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UC Garden Clippings
University of California Botanical Garden
January 2010 - Vol 2, Issue 7
In This Issue
January in the Garden: Plants Illustrated
Just for Members
California Pipevine
January Programs
Winter Tour
January Shop Sale


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January in the Garden: Plants Illustrated
Plants IllustratedBefore photography, scientists relied on the work of botanical illustrators to document and record plants. Today botanical art is prized for plant portraits that are both elegant and technically accurate. Artist Catherine Watters explains, "Botanical art is a magical way of looking at plants. You see things most people never see and appreciate the wonders of nature in a new way. It's a marriage of art and science."

Botanical artists are trained to be patient and observant. A  portrait usually begins with close examination of a living plant using a magnifying glass. This is followed by a detailed pencil drawing and slowly adding many layers of color. A single piece can take an artist 40 to 120 hours to complete, and can combine views of plants at different seasons and include tubers, roots and even visiting insects. Catherine Watters suggests, "The elegant images of botanical art capture the soul of the plant."

Watters and 36 fellow artists from the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists are sponsoring the Garden's first art show ever, Plants Illustrated, January 16 - 29, in the Garden's Conference Center. With over 50 pieces of original artwork in watercolor, graphite, colored pencil as well as pen and ink this show will delight admirers of both plants and art.

conservation plantsPodcast
Listen to the Garden's first podcast and hear Paul Licht's complete interview with Catherine Watters. Born and raised in Paris, where her love of art began,  Watters is a botanical artist who paints in watercolor on paper and vellum. She shows her work in several juried and invitational exhibitions each year, most recently at The Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation in Pitttsburgh, PA, The Horticultural Society of New York, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the San Francisco Botanical Garden and Filoli in Woodside, CA.

Silent Auction
The show will also feature a silent auction of five limited edition giclée prints donated by Plants Illustrated artists. Visit our website for details.

Botanical Art Note Cards
Take home a little piece of Plants Illustrated by purchasing note cards featuring botanical illustrations from the exhibit. These beautiful cards are a Garden exclusive and include the Garden logo on the back. Thank you to artists Catherine Watters and Lee McCaffree for donating their graceful images for the cards.

Banner photo: Detail from Rosa rugosa by Catherine Watters
Just for Members

Free For Members in January
conservation plantsArtists & Members Reception for Plants Illustrated
Saturday, January 16, 2 - 5 pm
Parking will be very limited. Please carpool.
Thank you to our exhibit sponsor Barefoot Wine & Bubbly for pouring wine at the reception.

Five Ways to Join
On-Site: Stop by the Garden Kiosk
Phone: 510-643-2755 x0
FAX: 510-642-3012
Mail: 200 Centennial Dr · Berkeley · CA 94720

Thank you for supporting the UC Botanical Garden.
California pipevine (Aristolochia californica)
Conservation by Holly Forbes, Curator
The Plants Illustrated exhibit of botanical art in the Garden reminds us of the long tradition of illustration of new species by artists for the purpose of species description and in the naming of new species in publication.

California pipevine (Aristolochia californica) California pipevine (Aristolochia californica) was described as a new species by American botanist John Torrey (1796-1873) in an 1857 report of the Pacific Railroad. California pipevine is a widespread species in northern California, occurring from the Oregon border to Monterey County along the coast, and in the northern and central Sierran foothills. This perennial woody vine flowers in early spring, overlapping with its leafing out. The flowers are pollinated by fungus gnats and the leaves are host to caterpillars of the pipevine swallowtail butterfly (Battus philenor). You can observe these blue-black-colored butterflies in the Garden in late spring, drifting over the pipevine plants and nearby in the Californian Area. Adult butterflies feed on nectar from a wide variety of plants, including thistles, lupines, and gilias. Planting California pipevine and nectar plants in your own garden can lead to visits by this spectacular butterfly.

Many of the other plants illustrated in the exhibit can also be seen in the living collections, and botanical art walks with our docents on January 17, 20, 24, and 27 at 1 pm will take you right to them.

Aristolochia californica (pictured above) by Lee McCaffree can be seen in the Garden's exhibit, Plants Illustrated. McCaffree is a botanical illustrator in watercolor.  She began her career in London, England studying under Christabel King of Kew Gardens and Capel Manor Environmental College. She received medals for showing her "Pinus" and "Plants in Peril" series at the Royal Horticultural Society exhibitions in London.

