At the Garden: SF Botanical Garden Society's monthly newsletter : February 2012
  Don't miss our world-class magnolia collection now blooming!

San Francisco Botanical Garden's Monthly Newsletter

  The Magnolia Edition

Magnolias Now in Bloom

Magnolias from the Mists of Time

February 11 Plant Sale at the Arbor

Spotlight on: Magnificent Magnolias Walk

Docent Training Starts This Saturday

Benches and Fountain Plaza Tribute Stones

Only three days til our next...

Saturday, Feb. 11 at The Arbor

2012 in Your Pocket
Download the new 2012 Plant Sale Brochure. It includes a handy pocket-sized schedule.


The 45th Annual Spring Plant Sale
5/4: Preview Sale
5/5: Public Sale


Secrets of the Forest
Secrets of the Forest
Lucy Martin's art reveals her love of mushrooms and other fungi in their forest habitat. Prints and original gouache and watercolor paintings available for purchase with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture.

On exhibit at the Library through April 28.

What is a Mushroom Anyway?
Find out from local mycological expert J. R. Blair who explains that without mushrooms, we'd be "knee-deep in dead things." Join us for this free lecture on Sunday, February 12, 3:00 – 4:30pm at the Library.

More info

Seeing Trees
Seeing Trees celebrates seldom seen but observable tree traits and invites you to watch trees with the same care and sensitivity as birdwatchers watching birds.

Find out more

A Treasure to Keep
Treasures from San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum: Watercolor paintings by Mary L. Harden and her Master Artists
Treasures from San Francisco Botanical Garden at Strybing Arboretum: Watercolor Paintings by Mary L. Harden and her Master Artists, on exhibit last year in the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, is now commemorated in a handsome catalog with accompanying plant descriptions.

More info >>


February 18
We'll be reading:

A Hummingbird's Life

A Hummingbird's Life describes, with words and beautiful drawings, the life cycle of the hummingbird and how it hunts for food, faces its enemies, migrates and interacts with humans.

February Book List

About Storytime

Magnolias are part of an ancient lineage that evolved even before bees appeared. They've survived ice ages, mountain formations and continental drift. So it seems only fitting that these garden guerrillas erupt in riotous bloom before the rest of the garden even considers to stir. One of the most striking in our world-class collection is the Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'. Filled with bright magenta flowers, it's hard to miss. Look for Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling' in the Temperate Asia Garden and in this month's In Bloom feature, complete with photos, a plant profile and exact locations.
Click for more on Magnolia campbellii 'Darjeeling'

At the Garden: Issue No. 72  |  February 2012
   What's Blooming
Magnolias Now in Bloom

San Francisco Botanical Garden's rare and historic magnolia collection is now blooming! A much-anticipated, not-to-be-missed event, the show goes on from mid-February to mid-March, though some start blooming in late December and last into May. In celebration of this beloved annual event, we've put together some magnificent magnolia resources to help you learn more about these stunning beauties.

All About Magnolias at SFBG

   From the Curator
Magnolias from the Mists of Time

Excerpted from our member publication Leaflet, coming Spring 2012

Magnolia campbellii var. alba 'Strybing White'

Magnolias have long been the signature bloom of San Francisco Botanical Garden, and the importance of our collection here has been increasingly recognized. In 2007, Botanic Garden Conservation International ranked our magnolia collection as the fourth most important collection for conservation in the world.

Read the excerpt

   Plant Sale at the Arbor
Kick off Spring Planting with the February 11 Plant Sale

Schizostylus coccinea.  Photo by Austin Quirk.

February is the beginning of gardening season in the Bay Area. The coldest days of winter are over (in mid-January, we had three nights in a row of 29° or below at the Nursery), and deciduous perennials are beginning to push new growth.

Plant Sale Preview


2/11 A Special Pruning Workshop in our Children's Garden
Join us for an outdoor lecture and pruning session in our Children's Garden covering tools and their care, proper pruning technique and basic tree biology and growth – bring the family!
2/18 Backyard Beekeeping
Anyone can keep bees, but not everyone should be a beekeeper. This class will help you figure out if this dynamic new hobby is right for you.
2/25 South African Plants for California Gardens
San Francisco State Greenhouse Manager Martin Grantham has spent years researching plants in the Western Cape of South Africa and learning how to grow them in California. Find out his picks and tricks in this special class.
3/4 Urban Eggs: Raising Chickens and Ducks in the City
With clear step-by-step instructions, participants in this class will learn the basics of what it takes to be successful (and legal) before they have birds in their backyard.
3/10 Chinese Plants for Food & Medicine for 2012
Local ethnobotanist and horticulture teacher Thomas Wang will lead class participants through our collection of Asian plants and explain how they are used in Chinese food and medicine.
Magnificent Magnolias Walk

Join SFBGS Docent Dr. Joseph Barbaccia as he leads a tour of our collection of magnificent magnolias. Special emphasis will be placed on the symbolism of these trees and their flowers as well as their cultivation requirements in Bay Area gardens.

   Volunteer at SFBG
Docent Training Starts This Saturday!

Train to lead walks that introduce visitors to the wonders of SFBG. Imagine understanding the Botanical Garden at a much deeper level and then sharing that exciting new knowledge with others. No previous horticultural knowledge is necessary – that's what you get from us!

Please contact Carol Laughlin, Volunteer Services Manager, via email or phone (415) 661-1316 ext. 412 for details.

Lead walks for adults

Benches and Fountain Plaza Tribute Stones

Memorial Bench at SFBG

A Special Place
When you sponsor a bench or a stone in honor of an anniversary, birth, or loved one, your visits to the Garden become more personal–connecting you to the City and the memories you have shared in the Garden. Commemorative bench sites and paver stones are available now – no waiting lists!

Contact Heidi to discuss your options, at or (415) 564-3239 ext. 304.

Memorial Benches

Tribute Pavers: Deadline March 31st – last time at these prices