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!
Do you want the sights and smells of flowers in winter, but rising fuel costs seem to put a greenhouse out of reach? The solution—the subject of this class—is to go solar! You will learn the basic elements of a solar greenhouse, how to optimize greenhouse performance, how to operate month by month in response to the weather and how to choose plants that are growable and rewarding.
James Jones is a lifelong gardener and a member of many horticultural societies, with a particular interest in the North American Rock Garden Society, where he has been national president and chapter chair, as well as director of the Seed Exchange. He has recently published a book on his experiences using solar energy, Fall and Winter Bloom in the Solar Greenhouse. He often judges at the Boston Flower Show.
Dress for outdoors.
Assess the year’s gardening successes and failures, review the gardening events of the spring and summer and begin planning for next season. Consider winter interest in the garden and understand when to prune perennials. Learn how to prepare gardens for the coming winter season, including soil amendment, mulching, home a variety of seeds, cuttings and perennials for next season’s garden. cutting back, and fall division of perennials. Seed saving for the coming spring, division of plants that require fall planting, and bulb-planting techniques will be covered. Take
Elisabeth Cary is the Director of Education at the Berkshire Botanical Garden and has been gardening for over 25 years. She specializes in perennial, vegetable and mixed border gardens. She will share some favorite perennials from her own garden.
This lecture on growing garlic by “garden guru” Ron Kujawski—held just in time to plant your garlic—will inspire, inform and give you the information needed to grow the best garlic in town. Each student will go home with a selection of cloves of Ron’s favorite picks for Berkshire County and the surrounding area. Ron will cover selecting varieties, growing conditions, planting and cultivation of this great crop, as well as curing and storage. Consideration will be given to other allium groups, including shallots, leeks and onions.
Ron Kujawski 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.
We are almost full for this event! Please call the garden at 413.298.3926 to inquire about availability and purchase tickets .
Join former Sissinghurst head gardener Alexis Datta for a first-hand look at the gardening year at Britain’s fabled garden at Sissinghurst Castle in Kent, England. Designed by writer Vita Sackville-West and her diplomat husband Harold Nicolson, this iconic landscape is one of the most renowned gardens in the world. Portrait of a Garden gives a short history of Sissinghurst Castle, the gardens, the creators, its philosophy and a visual tour that is sure to inspire. The gardens at Sissinghurst have certainly evolved over the years since its inception in 1930 and, though being conserved, it is currently being gardened in a dynamic way. Get the down and dirty on gardening from the woman behind the scenes at this classic English garden.
Alexis Datta has been a professional gardener for over forty years and spent twenty-two of them as head gardener at Sissinghurst. She studied gardening at horticultural college in England, and has worked at several private and public gardens. In 1983 she joined the National Trust, which cares for many of Britain’s leading gardens and arrived at Sissinghurst in 1991.
Wear waterproof outerwear and boots; bring pruners.
Autumn is a great time to assess your woody plants for shape and structure. This demonstration/workshop will focus on pruning, including when, why and how to shape, renovate, train or rejuvenate your woody plants. Learn about pruning tools, timing and specific techniques available to the home gardener. Pruning techniques for both evergreen and deciduous hedges will be covered.
Ken Gooch is the Forest Health Program Director for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Additionally, he is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist and teaches arboriculture at the Garden. He lectures widely on a variety of topics including forest health, pruning and arboriculture.
Dress for weather.
Field, garden and farm edges are often overlooked and considered a management headache. However, at the edges there are many opportunities. Well designed hedgerows are important multi-functional spaces. We will focus on hedgerow design and function, species selection for productive edges, specialty crop management at the edges, incorporating habitat elements, windbreaks and hedgerows in urban and suburban settings.
Jono Neiger synthesizes his diverse expertise in permaculture design, conservation biology and restoration ecology to create productive and integrated landscapes. Working as collaborator, teacher and guide, Jono empowers individuals, communities and organizations to understand and steward their land and landscape through design. He is principal at Regenerative Design Group (www.regenerativedesigngroup.com), faculty at the Conway School of Landscape Design (www.csld.edu), board president of the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast and stewards his homestead, Hickory Garden, as well as Brook’s Bend Farm in Massachusetts.
Much like high school, the garden is a popularity contest, and as gardeners, we tend to be as sentimental about plants as we are about our school days. What to do when the prom queen of yesterday’s garden grows up to be a pampered mess and a constant source of maintenance? The answer lies in all-star plant problem-solvers. Author Andrew Keys talks about why we go to such lengths to grow problem plants, and counters with new favorites that prove to be sexier and more sustainable in every way.
Andrew Keys is a writer, designer and lifelong gardener. He is Garden Confidential podcaster at Fine Gardening magazine and author of Why Grow That When You Can Grow This?: 255 Extraordinary Alternatives to Everyday Problem Plants (Timber Press). Andrew’s feature articles have appeared in Fine Gardening, he’s written for Leaf Magazine and Coastal Home and he divides his time between plants and his work as web manager for the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
Join landscape designer Bridghe McCracken for a detailed program on how to create a biodiverse garden habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, bats and dragonflies—good for both the garden and the gardener. This program will give participants practical knowledge for how to plan and provide for wildlife based on ecological principles. Learn about the plants and plans needed to design a garden full of life for the property.
Bridghe McCracken has been designing biologically vibrant landscapes for over ten years. Her design and building company, Helia Land Design, specializes in ecological landscape design, land stewardship, ecosystem restoration and designing food systems. She is a certified Organic Landcare Professional from the Northeast Organic Farmers Association. In 2006 she began a partnership with Project Native as their Chief Landscape Designer, which allows her to stay abreast of the latest available native plants. She teaches permaculture as an adjunct professor at Bard College at Simon’s Rock.
This class has been cancelled and will be rescheduled for a future date. Please call the Garden at 413.298.3926 for more info.
All materials included in cost of workshop. Bring a plug-in hot glue gun with glue sticks (instructor will provide if needed).
Join floral artist and perennial-garden guru Barb May to learn how she creates charmingly wonderful, magical fairy houses and gnome homes. Designed for permanence, these tiny constructions appeal to old and young alike. This workshop will acquaint participants with ways to collect and prepare natural material from fields and forests and then demonstrate how to manipulate these found objects to create unique and charming structures. Participants will build a structure to take home using found natural material collected at the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
Barbara May is a professional gardener, prize-winning floral arranger, past president of the Lenox Garden Club and an accomplished teacher.
We’re sorry for any inconvenience, but due to the teacher of this course being called to jury duty, this class has been cancelled.
Bring pruners and gloves. Materials included in cost of class.
Create a beautiful evergreen wreath for the holidays using the bounty of the fields and forests of the Berkshires. Learn about the natural history of common and not-so-common plants that can be used to create interesting holiday decorations. Consider a wide selection of plant material, including evergreen boughs, berries, seedpods, fern fronds and moss. Construct and take home a simple evergreen wreath and the skill to create wreaths for holidays to come.