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!

Horticultural Techniques Clinic: Perennial Bed Renovation (H,D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 19 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

This class meets on Saturdays, 9am – 4pm,September 19 and 26, 2015. Rain dates are September 20 and 27.

Learn horticultural techniques essential for the professional gardener. This tw0-day, hands-on clinic will focus on professional renovation of established and old perennial beds, including how to read a planting plan. Techniques will include lifting and dividing perennials, “double-digging,” soil assessment, application of compost and needed amendments into the lower soil profile and replanting the perennials according to the planting plan. Students will learn how to assess the growing conditions of the bed and determine what amendments should be added to insure optimal plant performance. This course also serves as a foundation for establishing new perennial beds. Please come dressed for gardening. Tools and materials will be provided. (limited to 12 students)

10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Fall Level III classes

July Border

Whole Landscape Design (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 2 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

This workshop meets on Friday, October 2, 2015. 10am – 1pm is the time onsite in Pawling, NY.

Join head gardener Robin Zitter for an exploration of garden design through the lens of ecology, history and culture. A private, extraordinary garden in her care, located in Pawling, NY, will be the site of this workshop. Robin will encourage observation and understanding of the ecological, historical and cultural aspects this landscape. Through site analysis, with an understanding of client needs and goals, participants will explore how a dynamic, coherent landscape is developed. The evolving design is guided by native plant communities as well as plants with historical context. Working with the natural processes, we strive for the gentle blendings of the built and natural environments. We celebrate the land by connecting the various wetland, woodland and meadow environments to create a functional and aesthetic whole, drawing people into and through the landscape with ease and surprise. The site is an old farmstead that represents a land stewardship collaboration of the owners, horticulturist and crew for almost 30 years.

Instructor – Robin Zitter

10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Fall Level III classes

Whole Landscape  Program with BBG

Designs on the Land: A Historical Perspective (H,D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Gardnen
Oct 22 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

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: New Wave GardenJan 26The Landscape of Man
Geoffrey and Susan Jellicoe
Thames and Hudson, Inc.  c.1995, reprinted 1998
ISBN 0-500-27819-9

The Arnold Arboretum’s Fall Fiery Display and a Special Tour of the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection (H,D,NP) @ offsite at Arnold Arboretum, Boston, MA
Oct 29 @ 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

Bus will leave the BBG parking lot promptly at 8 am. Bring a bag lunch and dress for the weather.

Join staff from the BBG for  a day of tree talk at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum, a world-renowned research facility located in Boston, MA. This all-day field study will tour the amazing tree collection at the height of the fall foliage. Walk the grounds and learn about the various collections, including both native and non-native ornamental trees. View majestic specimens as well as rare and unusual ornamental specimens hardy to zone 5B. Staff from the Arnold will lead the tour, ending at the famous Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection. Among the oldest surviving bonsai in America, this collection is a beloved treasure of the Arnold Arboretum and Boston. Join bonsai caretaker Glenn Lord for a tour of this amazing collection and learn about how he cares for these priceless beauties. BBG 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. As always, snacks and afternoon beverage will be provided.

Instructors – BBG Staff

10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Fall Level III classes

15.10.29 Arnold Arboretum Tour

Home Orchard Basics with Orchardist Michael Phillips (H, D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Apr 1 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Join orchard expert Michael Phillips from Lost Nation Orchard for a day-long workshop on how to grow fruit at home. Successfully growing fruit for your family becomes straightforward when you narrow the big picture down to getting the basics right. This course covers complementary sprays backed by biodiversity and soil health to set the stage for successfully growing tree fruit in the western Massachusetts/tri-state region. Harvesting sunlight through smart pruning is what renews fruit buds. Fungal disease becomes manageable with wise variety choices and enhanced soil biology. Even major insect challenges can be resolved safely when you perceive who, what and when. All sorts of fruits–from apples and pears to peaches and cherries and onward to berries–make for a diverse home orchard planting. Confidence to integrate tree fruits into your landscape begins with embracing biodiversity and knowing how to build system health. Both the morning and afternoon sessions are filled with practical information for growing tree fruits right!


10% discount for enrollment in 3 or more Spring Level III courses

15.3.13The Home Fruit Tree Orchard

Gardening in Pots: How to Design, Plant, Maintain, and Winterize Container Gardens and Plants (H,D) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sep 12 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

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

Gardening with Native Plant Communities (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 13 @ 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm

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.

Tree Care for Gardeners (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Oct 21 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

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.

The Business of Gardening (H,D,NP) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Jan 12 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

017Classes meet on Thursdays, 1-5pm: December 12-26, 2017.

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 projectstart 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.

Greenhouse and Plant Conservatory Management (H) @ Education Center at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Feb 2 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

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.

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