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!

Chain Saw Safety and Operation for Homeowners @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 1 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

14.11.01 Chainsaw Safely for HomeownersDress for outdoors demonstration.

Chain saws are powerful tools that can be intimidating to use. The importance of safe operation of this dangerous machine cannot be stressed enough. Learn the correct way to safely operate, maintain, and store a chain saw. Observe a demonstration on chain saw use and discuss when to call in a professional. Basic chain saw maintenance will be covered.  This program will be very useful those currently working with a chainsaw and those considering purchasing a chainsaw.

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.

Growing Food in Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 2 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

14.11.02 Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden 1Join Peter Hatch, Emeritus Director of Gardens and Grounds at  Monticello, for a journey into growing food in Thomas Jefferson’s 1,000-foot-long vegetable and 7-acre fruit garden. Learn about this revolutionary garden and Jefferson’s profound legacy in gardening, food and wine, as well as the enduring techniques used to maintain this historic but thoroughly inspiring garden. Thomas Jefferson wrote that “the greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” Monticello’s 1,000-foot-long, terraced vegetable garden became an experimental laboratory, an Ellis Island of new and unusual vegetable novelties from the around the globe. While growing over 330 vegetable and 170 fruit varieties, Jefferson was also a pioneer in supporting farmers’ markets and promoting vegetable cookery. This revolutionary garden resulted in a revolutionary cuisine in the kitchen at Monticello. Restored in 1984, the garden and the Jefferson legacy continue to inspire the farm-to-table movement today.

Peter J. Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 38 years’ experience in the restoration, care and interpretation of historic landscapes. A celebrated author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where he served as Director of Gardens and Grounds for 35 years, Hatch has lectured in 36 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants. Presently, he gardens and botanizes from his home on Lickinghole Creek in Crozet, Virginia, and travels extensively to promote his latest work, “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello, and consults on the installation and maintenance of both public gardens and private estate landscapes.

Making More Plants: Propagating Your Own Woody Plants @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 8 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

This class is near capacity – please call 413.298.3926 for more info.

14.11.12 Taking Cuttings woody Plant PropagationAll levels, limited to 20 (materials fee of $10)

Back by popular demand!  Join woody plant specialist Adam Wheeler of Broken Arrow Nursery for a workshop focused on hardwood and evergreen propagation.  This workshop will cover how to collect, prepare and propagate evergreens and other woody plants by cuttings.  Set at the best time of the year for collecting, participants will learn techniques needed for insuring successful rooting.  Cultivation requirements, timing and care of easily propagated varieties will be covered.  Take home a selection of unusual deciduous and evergreen plant material in a simple propagator to grow on. Participants will be able to collect a very interesting selection of woody plant material on the grounds of the Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Adam Wheeler is the Propagation and New Plant Development Manager for Broken Arrow Nursery located in Hamden, Ct. a specialty nursery with a focus on woody plants.  He teaches wood plant propagation workshops throughout New England.

Terrain for Garden Shoppers:Terrarium Demonstration and Shopping Experience @ offsite in Westport, CT
Nov 12 @ 3:30 pm – 6:30 pm

Unfortunately, this trip has been cancelled.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

14.11.12 Terrain Terrarium Workshop

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

Extending the Season’s Harvest: Growing Vegetables for Four Seasons @ offsite in Tyringham, MA
Nov 15 @ 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm


September 21 Extending the HarvestLecture/offsite field study to Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA 

All levels (co-sponsored with Horticulture Certificate Program) 

Learn how to extend the season’s harvest to enjoy your own garden greens throughout the late fall and early spring months. Consider growing under cover in an unheated greenhouse, cold frame or high/low poly tunnels, and learn techniques needed to achieve a true four-season harvest. Investigate a variety of structures and learn the pros and cons of each. Crop selection, soil preparation, timing, planting, cultivation and harvesting will be covered, with a focus on early and late season production. Following the lecture, Pete will lead a field study to Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, MA, and will explain season-extension structures and the various growing techniques.

Peter Salinetti owns Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA that grows vegetables and culinary herbs using traditional farming practices. For over 10 years they have grown local produce for Berkshire County families. Their vegetables are grown using environmentally sustainable gardening practices, and they produce amazing top-quality, delicious produce. Both Peter and his wife Jen are committed to raising awareness about the importance of the local food supply, along with teaching technical information on how to do so. They have lectured on growing food for both NOFA and other regional organizations.

Listening to Songs: The Natural History of Birdsong @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 16 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Do you ever wonder what the catbird is saying? Join Professor Bruce Byers for an introduction to the beauty and complexity of songbird singing. Learn about some of the discoveries that scientists who study birdsong are making. In addition to the amazing natural history behind these songs, Dr. Byers will include suggestions for informed listening to help increase your appreciation of songbird singing. 

Dr. Bruce Byers is a professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts. His  research focuses on explaining the patterned complexity of songbird vocalizations. He is widely published on this topic in many science publications, including Animal Behavior, American Naturalist and American Zoologist. 

The Gardener’s Friend: Groundcovers @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 19 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

14.11.19 Gardeners Friend GroundcoversAlthough a modest group of plants, groundcovers are becoming increasingly more valuable to gardeners for their versatility and the role they play in lowering garden maintenance. Selecting the right groundcover can be tricky. Some are too aggressive while others mope in the garden. Consider an excellent selection of groundcovers for all growing conditions.

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.

Bark and Buds: Winter Identification of Trees and Shrubs @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Dec 13 @ 3:00 pm – 7:00 pm

14.12.12 Bark and BudsField study (held indoors) 

Bring a bag lunch. Dress for limited outdoor fieldwork. 

Discover the many plants that lend bark, buds, fruit and structural interest to the garden in fall and winter. Develop or enhance your ability to identify winter trees by twig and bud anatomy, bark features and plant architecture. Students will practice their skills with winter tree dichotomous keys. This class will be indoors primarily and participants will work with collected specimens.  Class enrollment is limited.  

Brad Roeller is a private landscape garden supervisor for Altamont Estate in New York. He is the former Garden Manager for the New York Botanical Garden and has spent his entire career in horticulture, with a focus in sustainable gardening. He lectures extensively and instructs at the New York Botanical Garden, Berkshire Botanical Garden and New England Grows.

Passion for Plants—Study Group: Woods on Fire: Ornamental Shrubs and Trees for a Fiery Fall Display @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 14 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Join a study group series at the Berkshire Botanical Garden to consider plant groups of particular interest to the staff. Look first at ornamental shrubs and trees for the best fall display (January 14). The following week you will learn how to grow a small, highly productive cutting garden (January 21). The final class will focus on big, bold perennials (January 28). The classes can be taken individually or as a series at a reduced price.

Woody plants are a low maintenance option for the home landscape. These great plants are gaining in popularity as gardeners learn how to use them to their best advantage. Consider how these plants extend the garden season until late fall. This program will cover ornamental aspects, varieties, cultural requirements and siting these beauties in the 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.

Stewartia pseudocamillia fall foliage

Caring for Plants in a Greenhouse or Plant Conservatory @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 15 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

This 4-session course meets on Thursday afternoons, 4-7pm, from January 15 through February 5. It is co-enrolled with the Horticulture Certificate Program. 

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 setting. The relationship between temperature, water, light, fertilization, plant health and diseases will be covered, with a strong emphasis on IPM (integrated pest management).This program is appropriate for homeowners with conservatories, glassed in porches and greenhouses.

Bill Florek has been a landscape 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.

15.1.12 Greenhouse and conservatory management

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