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!
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.
Classes meet on Thursdays, 6-9pm: February 6, 13, 20, 27, 2014.
Permaculture is multi-disciplinary approach to designing and maintaining productive, regenerative human ecosystems. In this class, students will gain the framework and information to design, build and maintain permaculture landscapes with specific focus on food systems such as gardens, orchards and edible forest gardens, water systems, strategies on steep slopes, soil building, productive conservation and restoration, as well as urban and broadscale applications. This course combines lectures, slideshows, classroom exercises, handouts and online resources to expose students to current thinking and strategies in permaculture design.
Instructor – Jono Neiger synthesizes his diverse expertise in permaculture design, conservation biology & 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.
10% discount for 3 or more Spring Level III courses
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.
Bring work gloves and dress for the weather.
Learn by doing in this hands-on shrub and tree planting/transplanting workshop. All aspects of successful planting will be demonstrated, and participants will assist in transplanting a multi-stem shrub and planting a small tree. Learn how to successfully transplant shrubs by correct timing and placement and techniques designed to create minimal disturbance and ensure smooth transition to a new site. Consider the differences between bare-root, container-grown or balled-and-burlapped trees and understand the importance of siting.
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.
Consider the showgirls of the garden, the small flowering trees. At a perfect time for planting, join Elisabeth Cary for a comprehensive tour of hardy trees under 30 feet tall. Each selection will be discussed for garden-worthiness, growth habit, aesthetic consideration, siting, planting, cultivation and maintenance. Tips on how to integrate these beauties into the mixed border or woodland setting, or to use as a focal point, will be covered. Following the talk, tour the Berkshire Botanical Gardens to view what’s in bloom and discuss the merits of each tree.
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.
Gardeners have always loved peonies but recently have refocused their interest on the genus Paeonia. With new availability of woodland peonies, tree (suffruticosa) peonies and the explosion of intersectional crosses, gardeners are taking a closer look at this much loved genus. Join Dan Furman from Cricket Hill Garden for a lecture that covers basic botany, wild species descriptions and cultivation history in China, Japan and the US. The program will also cover practical aspects for creating a successful peony garden, including growing requirements for New England and discussion of select cultivars for the peony lover.
Dan Furman is a second-generation peony grower at Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, CT. Since joining the business in 2010, he has worked to expand the peony hybridization and production programs at the nursery. In addition to peonies, he is interested in growing pawpaws, persimmons, Asian pears and other unusual fruits in northwestern Connecticut.