helia native nursery


Level 1: Ecological Gardening


Helia Native Nursery welcomes you to join us this winter for a Level 1 Ecological Gardening program which will introduce holistic approaches to landscape design and garden maintenance.  Throughout the 6 sessions you will gain knowledge in the basics of propagation, design concepts, and proper garden maintenance of native plants throughout the entire growing season. What about the winter? Learn techniques on how to implement winter interest with the use of seedpods and fruiting trees and shrubs and how to track wildlife and signs.  


Level 1

Dates: Saturdays 1/19, 2/2, & 2/16  

Time: 10:00am-4:30pm

Price: $  60/single day (2 sessions)

             $160/entire series  (6 sessions)



Register early.  Space is limited.  Bring a bagged lunch.  Workshops will be held upstairs in the red barn.

You can register by email.  Payment can be sent to Helia Native Nursery, 95 East Road, West Stockbridge, MA 01266.



January 19, 2019



Session 1a: Basics in Native Plants and their Significance


Bridghe McCracken – 3 hrs


Do you ever wonder why there is so much talk about adding native plants to your gardens? Session 1 explains how to identify native plants of the Berkshire and their ecologically significance. Students will also learn how to identify the invasive species that threaten native habitats, removal techniques and long-term mitigation options.  


1:00-1:30 Lunch Break



Session 1b: Basics in Propagation


Hannah Goodnow – 3 hrs


Does the thought of growing your own native plants excite you? Propagating is rewarding and seed keeping is very important as the impact of climate change increase. The basics of plant propagation from seed and by division will be discussed. Learn proper methods for seed collecting, cleaning, and storing for long-term longevity of your own backyard seedbank.



February 2, 2019



Session 2a: Developing Winterscapes


Hannah Goodnow - 3 hrs


Winters can be long, cold and dark in New England. Creating winterscapes will not only add visual interest to your property from November to March, but also provide valuable winter food and habitats for songbirds and pollinators. Understand the benefits of leaving up the seed heads of perennial gardens through the winter and how the use of fruiting trees and shrubs can create a songbird winter feeding habitat. Placement of spring bulbs and ephemerals can also be very beneficial and eye catching.


1:00-1:30 Lunch Break


Session 2b: Basics in Wildlife Track and Signs


Elia Del Molino – 3 hrs


Discovering wildlife tracks and signs in our backyards is exciting, but do you know who they belong to? A short presentation followed by an outdoor lab will give participants general skills to identify different types of wildlife tracks and signs and where they can be found.




February 16, 2019



Session 3a: Designing with Native Plants

Bridghe McCracken - 3 hrs



Native plants can be used in every landscape from the rolling meadow to a cozy cottage garden.  Students will learn how to design with native plants in a formal setting as a more natural garden concept with color for each season.


1:00-1:30 Lunch Break


Session 3b: Maintaining a Native Garden


Bridghe McCracken and Hannah Goodnow – 3 hrs


Yes, it’s possible to have a manicured garden and still use native plants. This session will focus on strategies to maintain a successful and attractive native landscape during the growing season. Techniques on how to maintain a wildflower meadow, a formal border and a full English cottage garden will be discussed.