Quarryhill Renamed Sonoma Botanical Garden
Quarryhill Botanical Garden announced today that it has changed its name to Sonoma Botanical Garden and broadened its mission to interpret the native plants of California in addition to its historic focus on Asian flora.
“We anticipate that the new name and enhanced mission will strengthen the Garden’s connection to our community, advancing our environmental-education impact in an era of climate change,” said Jerry Newell, Chair of the Garden’s Board of Directors.
The 67-acre Sonoma Valley botanical garden is internationally recognized for spectacular collections of flowering Asian plants, many grown from seed gathered on trips to China, Japan, Korea, and elsewhere in Asia. It was founded by Jane Davenport Jansen in 1987 and was called Quarryhill, after the former sandstone quarry on an upland portion of the site. The name Quarryhill will endure in that portion of the Garden.
Garden visitors presently encounter rare magnolias, rhododendrons, maples, and more when exploring the site’s diverse terrain. Adding California plants to its living collections will ultimately open other parts of the larger property to visitors and reflects the presence of existing California oak woodland and chapparal plant communities.
The name change and mission refinement come on the heels of a yearlong period of reflection and infrastructure investment, an effort further catalyzed in February 2020 by the arrival of the Garden’s new director, Scot Medbury. Medbury is an accomplished leader in American public gardens and returned to California after 15 years as President of Brooklyn Botanic Garden in New York. He earlier served as Director of the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park, where he led a comprehensive renovation that restored the Conservatory to one of San Francisco’s key attractions.
“We hope that encountering specimens of California’s endangered native flora will lead people to an appreciation of plant-conservation challenges around the world, including those found in Asia, and vice versa—that learning about the endangered flora of Asia might inspire local action to save California plants,” said Executive Director Scot Medbury. “Adapting our mission to include California botany will allow us to be even more sensitive to wildlife, water, and wildfire issues.” “All of us are inspired by the opportunity to use this extraordinary site and its rich collections of plants to engage the next generation of environmental stewards,” he added.
The name change coincides with the spring season, considered by many to be the Garden’s most beautiful, when many rare plants come into flower.
The non-profit Sonoma Botanical Garden is located at 12841 Sonoma Hwy in Glen Ellen and is open daily except Tuesdays from 9am to 4pm. For more information, visit sonomabg.org
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