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 program is free for members and children under 12; free with BBG admission for non-members.
The Caterpillar Lab, a nationally acclaimed natural science organization based in Keene, NJ, is making a long-awaited visit to the BBG to introduce us to some lesser known native creatures that are often just outside of our own back doors. The program will include an array of caterpillars, voraciously munching on the plants that provide them with the sustenance essential to their growth and development. An educator from The Caterpillar Lab will teach us about caterpillar biology and the incredible but true stories about the strange and surprising adaptations of these curious baby Lepidoptera. From the camouflaged coverings that make them look like twigs or snakes and stinging spines that protect and hide them from predators to other species with strong mandibles and urticating hairs or bristles that help ensure their survival, caterpillars will be seen in a whole new light.
The Caterpillar Lab helps open people’s eyes to the natural value of their backyards, neighborhoods, and green spaces. By increasing their audience’s excitement for and investment in local natural surroundings, The Caterpillar Lab hopes to inspire people to make more caring and thoughtful decisions, not just about the natural world, but about their communities as a whole. Learn more on The Caterpillar Lab’s website. Visit the Lab’s Facebook page, “The Caterpillar Lab,” for exciting caterpillar photos and stories, updated weekly.
This program is free for members and children under 12; free with BBG admission for non-members.
This program is designed for all ages and highlights some of the least known and most fascinating animals of our backyard. The illustrated talk will include methods of identifying frogs and turtles, details about their distinctive biology, and interesting facts about their behaviors and the methods these elusive creatures use to protect themselves and reproduce. Professor Tom Tyning will encourage families to get to know these shy and retiring animals and will have a few live frogs on hand to greet visitors.
Tom Tyning is Professor of Environmental Science at Berkshire Community College. He specializes in reptiles and amphibians in his research and actively researches local rattlesnake populations.
Classes meet on Mondays, September 12-26, 5:30 – 8:30pm.
Acquire a knowledge of the skills required for beautiful and successful container gardens. Start with techniques for overwintering tropicals, tender perennials, bulbs, annuals and more without a greenhouse through storage of dormant plants, seed collection, cuttings, divisions and other simple techniques. Get to know the plants that thrive in containers and how to care for them. This class will cover practical aspects of gardening with plants that do double duty as housescape plants in the winter and container plants in summer. Consider container selection, siting, planting, growing, controlling pests and maintaining moveable gardens.
Instructor – Jenna O’Brien
Save the Date!
Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 2016 Harvest Festival will be held Columbus Day Weekend, Saturday and Sunday October 8th and 9th!
For generations the Harvest Festival has been a cherished tradition in the Berkshires. It is one of the largest and longest running events of its kind in the county and 2015 event had the largest attendance ever with more than 12,000 visitors to the event. Proceeds from the event support educational programs at the Garden.
The Festival is a family-friendly celebration of community, showcasing local crafters & artists, non-stop entertainment, artisan food producers and food trucks. (See listing at the links below.)
It also features a silent auction and giant tag sales including — Housewares, the Opportunity Clothing Shop, Country Bazaar, Accessorize!, a Jewelry Boutique, and a Plant, Bulb a and Garden Accessory Sale — as well as a farmers market and zillions of kids activities, including a haunted house.
And don’t forget to check our new Botanical Garden section with the Educational Workshops and Demos, the Garden’s own Farm Camp, Hall of Pumpkins and much more.
If interested in being a vendor an entertainer, or providing an activity for kids. please contact Dana Audia, the Festival producer at firstname.lastname@example.org., or call the Office: 413 298 3926.
Become a Festival Volunteer. Visit the volunteer page for available job descriptions and to learn how you can help. To volunteer, contact Cynthia Grippaldi at 413 298 3926.
Below are links to some of last year’s fun!
Classes meet on Thursdays, October 13 – November 3, 5:30 – 8:30pm.
This course will help students better understand the principles and practices of ecological gardening with a focus on native plant communities. Students will learn the native plant palette, resources needed to identify these communities and habitats and methods of introducing native plants into gardens. Identifying and controlling invasive plant species in addition to restoring areas that have been impacted by invasives will also be highlighted. Gardeners will learn how to enhance garden spaces with native plants (although not exclusively) that create sustainable and low maintenance gardens.
Instructor-Brad Roeller, B.S.
This course meets on Fridays, 1-4pm, October 21 & 28; November 4 & 18.
Whether you are an amateur or professional horticulturalist, you are a steward of the landscape, and probably spend more time than anyone among the flowers, shrubs, and trees. This course is designed for those who might not necessarily be first to climb 100 feet up a Northern Red Oak or wrangle the chainsaw to fell a 36″ dead American elm. The goal of this class is to empower horticulturalists to better understand the largest plants in the landscape. Learn the basics of tree biology and identification, the tree’s role in the ecosystem, proper selection, siting, planting considerations, pruning of young trees, fertilization, pest identification, and when to call in the certified arborist.
Instructor –Tom Ingersoll, B.A., M.A.A., I.S.A. is a Massachusetts Certified Arborist and is also certified by the International Society of Arborists. He owns Ingersoll Landcare located in Sheffield, MA, and has worked in the landscape industry for the past 22 years. He serves on boards of the Berkshire Botanical Garden and the Sheffield Tree Project.
This course is a must for those working or planning to work professionally in the field of horticulture. Participants will learn how to write a simple business plan, understand a team approach using subcontractors to a business advantage and ways to organize a business, from sole proprietor to incorporation (S-Corp, Inc., LLC). This course will cover dealing with employees, insurance, and tax write-offs. Learn the industry standards for markups on materials and labor, what the going rate is to charge clients, and how to cost estimate projects. Students will complete a cost estimate for a residential project—start to finish. The focus will be on staying small, lean, and smart and, finally, how to make a profit.
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.
Classes meet on Thursdays, February 2- March 2, 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, March 6– April 3, from 5:30 – 8:30pm.
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, bed preparation, 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), Solanaceae (tomato/eggplant/pepper/potato/sweet potato family) and Apiaceae (carrots/parsnips).
Instructor – Peter Salinetti, B.S.
10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Spring Level III courses