Albany community center 1249 marin avenue, albany, ca 94706 firstname.lastname@example.org
Floriculture Interest Group meets on the fourth Thursday 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.
A sampling of our programs for last year included: carpooling to visit 2 garden nurseries: Annie’s Annuals in Richmond and Native Here Nursery in Berkeley. We also visited the Blake Garden in Berkeley, the Cohen-Bray House in Oakland, and the Marin Art and Garden Center in Ross. A special treat was a tea lunch in Benicia and a tour of the town. During one winter meeting we shared favorite gardening books and gardening tools.
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 of the Berkeley Garden Club is a monthly educational and food-adventure gathering of cooking, dining and plant-growing enthusiasts. Each year, based on a chosen theme, we explore the origins and uses of herbs and spices from around the world. For the 2017-18 year we are studying influential cuisines back through time, from Imperial Vienna to the ancient foods of the Middle East.
We get together monthly at a member’s home on the second Tuesday. Socializing starts around 10:30 am, giving us a chance to catch up on each others’ lives and tour the garden. Our meeting begins promptly at 11 am and ends around 1:30 pm. Since we include a sit-down lunch, we require RSVPs several days in advance. The host may limit the number of attendees due to home size. 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.
Each gathering includes a report on the herbs, spices and food ways of the cuisine we are featuring. In addition to learning the sources and growing conditions of ingredients under discussion, we have the chance to discuss wider topics about the region and share our own experiences. Then we taste the dishes which showcase the flavors that can be created with the herbs and the spices that are now available worldwide but still remain distinctive identifiers of Place and Time.
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. Topics covered last year were combining mixed mixed with photos and using apps with an iPad. We also sponsor a photo presentation at the North Berkeley Branch Library, the topic last year being “Visiting and Photographing Cuba”.
Our field trips have included outings to the Mountain View Tulip Exposition, the Albany Waterfront Trail, and the Oakland Rose Garden. A tea lunch in Niles provided the opportunity to photograph beautiful food.
We maintain a Flickr site, BGC Photo Study Group, as a method of sharing our photos with each other from various challenges and assignments.
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.
The Succulent Group meets on the third Thursday of the month at 10:00. We all share an interest in succulents and cactus. Some of our meetings are in our homes so that we can see our gardens, impart growing suggestions and share plants with each other. We travel to favorite nearby nurseries that carry succulents.
We also view non-member succulent and cactus gardens for inspiration. Our special field trip this last year was to the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek for their annual Sculptures in the Garden event where beautiful outdoor art is displayed through-out the garden.