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!
Class nearing capacity. Call to register 413 298 3926 x.10
(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.
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.
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.
Classes meet on Mondays, September 12-26, 5:30 – 8:30pm.
Acquire a knowledge of the skills required for beautiful and successful container gardens. Start with techniques for overwintering tropicals, tender perennials, bulbs, annuals and more without a greenhouse through storage of dormant plants, seed collection, cuttings, divisions and other simple techniques. Get to know the plants that thrive in containers and how to care for them. This class will cover practical aspects of gardening with plants that do double duty as housescape plants in the winter and container plants in summer. Consider container selection, siting, planting, growing, controlling pests and maintaining moveable gardens.
Instructor – Jenna O’Brien
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.
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.
Classes meet on Thursdays, October 13 – November 3, 5:30 – 8:30pm.
This course will help students better understand the principles and practices of ecological gardening with a focus on native plant communities. Students will learn the native plant palette, resources needed to identify these communities and habitats and methods of introducing native plants into gardens. Identifying and controlling invasive plant species in addition to restoring areas that have been impacted by invasives will also be highlighted. Gardeners will learn how to enhance garden spaces with native plants (although not exclusively) that create sustainable and low maintenance gardens.
Instructor-Brad Roeller, B.S.
This course meets on Fridays, 1-4pm, October 21 & 28; November 11 & 18.
Whether you are an amateur or professional horticulturalist, you are a steward of the landscape, and probably spend more time than anyone among the flowers, shrubs, and trees. This course is designed for those who might not necessarily be first to climb 100 feet up a Northern Red Oak or wrangle the chainsaw to fell a 36″ dead American elm. The goal of this class is to empower horticulturalists to better understand the largest plants in the landscape. Learn the basics of tree biology and identification, the tree’s role in the ecosystem, proper selection, siting, planting considerations, pruning of young trees, fertilization, pest identification, and when to call in the certified arborist.
Instructor –Tom Ingersoll, B.A., M.A.A., I.S.A. is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist and is also certified by the International Society of Arborists. He owns Ingersoll Landcare located in Sheffield, MA, and has worked in the landscape industry for the past 22 years. He serves on boards of the Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Sheffield Tree Project.
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 project—start 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.
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.
Classes meet on Mondays, March 6– April 3, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.
Designed for those starting or caring for a vegetable garden, this course will include discussion of soil and nutrient management, seed selection, crop rotation schemes, bed preparation, seeding and planting, pest management and specific plant cultivation, all in the context of the different vegetable groups. Each week, students will investigate a different vegetable family to insure all questions are answered about cultivation of these important food groups, including: Fabaceae (peas/beans/other legumes), greens (lettuce/mustards/arugula/mache and more), herbs (perennial and annual), perennial vegetables (asparagus/ rhubarb/horseradish), Chenopodiaceae (beet/chard family), Brassicaceae (cabbage/cauliflower/kale/brussels sprout family), Cucurbitaceae (squash/pumpkin/cucumber/melon family), Poeaceae (corn family), Allioideae (onion/garlic/leek/shallot family), Solanaceae (tomato/eggplant/pepper/potato/sweet potato family) and Apiaceae (carrots/parsnips).
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S.
10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Spring Level III courses