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!
This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the furry creatures that inhabit the landscape with us. Travelling under cover of dark, many of these amazing mammals seldom show themselves to humans during the day. Instructor Rick Roth will encourage families to get to know these mammals, learn about their natural history, and help develop appreciation and respect for these wild animals that often live in our own backyards. The talk will include live specimens including a fisher cat, grey fox, skunk, flying squirrels and more.
Rick Roth, a conservationist and teacher, runs The Creature Teachers, a family-owned environmental and animal education company. His goal is to educate the public about the wonders and diversity of the animals that share our planet.
This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals of our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying snakes, a bit about their biology, interesting tidbits about their behaviors and the methods that snakes use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals. A live snake or two will be on hand to greet visitors.
Tom Tyning is Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College. He specializes in reptiles and amphibians in his research and actively researches local rattlesnake populations.
Unfortunately, this event has been canceled. Please excuse any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you!
FREE Family Movie Night!
Our outdoor movie series continues on August 31st with the film Ratatouille – a film about a rat who longs to be a chef in one of Paris’s fanciest restaurants. Again, those in attendance are encouraged to bring picnics and blankets and arrive early to enjoy the grounds. The movie will begin at 8pm and the grounds of the Garden will open at 7pm.
Classes meet on Thursdays, September 11 & 18 and October 2 & 9, at 6-9pm and on Saturday, September 27, 10am – 1pm.
This is a survey plant identification class covering horticultural significant North American native plants that thrive in the Berkshires and surrounding tri-state region. Both herbaceous and woody plants will be covered with special focus on plant communities and garden worthy, low maintenance plants that work well in the managed landscape. Herbaceous plants including wildflowers, woodland and meadow plants, grasses, sedges, and ferns will be the topic of the first three classes and flowering shrubs, ornamental trees, evergreen and shade trees will complete the final two classes. Information on cultural requirements, maintenance, plant combinations and associations will form the framework of this course.
Instructor – Drew Monthie, M.S. is a horticulturalist, garden designer and ecologist working in upper New York State. He is committed to teaching about the importance of using native plants to provide beauty and preserve biodiversity in yards and gardens. He has a special interest in ethnobotany.
10% discount for 3 or more Fall Level III courses
This class will explore invasive plants, including their history and introduction intentionally or otherwise into Eastern North America. Learn how these species cause biochemical changes that affect soil microbes, which in turn cause major shifts in plant community populations. Identification, control strategies and the degrading effects of these species on ecosystems, including their effect on native plants and animals, will be covered. A morning lecture on plant identification will be followed by a short field trip to observe the effects of these troublesome plants.
Instructor – Drew Monthie, M.S., is a horticulturalist, garden designer and ecologist working in upper New York State. He is committed to teaching about the importance of using native plants to provide beauty and preserve biodiversity in yards and gardens. He has a special interest in ethnobotany.
Classes meet on Tuesdays, 6-9 pm: January 6, 13, 20, 27, 2015.
This is a beginning course in plant anatomy and physiology that covers a wide range of topics. The relationship between structure and function of seeds, roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits will be addressed. An understanding of how plants grow and respond to their environment is fundamental to the successful planting and cultivation of this enormous class of organisms. This class can be taken as a core requirement for the Horticulture Certificate Level I program, or as an individual class.
Instructor – Joyce Hemingson, Ph.D. earned her degree in Botany from the University of Connecticut on the pollination biology of Clethra alnifolia (Sweet Pepperbush). She worked for many years as Director of Publications for White Flower Farm, located in Litchfield, CT. She is an active gardener and a longtime member of the North American Rock Garden Society.
Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $475
Classes meet on Wednesdays, 6-9pm: January 14, 21, 28; February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4; and Saturday, March 14 (10am – 3pm).
