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!

Botany for Gardeners @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 6 @ 11:00 pm – Jan 7 @ 2:00 am


Classes meet on Tuesdays, 6-9 pm: January 6,  13, 20, 27, 2015.

This is a beginning course in plant anatomy and physiology that covers a wide range of topics.  The relationship between structure and function of seeds, roots, stems, leaves, flowers and fruits will be addressed.  An understanding of how plants grow and respond to their environment is fundamental to the successful planting and cultivation of this enormous class of organisms. This class can be taken as a core requirement for the Horticulture Certificate Level I program, or as an individual class.

Instructor – Joyce Hemingson, Ph.D. earned her degree in Botany from the University of Connecticut on the pollination biology of Clethra alnifolia (Sweet Pepperbush). She worked for many years as Director of Publications for White Flower Farm, located in Litchfield, CT. She is an active gardener and a longtime member of the North American Rock Garden Society.

Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $475



Sustainable Landscape Care & Garden Maintenance @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 3 @ 11:00 pm – Feb 4 @ 2:00 am

Hort Certificate Brad Roeller Level Class

Classes meet on Tuesdays, 6-9pm: February 3, 10, 17, 24, 2015.

Learn about the maintenance considerations that should be integrated into the design process.  Students’ horticultural knowledge will expand to factor sustainable maintenance concerns with cost effectiveness into plant selection. Learn procedures for perennials, woody plants and lawns including transplanting, staking, fertilizing, winterizing, mulching, plant pathology and pest control with an emphasis on deer control. This class can be taken as a core requirement for the Horticulture Certificate Level I program, or as an individual class.

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

Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $475

Landscape Design I @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Mar 2 @ 11:00 pm – Mar 3 @ 2:00 am

Classes meet on Mondays, 6-9 pm: March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, 2015.

Focus on the “big picture” and learn the principles of design, importance of drainage, and view slides of both successful and troubled landscapes.  Site selection, design concepts and client presentations will be addressed and students will complete landscape design assignments. This class has 5 sessions. 

Instructor – Craig Okerstrom Lang, ASLA is a landscape architect located in Berkshire County.  His vast business experiences ranges from public to private projects.  He teaches a variety of programs for the botanical garden including graphic, design and business practices.

Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $475

Fete Des Fleurs – The Fete Des Fleurs is sold out! Please call to be placed on wait list! @ The Lenox Club
Jul 30 @ 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm



Carol and Paul Collins

Carol and Rob Williams

Elisabeth and Robert Wilmers



Maria and David Carls

Madeline and Ian Hooper

Skippy and Vaughn Nixon

Georgeanne and Jean Rousseau



Sybelle and Lee Blatt

Jeannene Booher

Diane and Richard Brown

Bonnie and Terry Burman

Cathy Clark and Ed Ivas

Jeanine and Herbert Coyne

Elaine Grant and Matt Larkin

Ellen and Chris Greendale

Maureen and Paul Hickey

Sherry and Dan Kasper

Wendy Philbrick and Edward Baptiste

Honey Sharp and David Lippman

Ingrid and Richard Taylor

Reginald Taylor

Tania and Mark Walker

KK and John Zutter



Millie and David McCoy

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

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)

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

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

The Science of Plant Propagation (required) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 3 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Classes meet on Tuesdays, January 3 – 24, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.

Learn the art and science of plant propagation with a focus on the basic botany needed to understand and successfully propagate plants. Sexual and asexual propagation methods including sowing seeds, cuttings, grafting, layering and division will be covered. Students will learn the fascinating science behind propagation along with the various techniqes used to propagate plants. $35 materials fee.

Instructor – Adam Wheeler, B.S.

Discounted price for 3 Spring Level I courses: $585

15.10.31 Taking Cuttings woody Plant Propagation

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