Friday, July 27, 2018

UC Davis Arboretum, the Australian Collection

My final stop at the UC Davis Arboretum began at the formal community entrance, the gateway between the City of Davis and the UC Davis Arboretum. Artist Chris Fennell created this arched entry...

400 shovels strong! All donated by the local community.

The reason for our visit here was to get a look at the Australian Collection of plants. You can see a map of the Arboretum here, and get an idea how the Australian Collection (right hand side) fits into the overall scheme.

The size of these Callistemon blooms, oh my!

I love to capture them unfurling.

Another type of bottle brush.

There were so many Anigozanthos (kangaroo paw) blooming here. It was hard not to want to photograph each and every one.

That white shrub! I wish I could tell you what it is, besides remarkable.
An Acacia, one of many.

And oh my! The Banksia!!...

I simply cannot get enough of their post-bloom cones.

I had to resist the urge to tear them off the shrubs and instead started searching the ground for fallen cones.

Luckily I found a few.

This section of the Arboretum hugs Putah Creek.

It was very picturesque in places.

OMG, I get to walk under a weeping Callistemon.

So beautiful.

Hey there!

We ventured on to the strange ceramics cast-off area that Gerhard covered in this 2017 blog post.

It was all so curious that I couldn't stop taking photos.

Gerhard discovered this is the home of the UC Davis Cermaics program and that "The 7,200 sq. ft. building was bought from the federal government as war surplus in 1947 and used as a dormitory building, fondly referred to as The Warehouse. In 1951 the building was converted to a combination police station, mailroom, and storage area. The art department began taking it over in 1961; Robert Arneson arrived in 1962. By the end of the 1960s the entire building had been given over to the ceramics program and a metal foundry."

Of course I was just as enthralled with this fence/Opuntia combination as Gerhard was.

It's quite the artistic installation all on its own.

It was time to tear ourselves away from the ceramics though, and trek back into the garden proper.

Wollemia nobilis, wow!

This beauty is a Grevillea, G. robusta...

Aka Silky Oak.

And this beauty is Grevillea 'Mason's Hybrid'

Such amazing flowers...

I'm not the only one who was appreciating them.

One final Banksia (B. marginata I believe) before it was time to head to the airport and my flight home...

Weather Diary, July 26: Hi 97, Low 64/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2018 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. Well, this was fun! Love that shovel archway. Glad you found some Banksia cones, aren't they weird-looking things? I don't think I've ever noticed my Callistemon blooms in that about-to-unfurl state, that's a great shot.

    1. I love the cones, I found a few back in 2016 at the Taft Garden but was thrilled to find more.

  2. It was wonderful being able to share this with you!

    The white bush is bluebush (Maireana sedifolia).

  3. That was a great tour. I thought the shovel arch would be pretty hard to beat, but I was wrong.

  4. Absolutely amazing from the get go with that beautiful and creative arch. Loved seeing what the plant looks like that those pods are from. I know the pods but had never seen the plant. And the ceramics definitely show the Arneson influence. I was guessing that was what it was all about based on the kind of buildings that were used for different art depts. here at UW. We have a famous glass Dept. and their building was just as quirky as this one.

    1. Oh that I could grow Banksia here in Portland...

  5. Oh, to be a student at UC-Davis! Your posts make me want to go there. ;)
    The weeping Callistemon and the Banksia, which looks part clam/part plant, are so cool!

  6. The Banksia are finally growing on me, not that they're easy to find locally. Pretty as they are, I can't warm up to red-flowered Callistemons - every other house in the area I grew up in had at least one and all I can fixate on was the mess they made. That's not to say I don't have Callistemons, though - I've got 2 and, if I can ever get ahold of the green-flowered variety, I'll make it 3!

    1. Come on up to Portland and go Callistemon shopping!

  7. Wow! The interwebs say that Maireana sedifolia is hardy to zone 8 but probably not our zone 8... The shovel archway is fun and I love the ceramic "cast offs."

  8. I believe the mystery "white shrub" is Pearl Bluebush aka Maireana sedifolia. I bought one when I moved to Tucson as it was completely unknown to me. And it was a Monrovia Nursery product. It thrives in the Tucson heat and not bothered by any frost. The birds seem to relish the small leaves the same as they do ice plants. I cannot keep ice plants due to finch and sparrows eating them. The doves love this Pearl Bluebush as well as the finches and sparrows but this year it finally outgrew the "predation". (I have water on hand for the birds so that is not an issue) It's a very striking plant but does resemble Leucophyllum of which there are a myriad of varieties here. So far any flowers are inconspicuous. Hope this helps.

    1. Thank you for the additional information, it's a beauty and you're lucky to be able to grow it.

  9. You save the best for last. This is an amazing collection; it's nice to see what Callistemon would look like in the right environment. I love everything about Banksia, it's so very cool... there should be a trip to Australia in your future.


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