The ‘Create with Nature Zone” was created several years ago in collaboration with area artist Zach Pine. People, big or little, can come into the zone and build sculpture out of materials we provide from the garden. Wednesday we found this little boy and his family building this large structure. He explained that he was putting keys in around the base to make the structure more sound. Good idea. It is very sturdy.
I came into the garden on Tuesday morning before Christmas and heard a bunch of crows "cawing" loudly behind the greenhouse. Continuing the morning duties of unlocking doors and opening gates the sound of the crows was replaced by "shack, shack, shack", a flock of Steller's jays in the same location. As I wandered out back to see what the ruckus was, little woodland birds frantically flew left and right. Raven sounds ,"crunk, crunk" replaced the jays. High on a branch, through the fog, back lit by morning light, I could make out the silhouette of a great horned owl and two ravens attacking from either side. One raven would peck high and other low. Then the owl let out a strange sound that resembled simultaneously a hiss and a growl. It raised its enormous wings and then flew silently away.
Area artist Keiko Nelson with the help of Steve Capper from Wildrose Gardens & Ponds has installed a sculpture entitled "Reflection" in our reflection pool. The sculpture is made of bamboo and bamboo chopsticks and was originally installed in the Japanese pool at Lake Merritt for the "Festival of Lights."
(In)Land Project (In)Land students from U.C.Berkeley Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning Summer Program came to the garden to work on a project entitled “Revealing the Landscape”. Students paired up and chose a site in the garden that interested them and created a temporary installation with simple materials. They gave a brief presentation to a review team of professionals (landscape teachers, landscape architects and architects, and artists) with drawings and photographs along with models of their ideas, processes and finished installations.
Geoffery Agrons, a local photographer, always finds something of interest to photograph in our garden.
Photographer Geoffrey Agrons has been taking photographs here in the garden for over a year . Here are a few more that he took recently.
With the new pathway to the head-house almost completed there was a concrete wall that seemed to need something. The area was too narrow to plant so we decided to put something on the wall: a mosaic made with broken china from the Blake house with additional broken tiles from Albany High School Art Dept. and from Urban Ore, a warehouse filled with recyclable materials. Our four Albany High School interns from the EDSET (Environmental Design, Science Engineering and Technology) program helped by designing and building along with other volunteers from the garden. The result: a stream of bird, butterflies, flowers and people edges the path that crosses the creek.
Area artist Keiko Nelson has installed a temporary sculpture in the reflective pool in the redwood grove entitled "Inner Landscape".
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.
Approximately 20 area students from the Leaf Academy came to the garden to help us mulch around the creek where we have been working on eradicating invasive ivy and black berries. The mulch is from a Monterey pine tree that fell recently in the parking lot. We had the small branches chipped up and piled. The mulch will help to prevent weeds from growing, increase the organic matter in the soil and hold in water from evaporating from the bare soil. The students also worked on sculptures with Zach Pine in the Create-With-Nature-Zone.