BLOOM BLAST :: News from Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens

What's in bloom?

Camellias  .  Magnolias
Grevilleas  .  Fuchsias
Heaths  .  Mushrooms 
Perennial Bulbs

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UPCOMING Workshops, Walks, & Events
Guided Garden Walks
March - October (first and last Monday of each month)| 1:30PM
Each walk and talk will differ based on what is blooming at the Gardens. These walks are free with regular Gardens admission (just plain free to attend if you are a member of the Gardens). Join local Naturalist Mario Abreu and MCBG horticultural staff to explore the ever-changing world of the Gardens. CLICK HERE for more details.

Fruit Tree Grafting
March 28 | 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Gain hands-on grafting experience and come away with an apple tree to start (or add to) your own orchard! CLICK HERE for more details.

Rhododendron Walks
Each Saturday from April 4 - May 9 | 1:30PM
Learn more about the Gardens' signature collection including more than 124 species of rhododendrons and 315 taxa, many of them developed by the region's prolific, enthusiastic, and generous rhododendron growers! These walks are free with regular Gardens admission (just plain free to attend if you are a member of the Gardens). CLICK HERE for more details.

BioBlitz 2020
April 18 | 10:00AM to 2:00PM
Team up with expert guides who will lead discovery groups focused on wildlife, native plants, and more. Bring the whole family (fun for all ages) for a day of discovery! CLICK HERE for more details.

SAVE THE DATE – 2020 Learning Opportunities
Rhododendron Show – May 16 and 17
Rhododendron Basics – May 23
Pollinators and Plants – June 20
Nature Sketchbook – August 22 and 23
Mushroom ID for Beginners – Nov 28, Dec 12, or Dec 19

More to come! Check our calendar for details.
10 years of lights!
Though the 2019 holiday season is months behind us, we cannot stop glowing over all of the wonderful activities, displays, and people from last year's Festival of Lights (FOL). The evening after Thanksgiving more than 1,000 people packed the Gardens after dark to kick off the 10th anniversary of the lights show. The tent was bathed in glorious red and gold with live music, dancing, and even karaoke. Once again, Friends of the Gardens warmed hands and hearts with hot cocoa and other goodies from their Holiday Café. A vibrant rainbow shimmered in the reflection of our lily pad pond. A perfectly-timed leaping dog lit up the Perennial Garden. An artful underwater display took the place of begonias and fuchsias in the Display House. Our giant spider web ensnared a massive purple and yellow dragonfly.

There may have been rivers running through the tents a number of nights but our dedicated volunteers and caring staff persevered and people came out to celebrate the season in cheer and rain gear. We are grateful for the tents installed by Matt Rowland Events that withstood the weather (and heavy winds that made it necessary to cancel what was to be the second night of the event) and kept everyone warm and dry!
The Festival Shuttle, run by Julie's Trips & Tours, helped to tame the parking lot, providing a reliable and laid-back experience for nearly 900 savvy people took advantage of the shuttle last year... We hope even more will give it a try next year!

PG&E came thorough in a pinch when a nearby power pole was significantly damaged just days before Christmas and hours before the final night of Festival of Lights. Local PG&E crew members worked to replace an entire power pole and its equipment as quickly as possible (within 7 hours!). The crews were able to restore power just after the Festival of Lights' normal start time... much to the relief of the eager crowd gathered to see the 12th and final night of the event. Many thanks to the PG&E guys on the ground!

All of this would not be possible without the invaluable support we receive from our sponsors, volunteers, and our wonderfully-spirited visitors. One more GREAT BIG THANK YOU to the sponsor of Festival of Lights 2019:

Friends of the Gardens (FOG)GroundLoop EventsThe Coast KOZT-FM

The Beachcomber MotelGeorge Petersen Insurance AgencyKUKI – FM

Already looking forward to the 2020 holiday season? Keep any eye out for new details on the 11th annual FOL including extended hours!!! CLICK HERE for more info.
Art, wine, and so much more!

Saturday, August 1 — 11:00AM to 5:00PM

2020 Featured Artist: Carolyn Zeitler

Join us for an enticing mixture of art, music, and flavors amongst the dramatic summertime blooms of the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Stroll and shop extraordinary creations in a wide array of mediums — ceramics, glass, paintings, sculpture, textiles, woodworking, and more. Tempt your palette with an array of wines, beer, and bites. 

Don't miss the opportunity to exhibit and sell your original artwork amidst the late summer blooms at the 28th annual Art in the Gardens. Applications for this juried art event are being accepted through March 13. Entry details and artist application: Call for Artists

Calling all sculptors, craftsman, visual artists, or people who just enjoy creating. We are also in need of garden-friendly artwork such as outdoor sculpture, amenities, metal work, benches, archways… you get the idea. The auction will be featured in the Dahlia Garden at Art in the Gardens on Saturday, August 1. Contact Jamie ( for more details on the selection process.

Share your memories of the past 27 years of Art in the Gardens on Facebook and Instagram: #artinthegardensmendo
What's in Store
The Garden Store is getting a mini-makeover! We will be installing new signage in the front entrance and have already extended the counter to make room for a third smiling staff member, making it easier for MCBG members to check in and our visitors to pay admissions.
Follow The Garden Store on Facebook for the latest and greatest.
Come see the camellias
The MCBG Camellia Collection was established in 1985 and has since grown to include 49 taxa, approximately 11 cultivars (most by renowned local grower, Dan Charvet), interspecific hybrids (hybrids between two species), and 38 species. In fact, Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens has the largest species collection on the West Coast! Though species camellias are generally less eye-catching than hybrids, the preservation of species camellias is essential in maintaining the basic genetic backbone of the genus. Species camellias are used by hybridizers to change form and add disease resistance. In Asia, species camellias are revered for their agricultural importance (tea production) and health properties (oil extracts). 

pictured above: Camellia 'Fran Charvet'
pictured below (left to right): Camellia yunnanensis; Camellia lapidea (photo: Molly Barker)
pictured at bottom: Camellia rosiflora
News from the Nursery
Sweet Peas are in! This cottage garden favorite has been cultivated for centuries for their beautiful, sweetly perfumed flowers. Sweet Peas are an annual that grows best in sun is excellent for climbing on a fence or over a trellis. Highly fragrant flowers adorn stems from spring to summer, and make excellent cut flowers — bring a bouquet indoors!
The MCBG Nursery has 3 varieties of old-fashioned Sweet Peas:
'April in Paris', 'Perfume Delight' and 'Painted Lad' (grown since 1737; pictured right)
Save the date for our annual Spring Plant Sale coming up Saturday, April 18 through Sunday, April 26. The sale will run daily during the Gardens' normal operating hours, 9:00AM to 5:00PM.

Members of the Gardens may enjoy first choice of plants in the Nursery and a great selection of Store sale items, plus complimentary hors d'oeuvres and wine during our Member's Preview Party on Friday, April 17 from 5:30 - 7:00pm. It is not too late to join as a member, more details and an online application available here:
Follow Nursery at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens on Facebook for the latest and greatest.
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