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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!

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

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
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.

Nov
1
Tue
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

Nov
29
Tue
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

Jan
3
Tue
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

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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