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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!

Oct
29
Thu
The Arnold Arboretum’s Fall Fiery Display and a Special Tour of the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection (H,D,NP) @ offsite at Arnold Arboretum, Boston, MA
Oct 29 @ 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Bus will leave the BBG parking lot promptly at 8 am. Bring a bag lunch and dress for the weather.

Join staff from the BBG for  a day of tree talk at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, a world-renowned research facility located in Boston, MA. This all-day field study will tour the amazing tree collection at the height of the fall foliage. Walk the grounds and learn about the various collections, including both native and non-native ornamental trees. View majestic specimens as well as rare and unusual ornamental specimens hardy to zone 5B. Staff from the Arnold will lead the tour, ending at the famous Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection. Among the oldest surviving bonsai in America, this collection is a beloved treasure of the Arnold Arboretum and Boston. Join bonsai caretaker Glenn Lord for a tour of this amazing collection and learn about how he cares for these priceless beauties. BBG 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. As always, snacks and afternoon beverage will be provided.

Instructors – BBG Staff

10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Fall Level III classes

15.10.29 Arnold Arboretum Tour

Apr
1
Fri
Home Orchard Basics with Orchardist Michael Phillips (H, D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Apr 1 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join orchard expert Michael Phillips from Lost Nation Orchard for a day-long workshop on how to grow fruit at home. Successfully growing fruit for your family becomes straightforward when you narrow the big picture down to getting the basics right. This course covers complementary sprays backed by biodiversity and soil health to set the stage for successfully growing tree fruit in the western Massachusetts/tri-state region. Harvesting sunlight through smart pruning is what renews fruit buds. Fungal disease becomes manageable with wise variety choices and enhanced soil biology. Even major insect challenges can be resolved safely when you perceive who, what and when. All sorts of fruits–from apples and pears to peaches and cherries and onward to berries–make for a diverse home orchard planting. Confidence to integrate tree fruits into your landscape begins with embracing biodiversity and knowing how to build system health. Both the morning and afternoon sessions are filled with practical information for growing tree fruits right!

INSTRUCTOR – MICHAEL PHILLIPS

10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Spring Level III courses

15.3.13The Home Fruit Tree Orchard

Sep
6
Tue
Garden Practicum (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 6 @ 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 6, 5 pm

Garden practcium Tree Planting

The practicum complements classroom work through hands-on training in the garden. Work alongside garden staff practicing gardening techniques, usually beginning with a demonstration and instruction. Activities include propagation, transplanting, tree care, pruning, dividing, planting, cultivation and maintenance of annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees. Students need to complete 15 hours of work scheduled on Saturdays and/or weekdays, usually Wednesday or Thursday, throughout the year.  Required for Certification. Students may sign up for either the fall or spring term.   

Instructors – Berkshire Botanical Garden Staff

Herbaceous Plants I (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 6 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

May 16 Land of Geraniums3Classes meet on Tuesdays, September 6-27, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Learn about the basic herbaceous plants used in the garden setting including identification, planting, fertilizing, pest control and pruning.  Perennial selection will be the focus, although some time will be spent on annuals and bulbs.  This offering is essential for the serious gardener. Students should dress for outdoor field study including sturdy, waterproof footwear and warm outer clothing.

Instructor – David Burdick, B.S., a distinguished plantsman and zealous collector, shows regularly at the American Daffodil Society exhibition.  A practicing horticulturalist, he has worked at Berkshire Botanical Garden and Windy Hill Farm.  An engaging teacher, his latest venture is a specialty plant and cut flower business at Holiday Farm, Dalton, Massachusetts.

Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650

Click here for class handouts

Sep
12
Mon
Gardening in Pots: How to Design, Plant, Maintain, and Winterize Container Gardens and Plants (H,D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 12 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Mondays, September 12-26, 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Acquire a knowledge of the skills required for beautiful and successful container gardens.  Start with techniques for overwintering tropicals, tender perennials, bulbs, annuals and more without a greenhouse through storage of dormant plants, seed collection, cuttings, divisions and other simple techniques.  Get to know the plants that thrive in containers and how to care for them. This class will cover practical aspects of gardening with plants that do double duty as housescape plants in the winter and container plants in summer. Consider container selection, siting, planting, growing, controlling pests and maintaining moveable gardens.

