Kickstarter: Game of Thorns!

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This fall, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden will unveil "Game of Thorns," an exhibition focused on the art and armaments of botanical warfare. Over the course of millennia, endless duels between native plants and their predators have given rise to the incredible thorns we see today. The exhibit will feature these living fortresses and will showcase the weaponry of California's great botanical "houses" that defend themselves with honor, chief among them: House Agave, House Cactaceae, House Legume, and House Rosa.

This project funded the creation of eight glass thorns - including one for each of the major houses. Each thorn measures 36" in height, is lofted off the ground and lit in spectacular fashion!

It is not too late to support this project! Help us make Game of Thorns legendary and inspire people to connect with their environment through art. Every additional $1,000 will allow us to create another thorn for the Garden's exhibition. Choose your side on the botanical battlefield! Join a house; sponsor a legend.

Reinforcement Backers

For a limited time the below rewards are available for Reinforcement Backers.

$25 - Reinforcement Backer (you receive: thank you letter, one-time-use admission ticket for one person to the Garden to see the exhibit and one sticker (house of your choice)

$50 - Reinforcement Backer (you receive: thank you letter, one-time-use admission ticket for one person to the Garden to see the exhibit, suite of four stickers (one from each house), and one pin (house of your choice)

$100 - Reinforcement Backer (you receive: thank you letter, two one-time-use admission tickets to the Garden to see the exhibit, suite of four stickers (one from each house), and two pins (house of your choice)

$250 - Reinforcement Backer (you receive: thank you letter, two one-time-use admission tickets to the Garden to see the exhibit, suite of four stickers (one from each house), one lanyard, four pins (house of your choice), and invitation for two people to the VIP opening reception of Game of Thorns at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden)

$500 - Reinforcement Backer (you receive: thank you letter, two one-time-use admission tickets to the Garden to see the exhibit, suite of four stickers (one from each house), one lanyard, four pins (house of your choice), invitation for four people to the VIP opening reception of Game of Thorns at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and Game of Thorns t-shirt)

$1,000 - Reinforcement Backer (you receive: thank you letter, two one-time-use admission tickets to the Garden to see the exhibit, suite of four stickers (one from each house), one lanyard, four pins (house of your choice), invitation for four people to the VIP opening reception of Game of Thorns at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, and Game of Thorns t-shirt)

 

Game of Thorns - Exhibition

Game of Thorns Cover Graphic

 

Game of Thorns: The Art & Armaments of Botanical Warfare

November 12, 2017 through Fall 2018

Game of Thorns, an outdoor exhibition at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden, focuses on the art and armaments of botanical warfare. Over millions of years, endless duels between California native plants and their predators have given rise to the incredible thorns we see today. The exhibition will feature these living fortresses and will showcase their weaponry through large-scale macro and microscope photography, gigantic sculptures, immersive exhibits and more. 

When it comes to war, plants don’t retreat. Rooted to the ground like castles of old, plants have evolved an array of armaments to defend against their mortal enemies. This floral arms race has produced a stockpile of protrusions, from spines as sharp as samurai swords to insidious barbs that resemble  whaling harpoons. Perhaps all of us have experienced the unexpected wrath of a plant’s thorns, spines, needles, prickles or barbs. With anatomical names as diverse as the pained noises they can cause, plants have independently evolved these protrusions many times over. Barbed, hooked, serrated and envenomed, microscopic or massive, warningly poised in vivid color or stealthily hidden, the arsenal and qualities of botanical weapons are limitless.

Indeed, the botanical battlefield is a Game of Thorns.

 

Container Garden open to the public daily, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.  Admission to the exhibition is included with standard admission or membership.

Special opening reception for RSABG members on Saturday, November 11. RSVP requested: please RSVP to the Advancement Office, (909) 625-8676 ext. 221, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Acorn Festival: Family Event - November 19

acorn

Sunday, November 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Acorns were once a major food source for native people of our region and the fall harvest season was a time for celebration. Native American dancers and culture keepers join us in inviting you to share our connections with California native plants. Enjoy crafts, children's activities and handcrafted items for sale.

The Acorn Festival takes place rain or shine!

This event is free with Garden admission. Some activities require a small materials fee.

 

 

Library Exhibition: Wildflowers of the Western Deserts: The Photographs of Lustin E. Martindale

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Lustin E. Martindale (1886-1950) grew up in Indiana and settled in the Pasadena area of California in 1907. Martindale was a naturalist, photographer, and educator of art within the California State school system. He was known for his hand-tinted glass slides of California flora, which he sold commercially. He published his glass slides in book format in his photograph sales catalogs, as with The Wild Flowers of Southern California (1926), which includes seventy-one pages of his photographs.  Likewise, the Wildflowers of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts (1927), which is part of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Library Special Collections and featured in this exhibit, lists item numbers of slides and photographs available for purchase. Martindale’s photographs have been published in numerous journal publications such as American Art Annual, Western Nature Science Series, as well as in An Illustrated Manual of California Shrubs (1939) by Howard E. McMinns.

