By now, all y’all know I have a special fondness for the Gardens of Alcatraz, and post something every time I go out there. Why, even my banner above is me in my Garden Docent hoodie. 🙂 I volunteered out there weekly as a gardener for a couple of years, starting in 2008, and every couple of weeks as a Garden Docent, leading tours around the island to tell tales and history of the gardens there. Oh, sweet! I just noticed they have a link to my Pacific Horticulture article about gardening out there. Thanks, Shelagh! I’m very infrequently visiting now because of my work and school schedules, but love to pop out for special events every chance I get.
Well, a special event is upon us! The Botanical Florilegium is on display from now (started 1 September) through the end of the year, and possibly into Spring. It’s a juried exhibit of 45 pieces of art – botanical illustrations selected from those done by member artists from the Northern California Society of Botanical Artists, who have been visiting the island all year and collecting plant specimens to illustrate. Each piece in the exhibit represents 50 to 100 hours of work! I’m pleased to be able to see these illustrations and meet the artists during a reception coming up on October 1. I love receptions, and it’ll be fun to possibly be leading small groups around the island that night. Can’t wait to see it, and share my experience here!
To see the Botanical Florilegium exhibit yourself, all you have to do is visit the island. Simple. The exhibit is on display in the Band Practice Room. Gardeners or staff will be able to guide you, and will likely mention it in the orientation you get when you first step off the boat. For the full garden experience, catch the first boat on a Friday or Sunday, so you can get a docent-led tour of the gardens at 9:45. Best to buy tickets in advance. You can find ticket and tour info on the Gardens’ visiting info page.
Some links most useful:
- Northern California Society of Botanical Artists article (and gallery, yo!)
- San Jose Mercury News article on the Florilegium
- Gardens of Alcatraz website and Facebook page
- Contra Costa Times article on the Florilegium
- The Davis Enterprise article on a contributing artist
- Pacific Horticulture snippet on the exhibit
- Pacific Horticulture archive article about plants on the island, featuring a painting by my good friend/mentor/gardening shenanigans cohort, Charmain Giuliani
- American Society of Botanical Artists article on the Florilegium
- I love that a Google search of images brings up pix of yours truly!