Feb. 22; Cynthia & Pete return March 7, with Kathe Anderson & Troy Corman here March 21, and Charles Babbitt on Sunday March 22. Revisit this page in early February for a more complete and updated list of dates & bird walk leaders.

Terrarium Workshop January 31, again March 12, April 4 and April 30
9-11:30 a.m. $30-$40; with credit card ready call 520.689.2723
Get your hands a little dirty create your own low-maintenance - and completely portable -- indoor garden; participants will arrange soil, decorative rock and assorted succulents in a drum-style glass fishbowl, creating a unique terrarium. All materials, including terrarium, soil and plants are included. Read more in our E-newsletter. Popular during the Victorian era, terrarium art is bring revived by mixed-media artist Vicki Johnson in workshops teaching the history of terrariums and offering step-by-step, hands-on instructions to build your own. Registration of $30-40 includes a (7-by-10-by-10 along with succulents, soil, rocks, and decorating materials. Vicki will explain types of succulents ideal for a terrarium, how to arrange them for aesthetic balance, and how to care for your mini-ecosystem (succulent terrariums are low-maintenance easy to maintain. This workshop is also available to private groups, for details email Lacey at or call 520.689.2723

Arboretum History Walk Sunday February 1 at 10:00am
repeats March 1
You may have walked our trails a dozen times and never crossed paths with the Galapagos Tortoise pens. Take a moment to scan the horizon above Picket Post Mountain, can you imagine cavalry soldiers camped in this region in the late 1800s? Learn about the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum on a walking tour guided by Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee. Walks typically last about 90-minutes, departing at 10am from the Visitor Center breezeway. Correspond with Sylvia, or read more about

Gourd Art Classes February 5 and 7 ; also Feb. 26-27, and April 7 pine needle coiling' Sunday
Basic Gourd Art repeats February 5 and April 22
Pine Needle Coiling repeats February 7, April 23
Gourd Mask-making February 26-27; repeats April 11-12
Thunder Gourds January 29, February 1 & 28, March 1

9am - 1pm. $35-$85. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Sign up soon for any of these informal and fun art classes -- ranging from the most basic class for beginners and intermediates, to advanced classes in pine-needle coiling for experienced gourd artists - or making gourd masks and 'thunder gourd' instruments. Each is a four-hour workshop where participants have the use of tools and art supplies to burn, paint, etch and emboss decorative gourds with coaching from Mesa artists Gerald and Vicki Johnson. Enrollment ranges from $30-$40 for beginners classes up to $75-$85 for thunder gourd workshops; enrollment includes a gourd, use of paints and brushes, tools and art supplies for the day, plus four hours of coaching and inspiration from Vicki & Jerry. Specific questions about these workshops? Call Lacey at 520.689.2723 or email

The Story in the Rocks Walk: A Beginners’ Geology Walk February 7, Saturday
Saturdays February, 7, March 7, and April 4 from 10:30am-11:30am
Volcanoes Rock! Ancient stories are written in the boulders, rock formations and mountains around the Arboretum; learn more on this hands-on geology walk for beginners. This walk is intended for school-aged children and their families as well as novice adults curious about geology. Participants in our Story in the Rocks Walk will explore lesser-used trails that reveal the Arboretum’s deeper secrets. Tour lasts about one hour. Would your Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, student science club, or other group like to join this walk -- or arrange a private group tour? Contact Lacey at

Life In The Sonoran Desert Guided Walk February 7, Saturday
Saturdays Feb. 7, March 7, and April 4, at 1:30pm
The Sonoran Desert covers most of southern Arizona, northern Sonora, Mexico and part of southern California. It’s a place where a toad lives underground for most of a year until rain soaked soil causes it to spring forth to find a mate, where pigs aren’t pigs but related to hippos. It’s a place where a bat may land on the ground grab a grasshopper or beetle and sometimes catch a pocket mouse carrying it to a cave to eat, where a skunk may do a hand stand to get in position to spray a predator, where a snake may swim in the sand. Learn more about some of our unusual Sonoran Desert wildlife neighbors, join our “Life In The Sonoran Desert” guided walk Saturday afternoon. Would your Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, student science club, or other group like to join this walk -- or arrange a private group tour? Contact Lacey at

