I’ve found that I learn more and more about Berkeley when we have company staying with us. It’s the perfect time to show off all our favorite places and visit new ones that we don’t make the time to explore. My aunt came to visit for two days, and we happened to pass the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden on our way up to our lookout spot near Tilden Park. We very much love the botanic garden at Tilden, so we usually go there instead of trying out other places, so I finally got the chance to see the UC garden, and... Wow. It is just gorgeous.
At the ticket counter, they told us it was peak season for the Rose Garden (May), and they weren’t kidding. The bushes were covered in flowers. It was a hot day, so we started in the garden before it got too hot, and then moved to the redwood grove where it was about 10 degrees cooler. This isn’t a normal problem for us, living in the East Bay, but we made the best of it and had a wonderful time exploring the gardens and chatting with the volunteers (there were only 9 to work the entire garden! Amazing!)
There is an interesting desert area with HUGE cacti, and lots of little paths between the different sections of the garden. I also loved the Japanese water garden (another great section that is out of the sun) and the observation deck overlooking a creek.
Unlike the Tilden Botanic Gardens, you do have to pay to visit the one at UC Berkeley (probably the reason I hadn’t gone…) but it’s worth it. They have a summer concert series in the redwood grove where you can listen to music in the shade of the garden’s redwoods. Magical? I would say so.