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.
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.
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.
Classes meet Wednesdays, 6-9pm, November 5 – December 17 (no class November 26).
Rendering is a drawing skill necessary for communicating garden designs to clients. This course is the next step for gardening designers following drafting. Structured as a studio class, students will learn the softer side of drawing for design using the B range pencils. Practice illustrative rendering such as sections, elevations and plan obliques. This course will enable designers to better communicate their designs to clients. Non-professional gardeners and artists are encouraged to join this class. This class can be taken as a core requirement for the Horticulture Certificate Level II program, or as an individual class.
Instructor – David Dew Bruner, ASLA, is an award winning landscape architect and fine artist with over 35 years of experience ranging from Deputy Administrator of Riverside Park, NYC to amusement park design, historical restoration and all scales of residential design. Originally from New Orleans, he has a BLA and a BFA from LSU as well as a MLA form the University of Massachusetts.
10% discount for 3 or more Spring Level III courses
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 Thursdays, January 15 – February 5, at 4 – 7pm.
This course will focus on the ins and outs of controlling the greenhouse environment. Whether maintaining a conservatory collection of ornamental plants or producing greenhouse crops participants will learn how to grow, care for and maintain plants in a greenhouse. The relationship between temperature, water, light, fertilization, plant health and diseases will be covered with a strong emphasis on IPM (integrated pest management).
Instructor – William Florek, M.A., has been a landscaper designer for 30 years and currently teaches Horticulture at Monument Mountain Regional High School. He also concentrates his time on greenhouse management, growing plants for school programs and the highly successful plant sales held at the school. He has a degree from the University of Massachusetts in Landscape Design and an M.A.T. in Biology from Elms College.
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.