Lavender For All Your Senses

Article by Tricia Christopher, Landscape Architect and Designer of the Mediterranean and Sensory Gardens

Lavenders are featured prominently in the Sensory Garden, with their own “Lavender Hill” in the center of the garden. Here, drifts of several lavender varieties in beautiful shades of blues, purples and whites provide distinctive herbal fragrance.

Lavender is known for it’s […]

Youth Improving Their Community

  Thank you Oakland Tech InterAct Club. A  pleasure being in the Gardens with you. Great job in the Sensory Garden, removing the early fall weeds before the rains, deadheading the mint, sage and germander and preening the camellias for winter beauty by removing spider webs, leaves and dust from the summer. Thank you very […]

Free Tours of the Gardens at Lake Merritt

Volunteers Shine in Gardens on Earth Day 2012

More than 70 volunteers  enjoyed the results of their weeding and mulching in the Gardens in honor of Earth Day.  The Gardens are beaming from all the good attention.

Please join the fun at the regularly scheduled volunteer work party days: the first and third Saturday of each month; every Thursday from 9:00-noon (meet at the […]

Welcome to The Sensory Garden

The Sensory Garden at Lakeside Park has been redesigned to utilize drought tolerant Mediterranean and native plants that  provide fragrance, sound and color for the senses. The garden is organized to offer the visitor a succession of experiences. […]

Singing and Volunteering in the Rain

While it was primarily frogs singing in the Vireya Display Garden on a recent rainy work day, volunteers were all smiles as they worked together to weed, plant, mulch around the beautiful Vireyas, and pot hydrangeas displaced by a large fallen tree.

A special thanks to Laney College Roundtable Club students for their terrific enthusiasm and hard […]

A Perfect Gift

Remember a loved one, celebrate a grandchild, commemorate a wedding, or honor a friend or organization – permanently in the Sensory Garden. […]

Coming to my senses in Lakeside Park

Story by Mary Ellen Navas: The Gardenless Gardener.

Walking along the sloped curved path, inhaling the lavender on one side and fragrant mediterranean perennials on the other, I felt my shoulders drop as I exhaled… and then I heard it, the rhythmic, persistent trickle of water on my right just ahead, occasional buzzing around me, and soft sounds of leaves moving in the light breeze. Where had I gotten to? How could I just minutes ago have been in a traffic snarl on Grand Avenue? Was this still Oakland? I closed my eyes and listened carefully, becoming still and breathing in the fragrance around me. Only then could I faintly hear traffic sounds and the irregular schop-schop of someone pruning a shrub nearby.

I felt awakened by those moments. This was my introduction to the newly refurbished Sensory Garden, where I was to meet Susan Veit, one of the community activists responsible for bringing this treasure back to life. Originally opened in the 1970s as the Fragrance and Herb Garden, the intention was to make this corner of Lakeside Park more accessible to visually impaired people. Along with the better known Bonsai and Japanese Gardens, it is but one of ten distinct areas that now constitute the Demonstration Gardens that are adjacent to Lakeside Garden Center. […]