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 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.
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.
This class is fully enrolled. Call for waitlist. 413 298 3926 ext.10
Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Click here for directions. Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for an 8:30 am departure. Time onsite in Hyde Park & Livingston, NY, is 10 am – 3 pm).
Take a drive down the Hudson Valley to visit two garden gems that focus on plants. First, tour the Garden at Belle- field, Hyde Park, designed in 1912 by Beatrix Farrand, one of America’s most celebrated landscape designers. Today the garden has been carefully restored, inspired by her landmark work and dedicated to sharing her pioneering legacy. This garden is a perfect example of how Farrand defined the American taste in gardens throughout the first half of the 20th century. She championed the use of perennial plants in combinations based upon color har- mony, bloom sequence and texture. This was the birth of the mixed border, a standard in gardens today. A volunteer from the Beatrix Farrand Association will lead the tour of this lovely garden at the height of its June bloom. From there, travel to the Culinary Institute of America to catch a quick lunch at the Apple Pie Cafe (cost of lunch not included in the fee). On the return, travel to Livingston, NY, to visit The Climbery, the private garden of Barbara Packer. With a focus on plants, specifically the holy grail of vines, clematis, wander through this beautifully landscaped seven-acre property dedicated to over 5,000 clematis—the second largest planted collection of clematis in the world. In addition to the clematis collection, enjoy an exuberant mid-June bloom of peonies, irises and more. Timed for the height of the clematis bloom, view this exceptional collec- tion and learn how to cultivate these winsome beauties.
This class meets on Wednesdays, July 8-29, 10am-1pm. Click here for materials list.
Seeing and painting the garden en plein air is the subject of this class. Students of all levels are welcome in either or both sessions; no experience is necessary. This session will focus on drawing forms, finding compositions and simple, direct color schemes. Composition will be stressed. Each class will begin with an intro- duction and demonstration by the instructor and then move into the garden to paint, with the instructor circulating among the students to provide input and answer questions. You can attend the whole series or pick and choose individual classes; however, everyone is encouraged to attend the first meeting, when the basics of watercolor, paint, brushes and paper will be explained.
Ann Kremers is an artist and calligrapher. Her work is currently focused on watercolor and drawing media. She has received commissions for paintings, drawings, illustrated and calligraphed citations and awards, artists’ books and botanical drawings. Ann lives in Bennington, VT, and teaches throughout Berkshire County. Examples of her work can be viewed at www.annkremers.com.
Participants can choose to carpool or drive separately. Click here for directions Those joining the carpool should meet in the parking lot at Berkshire Botanical Garden for an 8:30 am departure. Time onsite in Granby, CT, is 10 am – 1:30 pm.
Join plantsman extraordinaire John O’Brien for a walking tour of his fabulous specialty nursery, O’Brien Nurserymen, located in Granby, CT. View this exceptional collection of rare and beautifully grown specimens with a focus on dwarf conifers, Japanese maples and hundreds of hostas and other rare woodland perennials. There will be plenty to see in this meticulously maintained small-batch nursery, and John will devote the tour to teaching us the virtues of the many fabulous selec- tions cultivated on his property. Following the tour there will be time to purchase plants. Then the group will head over to nearby Lost Acres Orchard. Lunch is available for purchase and includes a nice selection of homemade sandwiches and salads. Relax on the porch of the wonderful barn or wander through the orchard, sit in the shade and enjoy a wonderfully prepared lunch.
John O’Brien is owner of O’Brien Nurserymen, LLC, which has grown into New England’s premier hosta nursery. The extensive display gardens feature over 1,600 hosta varieties, as well as other shady characters, including asarums, pulmonarias, epimediums and arisaemas. The gardens also include a wide variety of unusual dwarf conifers and over 100 varieties of Japanese maples.
Materials fee of $10 paid directly to the instructor. Bring a bag lunch. Click here for supply list.
Join cut-paper artist Pamela Dalton for a fun, hands-on workshop on the art of Scherenschniite (cut paper). Using botanical themes including fruits, flowers and foliage, learn simple techniques and practice making small, beautiful images in paper. Students will create multiple Scherenschniite, executed in the style of the Pennsylvania German tradition. The instructor will also share paper cutting from a variety of cultures and historic periods.
Artist Pamela Dalton’s Scherenschnitte have delighted collectors worldwide for almost 25 years. Her work is created in the tradition of early American paper cutting popular in the Pennsylvania Dutch regions of this country in the early 19th century. Dalton’s original designs are influenced by popular historical themes: patriotism, biblical and religious motifs and scenes from rural life. Each piece is sketched freehand by the artist and then cut by hand, so no two are exactly alike. Each work is cut from a single piece of paper.
The morning program is fully enrolled. Please sign up for the afternoon session.
Join Matthew Noyes, horticulturist and grounds manager at The Clark for an exploration of the new museum campus and sustain- ability efforts. This walking tour is an overview of the campus with a focus on the rain gardens, the pump room and green roofs. Other topics will include native plants and land-use practices. Following the tour, participants can enjoy a visit to The Clark museum for a 50% discounted ticket price.
Matthew Noyes is responsible for the management of the 140-acre Clark campus including trails, woodlands, meadows, and gardens. He has worked closely with the landscape architecture firm Reed Hildebrand to realize the campus improvements and sustainability efforts in the reimagined Clark campus. Noyes, a Williamstown native, has a B.A. in history from Nichols College and an A.A.S. in Horticulture Technology from Forsyth Technical Community College. Before arriving at The Clark he served as the director of horticulture at Old Salem Museums and Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC, overseeing 80 acres of heirloom plants and trees.