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 growers extraordinaire and iris hybridizers Jan Sacks and Marty Schafer from Joe Pye Weed Nursery as they take students on a magical tour through the iris bloom season from March through August. They will include plants for sun and shade and consider some non-iris treasures, too. Learn how and when to divide bearded irises, as well as other cultural issues.
Jan Sacks and Marty Schafer are horticulturists and owners of Joe Pye Weed Nursery in Carlisle, MA. They have been growing an extraordinary collection of perennials for over 30 years. Their special obsession is hybridizing Siberian iris. Their nursery includes beautiful display gardens and a large cutting garden that serves the Boston Flower Market.
This 5-session course meets on Tuesday evenings, 6-9pm, from March 3-31. It is co-enrolled with the Horticulture Certificate Program.
Learn how to grow vegetables all season long in our regional gardens. Designed for homeowners starting 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, gardeners 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).
Farmer Peter Salinetti owns Woven Roots Farm, a small family farm and CSA that grows vegetables and culinary herbs using traditional farming practices. For over ten years he has grown local produce for Berkshire County families. His vegetables are grown using environmentally sustainable gardening practices, and he produces top-quality, delicious produce. Peter is committed to raising awareness about the importance of the local food supply, along with teaching technical information on how to do so. He lectures on growing food for both NOFA and other regional organizations.
Registration for this class is nearing maximum capacity. Please call 413-298-3926 to register.
Learn vegetable and flower seed-starting and plant-growing techniques that result in vigorous plants from grower Maureen Sullivan. This workshop will focus on indoor sowing and growing-on practices, including preparation of an effective seed-sowing schedule, techniques for successful germination of challenging seeds and managing plants at different stages of growth. Workshop participants will practice seed-sowing and transplanting of a variety of plants to take home for the spring and summer growing season.
Farmer Maureen Sullivan and her partner, Mitch Feldmesser, own Left Field Farm, located in Middlefield, MA. Employing certified organic production methods and materials, they grow hundreds of carefully selected varieties of heirloom and hybrid annual ornamental, herb and vegetable plants in their greenhouses.
This three-session course meets on two Fridays, March 13 and 20 (2-5pm), and on Friday, March 27 (date changed from what was previously published ), 10am – 3pm. It is co-enrolled with the Horticulture Certificate Program.
Learn how to grow a successful home 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.
Steve McKay 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 and specializes in traditional and unusual fruit tree and small fruits.
Registration for this class is nearing maximum capacity. Please call 413-298-3926 to register.
Fee includes all materials. Those signing up for this class and Glen’s January 31st lecture will receive a 10% discount on both.
Learn about bonsai, the ancient Japanese method of growing, pruning and caring for a miniature tree in a small pot. Bonsai is a rewarding blend of science and art, and this workshop will help students find the right path to enjoying this horticultural pursuit. They will learn the history, methods and tools used in bonsai, with a focus on basic pruning, styling, potting and aftercare for a tropical bonsai. Using your newly minted skills, practice with your own tree to begin a bonsai collection. Instruction, bonsai plant, tools, soil and pot are all included in the cost of this class.
Glen Lord is a long-time grower of bonsai. He is an authority on bonsai and was the assistant nursery manager at Bonsai West, an east coast specialty bonsai nursery. Glen has been actively growing and collecting bonsai and educating students about bonsai for many years.
Explore the art and science of grafting plants. Join grafting guru Adam Wheeler, from Connecticut’s Broken Arrow Nursery, for this hands-on workshop that explores the world of grafting with a focus on heirloom apples trees. Participants will be given a brief lecture that explores the methods and intricacies of this time-tested craft. Following the lecture, participants will practice this new-found skill by grafting several heirloom apple varieties to add to their home orchards.
Adam Wheeler is the Propagation and New Plant Development Manager for Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT, a specialty nursery with a focus on woody plants. He teaches woody plant propagation workshops throughout New England.
This class is almost full – please call the Garden at 413.298.3926 to register.
This is a three-day workshop, meeting on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, March 25, 26 and 27, 10am – 4pm.
Bring a bag lunch. Materials list available here.
Have you ever wanted to sketch a favorite tree or place you visited on a nature walk? This class will show you how to use graphite pencil techniques to jot down textures, tones and shapes that convey the character of trees and plants in nature. Through the language of drawing, you will learn how to sketch a variety of natural subjects using photo images and plants, and how to create a composition that is well balanced through the arrangement of shapes, tones and depth. This class is suitable for both beginners and those with drawing experience.
Carol Ann Morley is a professional artist and dedicated teacher working in Milton, NH. She founded the Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program at the New York Botanical Garden and teaches botanical art and drawing at the New York Botanical Garden, Wellesley College Botanic Garden and Sanctuary Arts in Eliot, ME, in addition to the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
Is that old lilac refusing to flower? Spring is a great time to assess your woody shrubs for shape and structure. This hands-on workshop will focus on when, why and how to renovate or rejuvenate your woody plants. Learn about tools, timing and specific techniques available to the home gardener. Following a lecture and several pruning demonstrations, participants will learn by doing.
Ron Yaple, A.A.S. Forestry, MCA/CLA, owner of Race Mountain Tree Services, has developed a regional reputation as one of the premier arborists. His company serves the tri-state region and is a full-service company. He is a dedicated and knowledgeable teacher of arboriculture.
Sure, Carl Linnaeus had a technical name for each of the flora, but where did we get all our common words for them, from aster to zinnia? This interactive and entertaining lecture will enlighten you on the varied sources of our words for the flowers, trees and veggies that grow at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, giving you a fresh perspective as you enjoy nature’s bounty. We’ll explore the sources of names of the flora in our own little Garden of Eden – myths, metaphors, monikers, and more.
Stewart Edelstein, a resident of Stockbridge, is the author of Dubious Doublets: A Delightful Compendium of Unlikely Word Pairs of Common Origin, from Aardvark/Porcelain to Zodiac/Whiskey (John Wiley & Sons, Inc.).
The date of this class has been rescheduled to Saturday April 18.
Participants should dress warmly and bring pruners and a bag lunch. Directions available upon registration
This demonstration/workshop will focus on the specifics of pruning stone and pome fruit trees and some small fruits, including cane fruits and ribes. Unlike ornamental woody plants, pruning for fruit is a special science that is designed to maximize fruit production. Learn the principles of pruning for shape, size and, most importantly, fruit production. Watch a structural pruning demonstration on newly planted fruit trees. Semi-dwarf orchard trees, including mature and newly planted trees, will be available for pruning.
Steve McKay 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.