California pipevine (Aristolochia californica)Propagator's Choice by Bryan Gim
The California pipevine (Aristolochia californica), sometimes called dutchman's pipe, is easy to grow at home and is frost and  drought resistant. It requires sun to part-shade, will benefit from regular water and blooms best if provided a sturdy support such as a tree or fence to climb. The pipevines in the Garden's collection already have hundreds of tiny blooms and buds. The delicate flowers will get bigger as spring progresses. Take a stroll through the California area and look for pipevine on your left as you approach the Oak Knoll. In summer, the plants are magnets for the beautiful large, dark pipevine swallowtail butterfly.

One gallon pots of California pipevine are available on The Plant Deck for $12.
Programs and Events
Pink Lemonade by Sally PetruPlants Illustrated
January 16-29, 10 am - 4 pm
An exhibit of Botanical Art
sponsored by the
Northern California Society of Botanical Illustrators

The Exhibition will be closed to the public for the Members & Artists Reception on the opening day,
January 16th from 2 pm - 5 pm.

Free with Garden Admission

Botanical Art Walks
Wednesdays & Sundays, January 17, 20, 24, 27 at 1 pm
Walk through the Garden with our expert docents as they highlight plants in the collection depicted in the exhibition including the Aristolochia californica seen above.
$12, $10 members, Reservations Required

Botanical Art Through the Ages
Saturday, January 23, 1 pm - 2:30 pm
Join artist Catherine Watters for an in-depth look at the rich history of botanical art. View a collection of prints, slides and other media covering major botanical artists such as Pierre-Redouté and Maria Sybilla Merian and events such as Tulipomania and the Age of Exploration. Note: other local venues are charging $75 for this Watters art talk.
Free with Garden admission
, Reservations Required

Pictured top right: Pink Lemonade by Sally Petru "For me, it begins with stopping to enjoy and appreciate the natural beauty of a flower, fruit, or vegetable. When I find a pleasing subject the task becomes how to artistically describe a specimen so that is not only clear to the viewer but a pleasure to view."  Sally Petru

Coming in February:

Sick Plant Clinic
Saturday, February 6,  9 am - noon

Introduction to Botanical Art
Saturday and Sunday February 20 & 21 10 am - 4 pm
This two-day class will teach you to observe, measure and draw plants in great detail with botanical accuracy. Work with graphite, colored pencils and watercolor. Led by artist Catherine Watters. No experience necessary, anyone can do this class!
$125, $115 members, Reservations Required

A History of Gardens in Three Parts
Saturdays February 6, 13 & 27, 2010, 1 pm - 3:30 pm
Part 1 | Ancient and Medieval Gardens Canceled, Look for a New Date Soon!
Part 2 | Landscape Design from the Renaissance to the Early Modern Period
Part 3 | Modernism
$15, $12 members each class; $40, $30 members for all 3

Always check the Garden Calendar for event details and updates.
Reservations are accepted daily, including weekends, 9 am - 4:30 pm.
Call 510-643-2755 x03 for event registration or to purchase/renew a membership.
Self- Guided Winter Tour
Ceanothus cv. Berkeley Skies
"While we may feel in the deep of winter, our native California flora and fauna are coming to life. With the fall rains plants in the California Area begin to end their dormancy.   Several species of polypody ferns are up and growing.  The first manzanitas, California-lilacs and annuals are beginning to blossom. Almost as soon as the days begin to lengthen certain birds start to sing their spring songs.   Dark-eyed Juncos are beginning to trill, and the first American Robins are now singing in the Garden."
Chris Carmichael, Associate Dir., Collections & Horticulture

Explore the Garden with our self-guided Winter Tour. Download the guide or pick one up at the Garden's entrance kiosk. The tour is a circuit and takes about one hour.  It starts at the entrance to the California Area and ends at the Arid House.  Look for the blue numbered markers (pictured below) to guide you to the featured plants.

winter tour markerThe first stop on the tour is a garden cultivar, Ceanothus  'Berkeley Skies' (pictured above). Also known as "California-lilac" the plant is native to shrub and chaparral communities, and makes a fine garden subject so long as summer watering is limited after plants are established.  Look elsewhere in the Garden, and on the edges of the Mather Redwood Grove, for other examples of the more than forty native species of Ceanothus. They range in size from low spreading mats to small trees, with blossoms in shades of white to palest blue to bright blue and violet.
 January Sale at the Garden Shop: 40% Off All Books
booksThe Garden Shop has a tremendous selection of books, some hard-to-find, on plants and the natural world.  We have children's books, plant and animal identification guides, garden design books and many volumes specific to California landscapes. All books will be 40% off starting on January 9. Pick up a selection, for yourself or as gifts, and start thinking about spring!

Sample titles:
Peterson's Field Guide to Birds
Plant Life in the World's Mediterranean Climates
The Names of Plants
What Darwin SawWhat Darwin Saw
and many more...

No other discounts apply. Limited to supply on hand.

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Editor: Vanessa Crews,, 510-643-2937