UC Garden Clippings

University of California Botanical Garden

February  2013 - Vol 4, Issue 7

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Free with Garden Admission

Plants Illustrated Exhibition

Now - Friday, February 8
10 am - 4 pm daily

Docent Explainers:
Animal Signs 

Saturday, February 9
2 - 3:30 pm

Docent Explainers: Newts

Sunday, February 10
2 - 3:30 pm

Garden Strollers Tour
Wednesday, February 13  
11 - 11:45 am 
Parents and babies 

Docent Explainers: Newts
Sunday, February 17
2 - 3:30 pm

Docent Explainers: Newts
Monday, February 18
2 - 3:30 pm 

Docent Walks 
Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays
1:30 pm


Winter Self-guided Tour
The tour, which highlights plants from around the world, is a circuit and takes about one hour. It starts at the Garden Entrance. Look for the BLUE numbered markers to guide you to the featured plants. Download the tour and map here. 

Banner Photo by Lauri Twitchell
Photo by Melanie Hofmann 
The Private Life of the Garden's Newts 
The Garden is home to two newt species, Taricha torosa (California newt) and Taricha granulosa (rough-skin newt).
The winter rains prompt the newts to migrate to the Garden's Japanese Pool where their mating rituals and general cavorting can be easily observed by visitors. The Garden is offering several opportunities to get up close and personal with newts this February.

To learn more about our newts, check our
Garden faunal website.

Docent Explainers: Newts

Sunday, February 10, Sunday, February 17 &  

Monday, February 18 

2 - 3:30 pm

Come visit the Japanese Pool at the Garden where the newts are having all kinds of fun. A docent will be available to explain the newt activity and maybe even net a newt or two for a close-up

look, while explaining the newt's life-cycle and habitat. Drop-in program. Free with Garden admission.  

Propagator's Choice

Raabe Gladiolus
Raabe Gladiolus

Gladioli are a classic perennial corm in the iris family (Iridaceae). They grow in full sun and appreciate regular water during their summer growing season. We are offering some hybrids from a breeding program created by Dr. Robert Raabe (UC emeritus professor, plant pathologist, and stalwart of the Sick Plant Clinic). They are being sold in grab bag pots; flower color is unknown but the range includes reds,  

pinks, lavenders, yellows and bicolors.  



Our one gallon pots are stuffed with bulbs just waiting to show their summer blooms and are priced at only $4.00 each. Try a few pots to enliven your garden! And remember, our Plant Deck features a wide variety of beautiful and unusual plants.


Our Valentine for You
Rhododendron arboreum 













At a time when temperatures could still drop into the low 20s Fahrenheit and the inclement weather in the Bay Area is warning other flowers to stay tucked in the bud, this rhododendron begins to light the winter skies with a deep red glow. One of the most beautiful of the Asian species, it is the national flower of Nepal, and is featured in the Garden's logo. It is also one of the first Asian species to have been identified - in 1796 in Uttar Pradesh, India. In its native habitat its red blooms are displayed against a backdrop of the snow-clad Himalayas. "Arboreum" means tree-like, and it is not uncommon for plants to reach heights of over 25m (80ft) in the wild!  


Rhododendron arboreum is number 12 on the current Winter Self-Guided Tour. This seasonal walk describes 22 intriguing plants in the collection, marked by a blue number. 


Download the tour and map. Take the walk online with our photo tour. Pick-up a pamphlet at the Kiosk. 



Give Flowers All Year with a Garden Membership

Take advantage of all that the Garden has to offer with a Garden membership for Valentine's Day! Enjoy a restoring stroll among the world's largest species collection of California native plants. Rejuvenate with a brisk 'walk around the world' with miles of paths through our global plant collection. Experience the natural world and learn something new with a docent walk or an Explainer session.


Visit as often as you like, everyday from 9 am to 5 pm. As a m

camellia japonica
Camellia japonica

ember, you and your valentine will enjoy many members-only privileges, including reciprocal admission at more than 270 gardens throughout North America.


Questions? Contact our Membership Department:

Four Ways to Join or Renew
On-Site: Stop by the Garden Kiosk
Phone: 510-643-1924
Mail: 200 Centennial Dr Berkeley CA 94720-5045


The Garden Shop
A Garden Gift for Your Valentine
Valentine's Day is coming!  The Garden Shop has special gifts for the one you love.  Chocolate and Valentine cards go hand in hand and botanically inspired chocolates from local chocolate maker, Maison Bouche, are a perfect match with our UCBG Plants Illustrated Botanical Art Note Cards.  Fruits and flowers meld with delicious dark and milk chocolate for remarkable flavors and the hazelnut, acorn and pinecone shaped morsels are divine!

Santa Cruz based Bonny Doon Farm uses their local, organically grown lavender for soap, lotion, garden hand  salve and sachets - perfect for a little Valentine treat!


February Programs
Photo by Melanie Hofmann
Winter Birding Walk

Saturday, February 9, 9 - 10:30 am 

Winter is a surprisingly active time for birds in the Garden. Join Chris Carmichael, Associate Director of Collections and Horticulture and Phila Rogers, notable Bay Area birder for this lovely morning walk through the Garden. Heavy rain cancels this walk. Space is limited. Registration required: $20, $15 members.  



