The Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture, established in 1972, is northern California's most comprehensive horticultural
library. The library houses approximately 27,000 volumes and 350 plant and garden periodicals. The library collections
cover all aspects of horticulture including gardening, garden design, botanical art, ethnobotany and pest management,
with an emphasis on plants grown in Mediterranean and other mild temperate climates. The library also features
a 2,000-volume children's botanical library, Sunday children's story time programs and botanical art exhibitions.
January-April Art Exhibit—
Looking Closely: the Hidden World of Mushrooms and Lichens by Lucy Martin
Sonoma County artist Lucy Martin's gouache and watercolor paintings focus on the often-overlooked beauty of the forest floor.
Each painting begins with a walk in the forest collecting mushrooms along with the lichens, mosses, decaying
leaves, cones, bark, and twigs around them. Back in her studio, Martin uses layer upon layer of dense color to
create closely focused landscapes that are highly detailed and scientifically accurate.
More about this exhibit.
Native Plants of
San Bruno Mountain
Join us in celebrating the beauty and biodiversity of San Bruno Mountain, one of the largest public open spaces in an urban setting in the United States. In this exhibit of new watercolor paintings by artists of the Mary L. Harden School of Botanical Illustration, the artists worked with the San Bruno Mountain Watch to observe and paint plants in the 2,600 acre open space reserve. Native plants exhibited include snowberry, checkerbloom, California buckeye, golden aster, bee plant, among many others. More about this exhibit.
Library Subject Guides
Want to know more about magnolias? Or maybe you're looking for a California native tree for your garden. Library staff created
these subject guides to help visitors find resources on popular gardening and horticultural topics. Resources
include books, periodicals, articles, images and vertical files.
More about library subject guides.
The Library maintains a comprehensive reference collection of material including books, periodicals, nursery catalogs, pamphlets,
slides and videos. The latest addition is a
teachers' resource collection devoted to children's nature education. In it teachers will find K-12 lesson
plans, math and science in the garden, games, crafts, ecoliteracy, school gardens and more. Also included are
children's book lists by subject and a list of free online resources.
More about the Collections
Library's 45th Anniversary
2017 marks the 45th anniversary of the Helen Crocker Russell Library of Horticulture. The Library a place of enjoyment and
learning for children and families, and is an indispensible resource for Garden staff and volunteers, educators
and students, gardeners, authors, historians, artists, and the general public.
On September 9th, 2017 we held a free, all-day event to celebrate:
Learn more about this event.
Also check out the
Library's 45th Anniversary Photo Exhibit, featuring great historical and current images.