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!
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.
Bring work gloves and dress for the weather.
Learn by doing in this hands-on shrub and tree planting/transplanting workshop. All aspects of successful planting will be demonstrated, and participants will assist in transplanting a multi-stem shrub and planting a small tree. Learn how to successfully transplant shrubs by correct timing and placement and techniques designed to create minimal disturbance and ensure smooth transition to a new site. Consider the differences between bare-root, container-grown or balled-and-burlapped trees, and understand the importance of siting.
Ken Gooch is the Forest Health Program Director for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. Additionally, he is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist and teaches arboriculture at the Garden.
Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for an 8:15 departure. Directions are here.
Join woody-plant guru Adam Wheeler for a tour of the display gardens at Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, CT. This field study will focus on magnolias, but will also include other choice woody plants, including small ornamental trees and shrubs that thrive in zone 5. Adam will extol the virtues of some of his favorite ornamentals and will give us a peek into some of the new woody plants coming on the market. Following the tour, enjoy a picnic lunch and plenty of time for shopping at this fabulous specialty nursery.
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.
Participants should meet in the parking lot of Bartholomew’s Cobble, Sheffield, MA. Click here for directions.
Join ecologist and plant geek Drew Monthie for a plant walk and talk at Bartholomew’s Cobble, a Trustees of Reservations property in Sheffield, MA. Long noted for its exceptional collection of rare plants, this unique site contains a world-class collection of ephemeral wildflowers and ferns native to the northeast woodland. The program will focus on the ecology of this special place and will help gardeners learn how to incorporate these native beauties into the garden setting. Following the walk, take an optional, moderate, one-half-hour hike to the top of Hurlburt Hill to admire one of Berkshire County’s finest views. The group is invited to picnic there, surrounded by nesting bluebirds and bobolinks!
Drew Monthie is a horticulturalist, garden designer and ecologist working in upper New York State. He is committed to teaching about the importance of using native plants to provide beauty and preserve biodiversity in yards and gardens. He has a special interest in ethno-botany.
This program is fully enrolled.
Coach bus leaves Berkshire Botanical Garden promptly at 8am.
Bring a bag lunch and dress for the weather: comfortable, sturdy footwear and warm, waterproof outerwear, umbrella.
Join staff from the Berkshire Botanical Garden for a tour of the New York Botanical Garden at the height of spring bloom and to view NYBG’s major 2015 exhibition, FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life, focusing on the iconic artist’s engagement with nature and intense interest in the botanical world in her native country of Mexico. Included in the cost of the trip is a ticket to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory to view a stunning flower show re-imagining Kahlo’s studio and garden at Casa Azul (“Blue House”) in Coyoacán, Mexico City. There will be a rare display of more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and drawings on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Rondina and LoFaro Gallery.
Staff from BBG will lead tours of the garden, including the Ladies’ Border, the Herb Garden, the Jane Watson Irwin Perennial Garden and the spectacular Seasonal Walk, designed by superstar designers Piet Oudolf and Jaqueline van der Kloet. Of special interest will be the newly renovated native-plant garden. For those interested in trees, we will explore the Benson Ornamental Conifer Garden and the many small ornamental specimen trees on the grounds. Garden staff will answer questions and share horticultural insights throughout the day, and there will be unstructured time for participants to visit areas of specific interest in the afternoon. Snacks and afternoon beverage will be provided.
Dress for outdoors with sturdy walking shoes.
Ashintully, the name given to the original 1,000-acre estate be- longing to Egyptologist Robb de Peyster Tytus, is located in Tryringham, MA. The garden wasa gift of John Stewart McLennan Jr. and his wife Katharine to The Trustees of Reservations. Mr. McLennan, an accomplished and honored composer, designed the elegant gardens over 30 years as a parallel creative effort to his musical work. Tour the garden at Ashintully with landscape architect Walter Cudnohufsky and see this important garden through fresh and discerning eyes. There will be a detailed and lively group discussion about what makes Ashintully great. Participants will learn about garden design as a set of planned relationships and an exercise of restraint, focussing on the ten most important garden design principles as illustrated in Walter’s forthcoming book. The gardens blend several natural features into an ordered arrange- ment with both formal and informal beauty. In 1997, Ashintully Gardens received the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s H. Hollis Hunnewell Medal. Enjoy a fresh June morning at this lovely garden space.
