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!

Benched @ Berkshire Botanical
Jun 3 @ 9:15 pm – Sep 15 @ 10:15 pm



Below is a list of exhibitors and their benches:


RT Facts                                                                         Kent, CT

Lion’s paw bench  

The feet of this cast concrete bench were cast by Greg Randall from antique pieces and topped with a piece of carved stone to give the traditional base a more modern feel. Its classical feet, on the other hand, give it a commanding presence at the entrance to the Garden.



Barbara Israel Garden Antiques                                            Katonah, NY

Hawthorne cast bench         

The Hawthorne Bench is part of Barbara Israel’s Garden Traditions line of replicas and is a copy of an antique bench that Barbara once owned. It seemed like an idea garden to place at the entrance to our Visitor Center.



Natale Marasco                                                          Ashley Falls, MA

Aluminum and concrete bench           

This bench of cast concrete and aluminum has a modern sensibility that complements garden plantings. With its light colored concrete seat, it does not retain much heat, unlike the garden’s solar greenhouse behind it.



Peter Merkett                                                                               Southfield,  MA

Giant Berkchair

This cedar bench, by Peter Murkett of New England Modern, was based on a design for a chair made several years ago for a show at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. The scale was amped up to make it a bench and to serve as a perch from which our Youth Education team can read stories to younger visitors to the Garden. Set on the knoll outside of our offices, this seat welcome visitors from the road.

Not for Sale


BBG Farm-in-the-Garden Camp                           Stockbridge, MA

Salad bench           

This retrofitted cast-iron bench form has had its seat replaced with a growing form for lettuce. It is based on the specifications of the University of Maryland’s salad table specification,s which were  developed to grow cut and come again lettuce crops. The proceeds of the sale of this bench, which is aptly placed next to our Farm-in-the-Garden Camp vegetable garden, will support the Youth Education program at the Garden.

$1,000 (All proceeds of the sale of this bench will benefit BBG’s Youth Education Program)


Hancock Shaker Village                                           Pittsfield, MA

Shaker bench        

Benches like these would have been used in the Shakers’ meeting houses. The back of the pine bench can be removed so it can be used in two forms. They are light and easy to move as the Shakers would clear all furniture after being seated in order to worship. Their worship services included “laboring” or dancing and singing. The laboring and singing was meant to praise and celebrate the Lord. The Shakers got their name from combining the two words “Shaking” and “Quakers.” This bench has been finished for outdoor use and seems well suited to being placed under an old apple tree so one can enjoy the shade. Hancock Shaker Village is open to the public.


RT Facts                                                                         Kent, CT

Mies van der Rohe inspired benches                 

This pair of benches came about when Greg Randall used some old cushions he had unearthed to make a mold for concrete cushions. With the work of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in mind, metal bases were fabricated that mimicked the Barcelona chairs the Bauhaus architect designed in conjunction with Lilly Reich for the German Pavilion at the International Exposition of 1929 in Barcelona, Spain. These stools beckon visitors to our Center House.



Bunny Williams                                                           New York, NY

Swedish Style Garden bench

This cast aluminum bench, developed by noted designer Bunny Williams as part of her line for Century Furniture, takes its cues from an antique Swedish bench and adds a formal presence to the Procter garden.



Mary Annella Frank for Edith Wharton’s The Mount   

Lit de Repos           

Mary Annella Frank’s work in sculpture, drawing and public art uses source material including geography, mythical histories and personal stories. This Lit de Repos was designed with writer Edith Wharton in mind and captures the literary spirit and the love of gardening of this renowned writer whose home, The Mount, is in nearby Lenox and open to the public. Situated in our Vista Garden, it inspires visitors to lay back and take a break with a book.



Peter Thorne                                                                                  West Stockbridge, MA        

Stone and wood bench        

Having taken his inspiration from the pieces of stone that were often used for the gravestones of Civil War Veterans in the region, craftsman Peter Thorne has merged these long stone slabs (representative of many that were left uncarved throughout the area) with elegant wooden joinery, creating a bench that is stylish and strong and looks out on our New Wave Garden.