Master Gardener Presentations February 7 March 7 , and April 4
11:00am, included with $10 daily admission, no pre-registration needed

Volunteers with the Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners program resume their once-a-month Saturday series of seminars on the first Saturday of each month with a February 7 workshop demonstrating 'Amazing Aloes'. February's a Winter month not known for color, but a peak month for these African succulents which thrive in our corner of the Sonoran Desert. Aloes are a staple in the desert garden; with sensual shape that adds structure and grace to our hot environment. Evergreen Aloes offer long lasting blooms much loved by our native hummingbirds. There's no pre-registration required to attend these once-a-month workshops offered by Superstition Mountain Master Gardener volunteers, and no additional fee or enrollment - these are included with daily admission of $10 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. For more info about our local Master Gardeners group, their classes and volunteer work, call Carol at 602-438-4003 or email
Future workshops include "Right Plant - Right Place" on March 7, and then "Butterfly Gardening" April 4.

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday February 8 at 1:30 pm
Third Saturday and Second Sunday each month at 1:30pm through April
The Sinai Desert lies roughly at the same latitude as our own Sonoran Desert; many of the same plants common in the Middle East thrive in our Arizona climate, and can be seen here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Join Arboretum volunteers on a guided tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. Tours are scheduled January 17, February 8 & 21, March 8 & 21 and April 12 & 18. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and don't forget your sunscreen and water bottle. The tour, conducted at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. Using references in ancient texts, guides will describe how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times. Read a more complete description of our Plants of the Bible Land Guided Tour

Craft Classes: Twig Art February 11 , 20 and 22
12:30 - 4:30 pm. $20 - $30. With c
redit card ready, call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 daytimes from 8:30am-4:30pm.
Learn how to make unique pieces of art from twigs, bark seed pods, and other materials nature provides. Apache Junction artist Ruth Ipsan-Brown has constructed intricate shrines, kachinas, figures, furniture and other oddities using items found in nature. During this class students will create a small chair and a small figure measuring 6” to 10” tall. Everything is furnished but feel free to bring a stick, pod, feather or stone to add to your creation. The pieces can be adorned with a braid, cord, basket or dream catcher all which can be made during the class. For more information contact Lacey at
Home School Day Tours February 11 , March 11, April 8
10am. $2 - $10
Pre-registration and payment for Homeschool Days is required and is non-refundable. Space is limited. Families are asked to register for the tour no later than one week prior to each 10am tour. $2 per student from pre-kindergarten through high school (ages 4-18) and $2 per adult, with a limit of two adults per family - additional adults pay regular admission of $10 each. Sessions begin Wednesday, February 11 with the Trees workshop: BTA is a natural fit for the study of trees, this tour teaches students about basic tree physiology; how trees work, plant classification, and even some mathematics with a 'tree-ometry' activity. (2 hours). Then Wednesday, March 11 is the Arizona workshop. This special tour highlights unique attributes of Arizona, including geology, edible plants, state symbols, and habitats. (2 hours)
Wednesday, April 8 is "Plants of the Bible Land". The Arboretum is home to several plants found in the Middle East. Using references in ancient texts, guides will describe how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times! (2 hours). To sign up and prepay have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours. Make sure to pre-register at least two days prior to the workshop date; download our informative PDF

Terra Cotta Fountain Workshop February 12, Thursday
9am - 1pm. $30-$40. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Artists-In-Residence Vicki and Gerald Johnson offer a new class in ways to make a terra cotta fountain. Details? Contact Lacey at

