October 18, 2004
UCSC Arboretum offers lecture series for
'The Thoughtful Gardener'
By Flora Ling, UCSC Arboretum
Gardening is a contemplative, thought-provoking experience.
No gardener who sees the seasons change--the gentle passage
from seed to plant, flower, and fruit, and finally to decline--can
help but wonder at the process.
Each task, from planting to pruning, fertilizing to composting,
brings to mind questions about how to tackle the situation.
Some may even question why they garden at all.
Beginning this month, a series of provocative lectures at
the UCSC Arboretum will please the thinking gardener.
Leading experts and professionals who have thought, written,
and attempted to answer these questions will discuss such topics
as gardening heroines, aesthetics, history, and design. Thoughtful
gardeners will find that others have walked the paths to solutions
in the garden.
The first in the series of benefit lectures features Betsy Fryberger,
curator of prints and drawings at Stanford University's Cantor
Art Center. She will talk about "Three Heroines of the
Garden: Gertrude Jekyll, Beatrix Farrand, and Vita Sackville-West."
These three grand ladies of the garden world shaped our artistic
sensibilities through their creations. About a century ago,
each contributed ideas and gardens of lasting substance that
inform our current idea of what constitutes a fine garden. She
will highlight their accomplishments with slides of Jekyll's
restored garden at Upton Grey, of Farrand's Dumbarton Oaks,
and of Sackville-West's Sissinghurst. She will also discuss
their differing literary endeavors and fascinating personal
Other lecturers in the series will offer knowledge ranging from
the practical, as in principles of design, to the horticultural,
as in details of the beloved geranium family or native monkey
flowers, to the historical, as in memorable California gardens.
There will be something to provoke the most avid gardener as
he or she contemplates weeding that stubborn patch in the corner.
Hearing a paleobotanist talk about the fossil record, you may
find yourself thinking about long-gone forests that stood where
your garden now lives.
The lecture schedule runs until June 2005. All lectures are
Sunday at 1:30 p.m. in the Horticulture II Building at the Arboretum.
Tickets are $15 for the general public, $10 for Arboretum members
and guests. For more information, call (831) 427-2998 or visit
the Arboretum web site.
October 24: Betsy Fryberger, "Three Heroines of the
Garden: Gertrude Jekyll, Beatrix Farrand, and Vita Sackville-West"
November 21: Angel Guerzon, "Pursuing Beauty:
The Evolution of a Gardeners Aesthetic"
Angel Guerzon has won numerous awards for his fine compositions.
His talk is illustrated with his personal and professional sense
of the beautiful, and how this has grown and changed over the
December 12: Russ Beatty, "Mediterranean Gardens in
Russ Beatty is senior lecturer emeritus, Department of Landscape
Architecture at UC Berkeley, and a consulting landscape architect
in Santa Cruz. He examines the design and meaning of gardens
in the context of California's Mediterranean climate with special
emphasis on the resource and water-wise techniques for a vulnerable
January 9, 2005: Robin Parer, "The Geranium Family"
Robin Parer, an avid gardener and owner of the Geraniaceae Nursery
in Marin County, has grown these plants for many years. Her
expertise covers both Pelargonium and the "hardy"
February 6, 2005: Steve Schoenig, "Common and Rare
Monkey Flowers of California"
Steve Schoenig is a senior scientist for the integrated pest
management branch of the California Agriculture Department and
has spent years photographing the genus Mimulus all over the
state. He focuses on Central Coast species and rare species
from throughout the state. He is currently writing a book on
March 20, 2005: Bernard Trainor, "Garden Designs:
Principles and Practice"
Trainor, a well-regarded garden designer from Monterey, spent
his early career in Australia and Europe, allowing him to see
California with an immigrant's eyes. His talk will focus on
designing gardens by a process that calls into question the
entire fabric of the location as well as the desires and personality
of the gardener.
April 3, 2005: Ernie Wasson, "Public Gardens of California"
Ernie Wasson is program director of Cabrillo College's Horticulture
Department. His talk will expound on the many fine public gardens
in California that are worth a trip across this big and diverse
May 22, 2005: Judith Taylor, "Tangible memories: Californians
and Their Gardens, 1800-1950"
Judith Taylor is a prolific author with a finely honed grasp
of the horticultural as well as the social matrices that generate
gardens rooted in place and time. Her book The Olive in California:
History of an Immigrant Tree is evocative and beautiful.
Her latest book is The Global Migrations of Ornamental Plants:
How the World Got into Your Garden.
June 5, 2005. Steve Edwards, "The Paleobotany of California"
Steve Edwards, director of Regional Parks Botanic Garden in
Berkeley, has a Ph.D. in paleobotany. His talk is an introduction
to what fossil plants can tell us about California's forests
and how paleobotanists read the fossil record.
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