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!
Participants will have the option to meet at Grand Central Station at 11 am or to travel with BBG trip-leader Elisabeth Cary from Wassaic, NY, taking Metro-North to Grand Central Terminal. Departure time from Wassaic is 8:25 am. Return to Wassaic at approximately 5:50 pm.
Cost of program does not include train fare or lunch.
Join award-winning landscape architect David Dew Bruner for a lively walking tour of midtown Manhattan with a focus on open spaces and vest-pocket parks. Many of the spaces this class will explore are known as mitigation spaces and were acquired by the city of New York from developers who were given zoning variances. These parks contribute small but important open spaces throughout midtown. Led by the former deputy administrator of Riverside Park, this class (limited in size by the nature of the tour) will visit these spaces, as well as a few accessible private garden spaces. Starting at Grand Central Station, the group then heads northward through midtown to a multitude of gardens and open spaces, including ones at the Ford Foundation, Grace Plaza, Rockefeller Center, Greenacres Park, the Villard Houses, Paley Park, and Exxon Passageway, grabbing a quick lunch along the way before returning to Grand Central Station. This will be a long and rewarding day, but participants should be prepared to walk for the majority of the afternoon with occasional rests on benches at some of the sites.
David Dew Bruner, ASLA, is an award-winning landscape architect and fine artist with over 35 years of experience, ranging from Deputy Administrator of Riverside Park, NYC, to amusement park design, historical restoration, and all scales of residential design. Originally from New Orleans, he has a BLA and a BFA from LSU as well as a MLA from the University of Massachusetts.
Participants should meet in the parking lot of The Mount, Lenox, MA. Dress for outdoors with sturdy walking shoes.
Tour the gardens at The Mount, the estate designed and built by writer Edith Wharton in neighboring Lenox at the turn of the century, and see this important historical garden through the eyes of landscape architect Walter Cudnohufsky, whose popular informative tours are not to be missed.
In her time, Wharton was an authority on European landscape design and a passionate gardener who envisioned her gardens as an elegant series of outdoor rooms. She planned them to work in concert with the house and the surrounding natural landscape. The three acres of formal gardens that surround the house were part of a four-year garden restoration and have been replanted with flowering shrubs and the many varieties of native ferns that Wharton personally collected on expeditions around the Berkshires. The gardens include an Italian walled garden; a formal flower garden; a rock garden; a lime walk; and grass terraces. Wharton designed and built The Mount in 1902, based on the principles outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses (1897), co-authored with assisting architect Ogden Codman, Jr.
As Walt shares his insights into the design principles that make the gardens at The Mount successful, participants will take part in a detailed and lively group discussion, learning about garden design as a set of planned relationships and an exercise in restraint. The walking workshop will focus on the ten important garden design principles set forth in Walt’s soon-to-be-published book. This experience will allow participants to understand and appreciate the landscape around them in a deeper manner.
Walter Cudnohufsky, MLA, is a long-time dedicated teacher. Having founded and for 20 years directed the nationally acclaimed Conway (MA) School of Landscape Design, he has honed a reasoned approach to planning and design. Currently, his firm is engaged in numerous and diverse planning/design projects throughout the region.
Come tour the fabulous Sharon, CT, garden of Lee Link and learn how this creative hillside garden has changed over the years to meet the needs and interest of this talented plantswoman. From its cedar greenhouse to the terraced gardens replete with rills and borders that playfully combine edible and ornamentals plants, this living landscape is filled with ideas that are sure to inspire us to move our own gardens forward. Horticulturist Bridget Lynch, who also works with Bunny Williams at her garden in nearby Falls Village, will lead this insider’s tour of one the Northwest corners’ most beloved gardens.
Directions to Lee Link’s garden are available upon registration.
(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.
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.
Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 6, 5 pm
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
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
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.
Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Michael A. Dirr
Timber Press, Inc. c.1997
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Michael A. Dirr
Stipes Publishing LLC c. 1975 Revised 1998
Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650 (edit)
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
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.
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