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!

Large and Small: Two Gardens (Maywood and the Garden of Peter Wooster) That Take Their Cues from the Connecticut Landscape @ Offsite: Bridgewater and Roxbury, CT
Aug 2 @ 10:00 am – 2:30 pm

(10:00am – 2:30pm is time onsite in CT)
Travel  directions will be e-mailed one week prior to the program.

Visit two remarkable garden gems in the lower Litchfield Hills of Connecticut. One large and one small, both filled with inspiration. First, in the morning, the tour will meet head gardener Greg Bollard for an insider’s view of Maywood Garden, a private estate located in Bridgewater, on the southernmost edge of Litchfield County. In this garden, classic architecture combines with traditional garden style, as the garden beds and borders unfold across the property and link to Maywood’s panoramic view of the Berkshire foothills. The formally structured gardens surrounding the main residence lead out to more naturalized gardens and woodland trails. Additionally, various production gardens and an extensive greenhouse are integrated into the 40-acre landscape, providing fresh-cut flowers, vegetables, and field crops, which are available for sale at the Bridgewater Village Store. Greg will share how the Maywood staff work to prioritize sound agricultural practices and stewardship of the land that encourage wildlife through the use of IPM (Integrated Pest Management), bee-keeping, and the planting of an array of berry-producing species to attract birds to the garden’s bluebird trail. 

From Maywood, the tour travels north to the garden of Peter Wooster, a revered jewel-of-a-garden in Roxbury, Connecticut, that has been long-admired for its intimate design and incredible collection of plants. Rob Girard, gardener extraordinaire (and a contributor to BBG’s Contained Exuberance show this summer) will take us on a tour through this four-square garden. Begun more than 25 years ago as a collector’s garden by architect and landscape designer Peter Wooster, the original guiding principle was “We’ll take one of everything”. Over time it became recognized for its great plantsmanship and unusual perennials, shrubs, annuals, and exotics, as well as for its simple but elegant architectural form. Covering only a half acre, there are six large, rectangular beds framed by grass paths with a border that ties it all together. The paths serve to contain the mixed English border-style plantings that have been referred to as ‘a botanical zoo’. Over the years, the maturing trees and shrubs have turned what was once a mostly sunny perennial garden into a mostly woody garden with a change in scale and light. The plantings have evolved to support the changing conditions, fostering the garden’s diversity while continuing to be of great interest to visitors and still maintaining its primacy as an organizing point for this artful collector’s garden.

16.8.02 Mayood garden & Peter Wooster

The Garden in Watercolors Session II: En Plein Air Watercolor Painting in the Summer Garden @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 3 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

This class meets on Wednesdays, August 3 – 24, 10am – 1pm.

Seeing and painting the garden en plein air is the subject of this class. Students of all levels are welcome; no experience is necessary. The first session will focus on drawing forms, finding compositions and simple, direct color schemes. Composition will be stressed. Each class will begin with an introduction and demonstration by the instructor and then move into the garden to paint, with the instructor circulating among the students to provide input and answer questions. Participants can attend the whole series or pick and choose individual dates; however, everyone is encouraged to attend the first meeting of either session, when the basics of watercolor, paint, brushes, and paper will be explained.

Click here for materials list.

Ann Kremers is an artist and calligrapher. Her work is currently focused on watercolor and drawing media. She has received commissions for paintings, drawings, illustrated and calligraphed citations and awards, artists’ books, and botanical drawings. Ann lives in Bennington, VT, and teaches throughout Berkshire County. Examples of her work can be viewed at

16.7.06 Watercolors in the garden Ann Kremers

Epimediums: Not Just a Ground Cover @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 6 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

(co-sponsored with the Berkshire Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society)

Perkins of Garden Vision Epimediums. Known by many as the ultimate groundcover for dry shade, the increased availability of this useful genus is expanding its role in the garden. The delicate beauty that these plants and their flowers possess belies their surprisingly tough, long-lasting nature and their ability to perform in the ornamental shade border. As Karen shares the history and culture of this up-and-coming genus, from its growth habit and propagation to management of pests and diseases and possible planting combinations, attendees will be inspired to experiment with the ever increasing selection of these shade-loving plants. Plants will also be available for sale after the talk.

Karen Perkins is owner of Garden Vision Epimediums, a mail-order nursery offering 160 species and varieties of epimedium along with other choice shade perennials. She lectures frequently at botanic gardens throughout New England.

16.8.06 Epimediums Karen Perkins

Observing Nature: Basic Drawing with Graphite Pencil @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 8 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This class is fully enrolled.  To join the wait list call 413 298 3926 ext 10. Amy Butterworth

This class meets on Monday and Tuesday, August 8 and 9, 10am – 4pm.

