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New Entrance Garden at UC Botanical Garden: An Explosion of Arid Exotica

Articles: New Entrance Garden at UC Botanical Garden: An Explosion of Arid Exotica

The award-winning UCBG garden at the 2000 San Francisco Flower & Garden Show provided inspiration for, and featured many of the arid-exotics now employed in the new entrance garden. Photograph by Stewart

After decades-long efforts, the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley has finally constructed a dignified new entrance to introduce the public to the collections within the garden fence. The hardscape and conceptual design were created by the landscape architecture firm of Reed Dillingham and Associates of Berkeley. The horticultural treatment was designed and installed by a team of the garden’s horticulturists, including, Jerry Parsons, Eric Schulz, Colin Baxter, Anthony Garza, and the author.

For many years, a battered, barbed-wire-topped, chain-link fence framed the gateway to the University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley (UCBG). The gate opened onto an expanse of sloping, degraded asphalt that was the garden’s original parking lot—hardly a flattering introduction to one of the most diverse collections of plants in the United States. In addition to the abysmal aesthetics...

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