- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
(Editor's note: The grand opening celebration took place Saturday, Sept. 11, 2010. The garden, located on Bee Biology Road, west of the UC Davis central campus, is open year around, dawn to dusk. Admission is free.)
DAVIS—It's a honey of a garden, the judges unanimously agreed.
A Sausalito-based team created a series of interconnected gardens with such names as “Honeycomb Hideout,” “Nectar Nook” and “Pollinator Patch” to win the international bee-friendly garden design competition, a gift to the University of California, Davis, from the Häagen-Dazs® brand.
The design, the work of landscape architects Donald Sibbett and Ann F. Baker, interpretative planner Jessica Brainard and exhibit designer Chika Kurotaki, will be brought to life this summer on a half-acre site at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility on Bee Biology Road on the UC Davis campus.
Sibbett is a principal with the Sibbett Group; Baker is a senior landscape architect with RRM Design Group; Brainard is an independent museum consultant; and Kurotaki is an exhibit designer who works for RRM Design Group
Last December Häagen-Dazs ice cream committed $125,000 to the UC Davis Department of Entomology for the garden project. This encompasses site planning, preparation and the design competition.
The key goals of the garden are to provide bees with a year-around food source, to raise public awareness about the plight of honey bees and to encourage visitors to plant bee-friendly gardens of their own.
“We'll not only be providing a pollen and nectar source for the millions of bees on Bee Biology Road, but we will also be demonstrating the beauty and value of pollinator gardens,” said design competition coordinator Melissa “Missy” Borel, program manager for the California Center for Urban Horticulture. “My hope is that it will inspire everyone to plant for pollinators!”
“The winning design fits beautifully with the campus mission of education and outreach, and it will tremendously benefit our honeybees at Bee Biology,” said Lynn Kimsey, professor and chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and director of the Bohart Museum of Entomology. “The garden will be a campus destination.”
Kimsey served as one of eight judges who unanimously selected the design from among 30 entries, submitted from as far away as England. The winning team will be honored at the garden dedication in October, where they will be presented with an engraved name plaque. They will also be given the sweet reward of free Häagen-Dazs ice cream for a year.
“We had so many wonderful garden concepts submitted that making the final choice was really difficult,” Kimsey said.