Native plant meadow construction closes portion of Arboretum loop in Mediterranean collection


Image of Mediterranean Collection detour map.

CLICK ON THE IMAGE above to see the map at a larger size.

The creation of a small bridge will close a portion of the north side of the Arboretum loop—in the Mediterranean Collection—starting October 20, 2014 through mid-November.

This enhancement  is part of a much larger construction project that includes expanding the Putah Creek Lodge parking lot, rerouting Garrod Drive, improving access to our teaching nursery, prepping the area for a Vet Med expansion, and adding a California native plant meadow. The meadow will not only serve to create a wildlife habitat, it will also function as a catchment area and filter for excess water draining from the improved site into the Arboretum waterway.

LEARN MORE about enhancements taking shape in the Vet Med / Arboretum Initiative Zone.


Oktoberfest benefit for UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden



THIS SATURDAY, October 18, 2014 from 6-9 p.m., Whole Foods Davis will be hosting their first annual Oktoberfest event at the UC Davis Arboretum’s Terrace Garden and Lois Crowe Patio.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Friends of the  UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. We hope you’ll consider attending what is sure to be a great time in a beautiful garden, complete with delicious beers from Track 7 and Sudwerk Brewing companies as well as pretzels and bratwurst.

DATE: Saturday, October 18th
TIME: 6 – 9 p.m.
PLACE: UC Davis Arboretum’s Terrace Garden and Lois Crowe Patio MAP
TICKETS: $18 per ticket (must be 21+ years old to attend)


Click here to READ MORE about our partnership with Whole Foods Davis.


DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Whole Foods Market

Photo of Whole Foods partner table at the UC Davis Arboretum plant sales.

We’ve developed a terrific community partnership with Whole Foods Market Davis! Here are examples of how their team has collaborated with the Arboretum and Public Garden in support of community education and sustainable horticulture:

  • Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum was the first recipient of the Nickels for Nonprofits fundraiser at the Davis store, a program that encourages customers to donate their nickel bag credits.
  • Whole Foods has supported the Friends plant sales by providing lunches for hundreds of volunteers working at each event.
  • Whole Foods hosted tasting events, had a shovel collection barrel, provided publicity to help us collect over 400 shovels used in the “Shovel Gateway” sculpture that welcomes visitors to the Arboretum and catered the dedication event.
  • Their team partnered on a “sneak peek” event showcasing the California Native Plant GATEways Garden. Their extensive contributions included food, beverages, rentals and more.
  • Whole Foods completely sponsored an event for our “Circle” level members and long-term supporters including gourmet wine and food pairings, additional staff support, and gorgeous decorations.
  • They are a great neighbor! Their staff helps keep the Arboretum Terrace Garden clean and secure. They even facilitated a donation of tables and chairs to provide additional seating in the garden.

Please take a moment to say “thank you for being a great Arboretum partner” next time you shop in Whole Foods Market Davis.

Nursery manager Taylor Lewis featured in Sac Bee

Photo of Nursery Manager Taylor Lewis at the UC Davis Arboretum Teaching Nursery.

Nursery Manager Taylor Lewis was featured in the Sac Bee on Saturday, October 11 in the Home and Garden section. The article highlights his focus on native plants as well as the Friends of the Arboretum and Public Garden fall plant sales.
The article can be found on the Sac Bee website. CLICK HERE or you can read it below.

Seeds: California native plants are on gardeners’ most wanted list

By Debbie Arrington

Taylor Lewis believes in the power of natives. As an expert in California native plants, he’s been preaching this botanical gospel for years. But it took the drought to finally get that message to sink in with other gardeners.

“That’s what people are looking for – California natives,” said Lewis, who has been growing them by the thousand.

As manager of the arboretum teaching nursery at UC Davis, Lewis saw the conversion firsthand. “At our four spring sales, our California native aisles were virtually empty with 90 percent sold. I know what people are looking for, but they needed a place to find it.”

A lot of those sought-after natives should be in good supply today during the first of two October sales at the nursery, located near the small animal hospital on the UC Davis campus. A second sale is set for Oct. 25.

The arboretum nursery grows 80 percent of its plant stock in Davis, Lewis noted. “I’ve always liked to grow things where they go. These plants didn’t have to travel hundreds of miles; they were grown here. I’m relatively sure they’ll survive in Sacramento.”

Lewis served for seven years as nursery manager at the now-defunct Windmill Nursery in Carmichael before working as sales manager at Cornflower Farms in Elk Grove. He took over as nursery manager for the UC Davis Arboretum and public gardens in January.

“It was exactly like coming home,” said Lewis, a UC Davis graduate. “I figured they showed me how to do it – to make things grow – and now I’m back doing it for them.”

