Our Pollinator and Monarch Program

The Pollinator garden is a big focus of The Gardens at Lake Merritt. While there are many beautiful more formal themed gardens ringing our seven acre space, the center of the garden holds a big area for a wild and crazy pollinator garden. Our park director Tora Rocha founded The Pollinator Posse a few years […]

Thank You!

Thank you to all of you who came out and supported our Autumn Lights Festival 2016!  Almost 9000 of you came, saw and wondered at the light and magic created by our generous Bay Area artists to support our garden.  Even in the rain on Saturday, thousands came and enjoyed the mist and sparkles that […]

The Pollinator Garden

The Pollinator garden is a big focus of The Gardens at Lake Merritt. While there are many beautiful more formal themed gardens ringing the garden space, the center of the garden holds a big area for a wild and crazy pollinator garden. Our park director Tora Rocha founded The Pollinator Posse a few years back, […]

Our Monarch Program Takes Flight!

We have been working for years to foster our Monarch butterfly population, and this year it is going kind of crazy! Over the past three years, we planted milkweed, and the beautiful creatures came.  We picked up caterpillars and protected them indoors, until the chrysalises broke open with more Monarchs.  Monarchs migrate out in the summer, and back […]

Join us at the Autumn Lights Festival, October 16-17, 6-11 PM

“I walked among the dimly lit oaks with distant music drifting in the air. I thought how very much I liked the Oakland that was being created before my eyes. The event was multiracial and free-spirited; the sculpture sang in the balmy night…My, it was gaudy. The exhibits glowed and sparkled and occasionally talked. The […]

March in the Gardens

March is springing forth, and with it comes the burgeoning color and life in our Pollinator garden. This garden is a big program focus at Oakland’s Gardens at Lake Merritt, especially this month leading up to the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show, where our Pollinator Posse, the Oakland Museum, the Gardens at Lake Merritt and […]

February in the Gardens

Tucked in a back corner of the garden, under a special wooden shelter, we have the largest outdoor collection of Vireyas in the continental United States. They have just burst into bloom. Come visit soon, and prepared to be stunned!

Vireyas are a special kind of tropical rhododendron native to islands between Asia and Australia, and […]

Planting A Native Bee Garden

With Native Bee Specialist Celeste Ets-Hokin
Early spring is the right time to rejuvenate or plant for a soon to be blooming, fragrant and buzzing native bee garden. A premier example of plant selection and pairing can be seen in the new native bee garden overseen by native bee specialist Celeste Ets-Hokin. The bee garden is located in the Pollinator Garden (across from the Edible Demonstration Gardens –look for the Pollinator signs).

“A good bee garden should include a mix of pollen- and nectar-rich annuals and perennials, offering flowers of different colors, sizes, shapes and bloom periods.  And of course you’ll want to make sure that at least some of these plants are California natives.  Native plants are generally four times more attractive than exotic varieties to our native bees,” says Celeste.

To give you a head start, here’s a look at some of the perennials and annuals she’s introduced to the bee garden. Then to learn more about native bees and the creation of their glorious garden in the Gardens at Lake merritt, be sure to read the following article by Celeste, “The BEE-UTIFUL Gardens at Lake Merritt:  We Built It and They Came!”
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July Garden Events and Gardening Tips

July Special Events
Golden Gate Lily Society Show and Sale, Saturday and Sunday, July 13-14, noon-5pm, in the Lakeside Park Garden Center. Free admission.

Sydney Mitchell Iris Society Sale, Friday, July 26, 7:30pm in the Lakeside Park Garden Center. Free admission.

Managing Pests in Your Garden Safely, Saturday, July 27, noon-1pm: Want to learn more about what is […]