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!
Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 6, 5 pm
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
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
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
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.
John Wiley & Sons
Plan and Section Drawing
John Wiley & Sons
Grant W. Reid ASLA
For materials list, click here.
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.
Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Michael A. Dirr
Timber Press, Inc. c.1997
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Michael A. Dirr
Stipes Publishing LLC c. 1975 Revised 1998
Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650 (edit)
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.
This course meets on Fridays, 1-4pm, October 21 & 28; November 11 & 18.
Whether you are an amateur or professional horticulturalist, you are a steward of the landscape, and probably spend more time than anyone among the flowers, shrubs, and trees. This course is designed for those who might not necessarily be first to climb 100 feet up a Northern Red Oak or wrangle the chainsaw to fell a 36″ dead American elm. The goal of this class is to empower horticulturalists to better understand the largest plants in the landscape. Learn the basics of tree biology and identification, the tree’s role in the ecosystem, proper selection, siting, planting considerations, pruning of young trees, fertilization, pest identification, and when to call in the certified arborist.
Instructor –Tom Ingersoll, B.A., M.A.A., I.S.A. is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist and is also certified by the International Society of Arborists. He owns Ingersoll Landcare located in Sheffield, MA, and has worked in the landscape industry for the past 22 years. He serves on boards of the Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Sheffield Tree Project.
This fast-paced, information-saturated clinic will introduce design students, home owners others to an opportunity-finding and problem-solving design process. It will lead to the basic conceptual elements of a landscape master plan. All attendees will participate in the process of observing and designing. Students will come away coherent examples of how design happens. An active discussion format will focus on common design principles. A step-by-step PowerPoint presentation will focus the discussion later in the afternoon. This all-day workshop is a prerequisite for Landscape Design Clinic Level II course offered in spring 2017. The field trip is held rain or shine.
Instructor – Walter Cudnohufsky, M.L.A. is a long-time dedicated teacher. Having founded and for twenty years directed the nationally acclaimed Conway (Mass.) School of Landscape Design, he has honed a reasoned approach to planning design. Currently his firm is engaged in many diverse and stimulating planning/design projects throughout the region.
Discounted price for 3 Fall Level II courses: $725
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
Learn how to design a planting plan for private and public garden spaces. Explore the manipulation of space by using plant material through a series of exercises dealing with form, color and texture. Students will consider the nature of plant characteristics in specific design settings. Style of house will be used for a source of inspiration while honoring the horticultural needs of each plant. Students will make presentations for each project and class critiques will be positive, instructive and essential to the learning process. This is a participatory class. Required text: Professional Planting Design by Scott Scarfone. Prerequisites: Herbaceous Plants, Ornamental Woody Plants, Drafting for Garden Design. For materials list, click here.
Instructor – 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 form the University of Massachusetts.
Professional Planting Design: An Architectural and Horticultural Approach to Creating a Mixed Bed
John Wiley Publishers