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!
All levels (co-sponsored with the Horticulture Certificate Program)
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.
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 ethnobotany.
Autumn is a great time to assess your woody plants for shape and structure. This demonstration/workshop will focus on pruning, including when, why and how to shape, renovate, train or rejuvenate your woody plants. Learn about pruning tools, timing and specific techniques available to the home gardener. Pruning techniques for both evergreen and deciduous hedges will be covered.
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. He lectures widely on a variety of topics including forest health, pruning and arboriculture.
Assess the year’s gardening successes and failures, review the gardening events of the spring and summer and begin planning for next season. Consider winter interest in the garden and understand when to prune perennials. Learn how to prepare gardens for the coming winter season, including tasks such as soil amendment, mulching, cutting back, and fall division of perennials. Seed-saving for the coming spring, division of plants that require fall planting and bulb-planting techniques will be covered. Take home a variety of seeds, cuttings and perennials for next season’s garden.
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. She will share some favorite perennials from her own garden.
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.
Dress for outdoor work and bring safety glasses, heavy gloves, sturdy, waterproof footwear and a bag lunch.
This hands-on program will cover the basics of dry stone wall building, including planning and layout and demonstrations on cutting and fitting. The morning will consist of a lecture, a walk through the garden to view a variety of stone walls and site preparation. Students will learn how to set up a batter frame and cut stone, and will practice laying stones to create structural integrity through interlocking placement. Following the demonstrations, students will work on a dry stone wall and practice wall-building. The workshop will pay special attention to building a freestanding wall using field stone.
Artist Mark Mendel started Monterey Masonry in 1982. He apprenticed with Maine stonemasons in the 1960’s and taught at the Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle, ME. He has built scores of walls, arches, terraces and walks and hundreds of fireplaces in both brick and stone. Locally, his work includes the stone walls in front of Guido’s Marketplace, the fireplace at the Route 7 Grill and the stone walls at the new entrance to Berkshire School. He designed, built and donated the stone spinning fan at the Berkshire Botanical Garden rose garden. Working as a stone consultant for Cuningham Group Architects of Minneapolis, Mendel was part of the design team that received the 2012 Tucker design Award, a biennial award presented by the Building Stone Institute. The Tucker design award is the most prestigious national award given in the stone industry. In August 2014, the Providence Zen Center in Cumberland, RI, will unveil a glass and stone memorial to its founder, Seung Sung, designed and built by Mark. In June of 2015, Centerbeam, a project created in 1977 by Mark and fellow artists from the MIT Center for Advanced Visual Studies, will be recreated and installed in Karlsruhe, Germany at the ZKM (Center for Art and Media Technology).
Join Jacqueline van der Kloet for a talk on plant combinations in her garden designs. She will focus on how she combines bulbs, perennials, flowering shrubs and trees in a naturalistic garden style. Using a case-study approach, she will suggest perennials and spring flowering bulbs and how to use them in all kinds of situations: private gardens small and large, estates, public parks and exhibitions. The program will include her inspirational lecture, a short break and time devoted to the technical “how to” aspects of her designs. She will answer all of your bulb questions and suggest solutions.
Jacqueline van der Kloet is an internationally known garden designer based in Weesp, Holland. She is known for her artistic combinations of bulbs, perennials and flowering shrubs and trees. Her designs for public, private and corporate clients are found throughout Europe. She designed displays, both in 2002 and 2012, for Floriade, the international exhibition of flowers and gardening, held every ten years in the Netherlands. She renovated the bulb plantings at the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands, and has worked extensively with “New Wave” garden designer Piet Oudolf to create bulb planting schemes for three of America’s newest and most exciting public spaces: Millennial Park and the Lurie Garden in Chicago, Battery Park in New York City and the Seasonal Walk at the New York Botanical Garden. She has designed planting schemes at private gardens, including the Linden Allee at Martha Stewart’s Bedford, NY, estate.
This class meets on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, October 29, 30 & 31, 10 am – 4 pm. Bring a bag lunch. Materials list available here.
Pen and ink is an expressive medium and is particularly well suited to the detailed nature of botanical subjects. However, it is often considered difficult to handle. In this class you will learn to take the fear out of inking by mastering the development of an ink drawing from pencil sketch to finished ink rendering. Developing the drawing in stages, you will have the freedom to make a pencil sketch and a tonal study, plan compositional ideas, try out ink techniques to test which ones you like for your subject and transfer your image before you proceed to ink your drawing. Dry and live plants will be available to study in class. You may also bring your own plant to draw, but make sure that you choose a plant that will survive for the duration of the three days of the class.
Carol Ann Morley is a professional artist and dedicated teacher working in Milton, NH. She founded the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Garden and teaches botanical art and drawing at The New York Botanical Garden, the Wellesley College Botanic Garden and Sanctuary Arts in Eliot, ME, in addition to the Berkshire Botanical Garden.