Learn how to draw what you see in nature. This two-day intensive workshop will give participants the basics concepts and skills to get started or an opportunity to refine their abilities. Under the guidance of noted botanical illustrator Carol Ann Morley, class members learn how to improve eye-hand coordination; search for shapes that give definition to a subject; draw accurately and in proportion; employ shading techniques with graphite pencils; and capture the basic shapes that underlie any subject from a plant to a landscape.

Click here for materials list.

Carol Ann Morley is an illustrator and dedicated teacher of botanical illustration working in Dover, NH. She founded the Botanical Art Illustration Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Garden and teaches illustration there and at other botanical gardens.

16.8.08 Botanical Illustration Graphite Pencil Basics

Botanical Illustration: A Focus on White @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 10 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

This program is fully enrolled. To join the wait list please call  413 298 3926 x 10

This class meets on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, August 10, 11, and 12, 10am – 4pm.

Bring a bag lunch. Click here for materials list.

This intensive workshop is geared toward the intermediate illustrator and will focus on drawing nature’s white objects, always so captivating to observe firsthand but so challenging to interpret on paper. A white swan, an alabaster peony, a regal lily, a snowy owl, and a Persian cat all retain a luminous quality in our minds, but for the artist, they present challenges. Find out how to retain those lovely whites while creating tonal shadow and capturing form. Botanical illustrator Carol Ann Morley will gently guide participants through this process and demonstrate effective techniques for capturing elusive white forms. Using simple approaches such as working on dark-toned pastel paper will help perk the brilliance of the white subject, as will the use of some colored pencils in the palette, reserving the white pencil for the drama of the piece. Students should bring a variety of subjects to choose from to class that they would enjoy portraying; both images and actual objects make good references for this study. The subject may be animal, vegetable, or mineral, a purely white subject or one that is white with another color. Along with learning techniques that will bring the subject forth, Carol will also discuss composition that will give the subject presence, elegance, and drama.

Some colored pencil experience is advisable.

Carol Ann Morley is an illustrator and dedicated teacher of botanical illustration working in Dover, NH. She founded the Botanical Art Illustration Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Garden and teaches illustration there and at other botanical gardens.

Family Fridays: Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi, Wildlife Rehabilitator @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 12 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

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

Join wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi for his ever popular presentation on birds of prey. In this program designed for all ages, Tom will share the natural history of these magnificent raptors, demonstrate some of their unique behaviors, and inspire children of all ages to appreciate, respect, and conserve these important members of our wild kingdom.  

Tom Ricardi is a licensed rehabilitator and wildlife biologist. He runs Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway, MA, and is now retired after 40 years of service as a Massachusetts Environmental Conservation police officer.

Family Fridays: The Caterpillar Lab @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 19 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

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

The Caterpillar Lab, a nationally acclaimed natural science organization based in Keene, NJ, is making a long-awaited visit to the BBG to introduce us to some lesser known native creatures that are often just outside of our own back doors. The program will include an array of caterpillars, voraciously munching on the plants that provide them with the sustenance essential to their growth and development. An educator from The Caterpillar Lab will teach us about caterpillar biology and the incredible but true stories about the strange and surprising adaptations of these curious baby Lepidoptera. From the camouflaged coverings that make them look like twigs or snakes and stinging spines that protect and hide them from predators to other species with strong mandibles and urticating hairs or bristles that help ensure their survival, caterpillars will be seen in a whole new light.

The Caterpillar Lab helps open people’s eyes to the natural value of their backyards, neighborhoods, and green spaces. By increasing their audience’s excitement for and investment in local natural surroundings, The Caterpillar Lab hopes to inspire people to make more caring and thoughtful decisions, not just about the natural world, but about their communities as a whole. Learn more on The Caterpillar Lab’s website. Visit the Lab’s Facebook page, “The Caterpillar Lab,” for exciting caterpillar photos and stories, updated weekly.

Cocktails in Great Gardens – The home of Larry Wente and Jack Hyland
Aug 19 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm


The final Cocktails in Great Gardens of 2016 is at the home and garden of Larry Wente and Jack Hyland in Millerton, NY. Hors d’oeuvres, a cold refreshment, and the warm summer light of late afternoon are the perfect companions to take in some of the area’s most spectacular private gardens through our Cocktails in Great Gardens series.  It’s a rare opportunity to roam these private spaces with the gardeners themselves that you will not want to miss.  







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.

Ariella Chezar: The Flower Workshop @ Zonneveld Farm, Columbia County, NY
Sep 1 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

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 know. 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 recognize 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.

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