The 2017 Jean Iseli Memorial Grant has been awarded to Quarryhill Botanical Garden in Glen Ellen, California. Founded in 1987, Quarryhill has grown into a world-renowned botanical institution, providing other botanical gardens, arboreta, researchers, conservationists, students, and the visiting public with living examples of the beautiful and threatened temperate flora of East Asia. The 25-acre garden continues to thrive and expand with the help of staff, volunteers and members.
Quarryhill became an ACS Reference Garden in 2013, and has hosted the ACS at both the western regional meeting in 2012 and the national meeting in 2015. The Garden supports the educational efforts of the ACS by hosting member talks and tours focusing on conifers. Quarryhill has won numerous awards of merit, as has its executive director, Bill McNamara, who has been at the Garden since its founding.
The grant will be used to develop a brochure and a self-guided walking tour of the Garden’s conifer collection. The collection is centered in the Pinetum, but there are striking specimens throughout the grounds. In addition to conifers,oaks, maples, magnolias, dogwoods, lilies and roses are particularly well-represented in the garden, and increased efforts have been made to focus on rare and endangered species from China and Japan. Today, Quarryhill is home to one of the largest collections of scientifically documented, wild-source Asian plants in North America and Europe, many of which represent ancestors of horticultural favorites found throughout the western world.
As befits a garden with many conifers and other woody plants, Quarryhill is beautiful year-round and has some of the best fall color in Northern California. The conifers’ deep green and blue foliage contrasts strikingly with the fiery autumn hues of the deciduous specimens. Thus, it is never a bad time of year to visit!
Congratulations to the Garden and to Bill McNamara!