JK Custom Furniture                                                                    Great Barrington, MA

Plant-stand inspired bench

JK Custom Furniture & Design is a family operated Berkshire gem where craftsmanship and quality are paramount. Sharing an education in fine arts, a love of design and a desire to establish a fine furniture and cabinetry company, Joshua and Kristen Kanter create innovative, versatile furniture and functional homewares that add character, warmth and an element of design to any home using locally sourced wood and reclaimed materials. This bench by Joshua Kanter was inspired by a plant stand that had great lines and proportion and is set at the entrance to our Rose Test Garden.



Jeffrey All                                                                                        Spencertown, MA

Danish style mahogany bench            

Cabinetmaker Jeffrey All took his inspiration for this mahogany bench from 2Oth-century Danish furniture. A fine furniture maker, his attention to detail is apparent in the joinery used to give this piece its clean lines and elegant appeal. It is set into our Rose Test Garden.




Jeffrey All                                                                                        Spencertown, MA

Sculptural mahogany bench                

This sculptural mahogany bench was created by this Berkshire Woodworkers Guild member Jeffrey All. It is enhanced by the addition of aluminum detailing which adds to the line of these modern bench and is paired with another of the craftsman’s works in our rose garden.



Mike King                                                                                        Sheffield, MA

Outdoor settle

Berkshire Woodworkers Guild member Mike King based this bench on the concept of the early American settle, which was designed as a settee with a covered back to protect settlers from drafts and cold within their home and to retain the heat emanating from their fireplace. This outdoor version protects those seated from wind, sun and rain, and is situated to look across the north garden from the beech hedge.



Rustic Woodcraft                                                        Great Barrington

Rustic settee          

Craftsman Bradley Weatherup designed this bench and fabricated it out of eastern red cedar which is noted for its strength, longevity and resistance to rot.  Mortise and tenon joinery gives the piece strength. The artist has also created trellises and other structures on the south side of the Garden . This piece seems at home along our meadowy Crabapple Walk.



Mike King                                                                                        Sheffield, MA

Rolling bench         

This rolling bench of aluminum and mahogany was designed by local craftsman Mike King. Given its easy-to-move design, this bench may be our grounds staff’s favorite and is set along the path to our Pond Garden.



Munder-Skiles                                                                               Garrison, NY

Teak Montgomery Bench  

John Danzer’s foray into the field of garden furniture design began as a recreational interest. His curiosity about the design of furniture for any outdoor space grew into passionate research and collecting. In 1992, John started Munder-Skiles to produce quality garden furniture. This cedar Montgomery Bench takes its inspiration from classic Hepplewhite furniture and is at home in its perch behind the Martha Stewart Cottage.



Barbara Israel  Antiques                                         Katonah, NY

Morning Glory antique iron bench    

A cast-iron seat in the “Convolvulus” or “Morning Glory” pattern, American, ca. 1880. This pattern was first cast by Coalbrookdale around 1855 and was offered in America soon after in 1858 by Wood & Perot. And although the bench depicts morning glories, it is a nice complement to our Primrose Garden.



Seth Churchill Furniture                                           Lakeville, CTYAdirondack bench

This signature piece represents a modern yet classic play on a chair that harkens back to a simpler times, using true mortise and tenon joinery, It was handmade locally by Seth Churchill and his team of craftsmen. The bench overlooks the Timmy and Linc Foster Rock Garden.



Justin Madsen                                                                                Spencertown, NY

Concrete bench    

Marveled Designs is a functional and sculptural concrete company initially dedicated to fabricating custom, hand-made concrete countertops and integral concrete sinks. This concept quickly exapnded when an early client requested a large custom designed red bird bath. Justin Madsen’s  bench is comprised of four interlocking pieces and was made along with the custom containers to match the color palette of the plantings. The seat overlooks our Hosta Garden.

$1,850 for the bench, $325, $400, and $475 for the containers (Custom pieces are available)


Bill Cummings                                                                                Stockbridge, MA

Bench of recycled and found materials             

Set amidst the lawn west of the Pinetum, this bench by BBG’s talented Buildings and Grounds Manager was made from found and recycled materials and has been added to the Garden as part of our permanent bench collection and has a view well worth taking in.

Not for sale


Naumkeag                                                                                      Stockbridge, MA

Cast-iron bench & concrete barrel chair

Set into our shady Pinetum, this antique painted metal bench and Fletcher Steel-designed Concrete Barrrel Chair are from the Afternoon Garden at Naumkeag, this turn of the century estate of the Choate family, which is owned by the Trustees of Reservations and is open for visitation.

