The Berkshires are full of gorgeous gardens with plants indigenous to the region. The Berkshire Botanical Garden is at the intersection of Routes 102 and 183.
BERKSHIRE BOTANICAL GARDEN The Garden is open May through mid-October and emphasizes indigenous plants that thrive in the region. Popular annual events include the Plant Sale in May, the Flower Show, Fete de Fleurs Garden Party, Harvest Festival and Holiday Fair. The Garden is always a great place to explore, and usually there's something going on on the grounds. Check online for informative lectures on all things botanical, and a visit to the gift shop is intriguing with local resources like pots made by Campo di Fiori. (www.berkshirebotanical.org) 5 West Stockbridge Road, Stockbridge (413) 298-3926
Continue on Route 102 to Stockbridge (West Stockbridge Road becomes Church Street, then a right onto Main Street leads to town.) Turn right on Route 7 (from the corner you'll see the Red Lion Inn across the street) and drive about 2 miles to Windy Hill Farm. On the way, just south of Stockbridge, the Housatonic River floodplain is always a beautiful view.
WINDY HILL FARM Apple orchard, blueberry field,nursery and garden center, it's inspiring wandering around these gardens and orchards. The shop has great tools, beautiful books and objects for the garden. A big seasonal draw for picking blueberries or apples with the family, their cider is the best I've ever had (see slideshow posted on this site). (www.windyhillfarminc.com) 686 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington (413) 298-3217
Head south on Route 7 past Mounument Mountain on your right (a great place to hike – you can see as far north as Mount Greylock and west to the Catskills.) As you drive downhill on 7, turn right on Old Stockbridge Road, then a sharp right at Route 183/ North Park Street. Taft Farms will be on your left a few hundred yards up the road. Taft's is popular locally for produce and plants.
Taft is located on the corner of Park and Division Streets, so turn onto Division Street and head west, over the Housatonic River. On the right you'll pass the Guthrie Center – an Interfaith Church founded by Arlo Guthrie (corner of Van Deusenville Road). Stay on Division Street until you reach a blinking stoplight at Route 41. Turn right and drive north on Route 41/ North Plain Road for about a mile and a half.
PROJECT NATIVE Nurtured and guided by environmental professionals, this is a local treasure for seeds and indigenous plants. For those interested in planting beautiful gardens and restoring the diversity of the region, walk the grounds and visit the shop for local seeds and books. (www.projectnative.org) 342 North Plain Road (Route 41), Great Barrington (413) 274-3433
MORE PLACES OF INTEREST
CAMPO DE' FIORI Driving a little further south on Main Street/Route 7, everything is excellent at this charcuterie-cafe.www.bizalions.com Located across from the fairgrounds at 684 Main Street #3 (413) 644-9988.
WARD'S NURSERY Large garden center just south of town. (www.wardsnursery.com) 600 South Main Street, Great Barrington (413) 528-0166