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Meghan Ray, University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

Articles: Meghan Ray, University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley

Horticulturist Meghan Ray scales a rocky hillside to tend the Karoo display in the UCBG Southern Africa collection. Photo: Ryan Tuttle

I didn’t have to travel for this interview—Meghan Ray is a colleague of mine at the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (UCBG) where she cares for the Southern Africa collection and the Cycad and Palm Garden. We met to talk and work side-by-side in mid-March, the perfect time to admire the ephemeral annuals and bulbs in the Southern Africa Karoo display. On one of the first balmy spring mornings of the year, I found myself crouched on a sizable rock set in a gravelly slope, carefully picking weedy grasses out of a mix of germinating annuals, budding bulbs, and early flowers.

Removing grasses and other weeds from between the rocks and emerging plants in the Karoo display requires knowledge and a fine touch. Photos: Ryan Tuttle

Meghan speaks about her work deliberately. This corner of her garden is intended to represent an annual wildflower event that follows winter rains on arid pla...

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