The Arboretum Garden at University of California, Davis, is free to all and open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It has many acres of incredible garden collections, including spotlights on California’s foothills, desert and north coast and East Asian, Mediterranean, and South American environments. There are also oak, redwood and conifer groves, plus many more beautiful and scenic gardens.
To get to the Arboretum, take Interstate 80 to the UC Davis exit. Turn north into the central part of campus, and turn left at the first opportunity. Go straight across the creek, and then turn left on La Rue Road. There is all-day parking in Visitor Lot 47, further down La Rue on the right. Fair Oaks Horticulture Center
The Sacramento County UC Cooperative Extension established the Fair Oaks Horticulture Center (11549 Fair Oaks Blvd, in Fair Oaks) in 1998 as a project in collaboration with the Fair Oaks Recreation & Park District.
Their Water-Efficient Landscape demonstration garden is open to the public every day throughout the year. The edible landscape areas are open only during workshops and open garden days.
To inquire about open garden days and workshops, call 916-875-6913. Everyone is welcome, and no reservations are required. Berkeley botanical garden
The University of California Botanical Garden (200 Centennial Drive, in Berkeley) offers a worldwide collection, featuring plants of documented wild origin from nearly every continent, with an emphasis on plants from Mediterranean climates similar to California’s, including the Mediterranean basin, Australia, South Africa and Chile.
The gardens are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, though the last entry is at 4:30. They are closed the first Tuesday of each month, Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 24 and 25, Dec. 31, Jan. 1 and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The price of admission ranges from $9 to free.
There are many other wonderful public gardens in our area, as well, where there is so much to see that even the nongardeners in your group will enjoy the visit.
• UC-certified Master Gardeners are available to answer gardening questions from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 953-6112 or mgsanjoaquin
@ucdavis.edu. Questions for Heather Hamilton can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.