Despite what the calendar says, it isn't really spring until the annual plant sale takes place in the Regional Parks Botanic Garden at Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley.
This year the sale will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 20, rain or shine. California native plants suitable for every garden environment will be sold, including many not found at commercial nurseries. Trees, shrubs, ground-cover plants, grasses, bulbs, ferns and annuals are all part of the selection. Garden volunteers and staff will be on hand to offer advice and tips.
It's best to arrive early to ensure a wide choice. Garden gates open at 8:30 a.m., and the lines start to form then. The sale starts at 10 a.m.; all proceeds help fund garden programs. Bring cardboard boxes to carry home your purchases. The garden is at the intersection of Wildcat Canyon Road and South Park Drive. Parking and garden entry are free.
Photo lessons: Elsewhere at Tilden, there will be a wildlife photography program from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Naturalist Trent Pearce will show how to take telephoto photographs using a hand-held camera and a spotting scope. Bring a point-and-shoot camera (non SLR) or a camera-equipped smartphone.
Bees and their sweet product will be the theme of a honey-tasting program from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday, led by interpretive student aide Morgan Rani Evans. Both programs are free. Meet at the Environmental Education Center at the north end of Tilden's Central Park Drive. For details, call 510-544-2233.
wild, wildflowers: Two upcoming programs will take advantage of the wildflower displays at Sunol Regional Wilderness, which are usually among the best in the East Bay.
Ned MacKay writes a regular column about East Bay Regional Park District sites and activities. Email him at email@example.com.