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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!

May
26
Thu
Lost & Found— BBG Visits Untermyer Garden and Rocky Hills @ Offsite: Yonkers, NY and Mt. Kisco, NY
May 26 @ 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

This program is fully enrolled

Bring a bag lunch and dress for the weather: comfortable, sturdy footwear and warm, waterproof outerwear, umbrella.

This year’s annual spring field trip takes BBG to two gardens: one just coming into public life and one heading into the private sector. The day begins with a visit to Untermyer Garden in Yonkers, NY, once the private garden and estate of Samuel Untermyer. Beginning in 1899, Untermyer spent the next 40 years attempting to make his garden and greenhouse the most extraordinary private horticultural endeavor in the country. Since 2011, a conservancy, under the guidance of Marco Polo Stufano of Wave Hill fame, has been working along with the city of Yonkers to restore Untermyer Garden to its former glory. The tour will include the Indo-Persian-inspired Walled Garden; the Vista, modeled on a similar series of descending stairs at the Villa D’Este in Italy; the Temple of Love; and other gardens at various stages in the restoration process.

Following a picnic lunch on the grounds, the tour will travel north to the much-loved Rocky Hills, the 12-acre strolling garden that once belonged to Henriette and William Suhr. A Garden Conservancy Project Garden, Rocky Hills was to be turned into a public garden upon its owner’ s death, but due to a variety of reasons, is now being sold privately with the proceeds being used to create a foundation to help support horticultural and environmental causes. This may be one of the last times this extraordinary garden, replete with it naturalistic water and rock gardens, azalea and rhododendron borders, and meadows and conifer collections, will be available for public viewing.

5.26.16LostandFoundAnnual Field Trip

Jun
9
Thu
Madcap Tour of Midtown Manhattan Pocket Parks with Landscape Architect David Dew Bruner @ Offsite: New York City
Jun 9 @ 11:00 am – 3:30 pm

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.

16.6.09 Pocket parks of NYC Greenacres

Jun
18
Sat
From a Designer’s View: Edith Wharton’s The Mount @ Offsite: The Mount, Lenox, MA
Jun 18 @ 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

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.

16.6.18 Designers View The Mount 1

Jul
14
Thu
The Evolution of a Landscape: The Garden of Lee Link @ Offsite: Sharon, CT
Jul 14 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

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.

Aug
2
Tue
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

Sep
1
Thu
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.

Sep
12
Mon
Gardening in Pots: How to Design, Plant, Maintain, and Winterize Container Gardens and Plants (H,D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 12 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

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

Oct
13
Thu
Gardening with Native Plant Communities (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 13 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

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.

Jan
12
Thu
The Business of Gardening (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 12 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

017Classes meet on Thursdays, 1-5pm: December 12-26, 2017.

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 projectstart 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.

Feb
2
Thu
Greenhouse and Plant Conservatory Management (H) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 2 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

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.

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