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!
Bring bagged lunch. Dress for limited outdoor fieldwork.
Discover the many plants that lend bark, buds, fruit and structural interest to the garden in fall and winter. Develop or enhance your ability to identify winter trees by twig and bud anatomy, bark features and plant architecture. Students will practice their skills with winter tree dichotomous keys. Participants should have The Illustrated Book of Trees by William Carey Grimm ISBN 0-8117-2220-1. Must be 1983 edition. Three copies will be available to share. Class enrollment is limited.
Brad Roeller is a private landscape garden supervisor for Altamont Estate in New York. He is the former Garden Manager for the New York Botanical Garden and has spent his entire career in horticulture with a focus in sustainable gardening. He lectures extensively and instructs at the New York Botanical Garden, Berkshire Botanical Garden and New England Grows.
Registration for this event is now closed. Walk-ins can not be accommodated.
Join Sir Peter Crane for a discussion of his latest book, Ginkgo: The Tree That Time Forgot. He will share insights on the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, the important role of botanic gardens and his great love of trees. Inspired by the historic ginkgo that has thrived in London’s Kew Gardens since the 1760s, he explores the history of the ginkgo from its mysterious origin through its proliferation, drastic decline and ultimate resurgence. Crane also highlights the cultural and social significance of the ginkgo: its medicinal and nutritional uses, its power as a source of artistic and religious inspiration and its importance as one of the world’s most popular street trees.
Sir Peter Crane is the Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean and Professor of Botany at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. His work focuses on the diversity of plant life: its origin and fossil history, current status, and conservation and use. From 1992 to 1999, he was director of the Field Museum in Chicago, with overall responsibility for the museum’s scientific programs. From 1999 to 2006, he was director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, U.K. Crane was elected to the Royal Society (the U.K. academy of sciences) in 1998. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and a member of the German Academy Leopoldina. He was knighted in the U.K. for services to horticulture and conservation in 2004. He currently serves on the Boards of the Field Museum, the Chicago Botanic Garden, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at the University of Texas and the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. He is a Distinguished Counsellor to the Board of the New York Botanical Garden.
This lecture is not just for gardeners but for those who know and cherish Beatrix Potter and her classic tales. Her characters exist in a charmed world filled with flowers and gardens, a world born of Potter’s own passion for nature. In this engaging and delightfully illustrated talk, Marta McDowell takes participants on a personal journey. She traces the development and eventual blossoming of Beatrix Potter’s life as a gardener, from her childhood interest in plants, through her realization as an artist and author, to her final years as an estate farmer and naturalist. This richly illustrated lecture includes quotations from her books, letters and journals. A book signing and sale of Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life will follow the talk.
Marta McDowell consults for public gardens and private clients, writes and lectures on gardening topics, and teaches landscape history and horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden, where she studied landscape design. Her first book, Emily Dickinson’s Gardens: A Celebration of a Poet and Gardener, was published in 2005. She is an active member of The Beatrix Potter Society.
Sign up for both classes on March 8 and receive a 10% discount: The Wonderful World of Maples + Woodland Treasures
Join horticulturalist Kevin Wilcox for an in depth look at Maples: the genus Acer. He will focus on the smaller species and cultivated varieties suitable for the smaller home landscape. Special consideration will be placed on Hardiness for Zone 5, specific cultural needs, and any exceptional features these trees may exhibit. Aside from the more common species of Japanese Maples, like Acer palmatum and Acer japonicum, Kevin will also explore many other lesser known species like Acer triflorum, the Three-flower Maple. Sorting out this enormous group of plants is a challenge and Kevin will help participants identify the best of the bunch!
Kevin Wilcox is an expert in the field of woody ornamental plants. He has worked in horticulture for 29 years and owns and operates Silver Spring Nursery in Bloomfield CT He is an active member of the Connecticut Horticulture Society and teaches widely throughout Connecticut. He is an active member of the Connecticut Horticulture Society and teaches widely throughout Connecticut.
Sign up for both classes on March 8 and receive a 10% discount: Woodland Treasures + The Wonderful World of Maples
Learn about the beautiful woodland plants grown by John Lonsdale from Edgewood Gardens, his family’s 1.7-acre garden in southeastern Pennsylvania. He will showcase plants that are Zone 5 hardy, including large and small species of bulbs, tubers, rhizomes, herbaceous perennials and small trees and shrubs suitable for a variety of site conditions. Primary flowering periods are February through July and September through November. At its peak in April and May, the woodland garden at Edgewood provides spectacular color as well as the more subdued greens and silvers of the “quieter” but no less valuable plants. The presentation will focus on methods for successful cultivation and propagation by division or seed. Genera discussed include Trillium, Helleborus, Hepatica, Erythronium, Cypripedium, Epimedium, Cyclamen, Corydalis, Asarum, Anemonella, Arisaema and Phlox.
