The UC Botanical Garden serves a wide audience including researchers, students of all ages and public visitors. Every effort is made to accommodate all and to create a productive and enjoyable visit. We have developed a world class collection of plants. Our global collection is one of the most diverse in the country. The beauty of Strawberry Canyon creates a natural setting for these plants that are displayed in geographical assemblages. Our collection of plants of largely wild origin offers important conservation opportunities. The Garden is renowned for the diverse nature of the collection, including many rare and unusual plants – you will see plants here that you‘ll rarely see anywhere else. Moreover, time spent in this garden offers a haven from the busy environment in which we live. If you are a gardener, you will also come away with a better understanding of how to display plants, interesting waterwise plant choices, the kinds of plants that will grow in your own garden and what they will look like as they mature.
Two questions I am often asked are: “what is the best time to visit” and “for how long should we plan to visit”.
The answer to the first is simply every day of the year. Something exciting is always happening. We are open year round for visitors to enjoy the constantly changing scene from spring awakening, the floribunda summer to the fall colors and to the many plants that thrive and bloom in mid-winter. The glasshouses contain wonderful exhibits of plants and offer opportunities to see great plants even in inclement weather.
The answer to the second question depends on your schedule, your stamina, and motivation. Simply put, there is no way to see our diverse collection in one visit. I often recommend a 2-hour visit with the expectation that you will return again and again. With our 12,000 different kinds of plants, a 2-hour (120-minute) visit would require that you see 100 different kinds of plants per minute to experience our entire collection. Even with such a superhuman effort, you will not succeed because not all plants are up and active at all times.
I invite you to come enjoy and learn about plants.