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!
Not only is Jacob’s Pillow one of the Berkshire’s most celebrated cultural institutions and famous dance festivals in the world, it is also home to an incredible display of annual and perennial gardens. Join garden designer Valerie Locher for a behind-the-scenes tour of these much admired gardens. Concentrating on annuals, Valerie will discuss her design concepts and will share tips and techniques for keeping gardens beautiful throughout the summer. Following the tour, participants are welcome to attend a free performance at the Pillow’s Inside/Out theater.
Valerie Locher owns a local landscape design and gardening business and has been cultivating the grounds of Jacob’s Pillow since the early ’80s, when she first donated four hanging baskets to the Ted Shawn Theater. Since then she has worked to renovate the Tea Garden, the Meeker Garden and the Inside/Out theater, helping the gardens to become a beloved part of the spirit of Jacob’s Pillow. It is her way to contribute to the dance community and help set the stage for all of the great performances that occur there each summer.
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.
Throughout his long life, Monet displayed a passionate regard for the beauty of nature. His principal activity was the creation of paintings that capture the sweep and colorful brilliance of the French landscape. Simultaneously, the artist seized every available opportunity to cultivate his own personal landscapes and sunny domestic gardens that, in turn, lent inspiration to his activity as a painter. His outstanding horticultural achievement, the vast flower garden adorning his house and studio at Giverny, is the perfect spot from which to view this Impressionist’s extraordinary genius.
Colta Ives retired from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, with the title Curator Emerita. She organized many exhibitions at the Museum, notably on 19th-century artists, including Bonnard, Gauguin, Toulouse-Lautrec and Van Gogh. She lectures at museums throughout America, as well as in Paris, Sydney and Melbourne, and is returning to the Metropolitan Museum soon, as Guest Curator for an exhibition on French Public Parks and Private Gardens in the Age of Impressionism, to be shown in 2016.
This class is near capacity. Please call 413-298-3926 to register.
This class meets on Thursday & Friday, August 21 & 22, 10 am – 4 pm. Bring a bag lunch. Materials list is here.
Gain confidence and comfort in this class devoted to techniques of botanical painting in watercolor. Using flowers as subjects, students will learn to capture the vitality and drama of these flowers. After creating a base watercolor layer for guidance, artists will add a series of dry-brush layers, gradually increasing color intensity and form. Through demonstration and individualized attention, the instructor will guide students through mixing believable greens and maintaining color clarity. By the end of the class, each student will have a painting either finished or nearly so.
Carol Woodin has been painting botanicals in watercolor for over 20 years. Her focus is orchids, rare plants and heirlooms. Her work is included in collections around the world, including those of the Smithsonian Institution, Shirley Sherwood Collection and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK. Director of Exhibitions for the American Society of Botanical Artists, she has organized exhibitions of botanical art throughout the US.
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.
This class is near capacity. To register, please call the Garden at 413.298.3926.
Bring a bagged lunch. Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for an 8:30 am departure. Carpool will return at approximately 3 pm. Program time in Washington, CT, is 10am – 1:30pm.
Learn how to extend the beauty of the summer garden on this study tour of two exceptional private gardens in Washington, CT. Gardeners tend to concentrate their efforts in early and mid summer, but late summer can be an exceptional time of beauty…if one knows how to achieve it. Join George Schoellkopf as he leads you through Hollister House Gardens at its late summer peak, in tip-top shape for their annual study weekend. Learn about gardening in early September as summer cools and fall advances—a beautiful time to be in the garden. Then we will travel just up the road to Brush Hill Gardens, a horticultural gem created by Barbara Paul Robinson and Charles Raskob Robinson. This 40-year-old garden “is very much a gardening partnership: Charlie sculpts the land, designs and builds all the garden structures and opens new ‘canvases’ for Barbara to paint her plants upon.” Join Barbara Robinson for a tour of her garden with an eye for structure and form, in addition to a sophisticated plant palette. We are invited to picnic on the lawn of this magnificent property. Elisabeth Cary, Director of Education at Berkshire Botanical Garden, will be the tour leader on the trip.