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Our Favorite Gardens To Visit in the SF East Bay

After the deluge of rain this winter, spring promises to bring forth a riot of color in our public gardens. We are fortunate to have several outstanding ones close by where you can view a diversity of native and drought-tolerant plantings. Not only will you enjoy their varied landscapes, but you can discover plants you would like to grow in your own yard. We are always available to help you make these choices and incorporate them into an attractive and ecological design.

Here are three beautiful local gardens to visit:

Ruth Bancroft Garden – Located in Walnut Creek, this 2.5-acre garden offers the visitor an extraordinary display of succulents, cacti, and water-wise plants. While the collection contains plants from around the world, the garden exemplifies many plants that do well in the climate and soil conditions prevalent in our area. Each month, a new map is provided to visitors featuring plants in bloom, so coming often is never boring!

Open Tuesdays – Sundays from 9 am – 4 pm. Plant nursery on site. (Admission or membership required)

Tilden Regional Parks Botanic Garden – Nestled in Tilden Park’s Wildcat Canyon, this highly acclaimed garden features a wealth of plants native to California. The garden is divided into ten geographically-based sections from across the state, including redwood forests, the Sierras, and Channel Islands. It is also known for having specimens of nearly all the state's conifers and oaks, and the most complete collection of California manzanitas anywhere.

Open daily from 8:30 am – 5 pm. Free docent tours available. Plant and seed sales are held every Wednesday morning from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and every first Saturday of the month, between 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (No admission fees). Map

UC Botanical Garden at Berkeley – Midway between the University’s Memorial Stadium and Lawrence Hall of Science sits the 34-acre UC Botanical Garden. With over 10,000 different plants growing on its grounds, it is one of the most diverse landscapes in the world. The garden features nine regions that span the globe. It also has a considerable section featuring California native plants.

Open daily 10 am – 5 pm. Reservation needed for non-members. (Admission or membership required) Here is a link the garden map for this extensive garden.

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