Center House and Gardens at Berkshire Botanical Garden
Sunday, May 1, marks the start of Berkshire Botanical Garden’s 88th outdoor season and the 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 activities for children.
The Garden’s Leonhardt Galleries will feature the first artists of this year’s ART/GARDEN season. The theme for the season is “Symbiosis.” This first exhibit, Shimmer, curated by Sue Muskat and Phil Knoll, brings together 38 artists whose drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures are ignited by paying attention, by being present and making a record, chronicling the condition of life.
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.
9 a.m. – Garden opens for the season
10 a.m. – Garden tour led by Chris Ferrero
Noon-1 p.m. – Spring into the Garden (children’s activities)
11-1 p.m. – Horticulture Certificate Program graduation
11:30-12:30 p.m. – Lee Buttala workshop: Direct Sowing (pre-registration is required)
1:30-2:30 p.m. – Eric Ruquist workshop: Propagating Dahlias (pre-registration is required)
1-3 p.m. Mai Bowle reception, includes herb-infused cookies and the traditional wine punch prepared by the Garden's Herb Associates
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.