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.
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.
Two weeks ago, a Monterey Cypress tree collapsed onto a Zelcova tree in one of the formal gardens . The trees were entangled and seemingly dangerous. UC Campus arborists Doug & Bill came to take down the partially collapsed Cypress. They did a wonderful job of cleaning up the tangle. We always enjoy their visits and value their expertise in tree care.
While U.C. arborists Doug and Bill were working on other tree issues in the garden they also helped us with a sagging, sinuous outreaching branch of a coast live oak in the Mediterranean section. They carefully jacked up the branch and propped it up with a galvanized steel pipe for support. Doug artfully chiseled out a mount at the bottom of the branch for the support to be inserted. Over time the bark will grow over the wound and preventing fungus and bacteria from entering into the tree.
Girls from the neighborhood came to the garden for some relaxation last week as they "fish" in the Redwood Grove.
The Garden was open for CalDay on Saturday, April 21. A hundred and fifty plus people attended. It was a gorgeous day, sunny and in the 70's. Some visitors were Cal grads and others were first time visitors to the UC Berkeley and to the garden. A small group of visitors attended the noon tour.
One of our old trees, Alnus cordata, an Italian alder, just below the redwood grove fell over in the latest storm. Campus arborists came out and helped us remove it from the path. Woodworkers, bowl turners and furniture makers interested in the beautiful orange wood and helped us clean up the area and took some of the wood to create with.
The San Francisco Garden Club asked Garden manager, Lauri Twitchell and another former Master of Landscape Architecture Grad, Holly Selvig to represent them in the annual Bouquets to Art Event at the de Young museum. We chose five pieces within the museums collection to respond to in flowers. We got "Rubbing from the Ball Court", an image from a granite wall from Chichen Itza depicting a soccer like game where the loser loses his head at the end of the match. Green, Purple & Red foliage was collected from the garden. It is early in the season so the red lilies, red roses and red rununculus were purchased. The vase was carved granite. Gallery statement: Our floral piece is inspired by the materiality of the event represented in the "Rubbing from the Ball Court". The stylized nature of the stone carving tempers the extreme drama of the event: the beheading of the loser of the ball game. We tried to capture that drama in color, form, and material, and at the same time, also honor the brutal cultural tradition.
The Berkeley Circus & Soiree consisted of a day of CED students showcasing their work to professionals in the field followed by a gala celebration at the de Young Museum. The garden was asked to create some flower arrangements. We gathered vases from second hand stores and originally thought that what we mostly would be using was an interesting variety of greens and a few flowers blooming from the garden. (Maybe we would even have to go out and buy some!!) But to our surprise and delight we collected many beautiful flowers from the garden and ended up making some very exuberant floral arrangements for the gala held at the museum in San Francisco.
The living wall has gotten a new design and a new planting by Blake Garden workstudy student Anastasia Sonkin. Succulents, native grasses and few bromiliads are included in the design. It was installed recently on campus in the College of Environmental Design's Wurster building in the northeast courtyard, site of the weekly student happy hour with the help of Landscape Architecture graduate student Alex Schuknecht. Later Alex along with MLA student Rob Tidmore attached units to wall for climbing. The courtyard is now truely a multi use/functional space.