Not for sale


Judy McKie

Hippo Bench

This stone bench, the inspiration for this show, was given to the garden in honor of Lainie Grant and board chair Matt Larkin, by Ruth O’Hara. It sits along the path to our Daylily Walk.

Not for sale


Campo de Fiori                                                                              Sheffield, MA

Rustic bench of mesquite with iron base           

Overlooking our Daylily Walk and set under an old tree, this bench takes in the North Garden. Inspired by a piece of mesquite, Barbara Bockbrader and Campo de Fiori developed this rustic bench with simple iron legs that work in combination with the elegant patina of the wood to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.



Chesterwood                                                                                  Stockbridge, MA

Metal & wood bench            

Set under our old copper beech, this bench was most likely designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French for the garden at Chesterwood, his summer home and studio in Stockbridge.  The seat slats are gently contoured for comfort and relaxation.  A 1914 photograph shows French seated on the bench, in the shade of an old apple tree just outside his studio. This bench is a reconstruction and incorporates the original metal frame.  It is not for sale, but custom orders are available. Chesterwood is open to the public.

$3,500 for a custom replica

Ariella Chezar: The Flower Workshop @ Zonneveld Farm, Columbia County, NY
Sep 1 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

This class is fully enrolled.

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 known. 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 recognized 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.


Stalking Wild Mushrooms @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 10 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Learn all about woodland fungi with Berkshire Mycological Society president John Wheeler as he focuses on those commonly known as mushrooms. This enormous and diverse group of plants is most apparent in the wild during the fall months. The most common poisonous and edible mushrooms will be highlighted and identified. A variety of live fungi will be on display, supplemented with slides of other commonly found mushrooms. Participants will explore a nearby woodland and hunt for mushrooms. However, this participation in this class is not sufficient for learning how to identify edible wild mushroom. Dress for outdoors; participants will carpool to a short walk.

John Wheeler is the president of the Berkshire Mycological Society. He has taught mycology at Bard College at Simon’s Rock and has been an avid mycologist for over 20 years.

Bringing Plants In for the Winter @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 10 @ 2:00 pm – 4:30 pm

Wondering what to do in the fall with all those special patio plants that you have slaved over for the summer months? Horticulturist and Viridssima owner Jenna O’Brien will pass along tricks of the trade to gardeners so that they can protect their tender perennials, house plants, woody potted specimens and succulent collections and encourage these plants to thrive during the winter season. Topics will include cultivation, fertilizing, watering, and health management as participants learn by doing and will leave with some plants to take home and carry through the winter. Overwintering and simple propagation techniques will help gardeners multiply their plant supply for the next season’s garden and save money next season (or spend it on something else) at the nursery. Bring hand pruners.

Jenna O’Brien owns Viridissima, a garden maintenance and design business. Her specialties include perennial garden design, container design and culture, indoor gardening, and houseplants. She teaches for area horticultural organizations and has completed the Horticulture Certificate Program at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

16.09.11 Bring Plants in for the Winter

Gardening in Pots: How to Design, Maintain, and Winterize Container Gardens and Plants @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 12 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This class meets on Mondays, September 12, 19,  and 26, from 5:30 – 8:30pm. It is co-enrolled with the Horticulture Certificate Program.

Acquire a knowledge of the skills required for creating and maintaining beautiful and successful container gardens. Container gardening expert Jenna O’Brien starts with techniques for overwintering tropicals, tender perennials, bulbs, and annuals without a greenhouse by teaching participants how to store dormant plants, collect and save seeds, and take divisions and cuttings. Jenna also shares her thorough knowledge of plants that thrive in containers and how to care for them. This class will cover practical approaches to container gardening such as plants that do double duty as houseplants in the winter and as outdoor plants in the summer. The class also is filled with advice on container selection, siting, planting, growing, controlling pests, and maintaining moveable gardens.

