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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!

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

barringtonstageBBG

 

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.

$3,800

 

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.

$1,200

 

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.

$3,650

 

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.

$500

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.

$1,700

 

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.

$3,995

 

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.

$6,600

 

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.

$1,200

 

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.

$850

 

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.

$700

 

 

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.

$1,700

 

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.

$5,500

 

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.

$700

 

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.

$6,000

 

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.

$4,400

 

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.

$8,500

 

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.

$1,295

 

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.

$1,600

 

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

Aug
26
Fri
Family Fridays: Frogs and Turtles of Berkshire County @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 26 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

This program is free for members and children under 12; free with BBG admission for non-members.

This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals of our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying frogs and turtles, details about their distinctive biology, and interesting facts about their behaviors and the methods these elusive creatures use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals and will have a few live frogs on hand to greet visitors. 

Tom Tyning is Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College. He specializes in reptiles and amphibians in his research and actively researches local rattlesnake populations.

Sep
1
Thu
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.

chezar

Sep
6
Tue
Garden Practicum (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 6 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 6, 5 pm

Garden practcium Tree Planting

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

Herbaceous Plants I (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 6 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

May 16 Land of Geraniums3Classes meet on Tuesdays, September 6-27, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

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

Click here for class handouts

Oct
4
Tue
Ornamental Woody Plants (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 4 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

aboutgarden2Classes meet on Tuesdays, October 4-25, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

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.

Suggested texts:
Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Michael A. Dirr
Timber Press, Inc.  c.1997
ISBN 0-88192-404-0

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Michael A. Dirr
Fifth Edition
Stipes Publishing LLC c. 1975 Revised 1998
ISBN 0-87563-800-7

Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650 (edit)

Oct
8
Sat
Harvest Festival @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 8 – Oct 9 all-day

Save the Date!

Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 2016 Harvest Festival will be held Columbus Day Weekend, Saturday and Sunday October 8th and 9th!

About the FestivalKids activites

For generations the Harvest Festival has been a cherished tradition in the Berkshires. It is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the county and 2015 event had the largest attendance ever with more than 12,000 visitors to the event. Proceeds from the event support educational programs at the Garden.

The Festival is a family-friendly celebration of community, showcasing local crafters & artists, non-stop entertainment, artisan food producers and food trucks. (See listing at the links below.)

It also features a silent auction and giant tag sales including — Housewares, the Opportunity Clothing Shop, Country Bazaar, Accessorize!, a Jewelry Boutique, and a Plant, Bulb a and Garden Accessory Sale — as well as a farmers market and zillions of kids activities, including a haunted house.

And don’t forget to check our new Botanical Garden section with the Educational Workshops and Demos, the Garden’s own Farm Camp, Hall of Pumpkins and much more.

If interested in being a vendor an entertainer, or providing an activity for kids. please contact Dana Audia, the Festival producer at daudia@berkshirebotanical.org., or call the Office: 413 298 3926.

Become a Festival Volunteer. Visit the volunteer page for available job descriptions and to learn how you can help. To volunteer, contact Cynthia Grippaldi at 413 298 3926.

Below are links to some of last year’s fun!

Stage Entertainment (and more)

Kids Activity List

Educational workshops Schedule 

Complete Vendor List (with links)

Harvest Festival Map

Oct
13
Thu
The Gardens of Greater Philadelphia Study Tour @ Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oct 13 @ 7:30 am – Oct 15 @ 7:00 pm

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.

Click here to download Registration Form and here to download Tour Contract.

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.

16.10.13rip to brandywine Valley

Nov
1
Tue
Soil and Soil Amendments (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 1 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Rhus aromatica Grow LoClasses meet on Wednesdays, November 1-22, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

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

Nov
29
Tue
Plant Health Care (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 29 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Tuesdays, November 29 – December 20, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Look at factors that affect plant health care including insects, diseases, pathogens and abiotic influences.  Basic diagnostic techniques will be taught.  Learn to minimize potential problems through proper site preparation, plant selection and placement.  Managing problems using biological, chemical, and cultural techniques will be discussed with a focus on IPM (integrated pest management).

Instructor – David Chinery, M.S. is an extension educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselar County, Troy, N.Y.  He is currently researching alternatives to pesticides for turf grass insect and disease problems, as well as improving and expanding the county’s Master Gardener Program.

Suggested text:
Weeds of the Northeast
R. Uva, J. Neal, J. DiTomaso
Cornell University Press   c.1997
ISBN 0-8014-8334-4 (pbk)

Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650

Texture for front of Border Alchemilla, Geranium

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