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Roy Boutard Day

May 5, 2024 Midnight

Center House and Gardens at Berkshire Botanical Garden

Sunday, May 5, marks Berkshire Botanical Garden’s annual Roy Boutard Day, a community celebration steeped in history and tradition that honors one of BBG’s most influential past directors. Admission to the Garden is free all day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visitors can stroll the 24-acre grounds, enjoy the spring blooming bulbs and trees, visit the Visitor Center Gift Shop, and attend the Horticulture Certificate Program graduation, followed by a reception hosted by the Herb Associates, a volunteer group that, for 65 years, has created herbal products from the Garden’s 1937 herb garden. Members of the Herb Associates will serve an assortment of herb-infused cookies and Mai Bowle, a May wine punch.

The day also includes a free floral arrangement demonstration, from 3 to 4 p.m., led by our Manager of Buildings and Grounds Kurt Dietrich. He'll demonstrate the construction of a formal flower arrangement: from cut flower selection to structural advice, and tips for longevity while putting together two types of tabletop arrangements. Particpants will enjoy the spectrum between structured formality and fanciful whimsy, and walk away with inspiration.

Always held the first Sunday of May, Roy Boutard Day honors the Swedish horticulturist who came to the United States from Canada in the 1950s after graduating from England’s Royal Horticultural Society Gardens. He served as the Garden’s venerable executive director from 1955 to 1985. Boutard wrote a regular gardening column for The Berkshire Eagle and hosted a gardening show on WBEC. Under his direction, the Garden expanded its grounds and educational offerings, and won numerous gardening awards. 

Visitors on Roy Boutard Day will enjoy the spring glory of the Garden, from colorful bulbs, to blooming crabapple, redbud and shadblow trees, to perennials, including peonies and hellebores. In addition, May marks the beginning of the Garden’s summer education program, featuring workshops and classes on topics including horticulture, gardening, botanical drawing and painting.

This year marks the Garden's 90th anniversary season.

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