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!

Soil and Soil Amendments (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 1 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Rhus aromatica Grow LoClasses meet on Wednesdays, November 1-22, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

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

Plant Health Care (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 29 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

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.

Suggested text:
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

Texture for front of Border Alchemilla, Geranium

The Science of Plant Propagation (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 3 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Tuesdays, January 3 – 24, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Learn the art and science of plant propagation with a focus on the basic botany needed to understand and successfully propagate plants. Sexual and asexual propagation methods including sowing seeds, cuttings, grafting, layering and division will be covered. Students will learn the fascinating science behind propagation along with the various techniqes used to propagate plants. $35 materials fee.

Instructor – Adam Wheeler, B.S.

Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $585

15.10.31 Taking Cuttings woody Plant Propagation

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.

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.

Landscape Design I (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 28 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Tuesdays, January 28 – April 11.

This design course will introduce students to the design process—the systematic way designers approach a site and client. The course will include a series of simple projects that will end with a garden designed by the students. Learn design principles such as form, balance, repetition, line, texture, color, and spatial relationships. Additionally, students will be introduced to history and how it helps the designer resolve and inspire garden design. As the adage goes, we cannot escape our history so we have to understand where we came from.

Instructor- David Dew Bruner A.S.L.A.

Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $585

Sustainable Landscape Care & Garden Maintenance (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 28 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Tuesdays, February 28 – April 11, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Learn about the maintenance considerations that should be integrated into the design process. Students’ horticultural knowledge will expand to factor sustainable maintenance concerns with cost effectiveness into plant selection. Learn procedures for perennials, woody plants and lawns, including transplanting, staking, fertilizing, winterizing, mulching, plant pathology and pest control with an emphasis on deer control.

Instructor – Brad Roeller, B.S.

Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $585

Organic Vegetable Gardening (H, D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Mar 6 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

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

Peter Salinetti Hort Certificate

Come Learn

Connect With Us


Berkshires In Bloom


Be A Force Of Nature