News from Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens


Early Rhododendrons
Winter Heathers  |  Heaths 
Camellias | Magnolias
Irises | Coastal Wildflowers
Grevilleas  |  Fuchsias 

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UPCOMING Workshops & Events
Follow the links below for more info: 

Sustainable Home Vegetable Gardening
Getting Started with Seeds | Class #1 of this 4 part learning series
FEBRUARY 25 from 10:00am–3:30pm (Lecture 10:00am–1:00pm; Hands-on 1:30pm–3:30pm)
This extended learning series offers four classes of hands-on, brains-on training. MCBG Lead Gardener Jaime Jensen teaches the essential skills to develop a strong vegetable garden for years to come. CLICK HERE for more details.

Rhododendron Propagation
MARCH 18 from 10:00am to 12:00pm with Dennis McKiver, President of the American Rhododendron Society's Noyo Chapter. Learn how to grow rhododendrons from seed and cuttings with hands-on demonstrations.
Call 707-964-4352 ext. 16 or stop by The Garden Store to sign up. 

March Pet Adoption Day
MARCH 18 | Mendocino Coast Humane Society will be at MCBG with a bunch of adorable adoptable animals! They will be at the Gardens on the 3rd Saturday of each month March through October with a few furry friends looking for a place to call home. 
Monthly Walks...
All walks meet on the Plaza at MCBG and are  free with Gardens admission!

Rhododendron Walks
MARCH 11, APRIL 8, and MAY 13 | meet on the Plaza at 1:30pm
Learn about the Rhododendron Collection here at the Gardens, in this monthly walk and talk with local expert and current president of the American Rhododendron Society's Noyo Chapter, Dennis McKiver.

Bird Watching Walks
Join the experts from our local Mendocino Coast chapter of the Audubon Society and learn more about our avian friends. 
- Beginning Birding Walk: The 1st Saturday of each month at 9:00am
- Early Bird Walks: The 3rd Wednesday of each month at 8:30am (Nov–Mar)

Natural History and Collections Walks
1st Monday of each month April–October | meet on the Plaza at 1:30pm
Join MCBG Naturalist Mario Abreu to explore the fascinating world of the Gardens. Each walk and talk are different and based on what is blooming at the Gardens. 

Looking for a great way to keep track of all of the wonderful workshops and events at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens? 
CLICK HERE to subscribe to the MCBG Events Feed on Facebook!

Bright and Shiny NEW Equipment!

The 4-wheeled utility vehicle is an invaluable addition to our team
You may have noticed a vibrant new addition roaming the Gardens lately... The Kubota UTV is a narrow four-wheel-drive utility vehicle with a 4,000 pound capacity winch, and a large cargo bed featuring a hydraulic bed lift. The Kubota UTV offers exceptional maneuverability for safe and efficient hauling of garden materials. 

The acquisition of this new equipment was made possible by a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust and funds provided by Friends of the Gardens. THANK YOU!!!!


at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
NURSERY ON THE PLAZA has a hearty selection of magnolias, grevilleas, tea trees, native plants, bleeding hearts, and much more
Follow Nursery on the Plaza on Facebook for inspiration:

MCBG Plant Lists Updated

The ultimate guide for your next trip to the Gardens
Brush up on your Latin and get to know all of the plants inhabiting our 47 acres by the sea! Up-to-date lists for all recorded plants and in-depth lists for each of our plant collections are available on the MCBG website.

Become a DOCENT!

WANTED – Garden-lovers to share their enthusiasm

Each year thousands of children and adults visit the Gardens, spending a few hours or the entire day exploring. The Gardens has something for everyone: well-maintained areas with beautiful displays of perennials, fuchsias, and succulents, and nature trails along the creek to the ocean bluffs. Rhododendrons, camellias, and dahlias are also widely popular attractions.

 If you are enthusiastic about these same features of the Gardens, consider becoming a DOCENT! The Docent Program offers an opportunity for visitors to learn and experience more than what they would on their own. Docents are the public face of our Gardens that guide student and adult groups throughout our 47-acres and impart their knowledge, excitement, and enthusiasm. They are integral to enhancing the visitor experience.

Docent Duties Include:

  • Leading group or individual tours for visiting adults and/or children. Partnering up with another docent to lead a tour is a possibility
  • Assisting with educational programs
  • Supporting Open Garden Day and collection-related events such as the Rhododendron Show and National Public Gardens Day.