Docent Explainers: Animal Signs
Saturday, February 9, 2 - 3:30 pm
What animals do you think might have their home in or near the UC Botanical Garden? What sign might they leave as clues to their presence? In this docent interpretation station you will test your nature detective skills by examining plaster casts made from animal tracks and learn about the different gaits (walk, gallop, hop) used by animals. Play a critter identification guessing game looking at clues of signs and tracks. Drop-in program. Free with Garden admission.

Valentine's Day Tea for Kids
Sunday, February 10
First Seating |FULL!
Second Seating | 1 - 2:30 pm - REGISTER ONLINE!
Enjoy a special celebration of herbs and flowers at this afternoon tea party. We'll use our senses to explore these fragrant edibles, talk about their uses and benefits, and see how they grow. Make fresh teas and bite-size herb finger sandwiches. Also make valentines from pressed botanicals to take home. Space is limited. Children need to be accompanied by a registered adult. Registration required: $18, $15 members.

Docent Explainers: Newts
Sunday, February 10 | Sunday, February 17 | Monday, Febraury 18
2- 3:30 pm

Come visit the Japanese Pool at the Garden where the newts are having all kinds of fun. A docent will be available to explain the newt activity and maybe even net a newt or two for a close-up look, while explaining the newt's life-cycle and habitat. Drop-in program. Free with Garden admission.

Photo by Melanie Hofmann
Member's Walk: Seasonal Highlights with Chris Carmichael

Thursday, February 14, 1 - 2:30 pm
Take a walk with the Garden's Associate Director of Collections and Horticulture to discover his seasonal favorites. Members only; free; registration required. REGISTER ONLINE!
Orchids at the Garden 
Orchids 101 with Brian the Orchid Guy
Saturday, February 16, 10 am - 11:30 am
Orchids are for everyone! Join Henry's Garden TV personality Brian Petraska ("The Orchid Guy") for an orchid growing basics workshop and demonstration. Brian will share his orchid knowledge and inside secrets to getting orchids to bloom year after year. Students are encouraged to bring in their orchids or orchid images from their home garden. Please cover plants brought into the Garden. Brian's Orchid Growing Basics DVD will be available for purchase. Registration required: $25, $20 members. REGISTER ONLINE!

Gary Bukovnik - Nature, Inspiration and Practice: The Orchid Series
Saturday, February 23, 2 pm - 4 pm
The UC Botanical Garden is proud to present The Orchid Series with  Gary Bukovnik. This salon-style reception will feature an artist talk, conversation and watercolor demonstration with Gary Bukovnik. Gary will discuss how he approaches his work and his history with the UC Botanical Garden as he composes and paints a watercolor live for the event. Inspired by Gary's newly donated Orchid Series of watercolors to the Garden, we invite you to experience the creative process of one of the most celebrated Bay Area artists in action. Originals and notecards created from the Orchid Series will be available for purchase. Registration required: $40, $35 members. REGISTER ONLINE!
Final Week! 
The Garden is pleased to announce its fourth annual botanical art exhibition, Plants Illustrated. The exhibition, held in conjunction with the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists, invites viewers to explore the relationship between scientific study and fine art. The exhibit presents original artworks in watercolor, graphite, colored pencil and pen & ink and explores the many styles, forms and approaches unique to botanical art and illustration. Free with Garden Admission

VIEW the Plants Illustrated webpage.


Thursday, February 28, 10 am - 4 pm   

Please check our website for updates on our upcoming botanical art classes with Catherine Watters

Spring Flowers | Thursday, April 11

Roses | Friday, June 14 

Registration Now Open!
Summer Camp 2013 

Our very popular Green Stuff summer camp is open for registration!

Children spend one magical week at this special outdoor science day camp exploring our amazing collection of plants from around the world. Each day is unique and includes walks and creek discoveries, hands-on investigations, journaling, edible gardening, animal studies, storytelling, crafts, and lots more.

Camps are divided by week for 5-7 or 8-10 year olds, with 12 campers and 2 counselors, held June 17 - August 16.

CLICK HERE  for more information and to REGISTER!

Manage Your Subscription 

The UC Garden Clippings is a publication of the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley. You can manage your subscriptions to Garden electronic publications by choosing Update Profile/Email Address at the bottom of the newsletter. The Update Profile/Email Address feature provides subscription options, allowing you to select those garden publications you wish to receive. Select Safe Unsubscribe to remove your email address from all UCBG electronic publications. The Garden offers five email publications:
  • UC Garden Clippings: This is a monthly newsletter featuring garden events and stories.
  • Updates: Occasional brief emails are sent to highlight special garden events.
  • Plant Deck: This is a monthly email describing plants available for purchase in the Garden.
  • Garden Clubs: This is an occasional publication describing special events and opportunities for garden clubs and plant societies.
  • Tours: Be the first to know when the Garden has a new tour available for schools and other groups. Get details on arranging tours for your group.
  • Botanical Art: You'll receive exclusive information about classes and exhibitions.  
Editor: Vanessa Crews, vcrews@berkeley.edu, 510-643-2937