At the Garden: SF Botanical Garden Society's monthly newsletter : January. 18, 2011

San Francisco Botanical Garden's Monthly Newsletter

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The Year of the Hare

Children's Walk Training Starts in February

New Art Exhibit

Strybing Circle Curator's Walk & Talk

Spotlight On: Magnificent Magnolias Walk

Grey2Green Sidewalk Landscaping

Lunar New Year Flower Market


Rose Studies

Through this exhibit, Maria Cecilia Freeman promotes efforts to collect and preserve old roses that might otherwise be lost to development and neglect.

More about this exhibit and artist's reception >>


Jan. 22 & Feb 5
We'll be reading:

Grandmothers Garden

About Storytime >>
Jan. Book List >>

Chinese Natural Cures
Chinese Natural Cures
Includes a complete classification of 100 Chinese herbs and their uses, as well as dozens of herbal formulas.

Find out more >>

Fairly unassuming the rest of the year, Garrya elliptica, puts on an impressive show in the winter garden. Known as the 'Silk Tassel Bush', it gets its common name from pendant silvery catkins, dangling down 3 to 8 inches (10-12 in cultivars) in January/February. The scientific name comes from Nicholas Garry. He didn't discover the plant, but had the good fortune of being friends with the man who did, David Douglas. Garry assisted the famous botanist of the Pacific Northwest, on his plant-hunting expeditions. Look for Garrya elliptica in the California Native Garden and in this month's In Bloom feature, complete with photos, a plant profile and exact locations.
Click for more on Garrya elliptica
At the Garden: Issue No. 59  |  January 2011
   From the Director
The Year of the Hare
Dear Friends,

Now that most of the winter holidays are past us and we are recovering from them (we are, aren't we?) it's time for another winter celebration that I believe is incredibly interesting: Lunar New Year.  Based on a lunar calendar, this New Year celebration shifts annually against the solar calendar and begins this year – the Year of the Hare--at the end of January. An important aspect of the celebration is the decorating of homes with auspicious flowers and plants. Over the years, our Lunar New Year event has focused on selling those flowers and plants.  Now with our 12th annual celebration, we have added food, entertainment and activities for the children…

Read the full report >>

   Resolve to Volunteer
Children's Walk Training Starts in February
Docent and Child

Each year, thousands of school children experience the wonders of the natural world by exploring the San Francisco Botanical Garden with enthusiastic, well-trained Children's Walk Docents. These volunteers, all ages and from all walks of life, share a commitment to our children and to our planet, giving their time so that children can grow into stewards of our shared environment.

If you or someone you know would like to join this group of dedicated individuals, please join the upcoming Children's Walk Training. For more information please contact Volunteer Manager Tom Laursen,

Become a Children's Docent >>

   Special Events

Exclusive Event for Strybing Circle Members

Strybing Circle Curators' Walk & Talk on Friday Jan 28, 4pm
Magnolia by Saxon Holt

As you may know, the Garden's Magnolia Collection is integral in terms of preserving rare and endangered species - SFBG has the 4th most significant collection in the world for the conservation of Magnolia (Magnoliaceae 'Magnolia Family') species (the other three are in China!). Through a generous donation this fall, Gardener Jason Martinez and Associate Curator David Kruse-Pickler, travelled to Southeast China. They met with leaders of South China Botanical Garden and Fairy Lake Botanical Garden to set up a formal collaboration between our gardens for seed, plant materials, research exchange and the potential to go on special invitation-only collecting expeditions (nearly impossible without the aid of these Chinese institutions).

Strybing Circle Members, don't miss this special opportunity to hear David's comments and see a slideshow of this historic trip! >>

New Classes
Herbs for Health and Happiness
Herbal remedies to keep you healthy and happy during the darkest and coldest time of year.
Window Box and Deck Gardening
Learn how to match the right plant for your space for healthy plants and less heartache.
Slugs, Bugs and Bigger Thugs
Safe and sane pest management for Bay Area gardens with Bob Fiorello.
Encompassing the Amazon
Learn all about the vanishing culture of Amazonian shamanism through this engaging lecture - includes travel narrative, music, slides and in-depth discussion.
Botanical Latin
Learn the easy way how botanical names are created, and if you have been unsure about how to pronounce them, this is the course for you.

Magnificent Magnolias Walk

Celebrate these garden treasures at the peak of their bloom in one of the finest collections of deciduous magnolias in the United States.

   New this Month
Sidewalk Landscaping Workshops
Grey2Green Sidewalk Landscaping

Less Concrete, More Jungle
A reminder that the Grey2Green Sidewalk Landscaping Program's first workshop is Saturday, February 12 from 9 am - 10 am. The San Francisco Department of Public Works has teamed up with the SF Botanical Garden Society and SF Parks Trust to bring you free Saturday workshops to teach you everything you need to know to "green" your sidewalk and turn it into a beautiful and sustainable garden.

We'll give you step-by-step instructions to transform your sidewalk into a garden including permitting, designing and maintenance. We've got recommendations for trees and drought tolerant plants for sun or shade, and design ideas to boot! Classes held Saturday mornings from February to November, 2011, from 9:00 am – 10:00am at the County Fair Building at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

Sign Up for a FREE Workshop >>