Thursday, January 8, 2015

Visiting the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley, 2014 Part 1


As you've no doubt figured out, the last half of 2014 was pretty California-centric for me. Before our week and half in Southern California over the holidays we spent a week in the Bay Area in September. Today and tomorrow we're heading back to Berkeley and our visit to the University of California Botanical Garden.

This was our second visit to this garden, the first was back in 2009.

As usual I took way too many photos and then was unable to edit them down to a manageable number, thus there will be two-parts and they're both very photo heavy. Today we start by wandering through the California Garden, on to the Mexico and Central American sections and briefly touch on South America and Australasia. Looking at this map I can't help but think we missed things, I guess that means we'll just have to go back again!

Agave Shawii, there was a lovely and informative post about this agave recently on the blog Piece of Eden.

This Dudleya hybrid helps to illustrate just how dry parts of the garden were. I could have taken many photos of dried up and dead plants but chose not to, it certainly did drive home just how dry things in California are.

Lyonothamnus floribundus ssp. Asplenifolius, Catalina Ironwood

Love the bark, love the foliage.

The newly emerging leaves of the Gunnera insignis were quite striking too.

And the size of this Podocarpus matudae caused me pause. I think I allowed enough room in my garden for mine to achieve this height.

It's such a beautiful tree.

Beschorneria albiflora

The Mexico/Central American section of the garden is very densely planted. Spikes and leaves all co-existing peacefully.

Agave polyacantha

Bocconia latisepala

I've never met a Bocconia that I didn't love and wish I could grow them all (I do have one, a B. frutescens, in a container).

Andrew took a break from the sun and drew for a bit. We unexpectedly ran across the drawing a few weeks ago, he does such great plant shapes.

Eryngium alternatum

Fabulous!

Agave chiapensis

I was zooming in for a close up of the burgundy leaf-tips when I noticed this little guy.

Agave ovatifolia

Yucca faxoniana

This section of the garden makes mine look sparse!

I think it's a blooming nolina?

Agave montana

Agave shrevei ssp. magna

And these! Poor tossed aside (probably bloomed out) agaves...

Odd to have left them right along a main pathway.

Lush, the green version.

Lush, the tawny version.

Puya coerulea

There were many lizards running about, this was the only one who posed for me.

Araucaria araucana, or as I like to call it (because I can pronounce it better than Araucaria araucana) the monkey puzzle tree.

There are spots in the garden where you get a glimpse across the bay at the golden gate or downtown San Francisco.

Lavandula canariensis

Aeonium balsamiferum

Another bocconia (I couldn't find a label to tell me which one).

The shot of bright color was appreciated.

There were multiple signs around the garden about the blooming Puya raimondii, I think it was nearing the end of the show when we were there in September, the flowers started opening in June. Evidently this plant doesn't usually flower in the wild until it's 80-100 years old, this one is only 24. They aren't sure why it's flowering so young but since it's monocarpic it signals the end.

Eryngium pandanifolium var. Chamissonis

Salvia confertiflora

Dicksonia antarctica

And so concludes today's post, check back tomorrow for Southern Africa and the New World Desert...

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

29 comments:

  1. Your photos do the UC Botanical Garden proud. You saw things I've never noticed, and I've been there many times. That's why I enjoy reading posts about places I'm familiar with.

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    1. And revisiting gardens like this over and over, right? Heck I was at Lan Su on Tuesday and noticed things I never have. I've been there many many times and that garden is small!

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    2. Yes! I usually get in a few trips to the UC Botanical Garden each year. I'm waiting for the aloes to peak a little more before I go. Maybe in 2-3 weeks.

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  2. Still striking even in challenging conditions. The early puya bloom might be the result of the drought. A bunch of agaves bloomed around town at the same time when we had the first rains after two years of drought.

    I enjoy these photo tours with so many lessons in plant form combinations. The silvery yucca surrounded with smaller green spiky and the green agave with soft foliage plants are good ones for the idea file.


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    1. Glad to help bulk up your idea file!

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  3. So many fantastic plants to look at! I love the Catalina ironwood and the tree ferns. That Agave shawii is amazing. Looking forward to the next edition. I've been trying to find pictures of the Mediterranean section of the garden, but they're hard to track down for some reason. Did you swing through that area? Any pics?

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    1. Sadly no, we shaved off that corner! Not on purpose, we just missed it. That day was incredibly sunny and muggy and we were ready to get somewhere cool and have lunch. I think both of our attention spans were compromised towards the end.

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    2. Well, I guess I can understand that. I'll let it slide, this time. ;)

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  4. Very nice! So much gorgeousness there! I was waiting for this, your take on a garden that has been covered by Gerhard too. Looking forward to part 2 :)

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    1. I hope part 2 does not disappoint!

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  5. Great photos of a wonderful garden Loree! I love the shot of the frog on the agave.

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    1. If I don't get frogs in my own garden at least I get to see them in others.

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  6. Now I am even sadder to have killed the little seedling of Bocconia that you gave me. Were you able to keep some alive? The red teeth on Agave shawii are just too too.

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    1. Yours was the last one standing, it was doomed. The mother plant is getting ready to bloom again, which means more seeds. You'll get another go...

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  7. Everybody should post photos of California gardens in winter -- it's just what I need at this time of year! I'm adding this garden to my "must visit" list.

    Love how the tree frog appears to be keeping its limbs out of harms way -- too many sharp edges around! :)

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    1. I'm glad you feel that way Alan because I'm going to have a lot of California posts over the next few months.

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  8. Awww the frog! Another wonderful garden visit, thanks. I look forward to the next instalments. P.s do we get to see Andrew's drawings? ;)

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    1. I'll see if I can talk him into letting me share. Truth is I went looking for it when I put together this post but couldn't find it!

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  9. Great post Loree ! I am so overdue for a visit up there , you've given me a nudge...

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    1. Up? In my head you lived north of the bay!

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    2. Indeed I am north, but the garden is 'up' on a hill !

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  10. Oh, that shawii photo...! And the chiapensis! [swoons] So many beautiful photos of beautiful plants. I bought a little shawii at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden's fall sale -- we'll see how he does in the inland SoCal climate.

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    1. I hope it thrives! And I'm glad it looks like most of your plants survived that cold and snow.

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  11. I am sat here in Scotland on a soggy and very windy January afternoon and those shots made me think of summer again, what a lovely feeling!

    One thing that surprised me was to see all of those sun worshippers and then you finish off with a couple of Dicksonia - plants known for their love of the damp and not so strong sun.

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    1. That whole Australasia section had some serious shade, it was very welcome on a hot and muggy day.

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  12. So many amazing plants. It's always a treat to see our pampered greenhouse plants happily growing in the ground! Great post for a winter day!

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  13. I was more than satisfied by the time I was through most of the agaves, but that Monkey Puzzle / grassy groundplane pic made me want to jump through my laptop screen, and into that garden.

    Any possibilities to see Andrew's plant sketches??

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    1. Have you been here David? You really should visit.

      I'm thinking of a future post with some of the plant-themed artwork around our house. I'll work in as many as he lets me.

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