Valentines Day Flute Concert - Lunchtime Live Music February 14, Saturday
12 noon til 1:30pm in front of the Smith Building
Need a romantic Valentines Day date? How ‘bout a relaxed and totally informal live concert of cedar flute music here in our gardens? BTA has two days of Valentines events to spark your romantic side – with live music Saturday the 14th, and allegedly erogenous edibles prepared by chef Eric & Terri on Sunday (more on that below). Does flute music ignite passion? Seamus Heaney thought so, writing “from the start, when it was the instrument of the wood-god Pan, the flute has been associated with pure (some might say impure) energy. Its sound releases something naturally untamed…”
Or try this take on flute music, from the Bhagavata-Purana: “when Krishna plays the flute the whole world is filled with love. Rivers stop, stones are illumined, lotus flowers tremble; gazelles, cows, and birds are entranced; demons and ascetics enchanted." Read more fun quotes at
Pack a picnic (or call ahead and get takeout from one of our local restaurants in Superior – a few staff favorites include Jade Grill, Porter’s and Café Denogean) and invite your sweetie for a live music lunch on the 14th, when Bernie Haley will serenade his audience with cedar flute from noon til about 1:30pm. Bernie’s among featured musicians at our November live music festival – and devoted another day to his didgeridoo skills two weeks back when we celebrated Australia Day. If you’ve only heard him play ‘didge,’ check out his flute skills Valentines day.“Bernie's flute music ranges from soothing and peaceful to soaring and inspiring," said one BTA fan, “music outdoors is always something special - but Bernie's style is particularly suited to the BTA gardens and trails; can you imagine anything more relaxing than having an hour to sit in the sun and listening to live flute music while the wind rustles leaves and birds are singing in the gardens nearby? Sounds to me like a great start to
a celebrate Valentines Day weekend date!"

LightRoom 5 Users Group February 14, Saturday
10am til noon in the Smith Building Lecture Room (repeats March 15, April 5)
Photographers Rimgaudas and Jack coordinate our once-a-month meeting of the LightRoom5 users group. These
informal workshops are open to the public, free to BTA annual members and included with $10 daily admission if you're not among annual members. Connect with Rim and read more complete details on our Photo Class Page

Fuel Your Valentines Day PassionsHoney Baklava & Hibiscus-Ginger Tea With Tall Order Catering
at 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Get your blood pumping for a post-Valentines Day rush of feeling Sunday with a vigorous walk around our main trail – and the chance to meet amorous Chefs Eric & Terri from Tall Order Catering. They’ll be here Feb. 15 from 11 am-2 pm to share a few exotic foods chosen for their allegedly libinous ability. Honey, for example: reputed to be an aphrodisiac since ancient times. Chef Eric will demonstrate how to make the famously gooey Greek dessert baklava starting at 11am, and during the food demo visitors are invited to try a hibiscus-ginger drink with a vasodilating kick! Ginger has
been famous for centuries as both a digestive aid and aphrodisiac. The entertaining blog
asserts "its classification as a natural aphrodisiac comes from its ability to increase circulation. Served pickled, candied or in the raw, ginger increases sensitivity in the erogenous zones. French legend Madame du Barry made a practice of serving ginger to her lovers." Connect withi Eric & Terri at, or email queries to the Tall Order Chefs via

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Saturday Walk Guided By Dave Morris February 14
** at 1:30 PM - tour repeats Sunday February 22 with Kathy & Tom McDonald
Explore our Curandero Trail on a one-hour walk guided by Ethno-botanist and Choctaw Nation tribal member David Morris, sharing his trove of knowledge about ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. This tour repeats Sunday February 22 with special guest guides Tom & Kathy McDonald. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Read more about jojoba, creosote and prickly pears

Camera Basics: 'Switching to Manual' with Michael & Patty February 15, Sunday
10am - 3pm
. $30 BTA annual members, $40 non-members, call 520-689-2723 to enroll and pre-pay
Gilbert pro photographers Michael Madsen and Patty Van Herpen will teach camera basics and more -- here's a chance to learn camera functions and to practice what you have learned in the Demonstration Garden alongside two professionals, a Canon and a Nikon expert. Classes with Michael and Patty coach beginning-to-intermediate photographers who are ready to harness the horsepower of their digital cameras by getting past the "auto" settings in favor of manually controlling their own aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance. "We will switch our cameras to manual mode and learn to take chargeof our cameras, and explore the creative side of photography," says Madsen. "You'll be taught how to adjust your camera settings, and the photographic effects that occur based on these settings. Heading outdoors after lunch allows us to apply techniques we have learned in the classroom and experiment with camera settings together and one-on-one." Two hours in the classroom from 10:00 am to noon will be followed by a optional lunch break together at the Jade Grill or another restaurant in the nearby town of Superior, and another 90-minutes from 1:30-3:00 pm spent outside, shooting and practicing alongside Michael and Patty in Arboretum gardens. Connect with Michael & Patty, and read more complete details on our Photo Class Page

