At the Garden
San Francisco Botanical Garden Society's monthly newsletter : December 6, 2006

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In this Issue
  • From the Director
  • New Classes & Events
  • The Great Garden Debate
  • A Winter Gift from the Garden
  • Next Members-only Event
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Between Science and Art: Work in Botanical Illustration

art by Jeanne Lotta-Sellars

Work created by artists in the Botanical Illustration courses taught by Mary L. Harden at the San Francisco Botanical Garden.

October 1- December 30
Art Exhibit Details


A printable version of the Course Catalog is now available for download from our web site.

from SFBG

Daily Tours

Departing from SFBGS Bookstore (Main Gate)
Mon-Fri: 1:30pm Sat/Sun: 10:30am & 1:30pm

Departing from Friend Gate
(North Entrance)
Wed/Fri/Sun: 2pm

Daily Tour Info


Birding at San Francisco Botanical Garden

Explore birding at SFBGS with our interpretive walks.

Birding for Everyone

This leisurely birding tour and nature hike tromps through the exciting microhabitats of the Garden.

Birding in SFBG

Allan Ridley is an experienced field ornithologist and Helen McKenna is a docent at the Botanical Garden. Together they will tell you about both the birds and plants seen in the Garden.

Children's Story Time and Family Walk

Fun for children and their families.

An interesting fact to know during cold and flu season - the powerfully aromatic bark of Drimys winteri is loaded with Vitamin C! Brewed as a tea, this winter-blooming evergreen has been used in the treatment of indigestion, colic, dandruff and scurvy for hundreds of years. Look for Drimys winteri in the Zellerbach Garden of Perennials, in the Chilean Garden and in this month's In Bloom feature.
Drimys winteri - Winter's Bark
At the Garden: Issue No. 10  |  December 2006
From the Director

Dear Friends,

As we immerse ourselves in this holiday season, I always try to remember the best things that have happened in my life over the last year. I don't have to reach very far back to recall an event that certainly qualifies as wonderful. We have been working over the last few months with a lady who has been facing a very serious health problem for a number of years. She contacted us because she wanted to make a donation to the Botanical Garden, and could we talk about how that might be done.

In the course of our discussions, I have come to know a bit about her bravery in the face of adversity, her wit and her intelligence. Her goal was to honor the physician who has so gently and ably treated her condition for the last several years.

Then we met her physician, and we learned why she wanted so much to honor him. This lady will fund the renovation of the Chilean/South American Garden, and it will include the "Dr. Patrick Swift Medicinal Plant Education Program", building on an existing docent project that identifies medicinal plants in the Garden, but formalizing that initial work and making information much more accessible to the public.

After our most recent meeting we felt like old friends working together on a truly great project for the good of the public.

Who says fund raising is a tough job? This was as good as it gets!

With warmest best wishes for your holiday season,


Michael McKechnie
Executive Director, San Francisco Botanical Garden Society

Classes and Events

Late-Autumn Skies
Join Bing Quok from Cal Academy to observe and learn about seasonal skies.
Swiss Dreams and Sharffen Berger Chocolates
The scenery of the Alps calls out for chocolate!
Wreath-Making Workshop
Bring the family for a holiday wreath making day using greens from our Garden.
Botanical Illustration I - Pencil Techniques
Learn how to draw - no experience required! Pencil Techniques is the first in a series of five classes on the fundamentals of botanical illustration.

How to Make and Use Biodiesel
Learn about fuel made from natural resources in this hands-on workshop.
Urban Oases: Creating Garden Sanctuaries in the City
Explore techniques for transforming the busy urban landscape into serene spaces, intimate tableaus and vibrant sanctuaries.


Treasures of Japan:
Temples, Castles and Classical Gardens

Join us on an engaging journey, co-sponsored by the SF Botanical Garden Society and the California Academy of Sciences. Lead by our own Plant Collections Registrar Mona Bourell.


When Collector Meets Designer Can They Find Common Ground?

Listen to gardening experts debate the pros and cons of one of gardening's oldest conundrums and offer inspiration and ideas to spark your own approach to gardening.

A winter gift from the Garden
Give a Gift Membership to SFBGS

Looking for a unique gift for the person on your list who has everything? Give them flowers all year long!

A gift membership is a great way to support the Garden and introduce others to the Garden we all love. Holiday gift, birthday present or unique thank you gift for your host, a gift membership to SFBGS is the perfect gift for the garden lovers on your list.

Benefits of Gift Membership include:

  • SF Botanical Garden Visitor Guide
  • Admission to the Annual Plant Sale and Members-Only Preview Sale
  • Invitations to Members-Only Events
  • Subscription to our Members’ Magazine, Leaflet
  • Discounts on classes and seminars
  • Discounts on purchases at SFBG Bookstore and Plant Sales
  • Discounts at more than 70 Bay Area nurseries
  • Free admission to over 180 botanical gardens and arboreta
  • Free admission to California Horticultural Society Events
    (Additional benefits available at different membership levels)

Giving a gift membership is easy… register online, or call the Membership Department at (415) 564-3239, ext. 303. You’ll get the gift of knowing that you are supporting a San Francisco treasure… the Garden we all love!

Only 2 weeks until the next Members-Only Event

After-hours Aperitifs

December 21
5:00PM - 7:00PM

SFBG Auditorium (County Fair Bldg.)

Reminding SFBGS members that the next Members-Only "After-hours Aperitifs" event will be held Thursday, December 21. Please come and join us for some light refreshments and lively conversation at our quarterly "members' mixer."

Please make your reservation to attend by December 18
Call (415) 564-3239, ext. 303 or register at

Not a member of SFBGS, or need to renew your membership? It's easy! Just log onto our web site to purchase or renew your membership, or call the Membership Department at (415) 564-3239, ext. 303.