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!

Growing Garlic @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 12 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

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.

October 12 Growing Garlic

Sissinghurst: Portrait of a Garden @ Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 19 @ 2:00 pm

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.Sissinghurst2

 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.Oct 19 Portrait of a Garden Alexis Datta(1)

Pruning Shrubs and Small Ornamental Trees @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 26 @ 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

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.

Hedgerows and Windbreaks for Farm, Garden & Home Landscapes @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 26 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

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. October 26 Hedgrows

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 (, faculty at the Conway School of Landscape Design (, board president of the Permaculture Institute of the Northeast and stewards his homestead, Hickory Garden, as well as Brook’s Bend Farm in Massachusetts.

Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? Timber Press Author, Andrew Keys @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 9 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Nov 9 Why Grow this when you can grow thatMuch 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.

Bring Nature into the Garden @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 16 @ 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

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.

November 16 Bring Nature into the Garden

Construct a Fairy House or Gnome Home! @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 16 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

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.

Wreaths from the Wild @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Dec 4 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

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.

Dec 3 Wreaths from the wild.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.


Beekeeping for Gardeners @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 4 @ 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Bees can be ordered from Dan so that participants can start a hive in the spring. 

14.1. 4 Beekeeping for GardenersLearn how to start a honeybee colony, the seasonal management required to keep a healthy hive of bees and the role of pollinators and their relationship to flowering plants. Novice beekeepers, or those who are considering becoming beekeepers, will get an overview of the beekeeper’s job and learn to make the correct choices when starting a backyard apiary. Equipment and tools used by the beekeeper will be discussed, and step-by-step instructions for starting a new colony of bees will be covered. At the end of the workshop, participants should have a solid understanding of how to successfully begin as a new beekeeper. The final hour of the program will be a Q&A session covering questions, issues and problems, with realistic solutions for a successful beekeeping experience.

Dan Conlon owns Warm Colors Apiary in South Deerfield, MA. Warm Colors maintains bee yards in western Massachusetts for honey production and pollination services on area farms. Dan is a full-time beekeeper and President of the Massachusetts Beekeepers Association. He was recognized as the Eastern Apicultural Society’s 2004 Beekeeper of the Year and the Massachusetts 2005 Beekeeper of the Year.

Small-Space Garden Solutions @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 11 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Sign up for both classes on January 11 and receive a 10% discount!  Small Space Garden Solutions + Annuals: Gardening with Color

When space and time are limited, you need the best performing plants for your patio, beds and borders. Barb will highlight new varieties of edibles and annuals for containers, as well as some of the must-have, easy-care classics. “Compact” is the buzzword in breeding today for perennials and shrubs. We will highlight the top picks for performance and hardiness.

Barbara Pierson is the nursery manager for the prestigious White Flower Farm Nursery in Litchfield, CT. She holds a degree in horticulture from Cornell University and has worked at WFF since 1998. Barbara is a popular speaker at horticultural conferences and has appeared as a guest on TV and radio. She is quoted widely in the print media and was the lead horticultural resource for a 2010 New York Times garden series.

Vegetable Garden Planting , barb pierson

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