Walter Cudnohufsky, M.L.A. is a long-time dedicated teacher. Having founded and for 20 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.
Participants will meet at Berkshire Botanical Garden in the main parking lot.
Tour the grounds of the Berkshire Botanical Garden, view the exceptional and diverse tree collection and learn about these gentle giants and their importance in the landscape. Following the tour, join Massachusetts Certified arborist Melissa LeVangie for
a tree-climbing demonstration. Massachusetts Certified Arborist Tom Ingersoll will share with participants the principles of arboriculture and the care of trees, including assessment of species, shape, size and cultural requirements required to maintain a happy, healthy personal forest. This walking tour will cover the importance of selecting the “right plant for the right place” as well as the challenging relationship between trees, turf and the rest of the built landscape. Following the tour, watch an up-close demonstration of professional tree climbing. Enjoy the morning by walking, talking and admiring some of nature’s most magnificent gifts and watch these talented arborists as they ascend into the trees. This program is for all tree huggers.
This field trip is filled to capacity.
10 am – 2:30 pm is the time onsite in the northwest corner of CT. Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for an 8:30 am departure.
Join staff from the Berkshire Botanical Garden for an offsite adventure to private gardens that reflect the owner as curator. The first, in Kent, CT, was inspired by a strong interest in collecting specimen trees and shrubs and has been developed over the past 29 years. This garden contains one of the largest private collections of rare, distinctive and hard-to-find trees in the Northeast and reflects the owner’s quest for unique trees that are not only hardy and disease resistant, but also have the form, texture and foliage that amaze and please year ’round. Plants are identified by markers, a plant list and a map, allowing visitors to identify new plants for their own gardens. Following a picnic lunch on the terrace, travel north to West Cornwall, CT, to the shop and garden of designer Michael Trapp. This eclectic, highly stylized garden, constructed from stone and architectural details, creates a fantasy landscape in an Old-World-style garden tradition. With intimate cobbled pathways, terraced gardens, reflecting pools and a grotto-inspired garden room, it has a distinct French/Italian flavor. Learn how a difficult sloped site was used to advantage in creating this romantic garden.
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.
Please Note: This class has been postponed until a later date.
Join professor Thomas Mickey for an exploration of America’s romance with the English Garden. This beautifully illustrated lecture is based on his newest book, America’s Romance with the English Garden. The UK magazine Spectator recently named the book “best garden book of the year.” At the beginning of the modern garden industry in the 1890s, mass advertising, faster printing, national magazines and free rural mail delivery made it possible to publish seed and nursery catalogs in the millions and send them across the country. The catalogs encouraged the romantic English-garden style in essays, illustrations and ads. The principle elements of that English garden design included the lawn, small groupings of flowering shrubs, a vegetable garden out back, flower- beds on the lawn, trees to line the property and a curved walkway. At a time when homeowners were eager to learn how to garden, it was no surprise that Americans everywhere loved the English Garden, and the same garden appeared from California to Maine. A book sale and signing will follow the lecture.
Thomas Mickey, from Quincy, MA, is Professor Emeritus of Communication Studies at Bridgewater State University, where he teaches public relations writing. He is a graduate of the Landscape Institute at the Boston Architectural College, a Master Gardener and has been gardening for over 25 years. His garden column appears regularly in Quincy’s Patriot Ledger. He posts twice a week on his blog, americangardening.net. Professor Mickey is the author of three books, including Best Garden Plants for New England. The Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries nominated his newest book, America’s Romance with the English Garden, for its annual Literature Award.