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 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.
Join 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.
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
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.
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: 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
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
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