Join a study group taught by staff at the Berkshire Botanical Garden to consider plant groups of particular interest: herbaceous peonies, flowering shrubs of merit and the enormous genus of geraniums.

May 16 PeopniesNot Your Grandmother’s Peonies May 2

Consider the showgirls of the garden, herbaceous peonies. Elisabeth Cary will take students on a tour of some of the best herbaceous peonies, including some of the exceptional species, Paeonia japonica, or woodland peonies. Each selection will be discussed for garden-worthiness, growth habit, aesthetic consideration, siting, planting, cultivation and maintenance. Tips on how to integrate these beauties into the mixed border, a woodland setting or as cut flowers will be covered. Students will take home a division or seedling from the instructor’s collection.

Flowering Shrubs to Grow at Home May 9Hamamelis intermedia 'Diana'2

Longing for that special hydrangea? Remember that sweet shrub your grandmother had? Learn about the amazing variety of flowering shrubs – both native and non-native – available for the home landscape. Take a tour of the Garden’s great collection of shrubs, and consider varieties, cultivation requirements, designing with shrubs, and pruning. Students will learn how to propagate woody shrubs from greenwood cuttings and will receive a list of fabulous shrubs to grow at home.

May 16 Land of Geraniums3The Land of Geraniums May 16

Although a modest group of plants, geraniums serve a wide range of purposes in the garden. As ground covers for both sun and shade, these flowering warriors of the garden sprawl and tumble throughout the perennial border. Investigate this genus and identify those that serve the gardener well. Selections will be discussed for garden-worthiness, growth habit, aesthetic consideration, siting, planting, cultivation and maintenance.

Elisabeth Cary is the Director of Education at the Berkshire Botanical Garden and has been gardening for over 25 years. She specializes in perennial, vegetable and mixed-border gardens.

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