While the Garden is currently closed, we want to find ways to support each other as a Garden community and stay connected. We encourage you to share either a memory about the Garden or an example of how you’re gardening from home. The more happy memories we can share, the better, and hopefully, they can help us to remember that the Garden will be there in all its glory when we return!

To participate, share your photos along with a short description on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) with the hashtag #beyourownbotanist, #houseplanted, and tag @ucbgarden.

BYOB: Be Your Own Botanist

As we all practice social distancing, many of us are finding more time to dedicate to home gardening or tending to house plants. We’d love to see your photos and hear your stories of how you’ve been keeping up your green thumbs at home!

This is the grandbaby of a passaflora vine I bought about 12 years ago at a Member’s plant sale at the UC Botanical Garden. He was 7 at the time, and still grows plants in his college apartment. When I inquired at purchase about caring for the vine, she said, “Clippers to cut it back, it’s a weed!”

It went on to cover a Japanese maple that had died of a viral infection, seen in the second photo looking like a tree covered with leaves. I was so sad when it pulled the tree down this year and died of a broken heart (torn stems).

So I reached out to a friend who’d propagated a daughter vine after having one of my passaflora fruits “they are so big and juicy” she said. So she recently gave me some grand plants and we are hoping they do well…we are plant family now!


My yard gets better each Spring. This year seems to be particularly good with these and quite a few more all in bloom. The yellow flowering bush is a New Zealand native called Corokia. It’s a small bush that has an interesting branching pattern referred to as “Divaricating”. Plants like this are very “springy”, that some scientists believe is an
adaptation to browsing pressure by (now extinct) Moas! The pendant red flowers are Kalanchoe, a very common African/Madagascar native. Next to it is an Iris relative that might be the genus Morea. The pink flowers are the bulb plant Lachenalia. It is native to South Africa. Finally, the pendant red flowers are from Agapetes serpens. It eventually makes a broad woody base that can act as a water storage organ.

-Steven, Berkeley

My little apartment garden brings me so much peace when I need a moment to escape from what is going on in the world. The small victories of a new leaf unfurling and the slow blooms of succulents helps me and my partner with patience and appreciating the small things in life. We have filled the rails of our back stairwell with a myriad of succulents and inside our house is starting to look like a jungle! In our apartment: Where there is a spot, we put a plant!

-April, San Francisco

These photos are from my little patio. The tall plant against the wood planter is a plant I picked up from the shop deck. It’s a snapdragon that somehow made its way into the Mediterranean area somehow and is deemed “Gideon’s favorite.” It’s getting ridiculously tall and I’m going to have to find a bigger pot for it soon!

-Megan, Livermore

The ratio of plants that come home with me and plants that survive under my care is nowhere near equal to one – not even close. Nevertheless, with each UC Botanical Garden Plant Sale, cutting from my mother, or abandoned plant in my apartment lobby as neighbors move, I amass more pots of soil and joy.

-Delanie, San Francisco

This is my Devil’s Ivy, Greg. Working from home, I love being surrounded by different types of greenery, this one is my favorite. He is a tough guy, needs barely any attention, but still grows. One day we discovered Greg had a new friend, Sami the Sloth. We love hanging out.

-Cari, Melbourne, Australia

Whatever her formal name is, to me she will always be Marsha. Marsha, Marsha, Marsha…in all her majestic beauty she is truly unkillable. She’s the radiant star at every party and a joy to have around. Don’t be jealous of perfection guys, she just can’t help it.

-Jessica, Richmond

We live in the Oakland hills and we don’t have a backyard, but we have a big deck! My husband and I decided to collect specific plants that we knew were cat friendly, since our two cats spend a lot of time on the deck and are known to chew on everything. We planted rosemary, tomatoes, thyme, and even catnip! Oscar and Django especially love the catnip, as you can see them enjoying in the photo!

-Emily, Oakland

We love to walk around our Thousand Oaks neighborhood here in North Berkeley and were amused by this thunbergia driveway… they aren’t going to be driving anywhere anytime soon! Looking forward to enjoying the gardens again soon.

-Howard & Jennifer, Berkeley

Shortly before the Garden closed, I spent a delightful afternoon walking through the California section and enjoying the early spring flowers. I also connect with California native plants in my Lafayette garden. This is a view from my kitchen window this week of a redbud – Cercis occidentalis – in full bloom.

-Katherine, Lafayette

Though Autumn is my favorite season, Spring is a close second, because I can’t think of anything more breathtaking than the joyous profusion of life and color in a field of blooming wildflowers. Yesterday morning, during my hike through the hills behind my house, I happened upon this patch of lovely poppies…a much needed reminder that life goes on and beauty exists, even during a pandemic when we’re sheltering in place and practicing social distancing.

-Tae, Dublin

It might look like a stick shoved into some dirt but this is a much loved rescue plant. Found abandoned on a desk at work this plant has been laying dormant since November. The tiny budding leaves started to show a few weeks ago and continue to grow.

-Helen, Australia

Babiana bulbs purchased from Botanical Garden shop 8 years ago bloom. In spectacular fashion every year at this time!


See pictures and read memories of the Garden from our member community on the Memories from Members page!