Tree Tour With Jeff Payne Sunday February 15
1:30 pm, repeats March 15
So, just what is an Arboretum? BTA staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne leads this walk where visitors learn the answer to that often-posed question during a relaxed and leisurely guided tour through the forested areas of the Arboretum. Join Jeff for a chance to learn about the Arboretum's collection of oak and olive trees, native hackberry, mesquite and many more.

Tuesday Book Club Discusses: "Soiled Doves" February 17
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 AM in the Smith Building Lecture Room
Men in search of precious metals, land and adventure headed West in the 1800s -- by 1849 one estimate reports men outnumbered women 50 to 1. As writer Anne Seagraves recounts, the so-called 'soiled doves' soon followed, and her book by that name tells the stories of these women. Molly b’dam, Mattie Sillks, Chicago Joe, Squirrel Tooth Alice; colorful names for women who may have been colorful themselves, but who were also considered socially unacceptable. Soiled Doves takes a closer look at some of these women and examines who they were, why they were leading the life of a woman of easy virtue and the highs and the lows that such a life could bring. Poignant at times, always entertaining and illustrated with rare photos, Soiled Doves is a book about the Old West not to be missed. Join our once-a-month lively book club discussion - included with $10 daily admission if you're not already among our annual members, or don't have an AZ State Parks annual pass. This book is available in the BTA Gift Shop; to order a copy by mail, have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723. To RSVP that you plan to attend the book club meeting, please email Vicki at

"Selecting the Best Tree or Plant" Lecture & Lab Garden Class - February 21
10 a.m. , included with daily admission - no pre-registrration required
Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne invites gardeners to the 2nd in his new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures; they're included with daily admission of $10, no pre-registration required. What is a Site Analysis? Why choose native plants? What is a naturalized species, and what are acclimation, adaptability, hardiness? What is a “Microclimate”? What should I really be looking for when selecting from a nursery? Join Certified Arborist Jeff Payne as he guides you through an informative talk and hands-on lab about tree and plant selection from the ‘roots up.’ This hands-on lab includes a guided walk through the Boyce Thompson Arboretum retail nursery. Future topics include 'Planting and Establishment' March 21, and 'Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis' April 18.

Craft Workshop: Gourd Mask 2-Day Workshop February 26, Thursday - and February 27, Friday
9am - 1pm. Repeats April 11 & 12. $85-$95. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Students will create a colorful mask made of half of a gourd during this two-day class. On the first day of class, students will create their own design, burn it into the gourd and then color it and seal it with a topcoat. On the second day of class, students will learn how to add adornments such as feathers, wire and beads to complete their face mask. Would your gourd club, craft circle or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at

Geology walking tour Saturday, February 28 at 1:30 PM with Rich Leveille
** tour at 1:30pm repeats February 28 with Steve Semken as guide
Professional geologist Rich Leveille guides this walk February 28, a chance to see rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. ASU Professor Steve Semken returns March 28 as guide.

Craft Class : Rain Sticks March 5, Thursday
9am - 1pm. $30-$40. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Artists-In-Residence Vicki and Gerald Johnson offer a new class teachign participants to make a rain stick. Details? Contact Lacey at

March 7 -8 Workshop Build & Play an Agave Didgeridoo
$120 (or $100 BTA annual members). Enroll today, spaces are limited! March 7-8 participants will make their own Agave Didgeridoo with instruction from West Valley recording artist Scott Schaefer. Saturday you’ll cut, sand and glue your agave; Sunday participants will learn the technique of ‘circular breathing’ that allows players to create an unbroken drone. Enrollment of $120 for non-members and $100 for members includes two days worth of instruction, an Agave stalk, and lessons to play it using the challenging technique of circular breathing (daily admission, too). Class participant will need to furnish their own chisel, sandpaper and other supplies -- all easily obtained from your local hardware store; Scott will supply a complete list of supplies to enrollees. During the workshop Scott will be demonstrating on a truly ‘larger than life’ Agave Americana stalk he plans to turn into The World's Largest Didgeridoo.

