March 2013 Clippings

UC Garden Clippings

University of California Botanical Garden

March  2013 - Vol 4, Issue 8

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Free with Garden Admission
Sick Plant Clinic
Saturday,  March 2
9 am - 12 noon

 Docent Explainers: Newts
Sunday, March 3
Sunday, March 17

Sunday, March 24
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 Marion Brenner 
The genus Rhododendron includes shrubs commonly known as rhododendrons and azaleas. Rhododendrons have been in bloom in the Garden since the middle of January.  The UCBG logo flower, Rhododendron arboreum, is one of the earliest winter bloomers.  Found in the Asian Area, its brilliant red blossoms are an encouraging discovery during the longest days of winter.  Displaying the largest number  of rhododendron species in  the Garden, plants from the Asian Area show a wide range of colors,including white,
rhododendron arboreum
Rododendron arboreum Photo by Melanie Hofmann
pink, red, purple, yellow and orange.  From now through the middle of summer, a walk through the Asian Area reveals many rhododendrons in blossom, including the striking tree forms from the Himalayan foothills in bloom now. 

Rhododendrons occur in other Garden areas as well.  They are most prominent in the Eastern North American Area, where both deciduous azaleas and evergreen rhododendrons occur in the understory. California sports two species, including the striking selection of the western azalea, R. occidentale 'Myrt's Blush', blooming soon in the serpentine collection. Often a surprise to our visitors, a number of beautiful rhododendrons from the Vireya group occur in the Australasian Area.  These tropical species are found from Southeast Asia through the Malay Archipelago and into New Guinea and Australia.

While it's still winter the rhododendrons in bloom now suggest spring is rapidly approaching.  Stop by and check out their bright and cheerful floral display.

FULL!  Members Walk: Rhododendrons

Wednesday, March 20, 1 - 2:30 pm

Explore the Garden's most iconic plants with Horticulturist Elaine Sedlack. Learn about rhododendron diversity of form and their exotic origins.

Propagator's Choice
Pacific Mist Manzanita,
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Pacific Mist'

Pacific Mist Manzanita
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi 'Pacific Mist'
Manzanitas (genus Arctostaphylos) are rhododendron relatives in the family Ericaceae.  The 'Pacific Mist' manzanita is a lovely sprawling shrub, growing to two feet tall with a 6-10 foot spread.

It will be covered with white blooms during the winter and is cold hardy to 10 degrees F.  It makes a great ground cover and can be used as a lawn replacement.  One gallon pots are priced at $10.



Spring Plant Sale 

Save the date for our biggest event of the year, the Spring Plant Sale, sponsored by Expert Tree Service, Eden Canyon Vineyards and Bancroft Catering!  


Members' Only Sale: Friday, April 26

Public: Saturday, April 27 

Artist in Residence Exhibition
Marion Brenner
Photo by Melanie Hofmann
Marion Brenner Exhibition
March 8 - 16, 10 am - 4 pm daily
The Garden is pleased to announce our first Artist in Residence exhibition by renowned photographer and Berkeley resident
Photo by Marion Brenner
Marion Brenner. Ms. Brenner has created a body of work featuring the beautiful plants and landscapes of the Garden and this exhibition highlights her Garden portfolio. Marion Brenner's photographs have appeared in numerous books and magazines, including House & Garden, Martha Stewart Living, House Beautiful, Landscape Architecture, The New York Times, Elle Décor, Garden Design and Sunset Magazine. In 2002, the Berkeley Museum hosted her one-person show entitled, 'The Subtle Life of Plants and People.'
Free with Garden admission

Members Reception
Thursday, March 14, 2 pm - 4 pm
Meet our Artist in Residence Marion Brenner at a special reception celebrating our first Artist in Residence exhibition.
Free; members only. REGISTER ONLINE!
An Aesthetic Lens: Capturing the Garden through Photography
Saturday, March 16, 4 pm - 7 pm
Don't miss this rare opportunity to join award-winning garden photographer Marion Brenner on a unique journey through the Garden during the sunset hours. She'll share her expertise in landscape photography and guide you through the process of capturing the Garden in photo. Bring along your trusted camera and a tripod. $90, $75 members
Tour Highlight
Rhododendron protistum 
rhododendron protistum hofmann
Rhododendron protistum
Photo by Melanie Hofmann

Without the tell-tale trusses of 30 white florets, this tree with its enormous leaves would be mistaken by many for a magnolia. Rhododendron protistum is native to the steep, moist gorge of the Mekong/Salween River divide (dividing China and Myanmar/Burma). In 1918, George Forrest was the first to identify and introduce the species protistum into cultivation. This particular tree is actually an accidental hybrid, which occurred when Garden staff tried to hand-pollinate the true species (a Forrest collection dating from 1932), which is located in Bed 230. It appears to be a cross with Rhododendron grande, located next to the Japanese Pool.

