Horticulture Tours

Tours are generally at 10 am, on first or second Saturdays.

Children must be 10 years of age or older.

(Well-behaved children as young as 6 are welcomed on the paleontology tour.)

Horticulture tours walk schedule for June 7 – Oct. 5 events.
Participants could be invited to stay after for a brief 45 minute educational hands-on volunteer activity (other volunteers invited to join) and bring lunch for a picnic.
Tour guide: Jan Busco, Horticulturist, native plant expert and author.
Jan has worked with native plants for more than three decades and is the curator of MNA’s gardens and grounds. She has written three books on western native plants; Native Plants for High-Elevation Western Gardens (Fulcrum Press 2010, 2004), First Garden: How to get Started in Southwestern Gardening (Cool Springs Press 2005) and First Garden: How to get Started in California Gardening.

Tickets are $25 for the general public; $10 for members.

Purchase tickets online here.

Tour Tickets

Upcoming Tours

Horticulture Tour: Early bloomers & cool season grasses
Saturday, May 4, 10 am
Learn about early blooming plants and cool season grasses on this guided tour with MNA Horticulturist Jan Busco. Be ready to walk and spend time outside in the MNA research campus open space and around Coyote Springs. A seedling and plant sale follows. Feel free to bring a picnic lunch.

Horticulture Tour: Golightly courtyard, Exhibits building
Saturday, June 1, 10 am
Living Exhibitions like the Life Zones in the Golightly Courtyard take a special kind of care and curation. Learn about the plants featured in and around the museum exhibits building, how they are selected, planted and cared for and their place in the natural landscape. After the tour, participants are invited to stay for a brief 45 minute volunteer activity. Feel free to bring lunch for a picnic.

Horticulture Tour: Living roof, ECC, Michael Moore Medicinal Garden
Saturday, July 13, 10 am
Learn about two of the most unique gardens at MNA. The 14,000 square foot living roof on the Easton Collection was originally planted in native grasses and wildflowers. Now the succession of plants that grow on the roof continuously evolves with our changing weather The new Michael Moore Medicinal Garden highlights native plants with medicinal properties. After the tour, participants are invited to stay for a brief 45 minute volunteer activity. Feel free to bring lunch for a picnic.

Horticulture Tour: Colton House, Coyote Range
Saturday, August 10, 10 am
Well-established flowers and plantings grace these historic homes. See how perennials and native plants create a harmonious setting beneath the pines; learn about plants deer won’t eat, and see Mary Colton’s greenhouse After the tour, participants are invited to stay for a brief 45 minute volunteer activity. Feel free to bring lunch for a picnic.

Horticulture Tour: Community Garden, Meadows
Saturday, September 7, 10 am
Discover the fullness of falls wild bounty on this tour with MNA Horticulturist Jan Busco. See the native plant research plots and learn which native plants are most successful in local landscaping. Be prepared to walk outdoors through rugged terrain, as this small group tour will go into the meadows. An optional 45 minute educational hands-on volunteer activity follows the tour and participants are invited to bring lunch for a picnic.

Horticulture Tour: Grasses, seeds and asters
Saturday, October 5, 10 am
Get to know our native plants, particularly grasses and asters, and experience their fall colors. Learn how and why native seed is collected. MNA Horticulturist Jan Busco leads this small group tour around the museum exhibitions building and along the nature trail. This is the final horticulture tour of the seasonAn optional 45 minute educational hands-on volunteer activity follows the tour and participants are invited to bring lunch for a picnic.

Collection Tour Rules

When visiting collections, attendees must adhere to the following rules for security and environmental protection of collections:
1.       A secure area will be provided to safeguard personal items.
2.       The following items are  not allowed in storage:
  • Food or Drink (including water)
  • Bags, briefcases, and oversized purses   
  • Bulky coats or sweaters
3.       Activities not allowed in storage.
  • Running, shoving, or other disruptive behavior
  • Leaving the group to wander down aisles
4.       Many items are easy to break and fingers can leave residues, so resist the following natural urges
  • Do not touch or pick up items
  • Do not lean on shelving or cases
5.       MNA reserves the right to terminate the tour if we feel that collection security and preservation is at risk.
6.       Non-flash photography is allowed only to record general architectural features or general storage of collection objects. If you wish document individual objects, please place an image request with MNA's Archivist.