March 13 - 29 Spring Plant Sale

Members-Only Friday shopping March 13; sale open to everyone March 14-29 daily from 8am-5pm
Stock-up on plants for your garden, backyard or patio; many of the plants available for purchase during this seasonal fundraiser are grown by arboretum horticultural staff in our own nurseries here on-site. Consider annual membership, a bargain at $50 for a couple or $75 for a family - and our annual members get first pick of the select plant sale stock on our opening Friday March 13. Experienced arboretum horticultural staff and Pinal County master gardeners are on hand weekends during the plant sale to answer your questions about plants and landscaping. Arboretum staff grow the plants for the sale and also maintain many of these same plants in our gardens and exhibits - they know firsthand how these plants perform, from nursery pot to maturity in an Arizona garden and landscape. Got a University of Arizona ID?
The Arboretum is affiliated with UA's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, so bring your CatCard or other UA I.D. during the Spring Plant Sale because our regular $10 daily admission is waived for UA employees and students. Guided nature walks are offered most weekendsyear-round, and during March-April there are daily 11 a.m. general tours included with daily admission. Invite friends and bring a picnic; explore the scenic gardens and walk more than two miles of paths and trails during a day trip. The arboretum is a College of Agriculture And Life Sciences affiliate, about a 90-minute drive from campus. You may even bring a dog; the arboretum welcomes leashed and well-behaved pets.

Girl Scout Badge Saturday Workshops Spring 2015
March 14, March 21, April 18 and 25, May 9
Girl Scouts from Brownie through Cadette can earn badges during group workshops at the Arboretum.
Download our Registration PDF. Registration of a non-refundable down-payment of $20 is required to hold a position for a scout or troop. Workshop admission fees are $10 per scout and $10 per adult chaperone; $5 for each non-scout between ages 5-12 (yes, these workshops are open to kids other than girl scouts – even boys). To sign up and prepay have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours. Make sure to pre-register at least two days prior to the workshop date, and when you call please tell our staff the specific workshop and date you wish to register for, your Girl Scout troop number, your name (or the troop leader's name); contact phone numbers, and the number of scouts and chaperones attending. Questions? email Lacey at [] or call her at 520.689.2723 during daytime business hours. Spring 2015 workshops for Brownies are 'Senses' March 14, 'Arizona' April 25 and 'Bugs' May 23; for juniors workshops are Animal Habits' March 21, Flowers April 18 and Gardener May 16; and for Cadettes Woodworker May 9.

Welcome Back Buzzards March 21 Saturday 7:00am-1:00pm
7am Vulture Viewing, 8:30am bird walk, 9am-1pm Live Animal And Bird Exhibit
March 21 brings the Vernal Equinox, observed by cultures from the ancient Greeks to Aboriginal Australians; the Arboretum has a day filled with events starting just after sunrise with the annual 'Bye-Bye Buzzards' seasonal send-off and continuing through evening hours with live music from 5-7p.m. Read more in our E-newsletter. The Arboretum opens at 6:00; arrive by 7:00 for the 7am special opening Saturday to see the famous flock of Turkey Vultures perched on the cliffs before they depart to spend their day soaring the skies; world-traveled ASU Professor Dave Pearson will be the guest 'Vulture-ologist' from 7:00-8:30, talking about the big black birds, answering questions and sharing his appreciation for the soaring scavengers until the vultures take to the skies -- typically by 8:30am. Pearson and others will guide birdwalks through the gardens at 8:30, and from 9:00-2:00 volunteer wildlife rehabbers from the Arizona Game & Fish Department will have a popular living exhibit of raptors and reptiles set up near the Smith Building, so kids and adults alike can have closeup views of a real, live Turkey Vulture along with hawks and owls.
View a Bye Bye Buzzards Day event video by Arboretum Volunteer Mike Rolfe