Instructor – Jenna O’Brien

Oct
4
Tue
Ornamental Woody Plants (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 4 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

aboutgarden2Classes meet on Tuesdays, October 4-25, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Focus on the bones of the garden with a survey of ornamental woody plants for residential landscape design. This course will cover ornamental shrubs, small flowering trees, shade trees, and broadleaf and needle evergreens.  Students will become familiar with the many garden-worthy woody plants that thrive in Zone 5.  Course covers plant ID, selection, siting, cultivation and possible design uses.

Instructor – Elisabeth Cary, M.A. is Education Director at Berkshire Botanical Garden.  She organizes the Horticulture Certificate program and has a special interest in woody plants.

Suggested texts:
Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Michael A. Dirr
Timber Press, Inc.  c.1997
ISBN 0-88192-404-0

Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Michael A. Dirr
Fifth Edition
Stipes Publishing LLC c. 1975 Revised 1998
ISBN 0-87563-800-7

Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650 (edit)

Oct
13
Thu
Gardening with Native Plant Communities (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 13 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Thursdays, October 13 – November 3, 5:30 – 8:30pm.

This course will help students better understand the principles and practices of ecological gardening with a focus on native plant communities.  Students will learn the native plant palette, resources needed to identify these communities and habitats and methods of introducing native plants into gardens.  Identifying and controlling invasive plant species in addition to restoring areas that have been impacted by invasives will also be highlighted. Gardeners will learn how to enhance garden spaces with native plants (although not exclusively) that create sustainable and low maintenance gardens.

Instructor-Brad Roeller, B.S.

Oct
21
Fri
Tree Care for Gardeners (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

This course meets on Fridays, 1-4pm, October 21 & 28; November 4 & 18.

Whether you are an amateur or professional horticulturalist, you are a steward of the landscape, and probably spend more time than anyone among the flowers, shrubs, and trees. This course is designed for those who might not necessarily be first to climb 100 feet up a Northern Red Oak or wrangle the chainsaw to fell a 36″ dead American elm. The goal of this class is to empower horticulturalists to better understand the largest plants in the landscape. Learn the basics of tree biology and identification, the tree’s role in the ecosystem, proper selection, siting, planting considerations, pruning of young trees, fertilization, pest identification, and when to call in the certified arborist.

Instructor –Tom Ingersoll, B.A., M.A.A., I.S.A. is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist and is also certified by the International Society of Arborists. He owns Ingersoll Landcare located in Sheffield, MA, and has worked in the landscape industry for the past 22 years. He serves on boards of the Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Sheffield Tree Project.

Nov
1
Tue
Soil and Soil Amendments (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 1 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Rhus aromatica Grow LoClasses meet on Wednesdays, November 1-22, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

This course will explain how plant growth is affected by soils, from drainage to pH and nutrients. Learn how to evaluate soils, improve those that are less than ideal, and how to amend soils for specific garden uses. Fertilizers, soil amendments, making and using compost, moisture management and the pros and cons of mulching will be covered.  Students should bring a soil sample. 

Instructor – John Howell, M.S. is the former Extension Vegetable Specialist, for the University of Massachusetts and currently lectures on vegetables, fruits and soil management   Author of numerous newsletters for growers and is currently the editor for New England Vegetable Management Guide, published biennially by the University of Massachusetts.

Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650

Nov
29
Tue
Plant Health Care (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 29 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Tuesdays, November 29 – December 20, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Look at factors that affect plant health care including insects, diseases, pathogens and abiotic influences.  Basic diagnostic techniques will be taught.  Learn to minimize potential problems through proper site preparation, plant selection and placement.  Managing problems using biological, chemical, and cultural techniques will be discussed with a focus on IPM (integrated pest management).

Instructor – David Chinery, M.S. is an extension educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rensselar County, Troy, N.Y.  He is currently researching alternatives to pesticides for turf grass insect and disease problems, as well as improving and expanding the county’s Master Gardener Program.

Suggested text:
Weeds of the Northeast
R. Uva, J. Neal, J. DiTomaso
Cornell University Press   c.1997
ISBN 0-8014-8334-4 (pbk)

Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650

Texture for front of Border Alchemilla, Geranium

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