There are more than 145 species or varieties of plants in 105 known genera living on "The Rock"-a surprising collection considering all of the plants were introduced to the island, some more than a century ago, and have survived forty years of neglect and a challenging environment. Over the years, gardeners indulged themselves with their favorite plants-former Secretary to the Warden Freddie Reichel brought in rare plants, prison staff and their families leaned toward roses and fuchsias, while the inmate gardeners tended toward bulbs and brightly flowering plants. Co-author Russell Beatty wrote in Gardens of Alcatraz:
"Each rationale for planting introduced yet another botanical variation into a place where no one would ordinarily have considered planting anything at all. As a composite, these individual choices created an island garden that has evolved over the years into a rich tapestry."
To learn more about the efforts of the Garden Conservancy or how you can volunteer, please try any of the following links:
Download a copy of the Garden Conservancy Prospectus (PDF, 1.4 MB)