Professors host garden tour

Biology Professors Julie Oliver and Fred Deneke hosted a garden tour of the California Native Garden on Monday.

The garden serves as a study area for many classes on campus as well as a getaway for some students for students to distress from classwork.

“The garden is used by many classes on campus, both biology and science classes but also horticulture comes over to use it,” Oliver said. “Photography classes come over to take pictures in here as well.”

In 2005, Oliver said that the garden was obliterated and destroyed due to remodeling of the science department building.

She also said in 2010, after construction was complete, the garden was remodeled and reinstated with a total volunteer effort.

Oliver said that almost the whole garden had to be replaced and replanted.

“We had students out here, faculty, classified administrators, management. Everybody came and we were digging trenches for irrigation and we were putting in the walkway,” said Oliver, “So it definitely was a grassroots effort.”

The garden is home to a variety of native plant species that all bloom in different seasons, including one of Deneke’s favorites, the California Lilac and Matilija Poppies.

“It’s constantly changing, like it just went through a big flowering, all the Ceanothus were flowering, and now they have gone down and then there will be more,” said Oliver. “The buckeye will pop in about a week.”

One of Oliver’s favorites is the red twig dogwood, known for its colorful red branches. “It loses its leaves in the winter but you still have this red pop of sticks sticking out,” said Oliver.

There are some animals that are known to be present within the garden such as bees and hummingbirds. “There are some migrating birds and hummingbirds will come through depending on what is in flower and various bees and other pollinators,” said Deneke.

I have always appreciated how natural this area looks, it’s my favorite spot to kind of walk through.” said Automotive Professor Drew Carlson, who attended the tour of the garden.

Oliver and Deneke said they are hoping for some new additions such as benches for a seating area within the garden if budgets will allow that in the near future.

“It’s not that the budget won’t allow it, we just haven’t secured it,” Oliver said, “I think they have it, it’s just making it happen.”