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!
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 4 & 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
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.
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
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
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 project—start 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.
Classes meet on Wednesdays, January 25 – March 15, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.
Learn skills essential for effective functional garden design that honor the site and meet client needs. Each week will cover a different topic or technique focusing on the importance of getting to know the client and site as a basis of effective and appealing design. Essential and easy-to-grasp design principles for those who design or install gardens will be introduced throughout the course, with the goal of practicing a form-finding approach to garden design. The tools taught will provide a vocabulary essential for assessing a property’s potential and problems, and for asking the right questions to realize a client’s wishes while avoiding common design mistakes. Learn how to make well considered and sustainable choices for the elements and materials commonly used in the residential-scale garden. Students will select a project and take it from creative concept to completed design plan, including schematic drawings and planting plans. Each class will involve instruction and evaluation of projects in progress and will include both class instruction and studio time. Students will make a formal presentation at the final class.
Instructor – Chuck Schnell, M.A.; Guest Instructor– Walt Cudnohufsky, R.L.A., M.L.A.