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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!

Aug
12
Fri
Birds of Prey with Tom Ricardi, Wildlife Rehabilitator @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 12 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

This program is free for members and children under 12; free with BBG admission for non-members.

Join wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi for his ever popular presentation on birds of prey. In this program designed for all ages, Tom will share the natural history of these magnificent raptors, demonstrate some of their unique behaviors, and inspire children of all ages to appreciate, respect, and conserve these important members of our wild kingdom.  

Tom Ricardi is a licensed rehabilitator and wildlife biologist. He runs Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway, MA, and is now retired after 40 years of service as a Massachusetts Environmental Conservation police officer.

Aug
19
Fri
The Caterpillar Lab @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 19 @ 11:00 am – 2:00 pm

This program is free for members and children under 12; free with BBG admission for non-members.

The Caterpillar Lab, a nationally acclaimed natural science organization based in Keene, NJ, is making a long-awaited visit to the BBG to introduce us to some lesser known native creatures that are often just outside of our own back doors. The program will include an array of caterpillars, voraciously munching on the plants that provide them with the sustenance essential to their growth and development. An educator from The Caterpillar Lab will teach us about caterpillar biology and the incredible but true stories about the strange and surprising adaptations of these curious baby Lepidoptera. From the camouflaged coverings that make them look like twigs or snakes and stinging spines that protect and hide them from predators to other species with strong mandibles and urticating hairs or bristles that help ensure their survival, caterpillars will be seen in a whole new light.

The Caterpillar Lab helps open people’s eyes to the natural value of their backyards, neighborhoods, and green spaces. By increasing their audience’s excitement for and investment in local natural surroundings, The Caterpillar Lab hopes to inspire people to make more caring and thoughtful decisions, not just about the natural world, but about their communities as a whole. Learn more on The Caterpillar Lab’s website. Visit the Lab’s Facebook page, “The Caterpillar Lab,” for exciting caterpillar photos and stories, updated weekly.

Aug
26
Fri
Frogs and Turtles of Berkshire County @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Aug 26 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm

This program is free for members and children under 12; free with BBG admission for non-members.

This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals of our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying frogs and turtles, details about their distinctive biology, and interesting facts about their behaviors and the methods these elusive creatures use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals and will have a few live frogs on hand to greet visitors. 

Tom Tyning is Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College. He specializes in reptiles and amphibians in his research and actively researches local rattlesnake populations.

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

Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 6, 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 6 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

May 16 Land of Geraniums3Classes meet on Tuesdays, September 6-27, 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

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

Sep
14
Wed
Drafting for Garden Design (required level II) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 14 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Hort Certificate workshopClasses meet Wednesdays, September 14 – October 26, 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
ISBN0823073327

For materials list, click here.

Oct
4
Tue
Ornamental Woody Plants (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 4 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

aboutgarden2Classes meet on Tuesdays, October 4-25, 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)

Oct
8
Sat
Harvest Festival @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 8 – Oct 9 all-day

Save the Date!

Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 2016 Harvest Festival will be held Columbus Day Weekend, Saturday and Sunday October 8th and 9th!

About the FestivalKids activites

For generations the Harvest Festival has been a cherished tradition in the Berkshires. It is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the county and 2015 event had the largest attendance ever with more than 12,000 visitors to the event. Proceeds from the event support educational programs at the Garden.

The Festival is a family-friendly celebration of community, showcasing local crafters & artists, non-stop entertainment, artisan food producers and food trucks. (See listing at the links below.)

It also features a silent auction and giant tag sales including — Housewares, the Opportunity Clothing Shop, Country Bazaar, Accessorize!, a Jewelry Boutique, and a Plant, Bulb a and Garden Accessory Sale — as well as a farmers market and zillions of kids activities, including a haunted house.

And don’t forget to check our new Botanical Garden section with the Educational Workshops and Demos, the Garden’s own Farm Camp, Hall of Pumpkins and much more.

If interested in being a vendor an entertainer, or providing an activity for kids. please contact Dana Audia, the Festival producer at daudia@berkshirebotanical.org., or call the Office: 413 298 3926.

Become a Festival Volunteer. Visit the volunteer page for available job descriptions and to learn how you can help. To volunteer, contact Cynthia Grippaldi at 413 298 3926.

Below are links to some of last year’s fun!

Stage Entertainment (and more)

Kids Activity List

Educational workshops Schedule 

Complete Vendor List (with links)

Harvest Festival Map

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.

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