Here’s my wrap up on The Gardens… I just had to inject a little punk energy following the serenity of the Asian gardens. Hope you don’t mind.
There are several more gardens that comprise “The Gardens at Lake Merritt”: Bay Friendly, Edible, Sensory, Mediterranean, Palm, Rhododendron, and more. It’s really quite impressive.
There are a few different entrance gates into the gardens from Bellevue Avenue; I used the gate nearest the Boathouse which takes you right into the Edible Garden (aka Lakeside Kitchen Garden) on your left and the Sensory Garden on your right.
The Edible Garden focuses on food….duh. Through the Community Gardening program, these plots of land are open to all members of the community for stewardship, and master gardeners are available to teach organic gardening methods, composting, best practices for water conservation, how to attract bees & butterflies (the all-important pollinators), and much much more. The program also works in partnership with local schools and youth service programs to teach kids about nutrition, sustainability, and community involvement in the midst of a beautiful natural setting.
The Sensory Garden, previously called the Herb & Fragrance Garden, was recently renovated and redesigned, incorporating new seating areas, tactile oriented pathways, and more drought tolerant plants. Volunteers meet every Tuesday evening from 5:00 – 7:00 pm to maintain the garden.
And here are a couple of shots of the Palm Garden, or palmetum, which was established in the park nearly 30 years ago and includes over 80 varieties of cool weather Mediterranean and high altitude tropical species and hybrids. It’s the largest collection of its kind in the United States. Woo hoo!!