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!

PlayDate: Designers Re-imagine Play House Structures @ Berkshire Botanical
May 26 @ 5:00 pm – Sep 24 @ 5:00 pm

Nine designers and builders interpret play house structures for Berkshire Botanical Garden’s summer exhibition, “PlayDate: Playhouses in the Garden” on display through September 24.

The PlayDate structures vary in size and theme, from a medieval fortress, to an outdoor transparent “play room” and a cubed, mirrored structure. Other designs include a tree trunk transformed into a hobbit house, a 19th Century shepherd’s wagon, a tee-pee made of saplings, a sanctuary, and an antique aviary tea party. A permanent installation at the Garden, the Martha Stewart Cottage, received a makeover for the exhibition, transforming the traditional garden cottage into a wild  woodland themed room inspired by the Garden’s own woodland trail. A total of 11 structures are included in the exhibition.

PlayDate is free with Garden admission and remains on display through September 24.

Read an overview of PlayDate in The Berkshire Edge.

Designers and builders:


Jeffrey All, Allwoodwork, Spencertown, New York
Keylonta – Creation and Consciousness: The Silent Sanctuary
Sit or lie down on the platform to enjoy the meditative space highlighted by a mirrored panel and plexi-glass accent rods.


Berkshire Botanical Garden
Where the Wild Things Are

Originally designed by guest gardener Martha Stewart, this heirloom cottage garden leads you to a wild and wondrous world of plants within, featuring an interior space inspired by BBG’s woodland trail and designed by BBG gardener Lou Kratt.


Robin Berthet, RBC Construction, Inc, Sheffield, MA
Lady Chatterley
Made from a design crafted on Google Sketchup, this 19th century-style shepherd’s hut is made of local cedar, mahogany, and locust. The wheels and chassis were manufactured by Cattail Foundry, an Amish family run foundry in Lancaster, PA. Interior design by Carey Herrington Home + Design of Hillsdale, NY.


Bill Cummings, Becket
Tree Teepee
Step inside this teepee made of hardwood saplings sheathed with beech branches. This playhouse serves to inspire you to create a similar structure in your own backyard – let your imagination take hold!


Tamarack Garlow, Canaan, New York
Sometimes the Best Playing is Just Sitting
Is it a chair, a playhouse, or both? Enjoy the Garden view from atop this eastern red cedar chair and then hunker down under its rough-cut pine seat to enter the special space below. 


Michael King, MPK Design, Sheffield, MA
Living from the Outside In
This outdoor “room” is designed to provide both refuge and transparency for all ages. Over time, it can also be transformed from playhouse to greenhouse to storage facility.


Matt Larkin, Black Barn Farm, Richmond, MA
Antique Aviary Tea Party
This circa 1880s wrought iron antique bird cage invites both song birds and children into its space. Join the tea party created out of a whimsical style incorporating repurposed elements, both manmade and made by nature.


Clarke Olsen, Clarke Olsen Design, Spencertown, NY
Step inside, see what’s outside. This wood, glass, and mirrored structure invites a retrospective approach to viewing the surrounding Garden.


Peter Thorne, West Stockbridge, MA
The Fort
Inspired by the designer’s grandchildren, this re-imagined medieval fortress is constructed from strong and durable black locust slabs, making it fortified and ready for battle.


Allen Timmons, Backyard Heirlooms, Great Barrington, MA
The Cottage for Kids
All six different sections of this structure are built of recycled cedar fence and stained with environmentally safe latex stains, providing a colorful, and especially “green” space for children.

Allen Timmons, Backyard Heirlooms, Great Barrington, MA
The Grownup Hobbit House
For the hobbit in all of us, a place for meditation and relaxation. This hollowed out giant white pine was hand carved, debarked, sanded, and treated with marine polyurethane. Roof is native white pine with red cedar shakes.


Fete Des Fleurs @ The Home of Ellen and Chris Greendale, Stockbridge, MA
Jul 28 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm


We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Fête des Fleurs, when we’ll be joined by friends from Berkshire non-profit cultural organizations to celebrate The Berkshire Eagle.

