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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!

Jun
3
Fri
Benched @ Berkshire Botanical
Jun 3 @ 9:15 pm – Sep 15 @ 10:15 pm
Jun
4
Sat
Follow Your Nose: Fragrant Plants That Delight @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jun 4 @ 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

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

Join noted plantsman Andy Brand for an exploration of ornamental woodies and perennials that offer more than just visual appeal to our gardens. The plants highlighted in this lecture, given by the esteemed nursery manager of Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT, are noted for their olfactory appeal and were selected for their exceptional fragrances that warrant giving them a special place in the garden, whether near an entryway, alongside a terrace or deck, or planted along a woodland path so that they can be fully enjoyed. With garden space at a premium, Brand argues, why not choose plants that not only look beautiful but also delight our olfactory senses? Come learn how to make your garden a feast for all of your senses.

Andy Brand is Nursery Manager for Broken Arrow Nursery located in Hamden, CT. He received his BS and MS from the University of Connecticut in Horticulture and Plant Tissue Culture. For over two decades he has managed Broken Arrow Nursery, known for its rare and unusual woody plants. He is the former president of the American Rhododendron Society, past president of the Connecticut Butterfly Association, past President of Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA), and received the Young Nursery Professional Award from the New England Nursery Association. He is an amateur naturalist with a strong interest in native plants and attracting wildlife to yards.

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
11
Sat
Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jun 11 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Why do some gardens make us feel peaceful and refreshed? Landscape designer Jan Johnsen shares her passion for creating relaxing, enticing gardens and reveals the three qualities that contribute to a serene outdoor setting: simplicity, a sense of sanctuary, and delight. Learn how to create a sense of serenity in your own garden. Drawing on 40 years of professional experience in design and horticulture, Jan illuminates the role that layout, the power of place, color, trees, and even rocks play in enhancing our sense of well-being in an outdoor space. This beautifully illustrated talk includes a variety of verdant landscapes and examines how powerful sites can be enhanced, why contemplative gardens are well suited for the north side of a house, and what trees are best for adding certain unseen qualities to a garden. Following the lecture, Jan will be signing her latest book, Heaven is a Garden, Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection.

Jan Johnsen is a principal of the design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, in Westchester County, NY. She was also an adjunct professor at Columbia University for seven years and is an award-winning instructor at the New York Botanical Garden. Jan writes the popular garden blog ‘Serenity in the Garden’ and Facebook page ‘Serenity in the Garden blog’. A contributing editor for Garden Design magazine, she was awarded a 2014 Merit Award for Residential Design by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).

16.6.11 Serenity in the Graden

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
6
Wed
The Garden in Watercolors Session I: En Plein Air Watercolor Painting in the Summer Garden @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jul 6 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

This class meets on Wednesdays, July 6-27, 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 www.annkremers.com.

16.7.06 Watercolors in the garden Ann Kremers

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.

Jul
21
Thu
The Art of Cut Paper: Scherenschniite @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jul 21 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Bring a bag lunch. Click here for supply list. Materials fee of $10 paid directly to instructor.

Join cut-paper artist Pamela Dalton for a fun, hands-on workshop on the art of Scherenschniite (cut paper). Participants learn the techniques necessary to make small, beautiful images in cut paper, using farming and gardening imagery from the 19th-century as inspiration. Students will create a multitude of Scherenschniite, in the Pennsylvania German style. The instructor will also share paper cutting from a variety of other cultural and historic periods.

Artist Pamela Dalton‘s Scherenschnitte have delighted collectors worldwide for almost 25 years. Her work is created in the tradition of early-American paper cutting made popular by the Pennsylvania Dutch and is influenced by popular historical themes: patriotism, biblical and religious motifs, and scenes from rural life. Each piece is sketched freehand and then cut by hand, so no two are exactly alike. Each work is cut from a single piece of paper.

16.7.21 TheArt of Paper Cutting

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

Aug
3
Wed
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 www.annkremers.com.

16.7.06 Watercolors in the garden Ann Kremers

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