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!
10am – 3:30pm is time onsite at Stonecrop and Wethersfield. Carpool, departing at 8am, is available from BBG.
Join the staff of the Berkshire Botanical Garden for an early spring study tour of two exceptional landscapes. At Stonecrop Gardens, the noted home of Garden Conservancy founder Frank Cabot, gardener Robin Young will focus on spring flowering bulbs and woodland plants as she leads the group through the garden, as well as the extraordinary glass conservatory and the stone-trough alpine collection, which will be in full bloom. The visit will also include a tour of Stonecrop’s beautiful water garden and the early-spring perennial borders. Following a picnic lunch, the tour heads north to Wethersfield Garden, originally the country estate of Chauncey Devereux Stillman, in Amenia, NY. The 1,200-acre estate, filled with carriage trails, is on the highest point in the region and provides panoramic views of the Catskills to the west and the Berkshires to the north. The Italianate garden is noted for its design and structure, and attendees will enjoy comparing these two very different approaches of these properties to gardening in the Hudson Valley.
Gardener Robin Young joined the Stonecrop horticulture team in 1999 after completing her MS in Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Design at The University of Tennessee. She divides her time between coordinating educational events and delving into horticultural projects ranging from seed collection to facilitating the planting of 25,000 bulbs annually.
CLASS IS NEARING CAPACITY. CALL 413-298-3926 TO REGISTER. $35 MEMBERS, $45 NONMEMBERS
This class is perfectly suited for procrastinating vegetable gardeners and newcomers to the potager. Just in the nick of time, garden expert Ron Kujawski steps in with a “get-going” lecture and pep talk, workshop, and garden tour designed to help participants get a vegetable garden going this spring. This program, designed to teach elementary vegetable gardening skills along with advanced practices for more seasoned kitchen gardeners, covers site selection, soil preparation, selection of crops, planting plans, growing and harvesting, and pest management. Participants will get hands-on experience sowing and transplanting and will go home with a variety of seedlings, including ‘Tom Thumb’ and ‘Mayan Jaguar’ lettuces; ‘Sungold’ and ‘Black Krim’ tomatoes; ‘Carmen’ and ‘Shishito’ peppers; and more—all ready for setting out in the garden to provide their bounty in the coming season. Participants also will go home with all of their questions answered by our favorite vegetable garden guru.
Ron Kujawski, Ph.D., is the former Landscape and Nursery Specialist for UMass Cooperative Extension. He is a garden writer, educator, and researcher in IPM, plant nutrition, and soil science. He teaches for the horticultural industry throughout New England and has the most amazing home vegetable garden.
Join herbalist, wildcrafter, permaculturist, and author Dina Falconi on a plant expedition through the gardens, meadows, and woodland edges of the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Learn to identify a variety of edible and medicinal plants using basic sensory skills, and discover how these plants are used for cooking, medicine, and other pleasurable pursuits. This walk will include practical information on harvest and preparation of foraged plants. Following the program, Dina, a founding member of the Northeast Herbal Association, a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and an organizer of Slow Food-Hudson Valley, will be selling and signing her beautiful book, Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook. Bring a notepad, camera, and water bottle.
Dina Falconi is a clinical herbalist with a strong focus on food activism and nutritional healing. An avid gardener, wildcrafter, and permaculturalist, Dina has been teaching classes about the use of herbs for food, medicine, and pleasure, including wild-food foraging and cooking, for more than 20 years. She produces Falcon Formulations natural body-care products and Earthly Extracts medicinal tinctures. She is a founding member of the Northeast Herbal Association, a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation, and an organizer of Slow Food – Hudson Valley. She is the author of Earthly Bodies & Heavenly Hair: Natural and Healthy Personal Care for Everybody and Foraging & Feasting: A Field Guide and Wild Food Cookbook. www.botanicalartspress.com
Bring a bag lunch and dress for the weather: comfortable, sturdy footwear and warm, waterproof outerwear, umbrella.
