The Garden hosts a diverse offering of public programs that provide learning opportunities in a variety of plant-based topics. Visit our calendar to see upcoming programs and scroll below to discover the many ways in which you can engage and experience the Garden.
Featured Program Series
Science of Cannabis Symposium
The UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley is presenting a month-long series of weekly symposia on the Science of Cannabis. The programs will focus on emerging research about the evolution, ethnobotany, neuroscience, medical science, geography, and genetics of cannabis. Each program will feature a national expert who will speak to a non-specialist audience with interaction between the listeners and the speakers. While the lines between the scientific and social issues surrounding Cannabis can be porous, the focus on this symposium will be to disseminate knowledge based upon scientific research.
The Environmental Impact of Large Scale Cannabis Cultivation
Thursday, February 1, 6 – 7:30 pm
The current system for growing cannabis has caused significant environmental degradation due to pollutants, heavy water use, clear cutting natural areas, and other man-made impacts. What are the current environmental issues, and how can they be addressed as cannabis production scales.
The Genetics of Cannabis Breeds
Thursday, February 8, 6 – 7:30pm
There is a rich informal taxonomy of Cannabis strains with exotic and evocative names. How do these breeds reflect the genetic relationships among different strains, and how do those genetic relationships reflect the chemical properties of the specific plants?
The Neuroscience of Cannabis
Thursday, February 15, 6 – 7:30 pm
How does Cannabis affect our brain, mind, and behavior? The subjective experiences, therapeutic uses, and potential for abuse associated with Cannabis are related to the plant’s complex botanical chemistry and the impact of this chemistry on body and psyche.
The Ethnobotany of Cannabis
Thursday, February 22, 6 -7:30pm
Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship of plants and people across cultures and time. Cannabis has been in cultivation for millennia and used as a medicine, food, and for hemp fiber. This program will look at the historical uses of cannabis and how we might explore those uses in future research.
Cannabis as Medicine
Thursday, March 1, 6 – 7:30pm
What are the potential therapeutic benefits of Cannabis to ameliorate physical and psychological illnesses? What are the outstanding questions, and how might they be most usefully addressed through research and clinical practice?
Art + Design
You can take a variety of art courses at the UC Botanical Garden, each inspired by the natural world and our diverse collection of plants from around the world. The Garden hosts a regular series of botanical illustration courses and also one day workshops in watercolor, brush painting, drawing and other art forms.
The Garden also hosts several indoor art exhibitions each year, including our annual Plants Illustrated exhibit of Botanical Art. We have worked with many talented Bay Area artists to present a provocative series of installations. Visit our exhibitions page to see past and upcoming exhibitions.
January 11 – 12 · An Introduction to Botanical Art with Catherine Watters
January 28 · The Four Treasures of Chinese Brush Painting: Bamboo
February 18 · The Four Treasures of Chinese Brush Painting: Orchid
February 22 – 23 · Botanical Illustration Workshop: Trees
March 10 & 14 · Local Color: A Watercolor Workshop with Mimi Robinson
March 25 · The Four Treasures of Chinese Brush Painting: Chrysanthemum
Families + Children
The Garden loves it’s budding botanists, and in addition to our beloved summer day camp, Greenstuff, the Garden offers monthly family programs uniquely designed for families to learn together.
Horticulture + Gardening
At the root of our programming, the Garden offers classes for the home gardener and botanist alike. Learn about how to prune trees, cultivate succulents, and incorporate new practices in garden design into your landscape.
Nature + Fauna
We teach programs year around exploring the natural world and our many faunal cohabitants including mushrooms, lichen, monthly bird walks, seasonal newt explainers and programs on bats and owls too.
April 20 – Spring Bird Walk
Plants + People
Ethnobotany is an interdisciplinary field that studies the relationship between plants and people. The Garden is ever inspired by the many incredible uses of plants around the world and strives to preserve this knowledge with a series of hands-on programming and cutting edge lectures to teach these skills.
Wellness + Music
Be. Here. Now. In addition to our world-class collection used by researchers and scientists, landscape architects and designers, the Garden, put simply, is just a beautiful place to be. To aid in cultivating mindfulness and presence, the Garden offers a new complement of programs that are designed to develop practices that inspired mind/body experiences and encourage you to be present, see what is in front of you and appreciate the Garden and it’s abundance in new ways.
Starting January 19 – Director Eric Siegel will offer Qigong in the Garden every two weeks. Check the calendar for the upcoming session.