There is something for everyone at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Below is a list of our scheduled events classes, and exhibits. For details on any individual listing, just click on the event for more information. If you still have questions, feel free to call the garden at 413.298.3926. See you at the Garden!
Class nearing capacity. Call to register 413 298 3926 x.10
(10:00am – 2:30pm is time onsite in CT)
Travel directions will be e-mailed one week prior to the program.
Visit two remarkable garden gems in the lower Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. One large and one small, both filled with inspiration. First, in the morning, the tour will meet head gardener Greg Bollard for an insider’s view of Maywood Garden, a private estate located in Bridgewater, on the southernmost edge of Litchfield County. In this garden, classic architecture combines with traditional garden style, as the garden beds and borders unfold across the property and link to Maywood’s panoramic view of the Berkshire foothills. The formally structured gardens surrounding the main residence lead out to more naturalized gardens and woodland trails. Additionally, various production gardens and an extensive greenhouse are integrated into the 40-acre landscape, providing fresh-cut flowers, vegetables, and field crops, which are available for sale at the Bridgewater Village Store. Greg will share how the Maywood staff work to prioritize sound agricultural practices and stewardship of the land that encourage wildlife through the use of IPM (Integrated Pest Management), bee-keeping, and the planting of an array of berry-producing species to attract birds to the garden’s bluebird trail.
From Maywood, the tour travels north to the garden of Peter Wooster, a revered jewel-of-a-garden in Roxbury, Connecticut, that has been long-admired for its intimate design and incredible collection of plants. Rob Girard, gardener extraordinaire (and a contributor to BBG’s Contained Exuberance show this summer) will take us on a tour through this four-square garden. Begun more than 25 years ago as a collector’s garden by architect and landscape designer Peter Wooster, the original guiding principle was “We’ll take one of everything”. Over time it became recognized for its great plantsmanship and unusual perennials, shrubs, annuals, and exotics, as well as for its simple but elegant architectural form. Covering only a half acre, there are six large, rectangular beds framed by grass paths with a border that ties it all together. The paths serve to contain the mixed English border-style plantings that have been referred to as ‘a botanical zoo’. Over the years, the maturing trees and shrubs have turned what was once a mostly sunny perennial garden into a mostly woody garden with a change in scale and light. The plantings have evolved to support the changing conditions, fostering the garden’s diversity while continuing to be of great interest to visitors and still maintaining its primacy as an organizing point for this artful collector’s garden.
The final Cocktails in Great Gardens of 2016 is at the home and garden of Larry Wente and Jack Hyland in Millerton, NY. Hors d’oeuvres, a cold refreshment, and the warm summer light of late afternoon are the perfect companions to take in some of the area’s most spectacular private gardens through our Cocktails in Great Gardens series. It’s a rare opportunity to roam these private spaces with the gardeners themselves that you will not want to miss.
Participants will meet at Zonneveld Farm (directions sent upon registration).
Join nationally recognized floral artist Ariella Chezar for an inspiring and informative program on flower arranging. The program will take place at Zonneveld Farm in Columbia County, NY, where Ariella will lead a tour of her cut-flower farm. She will demonstrate how to condition and arrange freshly cut flowers in the wild and unstructured style for which she is know. Using information from her latest book, The Flower Workshop, Ariella will lead participants through the basics of flower arranging. Following the walk, talk, and flower-arranging demonstration, she will sell and sign her inspiring new book.
Ariella Chezar is a nationally recognize flower arranger. She is best known for a free flowing, wild style and has championed this growing trend in flower arranging. In 2014 she started Zonneveld Farm, located in Columbia County, NY, where she cultivates much of what she uses for her arrangements and workshops. Ariella’s flowers are sustainably grown, and she is committed to using organic techniques on her farm.
Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 6, 5 pm
The practicum complements classroom work through hands-on training in the garden. Work alongside garden staff practicing gardening techniques, usually beginning with a demonstration and instruction. Activities include propagation, transplanting, tree care, pruning, dividing, planting, cultivation and maintenance of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. Students need to complete 15 hours of work scheduled on Saturdays and/or weekdays, usually Wednesday or Thursday, throughout the year. Required for Certification. Students may sign up for either the fall or spring term.
Instructors – Berkshire Botanical Garden Staff
Learn about the basic herbaceous plants used in the garden setting including identification, planting, fertilizing, pest control and pruning. Perennial selection will be the focus, although some time will be spent on annuals and bulbs. This offering is essential for the serious gardener. Students should dress for outdoor field study including sturdy, waterproof footwear and warm outer clothing.
Instructor – David Burdick, B.S., a distinguished plantsman and zealous collector, shows regularly at the American Daffodil Society exhibition. A practicing horticulturalist, he has worked at Berkshire Botanical Garden and Windy Hill Farm. An engaging teacher, his latest venture is a specialty plant and cut flower business at Holiday Farm, Dalton, Massachusetts.
Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650
Classes meet on Mondays, September 12-26, 5:30 – 8:30pm.
Acquire a knowledge of the skills required for beautiful and successful container gardens. Start with techniques for overwintering tropicals, tender perennials, bulbs, annuals and more without a greenhouse through storage of dormant plants, seed collection, cuttings, divisions and other simple techniques. Get to know the plants that thrive in containers and how to care for them. This class will cover practical aspects of gardening with plants that do double duty as housescape plants in the winter and container plants in summer. Consider container selection, siting, planting, growing, controlling pests and maintaining moveable gardens.
Instructor – Jenna O’Brien
This seven-week studio intensive is essential for students who anticipate working in garden planning and design. Learn basic drafting skills necessary to record and effectively communicate scaled site plans. The first four weeks of the course will cover reference books, drafting supplies, media/paper types, line weights; lettering and scale reading. Drafting demonstrations will familiarize students with professional drawing techniques and the students will begin to draft basic site plans. Map making will be covered in week four. During the last half of the course, students will learn to develop a landscape graphic palette to illustrate trees, shrubs, perennials and ground covers as well as hardscape materials such as stone terraces, etc. Students will also learn professional rendering techniques using prismacolor pencils. This course is designed for beginners to intermediates and will prepare students for all design classes offered in the Horticultural Certificate Program. We strongly suggest that all students who anticipate working professionally in the field of horticulture complete this course. For materials list, click here.
$25 copy fee applies.
Instructor – Steven Foster, ASLA is a registered landscape architect in MA with over thirty years experience. He currently divides his time between private practice and teaching at the Landscape Design Institute affiliated with Arnold Arboretum and Harvard University.
John Wiley & Sons
Plan and Section Drawing
John Wiley & Sons
Grant W. Reid ASLA
For materials list, click here.
Focus on the bones of the garden with a survey of ornamental woody plants for residential landscape design. This course will cover ornamental shrubs, small flowering trees, shade trees, and broadleaf and needle evergreens. Students will become familiar with the many garden-worthy woody plants that thrive in Zone 5. Course covers plant ID, selection, siting, cultivation and possible design uses.
Instructor – Elisabeth Cary, M.A. is Education Director at Berkshire Botanical Garden. She organizes the Horticulture Certificate program and has a special interest in woody plants.
Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Michael A. Dirr
Timber Press, Inc. c.1997
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Michael A. Dirr
Stipes Publishing LLC c. 1975 Revised 1998
Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650 (edit)
This members only excursion departs Thursday, October 13 at 7:30am from BBG and returns Saturday, October 15 at 7pm.
Cost: $975. A deposit of $400 is due upon registration.
To register, call 413-298-3926, x 10 or x15.
Join Garden staff Elisabeth Cary and Dorthe Hviid for a BBG members three-day Study Tour to Greater Philadelphia. The cornerstone of this trip includes attendance at the Perennial Plant Conference held at the extraordinary Scott Arboretum, located on the campus of Swarthmore College. Attended by professionals and avid home gardeners from the northeast and mid-Atlantic states, this conference is by far the most sophisticated, cutting-edge gardening conference held on the East Coast. This three-day trip includes transportation, tours of exceptional gardens both public and private, and admission to a world-class gardening conference. There will also be a bit of free time for relaxing and resting weary feet! On the return trip, the group will make a side trip to Terrain, the fabulous garden life-style store located in Glen Mills, PA. The staff is eager to share this wonderful gardening adventure with you.
Included in the cost:
- Motor-coach transportation
- Registration fees for attendance of the Perennial Plant Conference at Swarthmore College (2016 speakers include Cassian Schmidt, Director of Hermannshof, the seminal German naturalistic botanical garden; Seattle-based landscape designer Richard Hartlage; Canadian garden personality Larry Hodgson; Peter Zale, Curator of Plants at Longwood Garden; Jessica Walliser, author of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to the Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control; and Jared Barnes of NC State University Department of Horticulture)
- Tours of one private garden as well as Chanticleer Garden, Longwood Garden, and The Scott Arboretum at Swarthmore College.
- A two-night stay (double occupancy) at the Radnor Hotel on Philadelphia’s Main Line in Wayne, PA, conveniently located near area gardens
- All breakfasts and lunches
- Wine reception
Evening meals are on your own; a variety of different restaurants are located within walking distance of the hotel.
Classes meet on Thursdays, October 13 – November 3, 5:30 – 8:30pm.
This course will help students better understand the principles and practices of ecological gardening with a focus on native plant communities. Students will learn the native plant palette, resources needed to identify these communities and habitats and methods of introducing native plants into gardens. Identifying and controlling invasive plant species in addition to restoring areas that have been impacted by invasives will also be highlighted. Gardeners will learn how to enhance garden spaces with native plants (although not exclusively) that create sustainable and low maintenance gardens.
Instructor-Brad Roeller, B.S.