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!

Rendering @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 5 @ 11:00 pm – Nov 6 @ 2:00 am

Rendering Garden Design Hort Certificate  Level III


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

Small-Fruit Gardening in the New England Landscape @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 2 @ 11:00 pm – Feb 3 @ 2:00 am

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.

Organic Vegetable Gardening @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Mar 3 @ 11:00 pm – Mar 4 @ 2:00 am

Peter Salinetti & Family Level I

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

The Home Fruit Orchard @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Mar 13 @ 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

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.

Cocktails in Great Gardens – The Home of Honey Sharp and David Lippman
Jun 12 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 11.33.20 AM


This event is sold out.  To be added to the wait list, please call 413.298.3926.

Cocktails in Great Gardens have become some of the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s most popular summer events by offering guests to tour some of the most amazing private gardens that the Berkshire’s have to offer and this year is no exception.  We start our series this year with the home of Honey Sharp and David Lippman in Great Barrington.

Horticultural Techniques Clinic: Perennial Bed Renovation (H,D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 19 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

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

July Border

Whole Landscape Design (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 2 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

This workshop meets on Friday, October 2, 2015. 10am – 1pm is the time onsite in Pawling, NY.

Join head gardener Robin Zitter for an exploration of garden design through the lens of ecology, history and culture. A private, extraordinary garden in her care, located in Pawling, NY, will be the site of this workshop. Robin will encourage observation and understanding of the ecological, historical and cultural aspects this landscape. Through site analysis, with an understanding of client needs and goals, participants will explore how a dynamic, coherent landscape is developed. The evolving design is guided by native plant communities as well as plants with historical context. Working with the natural processes, we strive for the gentle blendings of the built and natural environments. We celebrate the land by connecting the various wetland, woodland and meadow environments to create a functional and aesthetic whole, drawing people into and through the landscape with ease and surprise. The site is an old farmstead that represents a land stewardship collaboration of the owners, horticulturist and crew for almost 30 years.

Instructor – Robin Zitter

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

Whole Landscape  Program with BBG

Designs on the Land: A Historical Perspective (H,D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Gardnen
Oct 22 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Classes meet on Thursdays, 6-9 pm: October 22 – November 12, 2015.

This design course covers the history of landscape design from its earliest origins to modern times.  Explore the early gardens of Persian and Islamic traditions, classical gardens of Egypt, Greece, and Rome and then investigate Chinese and Japanese influences in garden design.  In the fourth week study gardens of Europe beginning with medieval Europe through Renaissance Italy and into English and French gardens of the 18th and 19th century. Continue with an overview of colonial gardens, the “New American Garden” and finish with an exploration of contemporary landscapes of the 20th century. Understand the important influences of these designs on the landscape of today. Design project required.

Instructor – Marie Stella, M.A. M.S.M. is a landscape designer, historian and lecturer.  Her design firm, Kirin Farm Enterprises, specializes in historical landscapes and initiatives to foster the preservation of the rural landscape.  She instructs for the New York Botanical Garden, Tower Hill Botanical Garden, Arnold Arboretum and Berkshire Botanical Garden.

Required text: New Wave GardenJan 26The Landscape of Man
Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe
Thames and Hudson, Inc.  c.1995, reprinted 1998
ISBN 0-500-27819-9

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

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!


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

15.3.13The Home Fruit Tree Orchard

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