Albany community center 1249 marin avenue, albany, ca 94706 firstname.lastname@example.org
Floriculture Study Group meets on the second Monday of the month to learn about plants that are appropriate for our gardens by visiting gardens, nurseries and getting tips from each other. Our members range from novices to Master Gardeners. Program and schedule for 2016-17.
A sampling of our programs for last year included: carpooling to visit 3 garden centers and nurseries in San Francisco, visit nurseries in Half Moon Bay, share favorite gardening books and gardening tools, Docent tour of Mt. View Cemetery, Trip to Bouquet to Arts, DeYoung Museum, Visit to Blake Gardens in Kensington, Docent tour at Kendall Jackson Winery gardens in Santa Rosa.
Bonsai meets the third Wednesday of the month at members' homes. We study basic principles of bonsai. Bonsai means tree in a tray. The trees are cared for to recreate nature in miniature. It is a very relaxing and contemplative hobby.
We use the East Bay Bonsai Society yearly calendar as a guide. We re pot our trees in January and February. This is the time to trim, reduce and shape the root system. Different trees need specific soil compositions. At other meetings we work on shaping, pruning and wiring. There are several styles of bonsai, ie 'Chokkan' or formal upright, 'Kengai' or cascading, etc. We also discuss different techniques for watering, fertilizing, and pest control as well as good plant picks for bonsai (pines versus flowering shrubs, etc).
Once or twice a year we have a field trip to the bonsai collection at the Lakeside Garden in Oakland and/or visit a nursery that carries bonsai.
This is a very practical subject. Bonsai principles can be applied to many other gardening practices, including but not limited to pruning and shaping, care of potted plants, learning about tree species and knowing how the different seasons affect our specimens. We're all amateurs but endeavor to follow the best principles for success.
Herbs and Spices
Herbs & Spices Study Group began as a straight-up growing-and-using-herbs interest group, but it has evolved into an educational and food-adventuring set of cooking and dining enthusiasts. Each year, based on a chosen theme, we explore the origins and uses of herbs and spices from around the world. For the 2015-16 year we studied “Leaves” as used in various cuisines - bay (Jewish), mint (southeast Asian), grape (Greek), kale (Italian), plus a few others to be determined. This 2016-2017 year we are taking a cultural and culinary journey along the Silk Routes of central Asia.
We usually get together monthly at various members’ homes on the second Tuesday promptly at 10:30 am to about 1 pm. Since our meeting includes a sit-down lunch, we require RSVPs several days in advance. The particular details and response deadlines are listed in the Berkeley Garden Club Bulletin and in emails sent to members on the Herbs & Spices Group list.
Flower and Garden Photography
The Flower and Garden Photography group meets on the second Wednesday of the month from 10-12:00. Our purpose is to help each other become better photographers. Members range from novice to experienced. Our goal is to provide an encouraging and non-threatening way to learn about photography and the use of our cameras in a supportive and non-intimidating environment.
We have a combination of instruction/study sessions in our homes interspersed with photo shoot field trips. Previous topics covered have concerned the making of photo cards, the creation of a photo book using a commercial site, and the printing of photographs on fabric. We maintain a Flickr site, BGC Photo Study Group, as a method of sharing our photos with each other from various challenges and assignments.
Our field trips have included outings to The Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, Bouquets to Art at the deYoung, the Bonsai Garden at Lake Merritt, the Hayward Japanese Garden, and the Mountain View Tulip Exposition. We usually include a visit to a tea lunch as a special treat and as a chance to photograph some beautiful food.
The propagation group is a hands on, “dig in the dirt” group dedicated to learning more about plant propagation. Members meet on 4th Tuesdays to exchange cuttings, divisions and seeds from plants that they have growing in their gardens. The cultivation and propagation method (there are many different methods) of each plant is discussed. Extra plants are saved for the general meeting exchange table or kept for the spring plant sale.