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!
Memories from Members
Photos and memories in the Garden from our Members: a fond time, a favorite plant or collection, or a fun anecdote!
Last Father’s day, we spent the day at the Garden getting up close and personal with both bugs and plants. It was a lovely learning experience and the leaf bugs were particularly interesting to Scott and Bodhi. Thanks Garden for always keeping it cool for plant enthusiasts of all ages!
– Jessica, Richmond
I loved visiting the Botanical Gardens recently with my oldest brother and his wife. They were escaping a cold winter back east, and we enjoyed the sunshine, bird songs, glorious colors and aromas and the stunning views of the beautiful bay.
Our first time to the Botanical Garden was for our engagement shoot in December of 2016. Absolutely beautiful place! The redwood grove is stunning!
I have been shooting the garden now for over 12 years. I first started when the smoke from fires was so bad where I lived that I needed a place to breathe for a day. I have won many awards with pictures from Berkeley Botanical Gardens.
I have now shot botanical gardens throughout the Caribbean and Hawaii.
These are series of photographs I took at the gardens for a school assignment in photography on “lines” as an element of art and design. I chose to shoot organic/botanical subjects and the garden provided endless examples.
I love visiting the garden because I don’t have a garden of my own! The garden is a sanctuary for me to be quiet, to listen and to SEE the beauty unfolding from one season to the next. Thank you for providing this service to our community. I’m also a photographer and visit often to dive deep into what’s blossoming. Here are a few of my favorite images from just a week ago!
These are my favorites, Trudy (Amorphophalus titanium), Puya raimondii and Tacca integrifolia. Hope to see you all very soon.
-Paula, Walnut Creek
We got married in the Garden last June! It meant so much to us to declare our love for each other beneath the towering trees of the Redwood Grove, and we partied the night away surrounded by family, friends, and tropical plants in the Mirov Conference Center. It was a truly magical day we’ll never forget, thank you for providing such a wonderful place to celebrate!
– Allison and Victor
Ethnobotany and plant based dyes.
I found this tasty-looking flower stalk in South America at the end of January.
December 28: It was a beautiful day, three days after Christmas.
A page from my sketchbook of days in Plague-land. All blooming in the garden now…
I’m a third-year PhD student at Cal. The garden feels more like home to me than the campus does. While the campus represents successes (and failures) in my academic career, the garden embodies a fuller range of my emotional life: walking through the dawn redwood grove while nursing a broken heart; strolling through the herb garden on a third date with who is now the love of my life; reading Bashou’s haikus by Strawberry Creek; cross-stitching in the cloud forest while trying to rebound from a difficult semester; sitting at a secret bench with my best friend to show her the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge (it’s not the Garden of Old Roses!); buying a rare orchid to help mend my relationship with my mom.
The garden means the world to me. It has been a friend and comfort in some of the most difficult times of my life. There are so many tears and secrets that the plants there know about me. So many joys and hopes that I’ve whispered to bushes and trees. There is nothing quite like it in this world. I am heartbroken that I can’t visit it during these uncertain times but am so happy that we can stay connected this way.
In 2018, I spent a day in the garden with three friends whom I met in 1963 when we were freshmen in high school and one friend whom I had known since first grade. Fifty plus years later, we enjoyed a wonderful day exploring the garden together, discovering that the amazing blue sapphire puyas were in bloom, and witnessing a squirrel busily mining food from the plant. I have visited the garden regularly since 1973 and learn something new every time I go, but introducing my old pals to the wonders of this remarkable garden was a special treat for me.
One day while a group of us were eating lunch in the Redwood Grove, three young chickens walked out of the redwoods and entered the amphitheater. This situation was already odd given that there are no homes or farms nearby. They then proceeded to hop onto my lap and share my lunch. Eventually, we scooped up the birds and a staff member took them home. The Garden is a great place to see some amazing (and some not so amazing) flora and fauna. To read more about what animals call the Garden their home, click here to read my blog post.
-Jason Bonham, Berkeley
UC Botanical Garden Horticulturist
I was privileged to be at the Garden of Mouthings art installation opening party on Sept. 15, 2011. On the way up the hill I took this picture, and was inspired to write this poem. The Garden has been inspiration for so many for so long. Thank you!!
Dedicated to a Lotus Flower
I met her the day before she let her first petal go.
Silently, I asked her
how she could still hold so much sun
knowing, as she must have,
that her flowering season was at its close.
Her answer was simple.
“That’s why I”m here,” she said,
“to gather the light, first s a bud,
then as a bloom, and throughout –
-Mary Martin DeShaw
And here’s a bittersweet memory. This was one of my favorite specimens, shown here in bloom with its ID tag (sorry, not a great photo). I first found this specimen by following its fragrance. The entire gully smelled strongly of Nag Champa incense as I descended into it, it seemed, but it was really just this one Ceanothus. I’ve never encountered another like it. Sadly, it died after our drought gave way to especially heavy rains. I miss it so much.
Here are a few photos I took on my lunch walk about a week before the Garden closed. The hummingbird is on an Aloe in the Southern Africa section and a Banksia right by one of the paths. I hope everyone is healthy and that the plants will carry us all through.
See pictures of home gardens and houseplants from our Garden community on the Be Your Own Botanist page!