We will be holding a spring Docent Training on March 15, 22, and 29 in the MCBG Meeting Room from 10AM-12PM.  Each session will include classroom instruction and a walk through the Gardens to become familiar with collections, trails, and MCBG history.  If you have a passion for the Gardens and people, please consider this rewarding opportunity. If you can join us, please RSVP to administration_volunteer@gardenbythesea.orgWe strongly recommend you attend all 3 sessions.

Not a volunteer yet? Click here for more information on becoming a part of the MCBG Volunteer Family!

Seeds on SALE!

Seeds collected from the Gardens will make a great addition to your yard
Seeds collected in 2016 by our volunteer-run Seed Group are on sale for 50% off, now through March 1st! Stop by The Garden Store to check out the collection of hand-curated seeds.

About The Seed Group
Members enjoy learning about the total cycle of many different plant species native to the Mendocino Coast by collecting, cleaning and cataloging wild seeds to sell at the Garden Store.


at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
THE GARDEN STORE has a fresh selection of flower pots, garden stakes, plant misters, rain gauges, rain chains, hummingbird feeders, and more! Follow The Garden Store on Facebook for updates on the latest:


Your seasonal gardening checklist

Camellias are widely grown in California and mild-winter areas of the south and southeastern United States. Their lovely blooms appear from late fall to early spring. Evergreen, glossy leaves make them popular shrubs for foundation plantings and landscaping in shady places. There are about 200 species in the genus Camellia (family Theaceae). Most are native to China and Southeast Asia and areas from Japan to Burma.

Observations made over the past several years by Dan Charvet (camellia hybridizer and proprietor of Heartwood Nursery in Fort Bragg) and other local nursery growers suggest that many camellias are particularly well adapted to the climate and soils of the Mendocino Coast.

The leaves of Camellia sinensis are the source of commercial green, oolong, and black tea. A high quality cooking oil, known as tea oil, is derived from the seeds of C. drupifera (previously known as C. oleifera) and certain other species.  

Best planted in the late fall through the early spring, camellias may be set out any month of the year if properly cared for. Adequate moisture is a necessity until the roots become well established in the soil. The newly developed roots will then provide enough moisture for the plant to start growth when spring arrives. Allow a minimum of five feet between plants and preferably more when planting unless planting a hedge when a distance of three feet between plants is recommended. The following steps should be followed when planting a camellia: 

  • Dig a hole at least two feet wider than the root ball, leaving soil in the center of the hole undisturbed to prevent settling. 
  • Place ball on column of soil, the top of ball should be slightly above soil level. When planting a container-grown plant, wash away the soil from the root ball with a hose and rough up the root ball if tight to allow better penetration into the soil. 
  • Fill the hole around the root ball with a mixture of topsoil and organic matter, and then build a berm of soil around the plant three feet in diameter to prevent water from running off. 
  • Mulch with straw or other organic matter around the plant. 
  • Water well after planting and soak once a week during dry weather. 

For more information on camellias, visit the website for the American Camellia Society at

Time for us to do a little SPRING CLEANING!

Take advantage of low prices at Nursery on the Plaza & The Garden Store
Friday, March 3 through Friday, March 10
00am to 5:00pm at The Garden Store & Nursery on the Plaza

Warm weather means a busy garden—what better time for us to straighten up and prepare for the springtime hustle-and-bustle?

The Gardens’ Spring Cleaning Sale will have clearance prices on select items from The Garden Store and Nursery on the Plaza! Snag some fresh home decor, fashion accessories, gardening books, Easter decorations, and more from The Garden Store. Stock up on heavily discounted plants from Nursery on the Plaza including large conifers, dahlia tubers, magnolias, native irises, shrubs, and assorted perennials.

Be sure to take advantage of the low prices during the sale. Remember, there is never an admission fee to visit the Nursery, Store, or Café (re-opening for the season on April 13)

Proceeds from the sale support our organization! Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens is a unique botanical treasure that can only be maintained, strengthened, and shared through the philanthropic support of our donors, members, community, and volunteers.

Can you DIG IT?

Your seasonal gardening checklist
A few tips and tricks provided by MCBG staff
to help keep your yard in tip-top shape:

✓ Get ready to weed!
✓ Dress your garden with a nice compost and mulch to help combat weeds.
✓ Start your vegetable seeds: peas, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, hearty greens and beets!
✓ Prune your fruit trees.
✓ Make a plan and set some goals for the rest of the season... Spring and summer can really sneak up you.

::   MCBG   ::
::   Nursery on the Plaza   ::
::   The Garden Store   ::
::   Rhody's Garden Café   ::
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