Visit 'Through the Looking Glass: A Photography Exhibit Celebrating the Wonders of Blake Garden'.
This show includes 24 photographs, each with a unique perspective on this ever-changing landscape.
Exhibit is open during garden hours- Monday through Friday from 8 to 4:30 and will be open until March 30th.
The design for the new Blake Garden tee shirt was created by landscape architecture student Adeline Belsby. Her design captures both the diversity of the garden's plantings and its historic setting.
Adeline Belsby in an undergraduate in the UC Berkeley Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning department.
My interest in Landscape Architecture originates from spending summers working on my grandparents’ farm and understanding how a landscape could be productive yet also beautiful and diverse. The rest of the year I live in cities and I wanted to find ways to incorporate the productive, healing power of plants in urban, people-dominated landscapes. The process of accommodating change is captivating to me since landscape architecture is never static and we need to be able to conceptually grasp that people, plants, and spaces grow and die. This field also allows me to explain my ideas visually, using my art in a beneficial way for all to understand and be drawn to.
Neighborhood birder Sonja Raub has been photographing nesting birds at Blake. She has great shots of nesting Hummingbirds, a Cooper's Hawk chick, Wilson's Warblers, and Pacific-Slope Flycatchers and more.
Last fall, Sahoko Yui began a year long artist in residency at Blake Garden. Sahoko has a Ph.D. in Geography and has taught landscape architecture courses at both UC-Berkeley and at UC-Davis. We are very excited to follow her year long process exploring the garden.
"I want to celebrate the colors and the plant variety in Blake Garden. Using colors extracted from plants in the garden, I examine the histories and narratives that lie within them. I also use materials to be composted such as plant trimmings and food waste. Hues are extracted under various natural and created conditions. Altering the conditions of how color is extracted, manipulated, and used is a way of questioning our perception of colors of the landscape. This work explores the intersection of perception, color, and untold stories of the garden."
This summer the garden provided a study site for designing and building birdhouses and hosted students from the UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design summer program, Embarc,. While collaborating with a local chapter of the Audubon Society the students educated themselves about birds of this area and what kind of boxes they would choose to nest in. The garden received three of the nest boxes and we installed them recently in several places in the garden.
Recently we got several loads of mulch from an arborist working in the neighborhood. Mulch is made of trees or branches chipped into small pieces and spread over paths or flower beds. There are many benefits of doing this. Mulch holds moisture in the soil preventing evaporation and mulch prevents weeds from sprouting. It also breaks down over time turing into organic matter that provides other benefits to the soil. This mulch is from pine trees and smells really good!
We cut down the native bulrush, Tule in the constructed wetland to make way for new sprouts of tule and cattails. A teacher from an area school called us to ask if we had any materials to build a large nest. Her student are studying birds and bird nests and wanted to construct a large one in their school garden. We loaded up her truck.coming
Keiko Nelson is a Bay Area artist and neighbor of Blake Garden. This year she participated in the Lake Merritt Festival of Lights with a sculpture made from bamboo that we had given her from the garden. After the festival she installed the sculpture temporarily in our reflection pool. The title is 17 Layer-the wishes of Peace. Part of the peace dove project. Steve Kapper is the engineer.
The garden serves as a habitat for many creatures and as a landscape laboratory for the U.C. Berkeley Landscape Architecture Department. It is a quiet place for learning and enjoyment.
Recently we made and posted signs on the driveway that read “Respect”, “Quiet” and “Beauty”: three concepts to consider while in the garden. With more visitors there are more pressures on the garden and we are asking visitors to be mindful of these three powerful words. Respect Quiet Beauty while touring our wonderful garden.
Students from the embARC summer program, a program for high school students who are interested in college for architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning were here last week with their families for graduation and an exhibition of bird nest boxes they have designed and built on campus during the program. Some will be installed at Blake to support our birdlife.