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!

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

Drafting for Garden Design (required level II) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 14 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Hort Certificate workshopClasses meet Wednesdays, September 14 – October 26, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

This seven-week studio intensive is essential for students who anticipate working in garden planning and design. Learn basic drafting skills necessary to record and effectively communicate scaled site plans. The first four weeks of the course will cover reference books, drafting supplies, media/paper types, line weights; lettering and scale reading. Drafting demonstrations will familiarize students with professional drawing techniques and the students will begin to draft basic site plans. Map making will be covered in week four. During the last half of the course, students will learn to develop a landscape graphic palette to illustrate trees, shrubs, perennials and ground covers as well as hardscape materials such as stone terraces, etc. Students will also learn professional rendering techniques using prismacolor pencils. This course is designed for beginners to intermediates and will prepare students for all design classes offered in the Horticultural Certificate Program. We strongly suggest that all students who anticipate working professionally in the field of horticulture complete this course. For materials list, click here.

$25 copy fee applies.

Instructor – Steven Foster, ASLA is a registered landscape architect in MA with over thirty years experience. He currently divides his time between private practice and teaching at the Landscape Design Institute affiliated with Arnold Arboretum and Harvard University.

Suggested texts:
Architectural Graphics
Frank Ching
John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 0471209066

Plan and Section Drawing
Thomas Wang
John Wiley & Sons
ISBN 0471286087

Landscape Graphics
Grant W. Reid ASLA
Watson-Guptill Publications

For materials list, click here.

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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