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!
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.
Join us as we open our 2015 exhibit “Water in the Garden” featuring sculptures, fountains, water plants and more! This year’s artists include Anthony Archer-Wills, John Piasecki, Mark Mendel, Jenna O’Brien, Bill Cummings, Angus Matheson for Black Barn Farm and Pergola Home.
On Friday, May 29th, we will be having an opening reception for the exhibit featuring a “walk and talk” with the artists. There will be drinks with light hors d’oeuvres starting at 5pm. This is a free event with a suggested donation of $10.
Though this is a free event, we would love it if you could RSVP to Amy at 413.298.3926 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you there!
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.
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: The Landscape of Man
Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe
Thames and Hudson, Inc. c.1995, reprinted 1998
with Anna Pavord,
author of The Tulip
Come and meet the best-selling author and gardener over cocktails at the West Stockbridge home of Dan and Sherry Kasper on the night before she gives the Garden’s Winter Lecture. Tickets for this event are limited and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
Friday, February 12th, 2016, 5:30 – 7:30
TICKETS FOR THE WINTER LECTURE WILL BE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE DOOR.
New gardeners are often advised that the first step in making a garden is to draw a plan, but according to author and English gardener Anna Pavord, this is not so. The first thing a gardener needs to determine is the mood of the garden: is it formal or wild, a cottage-garden or exotic? Like architecture and fashion, gardening embraces different and distinctive styles, and determining one’s own style of gardening is a personal choice that merits great consideration. In this talk, Anna Pavord, former editor of Gardens Illustrated and bestselling author of The Tulip and The Naming of Names, provides a fresh perspective on garden design and style. Pavord explains what garden style is and sets forth on how to create a garden of one’s own while sharing images of distinctive gardens from America and abroad.
This Valentine’s Day weekend Anna Pavord will speak at the Berkshire Botanical Garden’s Winter Lecture Series. Over the past sixteen years, the Garden’s Winter Lecture Series has brought noted horticultural and landscape design professionals from around the world to the Berkshires to share their knowledge and expertise. The roster includes such notables as plant explorer Dan Hinkley, gardener Marco Polo Stufano, writer and photographer Ken Druse, Debs Goodenough, the head gardener at Prince Charles’s home at Highgrove, garden designer Penelope Hobhouse, and Great Dixter’s Fergus Garrett.
In the case of inclement weather, this event will be held on February 14th, at the same location at 2:00 pm.
Anna Pavord‘s books include her bestseller, The Tulip, The Naming of Names and her most recent work, The Curious Gardener. Her column in the Independent newspaper has appeared ever since the paper was launched in 1986 and for many years she was an Associate Editor of the magazine Gardens Illustrated. She served for ten years on the Gardens Panel of the National Trust, the last five as chairman. She also served three 3-year terms on English Heritage’s Parks and Gardens Panel. In 2001 she was awarded the Gold Veitch medal from the Royal Horticultural Society. For more than 40 years she has lived in Dorset where she gardens on a steep sunny slope among arisaemas and magnolias.
Come and get inspired for spring with the Bulb Show at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. The show, which is housed in the restored Fitzpatrick Greenhouse, is free to the public and open daily (including Saturday and Sunday) from 9 am to 4 pm.
It is also an ideal opportunity to order bulbs as part of the Garden’s annual Bulb Sale for planting the following fall.
What better way to say hello to spring than with PLANTS AND ANSWERS, our 39th annual Plant Sale. We’ve hand picked and grown some of our favorite plant selections and new varieties this year – you won’t want to miss it! If you would like to volunteer for this event or are interested in becoming a vendor, contact email@example.com or call 413.298.3926 ext. 10.
For a complete list of volunteer positions, click HERE.
WE NEED DONATIONS! Donate your unwanted garden and patio items for the tag sale. Donated items must be in good condition and in working order, ready to resell. Drop off at the Garden Mon-Fri, through May 7. Donations are tax-deductible.
Saturday, May 7
9 am -5 pm: Open to the General Public
On the grounds of the Berkshire Botanical Garden
At the junction of Routes 183 and 102 in Stockbridge, MA
Admission and parking is free
2016 Plant Sale Vendors
Blueberry Hill Market
Broken Arrow Nursery
Cricket Creek Farm
Daffodils & More
Deer No No
Designs by Jas
Gray Raven Farm
JK Custom Furniture
Meadow Farm Market
Mountain Girl Farm & Caroline’s Shortbread
Scott Harrington Landscape
Steve’s Tile Factory
Wood’n Rush Crafts
Zyra Clay Studio
PLANT SALE: Fabulous Plants Galore by Habitat
For a complete list of plants, click here: Plant Sale 2016 Catalog
Gardeners get a jump-start on the season with this annual plant sale, which has become an iconic harbinger of spring in the Berkshires. We have thousands of plants to choose from, appropriate to northeastern gardens, organized into the habitats in which they thrive.
