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!

Dutch Garden Designer Jacqueline van der Kloet: “Magical Mixes” @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 25 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm


14.10.25 Magical Mixes


Join Jacqueline van der Kloet for a talk on plant combinations in her garden designs. She will focus on how she combines bulbs, perennials, flowering shrubs and trees in a naturalistic garden style. Using a case-study approach, she will suggest perennials and spring flowering bulbs and how to use them in all kinds of situations: private gardens small and large, estates, public parks and exhibitions. The program will include her inspirational lecture, a short break and time devoted to the  technical “how to” aspects of her designs. She will answer all of your bulb questions and suggest solutions.

Jacqueline van der Kloet is an internationally known garden designer based in Weesp, Holland. She is known for her artistic combinations of bulbs, perennials and flowering shrubs and trees. Her designs for public, private and corporate clients are found throughout Europe. She designed displays, both in 2002 and 2012, for Floriade, the international exhibition of flowers and gardening, held every ten years in the Netherlands. She renovated  the bulb plantings  at the famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands, and has worked extensively with “New Wave”  garden designer Piet Oudolf to create bulb planting schemes for three of America’s newest and most exciting public spaces: Millennial Park and the Lurie Garden in Chicago, Battery Park in New York City and the Seasonal Walk at the New York Botanical Garden. She has designed planting schemes at  private gardens, including the Linden Allee at Martha Stewart’s Bedford, NY, estate.

Growing Food in Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Nov 2 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

14.11.02 Thomas Jefferson's Revolutionary Garden 1Join Peter Hatch, Emeritus Director of Gardens and Grounds at  Monticello, for a journey into growing food in Thomas Jefferson’s 1,000-foot-long vegetable and 7-acre fruit garden. Learn about this revolutionary garden and Jefferson’s profound legacy in gardening, food and wine, as well as the enduring techniques used to maintain this historic but thoroughly inspiring garden. Thomas Jefferson wrote that “the greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add a useful plant to its culture.” Monticello’s 1,000-foot-long, terraced vegetable garden became an experimental laboratory, an Ellis Island of new and unusual vegetable novelties from the around the globe. While growing over 330 vegetable and 170 fruit varieties, Jefferson was also a pioneer in supporting farmers’ markets and promoting vegetable cookery. This revolutionary garden resulted in a revolutionary cuisine in the kitchen at Monticello. Restored in 1984, the garden and the Jefferson legacy continue to inspire the farm-to-table movement today.

Peter J. Hatch is a professional gardener and historian with 38 years’ experience in the restoration, care and interpretation of historic landscapes. A celebrated author of four books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, where he served as Director of Gardens and Grounds for 35 years, Hatch has lectured in 36 states on Jefferson and the history of garden plants. Presently, he gardens and botanizes from his home on Lickinghole Creek in Crozet, Virginia, and travels extensively to promote his latest work, “A Rich Spot of Earth”: Thomas Jefferson’s Revolutionary Garden at Monticello, and consults on the installation and maintenance of both public gardens and private estate landscapes.

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



Landscape Design Clinic @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 14 @ 11:00 pm – Jan 15 @ 2:00 am


Classes meet on Wednesdays, 6-9pm: January 14, 21, 28; February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4; and Saturday, March 14 (10am – 3pm).

Learn skills essential for effective functional garden design that honor the site and meet client needs. Each week will cover a different topic or technique focusing on the importance of getting to know the client and site as a basis of effective and appealing design. Essential and easy to grasp design principles for those who design or install gardens will be introduced throughout the course with the goal of practicing a form-finding approach to garden design. The tools taught will provide a vocabulary essential for assessing a property’s potential and problems, and for asking the right questions to realize client’s wishes while avoiding common design mistakes. Learn how to make well considered and sustainable choices for the elements and materials commonly used in the residential scale garden. Features including fences, decks, terraces, garden furnishings, containers and ornaments will be covered with a focus on expanding the designer’s vocabulary and palette.   Students will select a project and take it from creative concept to completed design plan including schematic drawings, and planting plans.  Each class will involve instruction and evaluation of projects in progress and will include both class instruction and studio time. Frequent group discussions and exercises will put the skills learned into action.  Students will make a formal presentation at the final class.  This course is the culmination of the Level II Certificate in Garden Design although all students are welcome.

Instructor – Chuck Schnell, M.A. has both a BA and MA in landscape design.  He works in planning and design for WCLDA in Ashfield, MA.  He is a recipient of the Garden Club of America McLaren Fellowship to study abroad.  He has strong knowledge of ornamental plants, landscape design and construction expertise.

Guest Instructor  Walter Cudnohufsky, M.L.A. is a long time dedicated teacher.  Having founded and for twenty years directed the nationally acclaimed Conway (Mass.) School of Landscape Design, he has honed a reasoned approach to planning design.  Currently his firm is engaged in many diverse and stimulating planning/design projects throughout the region.

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.

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

Cocktail Reception For Alan Power @ The Home of Richard and Ingrid Taylor
Feb 13 @ 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

You're invited

To welcome Alan Power to the Berkshires (and his first speaking engagement in the United States!) the Garden is hosting a private reception in his honor.Adam Silouette
We invite you to join us Friday, February 13th between 5 and 7pm at the home of Ingrid and Richard Taylor for hor d’oeuvres, drinks and great conversation with our 2015 Winter Lecture Speaker.
Please help us in giving Alan the welcome that he deserves and showing him what a great community of gardeners we have here in the Berkshires.
Directions to the Taylors’ will be emailed to you once you purchase tickets to this event.  Tickets to this event are separate to that of the Winter Lecture on Saturday, February 14th.  To purchase tickets to the Winter Lecture, Click Here.
All proceeds from this event go to support the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
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

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.

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