Open free of charge, 10am–4pm except on Tuesdays and most holidays.
Closed November 11, Veterans Day
and November 23–24, Thanksgiving
Phone: (415) 661-1316 ext. 403
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.
September-December Art Exhibit—
Botanical Illustration Retrospective
Displaying the meticulous art and a glimpse into the admirable life of a well-known local botanical artist and native plant enthusiast, this exhibit traces Kristin Jakob's artistic journey from talented middle school artist to award-winning botanical illustrator. The exhibit features book, magazine, scientific journal and poster illustrations, various commercial and private commissions, and a selection from her self-published line of botanical prints.
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.
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.
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