Silent Auction: Bid on specialty plants, wall gardens, as well as green services.
Below is a list of exhibitors and their benches:
RT Facts Kent, CT
Lion’s paw bench
The feet of this cast concrete bench were cast by Greg Randall from antique pieces and topped with a piece of carved stone to give the traditional base a more modern feel. Its classical feet, on the other hand, give it a commanding presence at the entrance to the Garden.
Barbara Israel Garden Antiques Katonah, NY
Hawthorne cast bench
The Hawthorne Bench is part of Barbara Israel’s Garden Traditions line of replicas and is a copy of an antique bench that Barbara once owned. It seemed like an idea garden to place at the entrance to our Visitor Center.
Natale Marasco Ashley Falls, MA
Aluminum and concrete bench
This bench of cast concrete and aluminum has a modern sensibility that complements garden plantings. With its light colored concrete seat, it does not retain much heat, unlike the garden’s solar greenhouse behind it.
Peter Merkett Southfield, MA
This cedar bench, by Peter Murkett of New England Modern, was based on a design for a chair made several years ago for a show at the Berkshire Botanical Garden. The scale was amped up to make it a bench and to serve as a perch from which our Youth Education team can read stories to younger visitors to the Garden. Set on the knoll outside of our offices, this seat welcome visitors from the road.
Not for Sale
BBG Farm-in-the-Garden Camp Stockbridge, MA
This retrofitted cast-iron bench form has had its seat replaced with a growing form for lettuce. It is based on the specifications of the University of Maryland’s salad table specification,s which were developed to grow cut and come again lettuce crops. The proceeds of the sale of this bench, which is aptly placed next to our Farm-in-the-Garden Camp vegetable garden, will support the Youth Education program at the Garden.
$1,000 (All proceeds of the sale of this bench will benefit BBG’s Youth Education Program)
Hancock Shaker Village Pittsfield, MA
Benches like these would have been used in the Shakers’ meeting houses. The back of the pine bench can be removed so it can be used in two forms. They are light and easy to move as the Shakers would clear all furniture after being seated in order to worship. Their worship services included “laboring” or dancing and singing. The laboring and singing was meant to praise and celebrate the Lord. The Shakers got their name from combining the two words “Shaking” and “Quakers.” This bench has been finished for outdoor use and seems well suited to being placed under an old apple tree so one can enjoy the shade. Hancock Shaker Village is open to the public.
RT Facts Kent, CT
Mies van der Rohe inspired benches
This pair of benches came about when Greg Randall used some old cushions he had unearthed to make a mold for concrete cushions. With the work of architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe in mind, metal bases were fabricated that mimicked the Barcelona chairs the Bauhaus architect designed in conjunction with Lilly Reich for the German Pavilion at the International Exposition of 1929 in Barcelona, Spain. These stools beckon visitors to our Center House.
Bunny Williams New York, NY
Swedish Style Garden bench
This cast aluminum bench, developed by noted designer Bunny Williams as part of her line for Century Furniture, takes its cues from an antique Swedish bench and adds a formal presence to the Procter garden.
Mary Annella Frank for Edith Wharton’s The Mount
Lit de Repos
Mary Annella Frank’s work in sculpture, drawing and public art uses source material including geography, mythical histories and personal stories. This Lit de Repos was designed with writer Edith Wharton in mind and captures the literary spirit and the love of gardening of this renowned writer whose home, The Mount, is in nearby Lenox and open to the public. Situated in our Vista Garden, it inspires visitors to lay back and take a break with a book.
Peter Thorne West Stockbridge, MA
Stone and wood bench
Having taken his inspiration from the pieces of stone that were often used for the gravestones of Civil War Veterans in the region, craftsman Peter Thorne has merged these long stone slabs (representative of many that were left uncarved throughout the area) with elegant wooden joinery, creating a bench that is stylish and strong and looks out on our New Wave Garden.
JK Custom Furniture Great Barrington, MA
Plant-stand inspired bench
JK Custom Furniture & Design is a family operated Berkshire gem where craftsmanship and quality are paramount. Sharing an education in fine arts, a love of design and a desire to establish a fine furniture and cabinetry company, Joshua and Kristen Kanter create innovative, versatile furniture and functional homewares that add character, warmth and an element of design to any home using locally sourced wood and reclaimed materials. This bench by Joshua Kanter was inspired by a plant stand that had great lines and proportion and is set at the entrance to our Rose Test Garden.
