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!
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
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
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.
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.
Classes meet on Thursdays, February 2- March 2, 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.
Initial Fall Meeting: Tuesday, September 5, 5 pm
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
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
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.
Dirr’s Hardy Trees and Shrubs, An Illustrated Encyclopedia
Michael A. Dirr
Timber Press, Inc. c.1997
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants
Michael A. Dirr
Stipes Publishing LLC c. 1975 Revised 1998
Discounted price for 4 Fall Level I courses: $650 (edit)
This class meets on Friday, October 13, 4 – 6 pm & Saturday, October 14 10 am – 4 pm
The Friday lecture will cover many of the forest, meadow, and wetland habitats found in Berkshire County, discussing their physical and ecological features–topography, geology, soils, and moisture–as well as their characteristic plant associations, including both common and rare plants. The Saturday field trip will take us to a variety of forested, open, and wetland habitats, and we will take a close look at the flora and features of each of them. We will also discuss impacts of invasive species, and possible changes to natural communities in response to climate change. We will travel by passenger van. Please dress for weather and bring a bagged lunch.
Instructor-Ted Elliman, M.S.
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, no-till soil preparation, timing, planting, cultivation, and harvesting will be covered, with a focus on early and late season production. Spend the afternoon at Woven Roots Farm, Tyringham, MA, where Pete will lead an in-depth tour of the farm’s season-extension structures and will explain the various growing techniques.
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S.