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!

Bark and Buds: Winter Identification of Trees and Shrubs @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Dec 10 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Discover the many plants that lend bark, buds, fruit, and structural interest to the garden in fall and winter. Join garden expert Brad Roeller and develop or enhance your ability to identify winter trees by twig and bud anatomy, bark features, and plant architecture. Students will practice their skills with winter tree dichotomous keys. This class will be held indoors primarily, and participants will work with collected specimens. Class enrollment is limited. Bring a bag lunch. Dress for limited outdoor fieldwork. 

Brad Roeller is a private landscape garden supervisor for Altamont Estate in New York. He is the former Garden Manager for the New York Botanical Garden and has spent his entire career in horticulture, with a focus in sustainable gardening. He lectures extensively and instructs at the New York Botanical Garden, Berkshire Botanical Garden, and New England Grows.

The Business of Gardening (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 12 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

017Classes meet on Thursdays, 1-5pm: January 12-26, 2017.

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 projectstart 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.

The Begonia Winter Survival Guide with Tovah Martin
Jan 21 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Winter is way too long for gardeners, so why not turn to begonias? Is there another group of plants with equal diversity, definition, and intrigue? Garden writer and self-described plant-obsessive Tovah Martin will share her passion for these delightful houseplants. Featuring colorful leaves in just about every shape imaginable topped by spikes of adorable little flowers and an unflappable personality, begonias turn attention inside when the weather is yucky outdoors. Begonias can easily become the best cold-season companions, but there are a few tricks for keeping them happy and healthy. That’s what this begonia intensive is all about. Come with questions and courage, and leave as a die-hard begonia fan. Tovah will also demonstrate how to make more begonias to share with friends and converts and there will be some cuttings for students to bring home.

Tovah Martin is an avid (verging on obsessed) gardener indoors and outside. She is the author of many gardening books—most recently The Indestructible Houseplant, which follows the success of The Unexpected Houseplant and The New Terrarium, as well as the popular Tasha Tudor’s Garden.

For more information and to register, click here.

Growing Fragrant Plants Indoors with Barbara Pierson
Jan 28 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Learn all about our favorite fragrant indoor plants including jasmine, citrus, lavender, culinary herbs, and forced bulbs. White Flower Farm nursery manager Barbara Pierson will share her expertise for keeping these plants looking their best from fertilization and winter care to pest control and trade secrets for keeping plants healthy. She will bring a selection of specimen plants and offer some plants for purchase from the greenhouses at White Flower Farm.

For more information and to register, click here.

Growing Succulents: Agave And Aeoniums With Rob Gennari
Jan 28 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Join plantsman Rob Gennari of Glendale Botanicals for a focused look at growing and overwintering succulents, agaves, and aeoniums indoors. Come warmer weather, this great group of plants make a special statement on a terrace or patio in the summer, but how do these stately specimens make it through winter in the indoor setting? Learn what varieties and cultivars are best for overwintering, how to care for these plants, where to situate them, and seasonal tips for watering and fertilization. After a transplanting demonstration (an art all of its own when dealing with sharp-tipped agaves), participants will go home with a few treasures to grow on.

Rob Gennari of Glendale Botanicals is an expert on tropical, succulent and agave specimen plants.

For more information and to register, click here.

Greenhouse and Plant Conservatory Management (H) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 2 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Classes meet on Thursdays, February 2- March 2, at 4 – 7pm.

This course will focus on the ins and outs of controlling the greenhouse environment. Whether maintaining a  conservatory collection of ornamental plants or producing greenhouse crops participants will learn how to grow, care for and maintain plants in a greenhouse. The relationship between temperature, water, light, fertilization, plant health and diseases will be covered with a strong emphasis on IPM (integrated pest management).

Instructor – William Florek, M.A., has been a landscaper designer for 30 years and currently teaches Horticulture at Monument Mountain Regional High School. He also concentrates his time on greenhouse management, growing plants for school programs and the highly successful plant sales held at the school. He has a degree from the University of Massachusetts in Landscape Design and an M.A.T. in Biology from Elms College.

Unusual Edible Fruits For The New England Landscape
Feb 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Take your home orchard beyond apples and plums (or leave these complicated growers behind altogether for other varieties that grow well in the region). Cricket Hill’s Dan Furman will share his experience growing and cultivating various unusual fruits and berries that he has found to grow well at his family’s second-generation nursery in Thomaston, CT. Focusing on the landscape and the ecological planting of these species that bear interesting fruit, Dan will advise experienced orchardists and novices alike on the practice of growing pawpaws, persimmons, quince, Asian pears, elderberries, and more. Exploring everything from basic cultivation to pest and disease issues, this impassioned grower will also impart his propagation know-how for these coveted fruiting plants.

Dan Furman is co-owner Cricket Hill Garden, a second-generation specialty nursery and forest farm, in Thomaston, CT. Since joining the business in 2010, he has worked to expand the peony production program at the nursery, as well as diversify the stock grown to include unusual landscape and forest edibles.

For more information and to register, click here.

Winter Lecture: Thomas Woltz
Feb 11 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Known for his subtle, sensitively detailed designs that take in the essence of place, acclaimed landscape architect Thomas Woltz shares his design philosophy, his superb sense of plantsmanship focused on selecting species and varieties that have a connection to the local flora and fauna, and his use of indigenous materials in creating landscapes around the world at this year’s Winter Lecture. Although he has designed projects from coastal gardens in New Zealand and the Dell at the University of Virginia to New York’s Hudson Yards, in his talk for the Berkshire Botanical Garden, Woltz will focus on landscapes that he has created in the region, from private gardens in New York State to Hudson’s Olana and Coastal Maine Botanical Garden. Although trained as a fine artist, an architect, and a landscape architect, Woltz is revered for having the soul of a naturalist, with a heartfelt attachment to plants and the local environment. His illustrated talk, filled with ideas for professionals and home gardeners alike, is sure to inspire the audience and to be much discussed at the reception, with refreshments, following the talk.

For more information and to register, click here.

The Natural History Of Bees For Beekeepers And Naturalists Alike
Feb 25 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Aimed at beekeepers who want a more in-depth understanding of bee behavior as well as those interested in the natural world, this class, focused on bees as pollinators as well as on honey bees, explores the basic biology of these essential creatures. Dr. Heather Mattila of Wellesley College shares information that allows beekeepers and naturalists to better understand the bees they see on flowers, how they live, and what they need in terms of habitat and food sources.

Heather Mattila has been a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Wellesley College since 2009. Her research focuses on mechanisms of social communication and organization, including honey bee behavior, the chemical ecology of colonies, the microbiology of queens and workers, and the impact of nutritional stress on workers.

For more information and to register, click here.

Maple Sugaring at Home
Feb 25 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

This workshop will demonstrate the beloved New England tradition of making maple syrup at home, using the sugar bush on the grounds of the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Chris Wellens, Director of Youth Education at BBG, will cover all aspects of maple sugaring: identifying suitable trees, the when and how of collecting sap, the boiling down process for the home setting, and preserving the syrup for year-round use. Participants will walk through the BBG sugarbush, install spiles, develop collection schedules, and boil down maple sap to syrup. A tasting will follow. Dress for the outdoors.

Chris Wellens, Director of Youth Education at BBG, is an old hand at making maple syrup at home and educates the community about the environment, gardening, and agriculture.

For more information and to register, click here.

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