Jeffrey All Spencertown, MA
Danish style mahogany bench
Cabinetmaker Jeffrey All took his inspiration for this mahogany bench from 2Oth-century Danish furniture. A fine furniture maker, his attention to detail is apparent in the joinery used to give this piece its clean lines and elegant appeal. It is set into our Rose Test Garden.
Jeffrey All Spencertown, MA
Sculptural mahogany bench
This sculptural mahogany bench was created by this Berkshire Woodworkers Guild member Jeffrey All. It is enhanced by the addition of aluminum detailing which adds to the line of these modern bench and is paired with another of the craftsman’s works in our rose garden.
Mike King Sheffield, MA
Berkshire Woodworkers Guild member Mike King based this bench on the concept of the early American settle, which was designed as a settee with a covered back to protect settlers from drafts and cold within their home and to retain the heat emanating from their fireplace. This outdoor version protects those seated from wind, sun and rain, and is situated to look across the north garden from the beech hedge.
Rustic Woodcraft Great Barrington
Craftsman Bradley Weatherup designed this bench and fabricated it out of eastern red cedar which is noted for its strength, longevity and resistance to rot. Mortise and tenon joinery gives the piece strength. The artist has also created trellises and other structures on the south side of the Garden . This piece seems at home along our meadowy Crabapple Walk.
Mike King Sheffield, MA
This rolling bench of aluminum and mahogany was designed by local craftsman Mike King. Given its easy-to-move design, this bench may be our grounds staff’s favorite and is set along the path to our Pond Garden.
Munder-Skiles Garrison, NY
Teak Montgomery Bench
John Danzer’s foray into the field of garden furniture design began as a recreational interest. His curiosity about the design of furniture for any outdoor space grew into passionate research and collecting. In 1992, John started Munder-Skiles to produce quality garden furniture. This cedar Montgomery Bench takes its inspiration from classic Hepplewhite furniture and is at home in its perch behind the Martha Stewart Cottage.
Barbara Israel Antiques Katonah, NY
Morning Glory antique iron bench
A cast-iron seat in the “Convolvulus” or “Morning Glory” pattern, American, ca. 1880. This pattern was first cast by Coalbrookdale around 1855 and was offered in America soon after in 1858 by Wood & Perot. And although the bench depicts morning glories, it is a nice complement to our Primrose Garden.
Seth Churchill Furniture Lakeville, CTYAdirondack bench
This signature piece represents a modern yet classic play on a chair that harkens back to a simpler times, using true mortise and tenon joinery, It was handmade locally by Seth Churchill and his team of craftsmen. The bench overlooks the Timmy and Linc Foster Rock Garden.
Justin Madsen Spencertown, NY
Marveled Designs is a functional and sculptural concrete company initially dedicated to fabricating custom, hand-made concrete countertops and integral concrete sinks. This concept quickly exapnded when an early client requested a large custom designed red bird bath. Justin Madsen’s bench is comprised of four interlocking pieces and was made along with the custom containers to match the color palette of the plantings. The seat overlooks our Hosta Garden.
$1,850 for the bench, $325, $400, and $475 for the containers (Custom pieces are available)
Bill Cummings Stockbridge, MA
Bench of recycled and found materials
Set amidst the lawn west of the Pinetum, this bench by BBG’s talented Buildings and Grounds Manager was made from found and recycled materials and has been added to the Garden as part of our permanent bench collection and has a view well worth taking in.
Not for sale
Naumkeag Stockbridge, MA
Cast-iron bench & concrete barrel chair
Set into our shady Pinetum, this antique painted metal bench and Fletcher Steel-designed Concrete Barrrel Chair are from the Afternoon Garden at Naumkeag, this turn of the century estate of the Choate family, which is owned by the Trustees of Reservations and is open for visitation.
Not for sale
This stone bench, the inspiration for this show, was given to the garden in honor of Lainie Grant and board chair Matt Larkin, by Ruth O’Hara. It sits along the path to our Daylily Walk.
Not for sale
Campo de Fiori Sheffield, MA
Rustic bench of mesquite with iron base
Overlooking our Daylily Walk and set under an old tree, this bench takes in the North Garden. Inspired by a piece of mesquite, Barbara Bockbrader and Campo de Fiori developed this rustic bench with simple iron legs that work in combination with the elegant patina of the wood to blend in seamlessly with the surrounding landscape.
Chesterwood Stockbridge, MA
Metal & wood bench
Set under our old copper beech, this bench was most likely designed by sculptor Daniel Chester French for the garden at Chesterwood, his summer home and studio in Stockbridge. The seat slats are gently contoured for comfort and relaxation. A 1914 photograph shows French seated on the bench, in the shade of an old apple tree just outside his studio. This bench is a reconstruction and incorporates the original metal frame. It is not for sale, but custom orders are available. Chesterwood is open to the public.
$3,500 for a custom replica