Events Calendar

Italian Night Supper
Mar 27 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Mangia!.  Enjoy a plate of pasta, warm bread and a delicious dessert while connecting with family and friends at the Arboretum.  Speaker tba.


$7 per person

Maple Syrup Celebration
Mar 28 @ 7:30 am – 1:00 pm

Taste real maple syrup and learn about the art and science of maple syrup production. See how to tap and cook sap into delicious maple syrup.   Xi Sigma Pi members will be preparing a pancake breakfast to help support their honor society ($6 donation).


Garden Hose Wreath Workshop
Mar 29 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Put a smile on your Spring outlook with this make-and-take experience. Guided by floral designer, Sandy Gossman, and Arboretum staff, Nan Bonfils, you’ll take home a decorative piece that will brighten the change of season. All materials provided, fresh as well as recycled, for the wreath plus other smaller projects. You just have to bring your imagination. This class will be fun for all ages. Bring the kids. Walk-ins welcome but please preregister to guarantee ample materials.


Fee:  $10 for members and $15 for non-members

Spring Fever Symposium – Bob Fincham
Apr 18 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Topics:  Dwarf conifers for small gardens (morning session) and Conifers that Enhance the Garden (afternoon session).

Born, raised, and educated on the East Coast, Bob was a science teacher for over 40 years. His interest in and passion for conifers began in 1974 when he traded a fern fossil for three choice conifers to landscape his new home. In 1979 his passion led to the start of a part time, mail order nursery business named Coenosium Gardens.

In 1986 Bob agreed to move to Oregon to become vice-president of Iseli Nursery. Ten days before he was to move, Jean Iseli, owner of Iseli Nursery and a dear friend of Bob, passed away from a heart attack. In spite of this turn of events, Bob and his wife Dianne along with 10,000 plants moved from Pennsylvania to the Northwest where he made the nursery business his full time job. In 1993 he returned to teaching in the state of Washington. In 1996 he and Dianne made their permanent home in Eatonville, Washington, where they continued selling plants through Coenosium Gardens while
maintaining two acres of rare and unusual conifers in a pinetum surrounding their home. His wife, best friend and business partner, Dianne, passed away in the summer of 2013.

In 1999 he was invited to present a paper at the Fourth International Conifer Convention held in
England. He was the only presenter not associated with a botanical garden or academic institution.

Always the educator, Bob has written for the American Nurseryman, the NARGS Quarterly, Fine Gardening, and the American Conifer Society Bulletin; he has produced three videos on conifers and propagation methods and has written three books: Small Conifers for Small Gardens, Dianne, and Paradise Lost an Angel. He is currently working on his 2nd conifer book and third in his series on Dianne.

One of the co-founders of the Conifer Society, Bob served as its first President for five years. He is considered around the world to be one of the great experts on rare and unusual conifers. We are very excited to have him as our speaker for the 6th annual Spring Fever Symposium.

Early Bird:

$50 for members (4/3/15)

$60 for non-members (before 4/3/15)


After April 3:

$60 for members

$70 for non-members



Arbor Day Celebration
Apr 25 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Iowa Arboretum will be planting a tree, giving away free tree seedlings and conducting fun tree related activities for families. Smokey the Bear will be making a guest appearance.  Mark Hirsch, author of That Tree, will be planting a ceremonial tree at 10:30am.

Arboretum Garden Social and Auction (Formerly the Green Tie Affair)
May 1 @ 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Iowa Arboretum’s major “fun” raiser event featuring tasty delights, auction and plant sale.  This years theme is “Plants for pollinators and people.”  Bid on unique plants, garden decor and specialty gift items.  Attendees have the opportunity to be an “early bird” shopper at the spring plant sale.


Fee:  $40 per person



Spring Plant Sale
May 2 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Spring Plant Sale
May 3 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Classic Car Day
Jun 7 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Car Registration (free): 10 a.m. to 12 noon
12 noon to 3 p.m. – Bring your car or your camera and enjoy an afternoon admiring some of Iowa’s best-loved cars. Classic tunes will help set the mood and lunch will be available for purchase. Free to the public.

Early Bird Shopping for Members – Fall Plant Sale
Sep 11 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Membership does have its benefits. Be the first one on your block to shop the fall sale.  Become a member that day and shop until you drop.