Showing posts from July, 2020

UC Berkeley Botanical Garden, summer 2020: Americas

The University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley  was closed longer than many other public gardens in California because it's on the campus of UC Berkeley and therefore subject to its regulations. Even now you need to make a reservation in order to visit, although even same-day reservations are generally available. Feeling a bit restless, I made a reservation for last Saturday, and as luck would have it, my Bay Area friends Justin and Max were able to join me. It was great meeting up with them since they share my enthusiasm for plants. Even though we were wearing masks (required at the UCBG) and kept our distance from each other, it almost felt like a return to normal—the old normal, the one that's beginning to fade into oblivion... Selfie with Chilean rhubarb  ( Gunnera tinctoria ) Justin, Max and I, aka the Three Plant Amigos, spent most of our time in the Mexico & Central America Collection (see garden map ), skirting Australasia and South America where I took

Video: Agaves In Our Garden

I haven't done a lot of videos for this blog because doing it right is a fairly substantial time commitment. However, I agreed to do a video tour of the agaves in our garden for the July Zoom meeting of the Sacramento Cactus and Succulent Society.  The video was supposed to be no longer than 5 minutes, but even though I was rushing—and left out all the mangaves—it still clocks it at 8+ minutes. I've decided to share this video here because it might be of interest to many of you. It's a bit rushed and anything but professional, but it shows most of the agaves in the ground in our garden.  Be sure to click “Watch on YouTube” and select the highest resolution. Enjoy! © Gerhard Bock, 2020. All rights reserved. No part of the materials available through may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent of Gerhard Bock. Any other reproduction

Online webinars: the new normal for plant society meetings and workshops

Since the spring, just about every aspect of life has transitioned to a “new normal.” That includes monthly meetings of plant societies as well as workshops and other events at public and botanical gardens: Instead of being held in person, many of them have moved online.  In addition to the convenience factor, there's another benefit: As online events, they're accessible to a much wider audience. People who would not have been able to attend in person can easily watch from the comfort of their home. In addition, it's possible to participate in presentations offered by organizations far away; typically you don't even have to be a member! This has opened up a whole new world of plant- and garden-oriented infotainment that I, for my part, have been enjoying tremendously. It would be impossible to compile anything resembling a complete list of everything being offered online so I suggest you do a Google search for events that interest you. Here are some webinars on my radar

2020 mid-year review: what a surreal year!

2020 is only half over, but it's safe to say it'll end up being the strangest year of my life. I bet I'm not the only one who feels like I've fallen through a crack in space-time into a parallel universe. Or maybe it's all a mass hallucination? Or The Truman Show 2.0?  Whatever it is, I don't like it, and I want my money back! But no matter how many hissy fits I throw, the new normal is here to stay. And that means more “social distancing” when out and about. Ruth Bancroft Garden Not that I have a problem with that per se. I prefer to visit lonely places anyway: Highway 247, San Bernardino County, California