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!
Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 5, 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
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.
Discounted Cost for 3 Fall Level II Courses: $975
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 class meets on Friday, October 13, 4 – 6 pm & Saturday, October 14 10 am – 4 pm
The Friday lecture will cover many of the forest, meadow, and wetland habitats found in Berkshire County, discussing their physical and ecological features–topography, geology, soils, and moisture–as well as their characteristic plant associations, including both common and rare plants. The Saturday field trip will take us to a variety of forested, open, and wetland habitats, and we will take a close look at the flora and features of each of them. We will also discuss impacts of invasive species, and possible changes to natural communities in response to climate change. We will travel by passenger van. Please dress for weather and bring a bagged lunch.
Instructor-Ted Elliman, M.S.
Learn how to extend the season’s harvest to enjoy your own garden greens throughout the late fall and early spring months. Consider growing under cover in an unheated greenhouse, cold frame, or high/low poly tunnels, and learn techniques needed to achieve a true four-season harvest. Investigate a variety of structures and learn the pros and cons of each. Crop selection, no-till soil preparation, timing, planting, cultivation, and harvesting will be covered, with a focus on early and late season production. Spend the afternoon at Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA, where Pete will lead an in-depth tour of the farm’s season-extension structures and will explain the various growing techniques.
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S.
Rendering (H, D, NP)
This class meets on Thursdays, October 26 – December 21 (no class 11/23).
Rendering is a drawing skill necessary for communicating garden designs to clients. This course is the next step for gardening designers following drafting. Structured as a studio class, students will learn the softer side of drawing for design using the B range pencils. Practice illustrative rendering such as sections, elevations and plan obliques. This course will enable designers to better communicate their designs to clients. Non-professional gardeners and artists are encouraged to join this class.
Instructor – David Dew Bruner, A.S.L.A.
This fast-paced, information-saturated clinic will introduce design students, home owners others to an opportunity-finding and problem-solving design process. It will lead to the basic conceptual elements of a landscape master plan. All attendees will participate in the process of observing and designing. Students will come away coherent examples of how design happens. An active discussion format will focus on common design principles. A step-by-step PowerPoint presentation will focus the discussion later in the afternoon. This all-day workshop is a prerequisite for Landscape Design II course offered in fall 2018. The field trip is held rain or shine.
Instructor – Walter Cudnohufsky, M.L.A. is a long-time dedicated teacher. Having founded and for twenty years directed the nationally acclaimed Conway (Mass.) School of Landscape Design, he has honed a reasoned approach to planning design. Currently his firm is engaged in many diverse and stimulating planning/design projects throughout the region.
Discounted price for 3 Fall Level II courses: $975
Sunday, October 29, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Are you interested in learning to use a chainsaw but feel intimidated to do so? This workshop is designed for the novice to beginner chainsaw operator who wishes to gain greater confidence with this powerful tool. Topics will include personal protective equipment, anatomy of a chainsaw, reactive forces, basic chainsaw maintenance and additional tools for use with a chainsaw. Techniques learned include holding and starting a saw, hazard ID, escape options, log analysis (binds), planning cuts, overall plan and bucking and limbing. Attendees will cut logs on the ground and/or elevated on saw horses. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of the safety features of a chainsaw and be able to operate a chainsaw based on safety fundamentals. No experience is necessary. If you have your own equipment (chainsaw or personal protective equipment) please bring with you. Note equipment will be provided. Dress and prepare for weather including long sleeves, pants, and boots. Bring a bagged lunch.
Instructor-Melissa LeVangie, Certified Arborist (MCA, ISA, NH) CTSP
This course will explain how plant growth is affected by soils, from drainage to pH and nutrients. Learn how to evaluate soils, improve those that are less than ideal, and how to amend soils for specific garden uses. Fertilizers, soil amendments, making and using compost, moisture management and the pros and cons of mulching will be covered. Students should bring a soil sample.
Instructor – John Howell, M.S. is the former Extension Vegetable Specialist, for the University of Massachusetts and currently lectures on vegetables, fruits and soil management Author of numerous newsletters for growers and is currently the editor for New England Vegetable Management Guide, published biennially by the University of Massachusetts.
Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650