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 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.
Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for a 9am departure. Carpool will return at approximately 3 pm. Program time in Northampton, MA, is 10 am – 2 pm.
Cost of lunch is not included in the fee.
Join BBG staff for an in-depth field study of Smith College Arboretum and Lyman Conservatory. First, tour the exceptional collection of woody plants at the height of the fall foliage with Landscape Manager and arborist, Jay Girard. Consider shrubs, small ornamental trees and large trees that thrive in our gardening zone that are particularly beautiful during the late summer and fall. Then explore the extensive collection of tropical, citrus, semi-tropical, succulent and cactus collections with longtime Lyman Conservatory Manager, Rob Nicholson. After studying this extensive collection of plants, participants can choose to purchase lunch at Paul & Elisabeth’s, a popular Northampton restaurant in walking distance of the college. Director of Education, Elisabeth Cary, will lead the tour from BBG and will contribute her “two-cents” on the wonderful woody plant collection.
(To have your project considered, call 413-298-3926 for details)
Dress for outdoors, waterproof footwear and a bag lunch.
This fast-paced, information-saturated clinic will introduce design students, homeowners and others to opportunities to problem-solve the design process. It will lead to the basic conceptual elements of a landscape master plan. All attendees will participate in the process of observing and designing and will come away with coherent examples of how design happens. An active discussion format will focus on common design principles. A step-by-step PowerPoint presentation will focus the discussion later in the afternoon. The field trip will be held rain or shine.
Walter Cudnohufsky is owner of Walter Cudnohufsky Associates Landscape Architects, Land and Community Planners, Ashfield, MA. He is the founder and for 20 years was the director of the Conway School of Landscape Design.
Unfortunately, this trip has been cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Join mad garden shopper Elisabeth Cary for a trip to the newly opened, fabulous garden/lifestyle store, Terrain, located in Westport, CT. The brain-child of the founders of Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, this gardening emporium is a treasure-trove of fabulous lifestyle products with an emphasis on GARDEN. Known for an exceptional selection of terrarium supplies, unique glass containers and phenomenal plants, join a terrarium specialist for a terrarium demonstration. The day will include the demonstration, time for shopping and lunch at the cafe. This program is scheduled for the beginning of the holiday season, so save your pennies! For more information about Terrain, visit www.shopterrain.com.
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.
The date of this class has been rescheduled to Saturday April 18.
Participants should dress warmly and bring pruners and a bag lunch. Directions available upon registration
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.
Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for an 8:15 departure. Directions are here.
Join woody-plant guru Adam Wheeler for a tour of the display gardens at Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT. This field study will focus on magnolias, but will also include other choice woody plants, including small ornamental trees and shrubs that thrive in zone 5. Adam will extol the virtues of some of his favorite ornamentals and will give us a peek into some of the new woody plants coming on the market. Following the tour, enjoy a picnic lunch and plenty of time for shopping at this fabulous specialty nursery.
Adam Wheeler is the Propagation and New Plant Development Manager for Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT, a specialty nursery with a focus on woody plants. He teaches woody-plant propagation workshops throughout New England.
Participants should meet in the parking lot of Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield, MA. Click here for directions.
Join ecologist and plant geek Drew Monthie for a plant walk and talk at Bartholomew’s Cobble, a Trustees of Reservations property in Sheffield, MA. Long noted for its exceptional collection of rare plants, this unique site contains a world-class collection of ephemeral wildflowers and ferns native to the northeast woodland. The program will focus on the ecology of this special place and will help gardeners learn how to incorporate these native beauties into the garden setting. Following the walk, take an optional, moderate, one-half-hour hike to the top of Hurlburt Hill to admire one of Berkshire County’s finest views. The group is invited to picnic there, surrounded by nesting bluebirds and bobolinks!
Drew Monthie 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 ethno-botany.
This program is fully enrolled.
Coach bus leaves Berkshire Botanical Garden promptly at 8am.
Bring a bag lunch and dress for the weather: comfortable, sturdy footwear and warm, waterproof outerwear, umbrella.
Join staff from the Berkshire Botanical Garden for a tour of the New York Botanical Garden at the height of spring bloom and to view NYBG’s major 2015 exhibition, FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life, focusing on the iconic artist’s engagement with nature and intense interest in the botanical world in her native country of Mexico. Included in the cost of the trip is a ticket to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory to view a stunning flower show re-imagining Kahlo’s studio and garden at Casa Azul (“Blue House”) in Coyoacán, Mexico City. There will be a rare display of more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and drawings on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Rondina and LoFaro Gallery.
Staff from BBG will lead tours of the garden, including the Ladies’ Border, the Herb Garden, the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden and the spectacular Seasonal Walk, designed by superstar designers Piet Oudolf and Jaqueline van der Kloet. Of special interest will be the newly renovated native-plant garden. For those interested in trees, we will explore the Benson Ornamental Conifer Garden and the many small ornamental specimen trees on the grounds. Garden staff will answer questions and share horticultural insights throughout the day, and there will be unstructured time for participants to visit areas of specific interest in the afternoon. Snacks and afternoon beverage will be provided.