Learn skills essential for effective functional garden design that honor the site and meet client needs. Each week will cover a different topic or technique focusing on the importance of getting to know the client and site as a basis of effective and appealing design. Essential and easy to grasp design principles for those who design or install gardens will be introduced throughout the course with the goal of practicing a form-finding approach to garden design. The tools taught will provide a vocabulary essential for assessing a property’s potential and problems, and for asking the right questions to realize client’s wishes while avoiding common design mistakes. Learn how to make well considered and sustainable choices for the elements and materials commonly used in the residential scale garden. Features including fences, decks, terraces, garden furnishings, containers and ornaments will be covered with a focus on expanding the designer’s vocabulary and palette. Students will select a project and take it from creative concept to completed design plan including schematic drawings, and planting plans. Each class will involve instruction and evaluation of projects in progress and will include both class instruction and studio time. Frequent group discussions and exercises will put the skills learned into action. Students will make a formal presentation at the final class. This course is the culmination of the Level II Certificate in Garden Design although all students are welcome.
Instructor – Chuck Schnell, M.A. has both a BA and MA in landscape design. He works in planning and design for WCLDA in Ashfield, MA. He is a recipient of the Garden Club of America McLaren Fellowship to study abroad. He has strong knowledge of ornamental plants, landscape design and construction expertise.
Guest Instructor – Walter Cudnohufsky, M.L.A. is a long time dedicated teacher. Having founded and for twenty years directed the nationally acclaimed Conway (Mass.) School of Landscape Design, he has honed a reasoned approach to planning design. Currently his firm is engaged in many diverse and stimulating planning/design projects throughout the region.
Classes meet on Mondays, February 2, 9, 16 and 23, from 6 – 9pm.
This course will cover the production basics for strawberries, brambles (raspberry/blackberry), blueberries and grapes for New England conditions. Site and soil requirements, planting systems, pruning practices and integrated pest management practices will be covered for each fruit type. If time allows, other fruits, such as currants and gooseberries, aronia, saskatoons, etc.) may also be discussed.
Instructor – Sonia Schloemann, M.S., has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Plant and Soil Sciences, both from UMass. She has worked in the area of small-fruit production since 1987, with a focus on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and sustainable practices. She is interested in and promotes non-chemical methods for insect and disease management (e.g., biological control of spider mites using native predatory mites), introduces innovative production practices (e.g., greenhouse raspberry production), demonstrates new crops and cropping systems (e.g., cold-climate table grape and wine grape production) and helps fruit growers cope with some of the most intransigent pests (e.g., spotted-wing Drosophila). Her interests also include promoting native pollinator conservation and soil health improvement for commercial fruit growers.
Classes meet on Tuesdays, 6-9pm: February 3, 10, 17, 24, 2015.
Learn about the maintenance considerations that should be integrated into the design process. Students’ horticultural knowledge will expand to factor sustainable maintenance concerns with cost effectiveness into plant selection. Learn procedures for perennials, woody plants and lawns including transplanting, staking, fertilizing, winterizing, mulching, plant pathology and pest control with an emphasis on deer control. This class can be taken as a core requirement for the Horticulture Certificate Level I program, or as an individual class.
Instructor – Brad Roeller, B.S. is a private landscape garden supervisor for Altamont Estate in NY. He is the former Garden Manager for the New York Botanical Garden and has spent his entire career in horticulture with a focus on sustainable gardening. He lectures extensively and instructs at the New York Botanical Garden, Berkshire Botanical Garden and for New England Grows.
Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $475
Classes meet on Mondays, 6-9 pm: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2015.
Focus on the “big picture” and learn the principles of design, importance of drainage, and view slides of both successful and troubled landscapes. Site selection, design concepts and client presentations will be addressed and students will complete landscape design assignments. This class has 5 sessions.
Instructor – Craig Okerstrom Lang, ASLA is a landscape architect located in Berkshire County. His vast business experiences ranges from public to private projects. He teaches a variety of programs for the botanical garden including graphic, design and business practices.
Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $475