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!

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.

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.

Perennials: The Best Of Yesterday, Today, And Tomorrow…
Mar 4 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Have you ever wondered why a plant that has received accolades from the gardening community just does not seem to work for you? Join author, gardener, and plant expert David Culp as he shares his advice on selecting perennials for Northeast gardens. Using the Perennial Plant of the Year listings of the past few decades as a starting point, David, who has evaluated plants for Sunny Borders for many years, examines what perennials are strong performers for gardeners in our region, and makes suggestions of additional species and varieties that may work better given local conditions. His expertise will be put to good use in his talk and by attendees as they go about selecting new plants for their gardens. And images of Brandywine Cottage, his own garden in Downington, PA, as captured in his book The Layered Garden, are sure to inspire our design sense as well. A book-signing will follow his talk.

David Culp is the creator of the gardens at Brandywine Cottage in Downingtown, PA, and is an herbaceous perennials instructor at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA. His articles have appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Fine Gardening, Green Scene, and many other publications. David is Vice President for Sunny Border Nurseries in Connecticut and is author of the book, The Layered Garden, published by Timber Press.

For more information and to register, click here.

Growing An Organic Vegetable Garden
Mar 6 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This course is co-enrolled with the Horticulture Certificate Program and meets on Mondays, March 6, 13, 20, 27 and April 3, 5:30 – 8:30 pm.

Whether starting a new vegetable garden or caring for an established one, CSA owner Peter Salinettiof Woven Roots Farms is the one to turn to for a deeper understanding of soil and nutrient management, seed selection, crop rotation schemes, bed preparation, seed sowing and planting, pest management, and specific plant cultivation. Each week, the class will investigate a different vegetable family to insure all questions are answered about cultivation of these important crop families for the home vegetable gardener. He will pass along traditional and environmentally sustainable practices for growing cole crops such as kale, broccoli, and cabbage; umbellifers such as carrots and fennel; legumes such as peas and beans; greens such as lettuce, radicchio, and arugula; herbs; corn; onions, leeks, and garlic; cucurbits such as melons, squashes, and pumpkins; and perhaps one of the most cherished groups: the solanums—tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplants. All in all, the perfect primer for planning and growing a well-balanced vegetable garden and diet.

Peter Salinetti owns Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA that grows vegetables and culinary herbs using traditional and environmentally sustainable farming practices. For over ten years he has grown produce for Berkshire County families and has lectured for both NOFA and other regional organizations.

For more information and to register, click here.

Great Gardens of the Italian Lake District @ Italian Lake District
Apr 22 all-day

Tour Arranged by Classical Excursions—April 22-29, 2017

The Italian lakes have seduced travelers since the time of the ancient Romans, who made them a favorite holiday destination, building villas along the shores or near them.  Later on, the lakes enchanted and inspired travelers on the Grand Tour – among these were Byron, Stendhal, Rossini, Bellini, Shelley, Turner, Liszt, Dickens and Henry James, who wrote to his sister Alice, “One can’t describe the beauty of the Italian lakes, nor would one try if one could…it lay before me…the long gleam of the Major [Lake Maggiore]…”

With these glorious descriptions in mind, the Berkshire Botanical Garden invites you to join an eight-day excursion arranged by Classical Excursions of some of the most breathtakingly beautiful gardens and scenery in all of Italy, on Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, Verona and surrounding areas.

Judith Chatfield, veteran Italian garden expert, lecturer and author, will introduce you to the captivating villa and garden magic of the Lombardian lake region.  Retrace the steps of centuries of travelers to experience such villa and garden sights as Isola Madre, Isola Bella, Villa Taranto, Villa San Remigio, Villa Carlotta, Villa Balbianello, Villa della Porta Bozzolo, to name just a few.  Lunch at Villa Giusti, Grand Hotel Villa d’Este, Villa Cicogna, Villa Rizzardi and others.

Judith Chatfield is a lecturer and author of such books as A Tour of Italian Gardens and The Classic Italian Garden; she lived in Italy for a number of years. Over the years, Judith has lead many tours of Italian villas and gardens. For further information, contact Lani Summerville, director of Classical Excursions, at 413-446-8728, Tour price $3,700 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement available.

For a complete description of the tour, click here.

Tour leader Judith Chatfield will speak at BBG in November. More details to follow.


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