This year’s annual spring field trip takes BBG to two gardens: one just coming into public life and one heading into the private sector. The day begins with a visit to Untermyer Garden in Yonkers, NY, once the private garden and estate of Samuel Untermyer. Beginning in 1899, Untermyer spent the next 40 years attempting to make his garden and greenhouse the most extraordinary private horticultural endeavor in the country. Since 2011, a conservancy, under the guidance of Marco Polo Stufano of Wave Hill fame, has been working along with the city of Yonkers to restore Untermyer Garden to its former glory. The tour will include the Indo-Persian-inspired Walled Garden; the Vista, modeled on a similar series of descending stairs at the Villa D’Este in Italy; the Temple of Love; and other gardens at various stages in the restoration process.
Following a picnic lunch on the grounds, the tour will travel north to the much-loved Rocky Hills, the 12-acre strolling garden that once belonged to Henriette and William Suhr. A Garden Conservancy Project Garden, Rocky Hills was to be turned into a public garden upon its owner’ s death, but due to a variety of reasons, is now being sold privately with the proceeds being used to create a foundation to help support horticultural and environmental causes. This may be one of the last times this extraordinary garden, replete with it naturalistic water and rock gardens, azalea and rhododendron borders, and meadows and conifer collections, will be available for public viewing.
(co-sponsored with the Berkshire Chapter of the North American Rock Garden Society)
Join noted plantsman Andy Brand for an exploration of ornamental woodies and perennials that offer more than just visual appeal to our gardens. The plants highlighted in this lecture, given by the esteemed nursery manager of Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT, are noted for their olfactory appeal and were selected for their exceptional fragrances that warrant giving them a special place in the garden, whether near an entryway, alongside a terrace or deck, or planted along a woodland path so that they can be fully enjoyed. With garden space at a premium, Brand argues, why not choose plants that not only look beautiful but also delight our olfactory senses? Come learn how to make your garden a feast for all of your senses.
Andy Brand is Nursery Manager for Broken Arrow Nursery located in Hamden, CT. He received his BS and MS from the University of Connecticut in Horticulture and Plant Tissue Culture. For over two decades he has managed Broken Arrow Nursery, known for its rare and unusual woody plants. He is the former president of the American Rhododendron Society, past president of the Connecticut Butterfly Association, past President of Connecticut Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA), and received the Young Nursery Professional Award from the New England Nursery Association. He is an amateur naturalist with a strong interest in native plants and attracting wildlife to yards.
Participants will have the option to meet at Grand Central Station at 11 am or to travel with BBG trip-leader Elisabeth Cary from Wassaic, NY, taking Metro-North to Grand Central Terminal. Departure time from Wassaic is 8:25 am. Return to Wassaic at approximately 5:50 pm.
Cost of program does not include train fare or lunch.
Join award-winning landscape architect David Dew Bruner for a lively walking tour of midtown Manhattan with a focus on open spaces and vest-pocket parks. Many of the spaces this class will explore are known as mitigation spaces and were acquired by the city of New York from developers who were given zoning variances. These parks contribute small but important open spaces throughout midtown. Led by the former deputy administrator of Riverside Park, this class (limited in size by the nature of the tour) will visit these spaces, as well as a few accessible private garden spaces. Starting at Grand Central Station, the group then heads northward through midtown to a multitude of gardens and open spaces, including ones at the Ford Foundation, Grace Plaza, Rockefeller Center, Greenacres Park, the Villard Houses, Paley Park, and Exxon Passageway, grabbing a quick lunch along the way before returning to Grand Central Station. This will be a long and rewarding day, but participants should be prepared to walk for the majority of the afternoon with occasional rests on benches at some of the sites.
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 from the University of Massachusetts.