"Planting and Establishment " Lecture & Lab Garden Class - March 21
10 a.m. , included with daily admission - no pre-registrration required
You’ve bought the “RIGHT” plant, now what? What is a girdling root - and do I need to prune a newly planted tree? Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne invites gardeners to the 3rd in his new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures; they're included with daily admission of $10, no pre-registration required. What do I prune off or why not? Are cacti planted differently than planting trees or shrubs? How wide must the planting hole be? How deep? Should I amend the soil and backfill? Join Certified Arborist Jeff Payne as he guides you through an informative talk and hands-on lab about the best practices for planting your new plant and what you should and should not do. This hands-on lab includes field work on the grounds at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Jeff's Spring series concludes with 'Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis' April 18.

Craft Workshop: Wine Bottle Wind Chimes March 26, Thursday
9am - 1pm. $30-$40. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Learn to convert your empty wine bottles into beautiful, melodic wind chimes Thursday with coaching from our Artists-In-Residence, Vicki and Gerald Johnson. Participants will learn how to cut and smooth empty wine bottles, then string prepped bottles to create a melodic wind chime. Wind chimes are then decorated with adornments such as beads. All materials, including cut and prepared wine bottles will be included. Would your wine club, Red Hat ladies or other community group like to have this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at

Thursday Craft Workshop: Tipsy Pots April 9
9am - 1pm. $30-$40. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Artists-In-Residence Vicki and Gerald Johnson offer this new class in ways to 'faux finish' terra cotta pots to make them look aged, then use those pots to create a whimsical tabletop tower planter that appears to defy gravity. All materials are included, including terra cotta pots, paint, plants and soil. Would your garden club, Red Hat ladies or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at

"Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis" Lecture & Lab Garden Class - April 18
10 a.m. , included with daily admission - no pre-registrration required
Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne invites gardeners to the 4th and final of his new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures; they're included with daily admission of $10, no pre-registration required. What is wrong with my plant? Is my plant dead? Why are the leaves yellow? I found bugs on my plants are they good or bad? What can cause dieback? Join Certified Arborist Jeff Payne as he guides you through problems that occur or can go wrong with your plants in your own backyard and what to watch out for during an informative talk and hands-on field lab diagnosing common problems with plants at Boyce Thompson Arboretum that the Horticulture Staff encounter on a daily or seasonal basis.

Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Classes Aug. 1-2, Aug. 29-30
9:30am. And Don't Miss Superior’s Annual Festival Aug. 24
Have you wanted to pick a peck o’ prickly pears, but didn't know how to get the stickers off before turning the bright red fruits into tasty jelly – or margaritas? On two special weekends in August we’ll offer back-to-back classes on Saturdays and Sundays Aug. 1-2 and also Aug. 29-30 coaching the finer points of processing the ripe fruit of the season for fresh batches of jelly, jam, syrup and more. Workshops feature Chef Eric & Terri of Tall Order Catering, with their unique spin on Cactus Cuisine and lessons on de-spining & processing. No pre-registration is necessary for any of these classes, just be in the visitor center breezeway by the 10:30am start time. Over the years more than 2,000 have attended BTA’s unique series of cactus classes teaching “How To Juice Prickly Pears” -- a summertime series so popular it spawned a cactus culinary festival in the neighboring town of Superior. Our experts share proven techniques to pick, prepare, process and preserve these juicy, seasonal fruits of the Sonoran Desert -- with tasty, healthy prickly pear snacks shared at the end of each class. Learn from prickly pear pickin’ pros! And mark your calendar to attend the 4th Annual Prickly Pear Festival in Superior on Aug. 22. Superior’s culinary celebration of cactus cuisine includes guided desert hike, a pancake breakfast - complete with prickly pear syrup, of course; vendors and guest speakers.

