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!
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Lecture/offsite field study to Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA (co-enrolled with Horticulture Certificate Program)
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, soil preparation, timing, planting, cultivation and harvesting will be covered, with a focus on early and late season production. Following the lecture, Pete will lead a field study to Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, MA, and will explain season-extension structures and the various growing techniques.
Peter Salinetti owns Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA that grows vegetables and culinary herbs using traditional farming practices. For over 10 years they have grown local produce for Berkshire County families. Their vegetables are grown using environmentally sustainable gardening practices, and they produce amazing top-quality, delicious produce. Both Peter and his wife Jen are committed to raising awareness about the importance of the local food supply, along with teaching technical information on how to do so. They have lectured on growing food for both NOFA and other regional organizations.
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.
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 all day program will focus on managing the landscape sustainably. BBG is bringing together James Hitchmouth, professor of landscape design at the University of Sheffield, UK, author of Sowing Beauty, Designing Flowering Meadows from Seed, horticulturist Jessica Walliser, author of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to the Garden: A Natural Approach to Pest Control, mycologist Trad Cotter and organic landcare specialist Michael Nadeau. This event will give attendees a new, environmentally sensitive, vision for approaching the connection between their home and the surrounding landscape.
Classes meet on Thursdays, January 11 – February 8, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.
Designed for those starting or caring for a vegetable garden, this course will include discussion of soil and nutrient management, seed selection, crop rotation schemes, bed preparation, seeding and planting, pest management and specific plant cultivation, all in the context of the different vegetable groups. Each week, students will investigate a different vegetable family to insure all questions are answered about cultivation of these important food groups, including: Fabaceae (peas/beans/other legumes), greens (lettuce/mustards/arugula/mache and more), herbs (perennial and annual), perennial vegetables (asparagus/ rhubarb/horseradish), Chenopodiaceae (beet/chard family), Brassicaceae (cabbage/cauliflower/kale/brussels sprout family), Cucurbitaceae (squash/pumpkin/cucumber/melon family), Poeaceae (corn family), Allioideae (onion/garlic/leek/shallot family), Solanaceae (tomato/eggplant/pepper/potato/sweet potato family) and Apiaceae (carrots/parsnips).
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S.
10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Spring Level III courses
This course is a must for those working or planning to work professionally in the field of horticulture. Participants will learn how to write a simple business plan, understand a team approach using subcontractors to a business advantage and ways to organize a business, from sole proprietor to incorporation (S-Corp, Inc., LLC). This course will cover dealing with employees, insurance, and tax write-offs. Learn the industry standards for markups on materials and labor, what the going rate is to charge clients, and how to cost estimate projects. Students will complete a cost estimate for a residential project—start to finish. The focus will be on staying small, lean, and smart and, finally, how to make a profit.
Instructor – Craig Okerstrom-Lang, ASLA, is a landscape architect located in Berkshire County. His vast business experiences ranges from public to private projects. He teaches a variety of programs for the botanical garden including graphic, design and business practices.