20 responses to “University of California Botanical Garden at Berkeley”

  1. Meg Bernstein

    It must have been hand colored. Not an easy job at that time.

  2. Barbara Lamb

    What a wonderful picture! I love the old postcard look and of course the incredible plants. Makes me want to wander through a garden in a yellow frock.

  3. Daniel Mosquin

    Yes, it’s one of his hand-tinted slides (which are my favourites). I think television came much later, so I suspect he had a bit more time to spend on such things…

  4. Eva

    Any guesses on when this was taken. 1940’s perhaps?
    Love those random bits of color.

  5. Thor Henrich

    In the late 1950’s, as a ‘Fair Bear’ UCB student employee @ $1.25/hour, I helped build many new stairways in the UCB garden; those in the photo were already finished. The site shown still exists, just past the greenhouses at the entrance, and now exhibits African succulents; with cacti and new world desert plants located just to the right of the photo (out of sight). I, too visit this magnificent garden whenever in the Bay Area.

  6. Susan Nielsen

    Interesting… the cut of his suit looks older than her dress. Would be fun to know when it was taken.

  7. Ron B

    Page at above link says
    “The New World Desert and indoor succulent collections (in The Arid House) include many specimens collected from South America during a series of six expeditions to the Andes sponsored by the garden between 1935 and 1958. Many of these are type collections.”

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    daniel is your jd page up and
    running by now?
    some of us hand tinted pictures
    of ourseles–my parents had
    clothes like this dad had older clothes
    like the ones jd has on
    you have your self a memory bank
    that can be of help –

  9. Daniel Mosquin

    Very, very soon now. The site’s been reviewed twice (and corrections made), so it is ready to launch. I’ve a couple housekeeping things to do regarding the project (probably on Sunday), and then I just have to sort out what particular day to launch it with the people at Heritage Canada.

  10. Eric in SF

    This is absolutely amazing. This vista is almost the same today except the cacti are taller. I’ve walked up those steps many many times.
    I’ll scour my photos to see if I’ve taken anything that would echo this shot and post back here.

  11. Meghan

    Definitely one of my favorite gardens in the Bay Area — based on the history page at the website, it sounds like the garden moved to its current location during the 1920’s. Those cacti look fairly established, so I would say the photo must be from the 40’s. The woman’s sharp-shouldered and tailored dress seems to point to the same decade as well.

  12. beverley bowhay

    always a pleasure

  13. Alexander Jablanczy

    Instead of struggling with dates from 1900 to 2000 we at least have the outside parameters of 1930 the date of establishing the cacti or succulents collection and the death of Davidson 1970. The womans hemline is too short so it has to be very late, but the mans trousers also late although a lot the hair the cap etc suggest much earlier even the twenties. I tried to research Edna either a wife or a daughter perhaps the lady in the photo but got nowhere. So lets guess 1960 +10 -30 years.

  14. Ron B

    Discrepancies between hair (and hat) and garments could be accounted for by long out-of-date hair styles being kept even while garments are replaced and updated. This seems pretty common. Look at Ronald Reagan, for instance. People learn how to do their hair when young and then keep it that way sometimes their whole lives.

  15. Margaret-Rae Davis

    It is so nice to see photographs of the old site. I also went to the links and found more information which interested me. I would like very much to see old conservatories built in the late 1800’s by Lord & Burnham of Ivring , New York.
    The Durfee conservatory that I have worked out of at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts, was built by Lord & Burham of N.Y in the late 1800’s. We still have parts of the orginal greenhouse. Some of the plants have been there over 100 yrs.
    Thank you,

  16. Eric La Fountaine

    Alexander, I am not sure where you found the reference to “Edna”, but Edna was John Davidson’s (second) wife. I am quite familiar with the slide collection. She appears in many of Davidson’s slides and often in a bright yellow “frock”–either a favourite of hers or perhaps his.

  17. Eric La Fountaine

    There was very little data associated with this particular slide, so it is impossible to be sure, but John and Edna travelled to California in 1935 and 1946. This looks to me, like an image of the couple from their 1946 trip.

  18. Denis

    I’ll be participating in a training class in Berkeley at the beginning of May. I will definitely have to pay the arboretum a visit.
    Thank you for sharing the photograph.

  19. E. Marie Robertson

    Daniel, feel free to give me a shout if you like when you are in Berkeley; I actually work for UC (not for the bot gard, regrettably, but I’m here nontheless).

  20. Paul Licht

    I was delighted to see this old photo, probably taken in the 40’s. The site does still exist at the UC Botanical Garden and I took a new photo today. Important changes have occurred; e.g., many elements have been removed or replaced, the columnar Echninopsis pasacana in right foreground which was planted in 1932 fell over and broke and is now staked and has multiple heads. The aloes in left foreground have been moved to Africa hill above. A large Italian stone pine in upper background–immediately above the couples head–was removed last year and we have created a new S. African cycad exhibit. Regrettably, the splashes of pink, gold and light blue never existed outside of the colorizers mind. I’ll try to upload the new image for reference. Otherwise, I’ll try to get it up on our website.
    UC Botanical Garden,

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