In October 2012 a new attraction in San Mateo Central Park  officially opened to the public. The San Mateo Arboretum Society in partnership with the San Mateo Parks Department has created a lovely butterfly and hummingbird garden – an ideal spot to watch winged creatures take flight. Pathways lead visitors from the north side of the renowned Rose Garden Gazebo through a flowering display of butterfly & hummingbird favorites. This garden, featuring a wide variety of plants with Celebration benches to enjoy nature’s beauty, was created for the enjoyment of the entire community.

San Mateo Daily Journal Editor Jon Mays wrote about the upcoming garden in the August 24th edition of the Daily Journal: “The fine folks at the San Mateo Arboretum Society are in the midst of prepping a 60-foot patch of land that will be home to a butterfly/hummingbird garden in the eastern section of the park near the Laurel Avenue entrance and just to the north of the rose garden. To read the entire article, CLICK HERE


In the Fall of 2011, 22 girls from First Grade Brownie Troop 61822 and Third Grade Brownie Troop 30454 participated in planting a lush iris bed in San Mateo’s Central Park for the future enjoyment of the entire community.  The new addition to the park was a collaborative effort by The San Mateo Arboretum Society and the Girl Scout Brownie troops, facilitated by a generous donation of iris rhizomes by Filoli and interested gardeners.



Before planting the rhizomes, the Brownies were given a short lesson about the history of the iris (named after the ancient Greek goddess of the rainbow) and how to dig them in.  The girls loved the story of the iris witch (ugly rhizome) magically turning into a flower goddess after their long, winter nap in the iris bed.  In order to make the magic happen, the witches must be carefully put to “bed”, covering them up just so.  Then, in the springtime the witches turn into lovely goddess iris flowers of many colors.