Friday, July 28, 2017
5:30 p.m. cocktails followed by dinner at 7:00
At the home of Ellen and Chris Greendale, Stockbridge, MA
For additional information and to reserve tickets, please call the Garden:
413 320-4794

The Grow Show @ The Garden
Aug 12 @ 12:00 pm – Aug 13 @ 5:00 pm

47th Annual
The Grow Show

Submit your own entries in the show or stop by and take in the talents of regional gardeners, flower designers, and photographers.
This Year Featuring:
House of Flowers

Our floral design and photography divisions are inspired by five historic homes:

Chesterwood, Frelinghuysen Morris House and Studio,
The Mount, Naumkeag, and Olana

Exhibition hours: August 12, noon – 5 p.m.  and August 13, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Free with Garden admission (check in at the Visitor Center when you arrive.)

All ages and experience levels are welcome to enter this blue-ribbon event!

Learn about the Floral Design Division
Learn about the Horticulture Division
Learn about the Photography Division


Garden Practicum (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 5 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 5, 5 pm

Garden practcium Tree Planting

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

Herbaceous Plants I (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 5 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

May 16 Land of Geraniums3Classes meet on Tuesdays, September 5 – 26, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

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

Click here for class handouts

Drafting for Garden Design (required level II) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 13 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Hort Certificate workshopClasses meet Wednesdays, September 13  – October 18, 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.

Discounted Cost for 3 Fall Level II Courses: $975

Designing the New Perennial Garden (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 28 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

This course meets on Thursdays, September 28 – October 19, 5:30 – 8:30 pm.

Developments in ecology and environmental science over the last 30 years have revolutionized the way we think of using perennials in gardens and landscapes all over Europe and North America. Whether it’s called “The Dutch Wave”, “The New Perennial Movement”, or “The New American Garden”, innovative gardeners and designers have reinvigorated the use and appreciation of herbaceous plantings worldwide. This class will provide an overview of the major concepts of this movement as well as hands-on experience of practical evaluation and design with herbaceous plants and grasses. We will spend time in the garden taking an in-depth look at plants, lecture time examining concepts and examples, and a design project will be assigned.

Instructor – Robert Anderson, B.F.A.

Ornamental Woody Plants (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 3 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

aboutgarden2Classes meet on Tuesdays, October 3 – 24, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

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.

Suggested texts:
Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Michael A. Dirr
Timber Press, Inc.  c.1997
ISBN 0-88192-404-0

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Michael A. Dirr
Fifth Edition
Stipes Publishing LLC c. 1975 Revised 1998
ISBN 0-87563-800-7

Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650 (edit)

Field Study of New England Plant Communities (H, D, NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 13 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

This class meets on Friday, October 13, 4 – 6 pm & Saturday, October 14 10 am – 4 pm

The Friday lecture will cover many of the forest, meadow, and wetland habitats found in Berkshire County, discussing their physical and ecological features–topography, geology, soils, and moisture–as well as their characteristic plant associations, including both common and rare plants. The Saturday field trip will take us to a variety of forested, open, and wetland habitats, and we will take a close look at the flora and features of each of them.  We will also discuss impacts of invasive species, and possible changes to natural communities in response to climate change. We will travel by passenger van.  Please dress for weather and bring a bagged lunch.

Instructor-Ted Elliman, M.S.

Extending the Season’s Harvest Growing Vegetables for Four Seasons @ Offsite in Tyringham, MA
Oct 22 @ 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Lecture/offsite field study to Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA (co-enrolled with Horticulture Certificate Program)

Learn how to extend the season’s harvest to enjoy your own garden greens throughout the late fall and early spring months. Consider growing under cover in an unheated greenhouse, cold frame or high/low poly tunnels, and learn techniques needed to achieve a true four-season harvest. Investigate a variety of structures and learn the pros and cons of each. Crop selection, soil preparation, timing, planting, cultivation and harvesting will be covered, with a focus on early and late season production. Following the lecture, Pete will lead a field study to Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, MA, and will explain season-extension structures and the various growing techniques.

Peter Salinetti owns Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA that grows vegetables and culinary herbs using traditional farming practices. For over 10 years they have grown local produce for Berkshire County families. Their vegetables are grown using environmentally sustainable gardening practices, and they produce amazing top-quality, delicious produce. Both Peter and his wife Jen are committed to raising awareness about the importance of the local food supply, along with teaching technical information on how to do so. They have lectured on growing food for both NOFA and other regional organizations.

September 21 Extending the Harvest

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