Rhododendron protistum x R. grande is number 10 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.
Rhododendron occidentale 
Rhodendron occidentale
'Myrt's Blush'
Photo by Marion Brenner
March Membership
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 a newt explainer. Join or renew online!
Save Friday April 26 for the best plant party in town. Enjoy a glass of Eden Canyon Vineyards wine and appetizers from Bancroft Catering at the Members' Only Spring Plant Sale Reception. The Spring Plant Sale is sponsored by Expert Tree Service.

Questions? Contact our Membership Department: or 510-643-1924

Four Ways to Join or Renew
On-Site: Stop by the Garden Kiosk
Phone: 510-643-1924
Mail: 200 Centennial Dr ˇ Berkeley ˇ CA 94720-5045
The Garden Shop
Here Now. . .
  Bukovnik Cards
The Garden Shop has a new collection of UCBG note cards featuring the work of watercolor artist Gary Bukovnik.  His four Orchid Series images were the focus of his recent, successful workshop here in the Garden and now grace these beautiful cards - available individually or in sets of twelve.

Coming Soon. . . 

Bunny Bag Bunny SoapBunny Towel
Spring will be here before you know it and the Garden Shop offers lots of inspiration to help you celebrate the season. For kids, everything needed to start a veggie or flower garden is contained in our Little Bunny Garden and Kaleidoscope Garden kits.  For a fun alternative to bunnies, how about a fuzzy Audubon bird, with a realistic bird call? And the UCBG Illustrated Guide to Common Animals of the East Bay Hills, featuring our local East Bay critters, will help you identify what you see when you are out and about and it tucks nicely into backpacks (and baskets).  If rabbits are what you are looking for, come see the bunnies and veggies on the botanical-art inspired soap, dishtowels and market Bags from Michel Designs.  New things are arriving daily so stop on by! 
March Programs
Full! The Secret Garden Family Walk  
Sunday, March 3, 1 pm - 2 pm
Discover the Garden's wonderful "hidden paths and secret spots." This fun guided walk for families is offered in conjunction with the world premiere of  Cal Performances' and SF Opera's original production of the classic children's book The Secret Garden, which runs March 1-10. 

Docent Explainers: Newts
Sundays, March 3, March 17 & March 24, 2 pm - 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.
Free with Garden admission. No Registration required.

Saturday, March 23, 9:30 am - 12 noon
We're rolling out the Welcome Wagon to greet all our newest members and everyone that has joined the Garden over the past year.  New members are invited to join us at 9:30 am for a "meet & greet" and morning treats, followed by an introduction from Garden Director Paul Licht at 10 am. At 11 am we'll take a special docent-led tour of the Garden. Come learn more about the Garden, its exciting programs, rich history and the many ways you can become involved in our Garden community. Pre-registration required, free. REGISTER ONLINE

Naturally Dyed Eggs
Saturday March 30, First Session | 2 pm - 2:45 pm
Second Session | 3 pm - 3:45 pm
This hands-on workshop will introduce children to the joy of natural dyes while they make their own patterns on eggs with brilliant plant-based colors. Price includes 4 eggs per participant. Two session times available: 2 - 2:45 pm or 3 - 3:45 pm. Registration required: Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. $15, $12 members. REGISTER ONLINE
Fiber & Dye Sneak Peek
Fiber & Dye Exhibition Opens!
March 31 - April 14, 10 am - 4 pm daily
The biodiversity of plant-based fibers and dyes is vast. From traditional uses to inspired future innovation in eco-fashion and textiles, a walk through our exhibit illuminates the connection of culture with nature. Free with Garden Admission; No Registration Required

An Introduction to Plant Dyes
Sunday March 31; 10 am - 1 pm
Come learn the basics of creating brilliant colors from nature in this introductory workshop on natural dyes. You'll leave with an understanding of fibers, color selection, mordanting, resist techniques and fabric and yarn samples. Participants may bring a garment or textile from home to dye.
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,, 510-643-2937