Dear Garden Community:

Many of you have reached out to express concern about the care of our collections during shelter-in-place. We appreciate your messages and are deeply touched that you have kept the Garden in heart and mind during this extremely challenging time.

Please rest assured that the Garden is being well looked after. A small team of staff has been given clearance to come onsite for critical collection care and we are at the Garden daily. While diligently adhering to social distancing and other safety practices we are tending the collections and ensuring that everything is sustained until we can reopen.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some images of spring slowly unfurling at the Garden. The cool, wet weather is a lovely foil for colorful flushes of foliage and branches covered in bloom. Many trees remain dormant, so the contrast of new leaves and bare limbs is also striking. On sunnier days, the California poppies and Ceanothus in the California section are almost blindingly bright. Likewise, the slopes of Southern Africa are coming alive and are currently cloaked in brilliantly hued Babiana.

Of course, we sorely miss all the people and voices that typically brighten our spaces. However, in the unusual silence that prevails, it is remarkable how loud the buzz of bees and other insects can be. So too the chorus of birds – they definitely don’t seem to miss us humans!

Like all of you, we are eagerly awaiting news and updates on the current situation. As soon as is feasible, we will gratefully welcome our community back to the Garden. Until then, we will keep you updated with posts and pictures.

Wishing you all the best. Stay well in body and spirit!

Warmly –
Vanessa Handley, Director of Collections & Research

© 2020 UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley
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