Monthly Archives: 09/2012

Waterfall Repair

Posted on by Surprise Highway

Our 20ft waterfall on the south side of the garden is  part of a tributary to Cerrito creek. Over the past several years, the 1970's era creek restoration project has been  worn by  the drilling forces of the winter rains. The water comes into the garden with such force that it channelizes, undercuts and washes out areas of the creek. This year we had no choice but to fix the waterfall in fear that it would collapse if we got a big rainstorm. Freshmen from St Mary's High School along with their teacher Jeff assisted staff and Blake Garden volunteers to re-stack the base of the waterfall with 80 lb. bags of concrete. Some students ziplined bags of concrete to others waiting below, who stacked and spiked it into place with steel rebar. Above the waterfall, others were taking out excess gravel that had washed down from above, and moved it to regrade the path of the nearby wetland and new grassland. Weeds from the creek bed were added to compost piles that will be used in the future to boost the soil quality of new planting beds for native grasses. Our two EDSET interns, Karl and Michala, from Albany High School assisted with the project. [nggallery id=183]

Weed Warriors visit Blake

Posted on by Surprise Highway

Once again the Weed Warriors, a dedicated group from Friends of Five Creeks returned to continue our efforts on weed eradication along the south creek. Himalayan blackberries, Algerian ivy and mayten trees have encroached the area and threatened the redwoods planted there by Mrs. Blake probably in the 1920's. Over the past five years the weed Warriors along with a few other groups have made the creek accessible and aided in restoration planning.

Garden Guild at Blake

Posted on by Surprise Highway
Filed under: Community

The Garden Guild from the East Bay came for a tour and a picnic last week. The weather was stunning and the NASA shuttle flew  over while we were getting ready for the tour. Garden Guild member Charlotte Ferrey shared some photos with us, four of which are below. For more beautiful photos by Charlotte click HERE.

Octopus Agave

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

A very large Octopus Agave, Agave vilmoriniana, was donated by our neighbor, Rudy Schmidt,  a  retired botany professor at U.C. Berkeley. We planted it out on the lookout as a replacement for  the invasive Acacia baileyana trees that have been doing their job to stop the steep slope at the lookout from eroding, but when allowed to flower and go to seed they spread throughout this area of the garden.