The Berkshires are all about nature, and there are plenty of ways to get out and experience it. One of the easiest and most beautiful is by checking out the Berkshire Botanical Garden.
The garden is in Stockbridge, just south of the Massachusetts Turnpike, about 20 minutes south of Pittsfield. It's the perfect spot for a stroll in the woods and the best place to see some of our area's most beautiful plant life. Start your day at one of the best coffee shops near Pittsfield, MA, and then head to the garden.
Visit the Beautiful Berkshire Botanical Garden
The garden here started in 1934 when it was the Berkshire Garden Center. The garden is a not-for-profit organization that serves as a showcase of horticulture and garden design ideas. It's described as a museum of living things and one of New England's oldest gardens.
The gardens span 24 acres and have many displays with local and exotic plants. The Fitzpatrick Conservatory is one centerpiece of the garden--a historic curved glass structure home to many succulents and tropical plants.
Of course, one of the best things about visiting any botanical garden is seeing what's blooming when you come. Berkshire Botanical has several areas of tended annuals and perennials that provide a "riot of color" during the summer months.
Another unique feature of the garden is seeing how different plants harness the unique challenges. Within this small 24-acre facility, you'll find a rain garden that acts as a living filter for the parking lot's runoff. You'll also see a solar greenhouse, which demonstrates how solar radiation can be used to provide heat even during the winter months. Finally, a rock garden shows how even plants adapted to harsh environments can be beautiful.
In addition to being a lovely place to visit any month, the garden hosts many events throughout the year. During the season, something happens practically every day in the garden.
First, there are rotating art and educational exhibits. Artists and collectors often display exhibitions in various parts of the garden, using the space as a multi-functional art gallery. Don't be surprised if you see displays during your visit, and ask at the visitor center for information on the current exhibition.
Next, that garden offers tons of adult education and family programs. The garden provides a beautiful natural backdrop to many activities, from watercolor painting sessions to afternoon yoga. Fridays are for family activities, with educators and wildlife experts bringing visitors for the kids. Recently guests included majestic birds of prey and reptiles.
Finally, special events liven the place up throughout the year. In the fall, you won't want to miss the potluck party in the garden, a members-only event with live jazz on the Fitzpatrick Lawn. Winter lectures, plant sales, the Fête des Fleurs garden gala, and the Harvest Festival have also been held annually since 1935.
Get Outside and Enjoy Nature's Show
The garden is one of the Berkshires' hidden gems. No matter when you go, you will surely be treated to a special show. Sometimes it's a special event, and sometimes it's just to wander in the gardens. But whatever brings you to the garden, it's always a magical and memorable experience.