John Aho 'Painting With Light' High-Power LED Night Shoot DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
6pm. CLASS HAS FILLED. To be on waiting list for John's next one, Call 520.689.2723
Familiar plants and scenery are rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after dark by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by artist and local luminary John Aho. The $40 fee for these special-access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ( $30 for BTA annual members). Connect with John on Facebook and see photos from prior nighttime shoots with John

Butterfly Walk Season Finale October 25, Saturday,
Central AZ Butterfly Association volunteers Adriane Grimaldi, Education Director at Butterfly Wonderland, along with Gail Morris are our special guest tourguides leading our last walk - a chance to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk that explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections.
See Butterfly Photos and Learn IDs from CAZBA

Full Moon Drum Circle DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
Looking for a unique way to salute the rising full moon? Cindy Green is organizing a ‘Full Moon Drum Circle’ on that Sunday evening, two hours of participatory percussion beneath our towering and shady trees that encircle the Smith Building courtyard. Drummers are invited to call Cindy Green at 480-299-4129, or to email Cindy at [] for details. Green coaches drum-building workshops, and says all drums are welcome. No percussion? No problem! Green will bring a few loaners for those who wish to participate and revel in the ancient sound of drums echoing in the towering hackberry and mesquite trees which shade the Smith Building front courtyard. BTA closes at ____ p.m. during ______; we'll reopen the main gate at ______ for BTA members on this special evening. The two-hour drum circle begins at_______, continuing through sunset and by the light of the rising full moon, expected at _________, ending and closing the park again at dark _______. You're not among our members yet, but would like to join us and attend? Membership starts at $50 for a full year for a couple - and that includes a pair of one-time-use guests passes to bring two friends or family for a visit; with a credit card ready call 520-689-2723 to order a membership by phone. View a short film clip of Cindy Green drumming at BTA

Tom Boggan Camera Basics Photo ClassDATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
2:00 - 4:00 PM. Enrollment $20 for BTA members, $30 nonmembers. Call 520-689-2723
Do you have a fancy new digital SLR, or even a digital point-and-shoot camera that you're eager to learn to use more effectively? Once-a-month photo workshops with Scottsdale artist Tom Boggan offer that chance all four seasons of the year at BTA.
See More Boyce Thompson Arboretum photography workshops Tom's once-a-month outdoor shoots help improve your camera skills on a relaxed outing surrounded by beautiful gardens and alongside a pro -- and with plenty of chances to ask questions about the dials, settings and controls on your own camera. Learn basic photography skills including composition, lighting, white balance and aperture-exposure.
Pro photographer Tom Boggan has a talent for portraits and a passion for nature photography, and he generously volunteers by dedicating a day each month to be here helping our visitors hone their camera skills. Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students. Pre-payment of $30 is required ($20 for BTA annual members). Enroll by phone, have your credit card ready and call our staff at 520-689-2723. View other workshop images on the Tom Boggan Arboretum Flickr Gallery

Painting With Light Nighttime Photo Shoot Date to be announced
from 6:00-8:00 p.m. $40; call 520-689-2723 to prepay and enroll

Preview our unique nocturnal Painting With Light Photo Workshopson YouTubeand see links to photo galleries on our ourBTA photo classes page. Few visitors get a chance to see the Drover's Shed, the old Dodge Power Wagon or our gardens lit quite as they will appear after dark on February 22, familiar plants and scenery rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after sunset by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by Phoenix artist and luminary John Aho. His painting-with-light nighttime shoots are limited to one dozen photographers, and the $30 fee for these special access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ( $40 for nonmembers). Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot; please make sure to spell out your email and give your current cell# or home phone to our clerks when you sign up so we can provide specific meeting/parking instructions just ahead of Saturday's shoot. If this class has filled when you call, make sure to leave your name, phone and email (again, please take a minute to spell it out so we have it right) so we can alert you to January-February shoots as dates are added to this calendar. See more of John's surreal nighttime scenes -- such as Superior Architecture, and these scenes from
scenes from Besich Park Downtown

Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks Sumer 2015
- with Wild Man Phil Rakoci as our guide, dates TO BE ANNOUNCED
This entertaining guided walk is for kids -- adults -- and all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. Casa Grande naturalist and outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci is our sepcial guest tourguide. There's no additional fee, and no pre-registration necessary, just be in our Visitor Center breezeway at 8:30. See photos andconnect with Wild Man Phil on Facebook. See photos and read more

Prickly Pear Festival Gallery By Jack Haskell