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!
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.
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.