Why do some gardens make us feel peaceful and refreshed? Landscape designer Jan Johnsen shares her passion for creating relaxing, enticing gardens and reveals the three qualities that contribute to a serene outdoor setting: simplicity, a sense of sanctuary, and delight. Learn how to create a sense of serenity in your own garden. Drawing on 40 years of professional experience in design and horticulture, Jan illuminates the role that layout, the power of place, color, trees, and even rocks play in enhancing our sense of well-being in an outdoor space. This beautifully illustrated talk includes a variety of verdant landscapes and examines how powerful sites can be enhanced, why contemplative gardens are well suited for the north side of a house, and what trees are best for adding certain unseen qualities to a garden. Following the lecture, Jan will be signing her latest book, Heaven is a Garden, Designing Serene Outdoor Spaces for Inspiration and Reflection.
Jan Johnsen is a principal of the design/build firm, Johnsen Landscapes & Pools, in Westchester County, NY. She was also an adjunct professor at Columbia University for seven years and is an award-winning instructor at the New York Botanical Garden. Jan writes the popular garden blog ‘Serenity in the Garden’ and Facebook page ‘Serenity in the Garden blog’. A contributing editor for Garden Design magazine, she was awarded a 2014 Merit Award for Residential Design by the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD).
Participants should meet in the parking lot of The Mount, Lenox, MA. Dress for outdoors with sturdy walking shoes.
Tour the gardens at The Mount, the estate designed and built by writer Edith Wharton in neighboring Lenox at the turn of the century, and see this important historical garden through the eyes of landscape architect Walter Cudnohufsky, whose popular informative tours are not to be missed.
In her time, Wharton was an authority on European landscape design and a passionate gardener who envisioned her gardens as an elegant series of outdoor rooms. She planned them to work in concert with the house and the surrounding natural landscape. The three acres of formal gardens that surround the house were part of a four-year garden restoration and have been replanted with flowering shrubs and the many varieties of native ferns that Wharton personally collected on expeditions around the Berkshires. The gardens include an Italian walled garden; a formal flower garden; a rock garden; a lime walk; and grass terraces. Wharton designed and built The Mount in 1902, based on the principles outlined in her influential book, The Decoration of Houses (1897), co-authored with assisting architect Ogden Codman, Jr.
As Walt shares his insights into the design principles that make the gardens at The Mount successful, participants will take part in a detailed and lively group discussion, learning about garden design as a set of planned relationships and an exercise in restraint. The walking workshop will focus on the ten important garden design principles set forth in Walt’s soon-to-be-published book. This experience will allow participants to understand and appreciate the landscape around them in a deeper manner.
Walter Cudnohufsky, MLA, is a long-time dedicated teacher. Having founded and for 20 years directed the nationally acclaimed Conway (MA) School of Landscape Design, he has honed a reasoned approach to planning and design. Currently, his firm is engaged in numerous and diverse planning/design projects throughout the region.
This class meets on Wednesdays, July 6-27, 10am – 1pm.
Seeing and painting the garden en plein air is the subject of this class. Students of all levels are welcome; no experience is necessary. The first session will focus on drawing forms, finding compositions and simple, direct color schemes. Composition will be stressed. Each class will begin with an introduction and demonstration by the instructor and then move into the garden to paint, with the instructor circulating among the students to provide input and answer questions. Participants can attend the whole series or pick and choose individual dates; however, everyone is encouraged to attend the first meeting of either session, when the basics of watercolor, paint, brushes, and paper will be explained.
Click here for materials list.
Ann Kremers is an artist and calligrapher. Her work is currently focused on watercolor and drawing media. She has received commissions for paintings, drawings, illustrated and calligraphed citations and awards, artists’ books, and botanical drawings. Ann lives in Bennington, VT, and teaches throughout Berkshire County. Examples of her work can be viewed at www.annkremers.com.
Come tour the fabulous Sharon, CT, garden of Lee Link and learn how this creative hillside garden has changed over the years to meet the needs and interest of this talented plantswoman. From its cedar greenhouse to the terraced gardens replete with rills and borders that playfully combine edible and ornamentals plants, this living landscape is filled with ideas that are sure to inspire us to move our own gardens forward. Horticulturist Bridget Lynch, who also works with Bunny Williams at her garden in nearby Falls Village, will lead this insider’s tour of one the Northwest corners’ most beloved gardens.
Directions to Lee Link’s garden are available upon registration.