For today’s sale, the arboretum teaching nursery will have more than 15,000 plants in about 400 different varieties, some unavailable outside UC Davis. The water-wise inventory leans heavily toward natives.

“We increased our native inventory by 35 percent,” Lewis said.

The sales continue a yearlong theme: The New Front Yard. Featured in The Bee, that series of 40 drought-tolerant and wildlife-friendly plants are recommended substitutions for traditional landscaping.

“It’s so applicable,” Lewis said. “So many people I talk to from Sacramento, their yard is just dead. They did the right thing. They let the grass die. Their biggest question: What now?”

Lewis suggests attacking the dead lawn with a purpose.

“Have a plan,” he said. “You need to know what plants need – some need more water than others, some need sun, others shade. Do some research yourself.”

Then, find some examples.

“Look at plants,” he said, pointing to examples that surround the nursery. “Find out what you like and if it will live here.”

Give yourself some options, he suggested. “If you start out (with the goal), ‘I want a bush 3 feet high with red flowers,’ that can be pretty limiting. But if you say, ‘I want something with flowers about this size that will grow in these conditions,’ there are options.”

Among Lewis’ personal favorites are the buckwheats, not just for the plants’ looks but what buckwheat does for the garden. “I absolutely love the diversity of the beneficials (insects) that it brings to the garden. I love to see all the different life on buckwheat.”

But there are so many good natives, he added. “I’m a big ceanothus guy; they do pretty well here. California fuchsias are a real people-pleaser. There are never enough sages in the world. One of the nicest little flowering plants is the seaside daisy, particularly the Wayne Roderick variety we grow.”

See several natives in bloom this morning at the arboretum teaching nursery. If you get there early enough, you may take some home, too.

Farmer Fred podcast features our plant sales and staff

Image of Farmer Fred, Ellen Zagory and Taylor Lewis.

Sunday, October 5, 2014, our own Ellen Zagory, director of public horticulture and Taylor Lewis, nursery manager, were featured on Farmer Fred’s radio show “Get Growing with Farmer Fred” on KSTE 650 AM from 10-11:30 a.m.

The three of them discussed a range of gardening topics including water-wise landscaping, planting for pollinators, and last, but not least, the incredible selection of plants we’ll have at our upcoming fall plant sales. LEARN MORE about our seasonal plant sales.

Did you miss the show? No problem!
The spot is currently available for download or streaming on  iTunes.

The episodes are named Get Growing with Farmer Fred 100514 Hr 1 and Get Growing with Farmer Fred 100514 Hr 2. The episodes are organized by release dates; our episode was released on October 5, 2014.

If you have the iTunes application, you can GET  TO THE EPISODES here.

8 Tips for a Successful Plant Sale Shopping Experience

Image of Arboretum volunteer, Kend Linderholm, helping a customer

At the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden seasonal plant sales, not only do we offer the area’s largest selection of attractive, low-water, easy-care, region-appropriate plants including lots of Arboretum All-Stars and California natives, we strive to answer your questions and ensure that you meet your shopping goals. Here are some tips our experienced shoppers already know, but our newer customers may not.

Do you have more tips? Let us know! Leave your comment below.

  1. Receive a discount. Become a member and receive 10% off your plant sale purchases. New members also get a $10 off coupon. Other membership benefits include access to member’s only plant sales, free or discounted entry to other gardens, discounts at our partner nurseries, and more. LEARN MORE.
  2. Grab a cart. If you didn’t bring your own cart, use one of ours! If there are no carts available put your name on the wait list. Listen for your name to be called over the PA while you shop.
  3. Look for orange. Sales help can be found in orange aprons.
  4. Seek expert advice. “Arboretum Experts” are located in the front of our large center aisle. At this sale, local Master Gardeners are located in the front of the nursery in our demo bed courtyard. You can also find representatives from our partner nurseries, information on safe pesticide use,  ”plant doctors” and more.
  5. Check out our inventory. Download our online inventory or you can find copies at our “Arboretum Expert” and “Arboretum Resource” tables in the center aisle. LEARN MORE.
  6. Know your type. Looking for perennials, trees, vines, shrubs, succulents, grasses, bulbs, shade plants, California natives, or California natives for shade? The nursery is organized by category and signs can be found hanging from the nursery rafters.
  7. Find inspiration. Look to our demo beds both inside and just outside the nursery for ideas. Most of these plants are labeled will be for sale.
  8. Discover our gift shop. Buy unique merchandise including jewelry, tote bags and t-shirts. Every purchase supports the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. (Credit cards only at the gift shop.)
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