Jenna O’Brien owns Viridissima, a garden design and maintenance business. Her specialties include perennial garden design, container design and culture, indoor gardening, and houseplants. She teaches at area horticultural organizations and has completed the Horticulture Certificate Program at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

16.09.11 Bring Plants in for the Winter

Fruits of the Earth: A Talk and Book Signing by Amy Goldman @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 17 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Vegetable gardener extraordinaire and heirloom seed activist Amy Goldman shares her journey over time on the historic Abraham Traver farmstead in the Hudson Valley. Amy will chronicle her evolution as a gardener and will highlight some of the heirloom vegetables, fruits, berries, and nuts that she has grown over the past 25 years on her 200-acre farm, all of which have been preserved in another fashion as well – for the past 15 years acclaimed photographer Jerry Spagnoli has used a daguerreotype process to capture these much cherished cultivars of fruits and vegetables in ethereal images with a silvery luminous depth and a timeless beauty. Amy will share her experiences growing many of her favorite heirloom vegetables and fruits accompanied by images that are sure to inspire both the home gardener and those simply interested in our food heritage. A book signing will follow the talk.

Growing Giant Pumpkins @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 17 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This class is free for those attending Amy Goldman’s Fruits of the Earth on the morning of September 17.

Join woody plant guru Adam Wheeler of Broken Arrow Nursery for a fun and informative look into the world of competitive pumpkin growing. Learn how to grow plants in the Cucurbita family to bear the biggest and best fruits possible. Although the lecture will focus on how to grow extra-large pumpkins it will also inform gardeners about improving growing conditions for other pumpkin relatives including melons, squash, and cucumbers. And Adam will share his special pumpkin seeds with participants for the next growing season. 

Adam Wheeler is the Propagation and New Plant Development Manager for Broken Arrow Nursery located in Hamden, CT, a specialty nursery with a focus on woody plants.  He teaches woody plant propagation workshops throughout New England.

Pruning Shrubs and Small Ornamental Trees @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 24 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm

Autumn is a great time to assess your woody plants for shape and structure. This demonstration and workshop, led by Forest Health Program Director for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and arborist Ken Gooch, focuses on pruning, including when, why and how to shape, renovate, train, or rejuvenate your woody plants. Learn about pruning tools, timing, and specific techniques suited to the home gardener. Pruning techniques for evergreen and deciduous hedges will also be covered. Wear waterproof outerwear and boots; bring pruners. 

Ken Gooch is the Forest Health Program Director for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Additionally, he is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist and teaches arboriculture at the BBG. He lectures widely on a variety of topics including forest health, pruning, and arboriculture.

Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener with Joseph Tchonievich @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 24 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This class is co-sponsored with the Berkshire Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society.

It’s the holy grail of gardening: a plant that perfectly matches your tastes and the conditions in your garden. The hitch? You’re not likely to find it at your local garden center. You’re going to have to create it yourself. But don’t worry—it isn’t hard. After all, gardeners have been doing it for centuries, simply by saving seeds of the varieties that tasted or performed best. This talk will get you started with the basics of how to produce a new variety of hosta, a tomato perfect for your palette (or climate), a pepper with just the right amount of heat, or a more fragrant rose!

Part of a new generation of gardeners, Joseph Tchonievich earned his B.S. in horticulture from Ohio State University, went on to work for Shibamichi Honten Nursery in Saitama, Japan, and wrote a book, Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener, spent two years working at the famed rare plants nursery, Arrowhead Alpines, and was named by Organic Gardening magazine as one of “six young horticulturists who are helping to shape how America gardens.”

Invasive Plant Identification, Removal, and Control Strategies @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 30 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This class meets on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1, from 1 – 3pm.

Michael Nadeau, founding member of the Organic Land Care Project, will explore invasive plants, their identification, removal and control strategies for gardeners and homeowners. On Friday, his lecture at the botanical garden will focus on plant identification, removal and control strategies of common invasives.   On Saturday, the class will undertake an offsite site evaluation to demonstrate how to develop a realistic plan to manage invasive plants. This program focuses on practical applications to help the home and professional gardeners tackle this problem which is becoming increasingly pervasive.

Michael Nadeau has been a landscaper, arborist, and ecological designer for over 40 years. He was a founding member of the Organic Land Care Project, a sister organization of the CT Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, which created the first set of standards for organic landscaping based on NOFA and USDA Standards. Michael is a co-creator and instructor of the CT-NOFA Organic Land Care Accreditation Course, a previous owner of Plantscapes Organics, a Fairfield County-based landscape restoration company since 1980, and owner of Wholistic Land Care Consulting, LLC, in Sharon, CT.

16.09.11 Invasive Plant Control

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