John Lonsdale grew up in Sheffield, England and moved to the U.S. in 1995. He has developed a remarkable garden and plant collection in the genera listed above. He has been active as a participant and lecturer in many horticultural organizations, including the Alpine Garden Society, the Daphne Society, the Cyclamen Society and the North American Rock Garden Society. Lonsdale holds a Ph.D. in microbiology and works in the pharmaceutical industry to discover novel antibiotics. He lives in Exton, PA, with his wife and three daughters.
This class has been cancelled. For more information call the Garden at 413.298.3926.
Join the fascinating world of Linda Rutenburg, Canadian photographer and gardener, as she shares her five-year project in the US, Canada and England, documenting botanical gardens after the sun goes down. This program is not just for the avid photographer but also for lovers of flowers, nature, gardens and beauty. Learn how this project began and enjoy Linda’s extraordinary images from over 35 botanical gardens and arboreta. She will explain her techniques for photographing flowers and is sure to inspire both gardeners and photographers to get into the garden after dark.
Linda Rutenberg is a Canadian-born photographer. She produces work, teaches, lectures and gives workshops all over the world. The Garden at Night is a nocturnal garden series done in Canada, the US and England. In addition to her photographs, Linda has produced many books. Her award-winning Mont Royal: A World Apart reveals one year’s exploration of the Frederic Law Olmstead Park in the heart of Montreal, Quebec. She has also produced 11 books in a series with ECW Press on 13 North American cities. Her latest books, The Garden at Night (2007), After Midnight (2008) and The English Garden at Night (2009) take us on a journey through the most beautiful botanical gardens at night.
This is a three-day workshop that meets on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 19, 20 and 21, 10am – 4pm.
Bring a bag lunch. Materials list available here.
Learn the art of beautiful pen-and-ink rendering for botanical drawing. The quill pen is an expressive medium, rich in flowing lines and sparkling textures. Pen and ink has a long tradition throughout art history, favored by artists for illustration and calligraphy, with the original quill pen being a bird’s flight feather. Students will be working with the modern metal crow-quill, well known and liked for the ability to produce fine details. Begin the class trying out the nibs, learning how to hold the pen for different strokes and creating textures to achieve tonal values for shading. Have fun applying these techniques to your own ink drawings of botanical subjects. This workshop is suitable for beginners or those with previous ink experience.
Carol Ann Morley is a professional artist and dedicated teacher working in Milton, NH. She founded the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Garden and teaches botanical art and drawing at The New York Botanical Garden, The Wellesley College Botanic Garden and Sanctuary Arts in Eliot, Maine, in addition to the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
This class is full. To be added to the wait list, please call the Garden at 413.298.3926
Participants should dress warmly and bring pruners and a bag lunch. Directions available here. Snow date: March 30.
This demonstration/workshop will focus on the specifics of pruning stone and pome fruit trees and some small fruits, including cane fruits and ribes. Unlike ornamental woody plants, pruning for fruit is a special science that is designed to maximize fruit production. Learn the principles of pruning for shape, size and, most importantly, fruit production. Watch a structural pruning demonstration on newly planted fruit trees. Semi-dwarf orchard trees, including mature and newly planted trees, will be available for pruning.
Steve McKay is the former Grape and Small Fruit Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension in eastern New York State. He has a B.S. in entomology from U.C. Davis and a M.S. in pomology. He own Micosta, a fruit nursery located in Hudson, NY. He specializes in traditional and unusual fruit tree and small fruits.
This class is near capacity. Please call 413.298.3926 to register.
Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for a 9 am departure. Carpool will return at approximately 2 pm. For directions, click here .
Learn from experts how to start seedlings, both vegetables and annual flowers, indoors for the coming growing season. Expert growers Maureen Sullivan and Mitch Feldmesser will lead a tour of their growing operations and explain how they select ornamental varieties for their plant vigor, flower form, fragrance and color. They also do extensive growing of herb and vegetable plants, selecting for flavor as well as garden performance and productiveness. Learn about growing techniques necessary to give garden plants a good start, and garner growing tips from these professionals. In addition to the tour, practice sowing and transplanting, and take home a few special plants to grow on.
Maureen Sullivan and Mitch Feldmesser own Left Field Farm, a certified organic farm located in Middlefield, MA. They grow hundreds of carefully selected varieties of heirloom and hybrid ornamental, herb and vegetable plants from their certified organic greenhouses.