The Martindale hand-tinted photograph prints on display in this exhibit are part of the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Library Special Collections. The RSA Library Special Collections holds one-hundred and one of Martindale’s photograph prints as well as well over one-hundred of his hand-tinted glass slides of plants and flowers.

The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Herbarium holds six plant specimens that Martindale collected between 1880 and 1928. Two of the Martindale specimens within the RSA Herbarium are types from the Liliaceae family (Lily): Fritillaria ojaiensis, photographs of which are featured here.

Wildflowers of Western Deserts; The Photographs of Lustin E. Martindale is curated by Brandy Watts, MFA, MLIS.


The Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden Library is open Monday through Friday 9am-5pm.

Kendall Johnson: Johnson's Pasture: Living Place, Living Time - July 22 through November 1

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Kendall Johnson:

Johnson's Pasture: Living Place, Living Time 

July 22 through November 1

An acclaimed artist with deep roots in the Claremont community, Kendall Johnson’s work explores memory through modes of artmaking that are at once sensual and bold. His paintings, photographs and poetry often appear as wayfinding compositions, maps to points that are both known and unknown - a rerouting through one’s own personal history in a quest for both answers and new questions.

For his solo exhibition at the Garden, we have curated with Johnson a selection of his works from his series on Johnson’s Pasture. Those who encounter Johnson’s Pasture in the foothills north of Claremont find themselves in a wildland located between worlds, from the glimmering cityscape below to the towering San Gabriel mountains that rise dramatically above. An integral part of Claremont’s history, Johnson’s Pasture was purchased over half a century ago by Johnson’s great grandparents. This special place is a geophysical family tome to Johnson, imprinted with four generations of memories - including groves of carefully tended eucalyptus and pine trees, to worn paths made by family forays into the hillside that offered contemplative retreats from daily life. Now part of the Claremont Wildlands Conservancy, it stands as a testament to the beauty, value and necessity of wild space - where California native wildlife can thrive, including humans.

In this series, the artworks search through Johnson’s decades’-long relationship to the Pasture. They are invoked from distinct chapters of Johnson’s life when the meaning of Johnson’s Pasture and its wilderness meant different things: before and after serving in the Vietnam War, raising a family, serving as a crisis-management consultant during the tragedy of 9/11. Each distinguished piece draws on the solace that Johnson’s Pasture provided in these times. They speak to the power of wild as a restorative force, both for the very real ecological habitat it provides, as well as the emotional centering it offers when we feel lost.

Gallery open to the public daily, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.  Admission to the gallery is included with standard admission or membership.

Special opening reception for RSABG members on Friday, July 21, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. RSVP requested: please RSVP to the Advancement Office, (909) 625-8676 ext. 221, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Free Family-Friendly Bird Walks

Birding at Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden

Over 147 species of birds have been observed here at the Garden in Claremont. Join us for one of our free bird walks to learn more!

Bluebird. Photo by Grace Cho

September through June; First Sunday of each month, beginning at 8 a.m.

Family Bird Walks are free to the public courtesy of our sponsor, Pomona Valley Audubon Society. Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring any bird guide books you have and binoculars. Limited loaner binoculars may be available to use during the walk.

Take a leisurely walk through the Garden to see and hear the numerous bird species that migrate through the San Gabriel Valley and the Inland Empire. Beginning and experienced birders are welcome to help find birds in the Garden. Our collaborative efforts usually produce a good variety of local birds, and we always have a great time!

Family Bird Walks are sponsored by the Pomona Valley Audubon Society. There are no admission fees, but a free reservation is encouraged. Visitors need not be an RSABG member to participate!

Also check out our popular Family Bird Festival held in February.

Please call (909) 625-8767 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. The Pomona Valley Audubon Society’s newsletter “Chaparral Naturalist” is available at RSABG’s California Garden Shop.

 

 

 

Lesser Goldfinch

Third Saturdays, beginning at 8 a.m.

Space is limited to 15 guests.

Join Chris Verma of Claremont's Wild Birds Unlimited for this family-friendly, free bird walk along Garden trails. Wear comfortable walking shoes, bring any bird guides you have and binoculars if you have them.

This special walk is provided by Wild Birds Unlimited of Claremont. There are no fees required to participate, however a free reservation is required.

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information. For more information about Wild Birds Unlimited, or to learn how to how to turn your yard into a birdfeeding habitat that brings song, color and life to your home, visit Wild Birds Unlimited of Claremont.

 

For more information about birds and birding visit Pomona Valley Audubon Society and Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology's ebird.org.