Meetings

Meetings of the Berkshire Chapter are generally held in the Education Center at the Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, MA, generally on the first Saturday of the month, from March through November. Our email notices for each meeting give details about the speaker and any changes in date or location, or precautions due to Covid-19.

Click here for directions and a map for the Berkshire Botanical Garden. Coffee and and tea are ready at 10:00 a.m. for informal gathering and conversation. A short business meeting starts at 10:30 a.m., followed by our morning program. Bring your own lunch. A plant sale and auction are usually held before the afternoon program, with plants donated by members and speakers. Proceeds support our chapter.

To sign up to receive notices and reminders of meetings by email, click here. We use MailChimp for our emails, and at the bottom of each one there is a link to update your email address or to unsubscribe from future emails. We never share or rent any email addresses.

2022 Meeting Schedule

February 5, 2022 at 10:00am. Joint Zoom meeting with the Rhododendron Society of Connecticut. Speaker: Seamus O’Brien, Ireland’s leading plantsman and manager of the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland Kilmacurragh.  He has traveled extensively around the globe in search of plants and is a member of the Royal Historical Society Woody Plant Committee,  and the Chairman of the RHS Rhododendron Camellia and Magnolia Group.  In 2018, he was awarded the RHS of Ireland Gold Medal of Honour and in January 2022 he received the Loder Rhododendron Cup in recognition of his work in the conservation of rhododendrons and other plants.

June 11, 2022 — Morning program: Kenton Seth; Modern Crevice Gardens: past, present, and especially future. Afternoon program: Paul Spriggs; My Favorite Crevice Garden plants – beautiful pictures and information of the best plants for crevice gardens. Both speakers are courtesy of the NARGS Traveling Speakers Tour Endowment.

September 10, 2022Note that this is the second Saturday of the month. Morning speaker: Matt Mattus; Where the Blue Poppies Grow – Botanizing in Western China. Enjoy stunning photos and videos that Matt took while on a NARGS Tour of the Snow Mountains of Yunnan, the southernmost extension of alpine flora in China. After lunch, we’ll have THE BIG PLANT SALE. This sale is our biggest fundraiser for the year, and you are guaranteed to find choice plants to bring home to your garden.

October 15, 2022 — Note that this is the second Saturday of the month. There will be a business meeting with election of officers. Our speaker is Kaj Andersen, discussing crevice gardens and alpine plants.
Morning program: Cream of Alpines. A lecture around the plants we care for and grow in our alpine houses, tufa and crevice gardens.
After lunch program: Switzerland, A Mountains Paradise.  Kaj and Mina have traveled extensively in Switzerland. This lecture will present some of the finest and most exciting alpine flora located on those beautiful mountains. Kaj Andersen lives in northern Denmark, near Frederikshavn. It is close to Bangsbo Botanical Garden, where he works in the crevice garden as a volunteer. At age 70, he is retired, but still very active.He has been interested in alpine plants for over 30 years, and travels extensively every year to the European mountains, enjoying Italy, Switzerland, and Austria, in particular. He has thoroughly investigated these mountains, resulting, among other things, in the discovery of new species, as well as recovered species, that were believed to no longer exist. He often finds places that are not usually visited by other horticulturists. He has been giving lectures for over 25 years and has visited almost all the European countries as a speaker. After many years of working with alpine plants, he has been honored by having two plants named after him, Saxifraga “Kaj Andersen” and Saxifraga “Viking.” Both are hybrids from Karel Lang, who endeavors to promote good horticulture through his business in the Czech Republic. He has a small alpine nursery where he germinates and grows alpines, using only wild-collected seeds gleaned from all corners of the world.

November 12, 2022 — Note that this is the second Saturday of the month. Anne Spiegel, Rock Gardening During Covid (surviving a pandemic while maintaining sanity the last three years); Annual Luncheon at the Aegean Breeze Restaurant in Great Barrington. Morning Program: The Covid Pandemic affected the lives of everyone in so many unbelievable ways, but gardens still required attention and care, especially the rock garden. Trying new plants, expanding an already too large rock garden, creating new plant combinations – all of these helped use the new amount of time at home. How fortunate to have a garden.

