Arboretum Curator Talks Coming Up

If you are interested in the plant collections at the Arboretum and Botanic Garden at the University of California, Santa Cruz, you could learn about them from a new series of talks by the Arboretum’s curators. These professional horticulturists have been long-time developers of the respective gardens for which they have been dedicated for quite long times. They know their plants!

These talks are included in the Arboretum’s new Volunteer Enrichment Series, scheduled on Wednesdays during the coming winter and spring seasons.

As you might already know, the Arboretum’s plant collection reflects the world’s summer-dry or Mediterranean climate zones, which include California. If your garden has basically favorable conditions of sun exposure, drainage, and soil quality, any Arboretum plant you might see and find particularly attractive and suitable for your landscape would grow well in your garden.

That welcome compatibility means that these talks could help you to identify desirable additions to your garden, as well as providing a brief botanical education in a friendly environment.

The first talk, scheduled for March 21st, will be “Exploring Amazing Australian Plants,” presented by Curator of the Australian Collection Melinda Kralj.

The Arboretum has the largest collection of Australian plants outside of Australia! The Arboretum has a great variety of these plants, with one of the features being the Australian Rock Garden, which has been planted with many beautiful smaller plants that would be fine additions to the typical residential garden. ((Selected plants are available for purchase at Norrie’s Gift Shop at the Arboretum.)

Melinda Kralj is a UC Santa Cruz graduate (1978) with degrees in Biology and Art. She joined the Arboretum staff in 1989. Her many activities include guiding the Aussie Weeders, a group of exceptionally cheerful volunteers who work on the Australian Collection on Thursday mornings.

People attending Melinda’s talk should come to the Horticulture 2 building at the Arboretum at 10:00 a.m. The talk continues to 2:00 p.m., including a walk through the Australian Collection.

Upcoming talks in this series are as follows:

April 25th —Amah Mutsun Relearning Program, by Rick Flores, Curator of the California Natives Collection

May 9th —Nursery & Propagation, by Nursery Manager Helen Englesberg

May 23rd — New Zealand, by Tom Sauceda Curator of the New Zealand Collection

June 13th — Succulents, Cacti, Aroma & South Africa, by Executive Director Martin Quigley and Linda McNally

All of these talks are open to the public and free of charge. There will be opportunities for people to become a volunteer at the Arboretum but there’s no commitment to do so.

The Arboretum’s Volunteer Enrichment Series adds another of the many benefits provided by UCSC to the local community.

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