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Monthly Archives: 10/2013

Origami Pots at Mini Maker Faire

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education, Community,

The Mini Maker Faire was held Sunday at Park Day School and Studio Art Center in Oakland. We were asked to come and give a demonstration. Our demonstration was making origami pots out of non toxic newsprint (San Francisco Chronicle) and starting California native flowers seeds in anticipation of the winter rain.



Hoheria for bowl-turning

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Art In The Garden,

Local woodturner John Doyen came by to pick up some Hoheria wood, New Zealand lacebark tree, from a downed branch for future projects. Our EDSET interns helped by carrying the logs up the slope to his truck.



Gifts from the Carmelites

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Community,

The Nuns presented us with a cast iron plaque originally made for the Edwin Blake estate which served as their Monastery for many years. Also, the Nuns presented some Guernsey lilies to us for planting. These lilies are native to Africa and were brought to the Edwin Blake estate by Mr. and Mrs. Anson Blake who were horticulturists.



Wheelbarrow Repair

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Restoration, Community,

After years of rusting, our wheelbarrows were repaired by the architecture shop at the College of Environmental Design saving us from having to replace them.



Landscape Supervisor's Forum tours Blake

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Sustainability,

The Landscape Supervisors Forum, a group of Bay Area landscape professionals, were in the garden for their monthly meeting and a tour of Blake Garden. The topic of the tour was "Creative Reuse of Garden Waste".  With artist Zach Pine, we toured the "Create with Nature Zone" -- the area in which we provide materials from the garden to build natural sculpture, and we visited all of our compost systems: cold, hot, hugelkultur and worm. Dawn, one of the gardeners, presented a display of colored wool  that she dyed with plant materials from the garden. 



Construction on ramp resumes

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Design, Build, Community,

The progress continues on the handicap ramp leading to our new handicap bathroom. Steel posts were put into the ground ten feet deep and then concrete was poured into the hole to  hold them in place. The path structure  will be attached to the top of the posts.



Bamboo bonanza

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Design, Build, Community,

Recently our neighbor's bamboo grove went to seed and was cut down by contractors. With the help of our EDSET interns from Albany High School, we cut, bundled, and hauled it to the garden. The timing was good, for all of our bamboo structures that have been up for several years ( see the posts about the bamboo tunnel, the bamboo aqueduct)  need repair or replacement.



Merritt College at Blake

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Education,

On a glorious fall afternoon, Chris Grampp (Chair of Merritt College's Landscape Horticulture Department) brought his Landscape Sketching class to the garden where they spent most of the day drawing.



More Bees Arrive

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Flora & Fauna,

Chris Bauer from Beard of Bees/Bubble Farm Soap Co. came with a new hive to add to the existing hives. He dropped off some honey from his last visit along with some soaps and salves made from the beeswax.



New grads campout at Blake

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Community,

As an orientation event this year for the U.C. Berkeley Landscape Architecture Department, we held a cook out and a campout at the garden. During breakfast we had a quick craft activity making handmade sketchbooks, razor strops, and bamboo ink pens.