Interpretive Exhibits

Interpretive Exhibits

As you tour the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, look for educational exhibits in our major demonstration gardens and collections. These exhibits answer common questions about sustainable horticulture practices, gardening with native plants, and California’s unique climate, ecology, natural history and more.

Our visitor-centered approach to educational exhibits is nationally recognized and based on best practices in informal education and museum studies. We employ teams of UC Davis experts, students, staff, and members of the public to create our signs and evaluate their success at attracting visitors, holding visitors’ attention, and communicating their intended message.

All of our exhibits are available for download on this page.


Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants

The Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Native Plants includes an extensive collection of native plants that work well in home landscapes, arrayed along meandering paths under stately oaks. The garden showcases a native meadow—a California-style lawn—and many Arboretum All-Stars, our recommended plants for Valley-wise gardens.

Arboretum GATEway Garden

The Arboretum GATEway Garden is a connection point between the UC Davis campus and the City of Davis, showcasing local native plants in a striking modernist design. The garden celebrates our local natural and cultural heritage, with plants that are native to our local region (within 20 miles of this site). 

T. Elliot Weier Redwood Grove

The T. Elliot Weier Redwood Grove is one of the largest collections of coast redwood trees outside their native range, along with understory plants from the redwood forest. The tall trees create a shady, silent, cathedral-like atmosphere just a few minutes’ walk from central campus.

Peter J. Shields Oak Grove

More than 80 kinds of oaks are found in the Peter J. Shields Oak Grove, including a fine collection of oaks native to the western United States and many trees that are rare in cultivation. With its open vistas and wide sweeping lawns, the grove is a popular retreat for students and visitors.

Joseph and Emma Lin Biological Orchard and Garden

The Biological Orchard and Garden (BOG) is a hub for outdoor learning. The drought-tolerant plants that grow there are all from Mediterranean regions with similar summer-dry climates as Davis, including the Mediterranean, South Africa, Chile and Australia. The beds demonstrate the diversity of plants that can grow in the Sacramento Valley and provide students and campus visitors with a variety of species to observe and study.

Southwest U.S. and Mexican Collection

The Southwest U.S.A. and Mexican Collection includes trees, shrubs, and perennials adapted to heat and low rainfall. Many of these plants flower in summer, since they evolved with summer rains.

Ruth Risdon Storer Garden

The Ruth Risdon Storer Garden is a Valley-wise garden, featuring flowering perennials and small shrubs that are especially well suited to Central Valley gardens, including many Arboretum All-Stars, our recommended plants for Valley-wise gardens.

Good Life Garden

Good Life Garden Good Life Garden Video


The courtyard of the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, home to the UC Davis Good Life Garden since 2008, quickly became a popular venue for weddings and high-profile university events thanks to the gorgeous, well-maintained, ever-changing edible landscape.

This garden is utilized by students, faculty, staff, volunteers and more!

For example:

California Rock Garden

The California Rock Garden (a Geology GATEway Garden) was developed in partnership with faculty, staff and students from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, UC Davis Finance, Operations and Administration, the Office of Campus Planning and Environmental Stewardship and the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden. It displays boulders and core samples representative of various geologic features in California in addition to California native plants that are part of the UC Davis Arboretum All-Stars program.