Members wishing to attend the luncheon at the Aegean Breeze in Great Barrington, MA following the November 12, 2022 meeting should send a $10.00 check per person deposit, which will be returned to them at the restaurant. This will provide us with number of attendees that will be gathering at the Aegean for lunch. The check should be made payable to the Aegean Breeze and sent to Tom Flanigan at the following address by Saturday November 5. Thomas Flanigan, 12 Overbrook Farm Road, Bloomfield, CT 06002. If members have any questions or last minute reservations they can reach me on my mobile, which is (413) 446-9167.

2021 Meeting Schedule

March 6, 2021 — John Lonsdale; Woodland Treasures; Unusual Bulbs for the Garden; Zoom presentations

April 24, 2021 — Panayoti Kelaidis; Georgia (of the Caucasus) on My Mind; Zoom presentation

May 8, 2021 — Open Garden at Elisabeth Zander’s, Goshen, CT; Plant Sale

June 5, 2021 — Lisa Roper; Design Evolution of Chanticleer Gravel Garden; Berkshire Botanic Garden

July 10, 2021 — Judith Lawson; Down the Primrose Path, Parts 1 and 2; Berkshire Botanic Garden

August 7, 2021 — Charley Eiseman; Native Plants as Insect Habitat; Guided Walk pointing out Insect/Plant Associations; Berkshire Botanic Garden

September 11, 2021 — Ernie DeMarie; Plants of South Africa; Zoom presentation. Full technical details will follow in a Berkshire Chapter email to those signed up to receive them. The meeting will start at 10:30 am.

The talk will be on the flora of the highveld and Drakensberg of the summer rainfall region of South Africa.  Ernie will use photos taken from his last trip, which was just before covid hit. It was for two weeks (Xmas, New Years vacation).  That time period is roughly equivalent to late June/early July (being southern hemisphere) and a lot was in flower.  He will also discuss the cultivation potential of the species he selects as well as general habitat characteristics. 

The Big Plant Sale is postponed until the current resurgence of Covid subsides.

October 2, 2021 — NOTE CHANGE: Ernie DeMarie; Plants of South Africa; Zoom presentation. Full technical details will follow in a Berkshire Chapter email to those signed up to receive them. The meeting will start at 10:30 am.

Our previously scheduled speaker, Michael Gordon, did not want to present by Zoom. His presentation is postponed until next year. Please be advised that due to the very high risks associated with the new Delta variant, the October meeting will be by Zoom, and not in person.

The talk will be a continuation of Ernie’s recounting of his latest trip to South Africa for two weeks (Xmas, New Year’s vacation). This time he will speak about going from Mpumalanga into Natal and the lower Drakensberg.  Ernie will use photos taken from this trip, which was just before Covid hit. The time period is roughly equivalent to late June/early July (being Southern Hemisphere) and a lot was in flower.  He will also discuss the cultivation potential of the species he selects as well as general habitat characteristics. 

The Big Plant Sale is postponed until the current resurgence of Covid subsides.

November 6, 2021 — Adam Wheeler; Dwarf Conifers and Small Shrubs for the Rock Garden

Please be advised that due to the very high risks associated with the new Delta variant, the November meeting will be by Zoom, and not in person. Full technical details will follow by email. The meeting will be at 10:30 am.

Adam Wheeler has worked at Broken Arrow Nursery since 2004 and currently manages plant propagation, container production, mail order and the acquisition and development of new plants. He received a BS degree in Urban Forestry and Landscape Horticulture at the University of Vermont and is a recipient of the Young Nursery Professional Award from the New England Nursery Association. He will be speaking about dwarf conifers and unusual shrubs for rock gardens.