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!
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
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.
Classes meet on Tuesdays, 6-9pm: March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 2015.
Designed for those starting or caring for a vegetable garden, this course will include discussion of soil and nutrient management, seed selection, crop rotation schemes, seeding and planting, pest management and specific plant cultivation, all in the context of the different vegetable groups. Each week, students will investigate a different vegetable family to insure all questions are answered about cultivation of these important food groups including Fabaceae (peas/beans/other legumes), greens (lettuce/mustards/arugula/mache and more), herbs (perennial and annual), perennial vegetables (asparagus/rhubarb/horseradish) , Chenopodiaceae (beet/chard family), Brassicaceae (cabbage/cauliflower/kale/brussels sprout family), Cucurbitaceae (squash/pumpkin/cucumber/melon family) ,Poeaceae (corn family), Allioideae (onion/garlic/leek/shallot family) and Solanaceae (tomato/potato/eggplant/pepper family). This class can be taken as a core requirement for the Horticulture Certificate Level II program, or as an individual class.
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S. ,with wife Jenn owns Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA that grows vegetables and culinary herbs using traditional farming practices. For over ten years they have grown local produce for Berkshire County families. Their vegetables are grown using environmentally sustainable gardening practices, and they produce amazingly top-quality, delicious produce. Both Jen and Peter 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.
10% discount for 3 or more Spring Level III courses
Classes meet on Fridays, March 13 & 20, from 2-5pm and on Friday, March 27 (date changed from what was previously published because of snow cover), from 10am – 3pm.
Learn about the art and science of planting and caring for a fruit orchard, including both pome and stone fruit trees. All aspects of establishing and cultivating an orchard will be covered, including site and tree selection, how and when to plant, cultivation and maintenance, fruit evaluation and pest control. Dwarf, semi-dwarf and standard-size trees will be evaluated for space requirements. A special focus on how fruit with low pesticide use will be discussed candidly. The all-day Saturday, hands-on outdoor workshop will focus on the specifics of pruning stone and pome fruit trees to maximize fruit production. A variety of stone and pome fruit semi-dwarf trees in various stages of growth will be available for pruning. This will also include a demonstration on pruning espaliered pear trees.
Instructor – Steve McKay, M.S., is the former Grape and Small Fruit Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension in eastern New York State. He has a B.S. in entomology from U.C. Davis and a M.S. in pomology. He own Micosta, a fruit nursery located in Hudson, NY. He specializes in traditional and unusual fruit tree and small fruits.
Join wildlife rehabilitator Tom Ricardi for his ever-popular presentation on birds of prey. This program is designed for all ages. Tom will share the natural history of these magnificent birds, demonstrate some of their unique behaviors and inspire children of all ages to appreciate, respect and conserve these important members of our wild kingdom.
Tom Ricardi is a licensed rehabilitator and wildlife biologist. He runs Massachusetts Birds of Prey Rehabilitation Center in Conway, MA, and is now retired after 40 years of service as a Massachusetts Environmental Conservation police officer.
45th Annual Grow Show
Now a Garden Club of America event!
You grow it, we show it! We welcome all age groups, experience levels and different kinds of plants at our blue ribbon event, The Grow Show.
For a printable 2015 grow show brochure complete with categories and rules, click here: 2015 Grow Show Brochure
Saturday and Sunday, August 8-9, 2015
At the Education Center at the Berkshire Botanical Garden
Floral Design and Horticulture entries: Drop off Friday, August 7, from 4-6:00 PM
Floral Design Horticulture entries: Drop off on Saturday, August 8, from 7 – 9:00 AM
The Show is open to the public: Saturday, August 8 from 12:00-5pm and Sunday, August 9 from 10am-5pm
Show admission is included with Garden admission (check in at the Gift Shop when you arrive)
This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the creatures large and small that inhabit the tropical rain forest. Get to know some of the mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles and learn about their natural history. Rick Roth will encourage families to learn about these amazing creatures and how they adapt to living in a rain forest. The talk will include a variety of live specimens including an ivory billed aracari, a scarlet macaw, a kinkajou, red eye tree frogs, boa constrictors, green iguanas, collared peccary, coatimundi to name a few.
Rick Roth, a conservationist and teacher, runs The Creature Teachers, a family-owned environmental and animal education company. His goal is to educate the public about the wonders and diversity of the animals that share our planet.
This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals of our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying snakes, a bit about their biology, interesting tidbits about their behaviors and the methods that snakes use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals. A live snake or two will be on hand to greet visitors.
Tom Tyning is Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College. He specializes in reptiles and amphibians in his research and actively researches local rattlesnake populations.
This class meets on Saturdays, 9am – 4pm,September 19 and 26, 2015. Rain dates are September 20 and 27.
Learn horticultural techniques essential for the professional gardener. This tw0-day, hands-on clinic will focus on professional renovation of established and old perennial beds, including how to read a planting plan. Techniques will include lifting and dividing perennials, “double-digging,” soil assessment, application of compost and needed amendments into the lower soil profile and replanting the perennials according to the planting plan. Students will learn how to assess the growing conditions of the bed and determine what amendments should be added to insure optimal plant performance. This course also serves as a foundation for establishing new perennial beds. Please come dressed for gardening. Tools and materials will be provided. (limited to 12 students)
10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Fall Level III classes