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Dry Garden Design: The Continuing Legacy of the Ruth Bancroft Garden
Ruth Bancroft Garden
1552 Bancroft Rd.
Walnut Creek, CA 94598
(415) 944-9352

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Saturday, October 26, 2019, 8:00 AM to Sunday, October 27, 2019, 4:30 PM PDT
Category: Community Events


The symposium, on October 26-27, 2019, traces continuing influence of Ruth Bancroft, a pioneer in using succulents and cacti in the landscape of the East Bay since the 1970s, who inspired the founding of the Garden Conservancy in 1988. As water resources shrink, and California’s population grows, we need to learn from her example about what works now in our challenging climate to create sustainable gardens of lasting beauty. A critical educational resource for the present moment, this symposium will gather over 100 leading horticulturists, garden curators and professional landscape designers to share their knowledge about water-conserving practices, plant choices, and design principles that build on Ruth Bancroft’s innovations. Participants will tour exceptional private gardens in Lafayette, Orinda, Berkeley and Oakland to learn about soil mixes, irrigation techniques, plant choices, and bed design for creating sustainable dry gardens.




OPENING KEYNOTE: The Legacy of the Ruth Bancroft Garden 
Antonia Adezio, Executive Director of Marin Art and Garden Center & Founding President of The Garden Conservancy.

PANEL #1: Dry Gardens: Palettes and Possibilities
Moderated by Becky Harrington, Director of Business Development at Devil Mountain Wholesale Nursery and former Executive Director, The Ruth Bancroft Garden.
Panelists: Jason Dewees, author of Designing with Palms, and horticulturist at Flora Grubb Gardens; Kelly Kilpatrick, owner & designer for Floradora Garden Design; Charlotte Blome, Residential Operations Manager/ Ecological Landscape Specialist, Ruffolo, Inc. and former Garden Manager, at the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

PANEL #2: Preserving a Vision: Challenges of a Mature Garden
Moderated by James Brayton Hall, President of  the Garden Conservancy.
Panelists: Kara Newport,  Executive Director at Filoli Center; Jabari Taylor, Assistant Landscape Architect at Prospect Park Alliance, New York; Shelagh Fritz, Program Manager, The Gardens of Alcatraz,  Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

CURATOR’S KEYNOTE: Iconic Plants of the Ruth Bancroft Garden
Brian Kemble
, Curator of The Ruth Bancroft Garden.

CONCLUDING KEYNOTE: Re-imagining Gardens of the Future
Johanna Silver
, author of The Bold Dry Garden, Lessons from the Ruth Bancroft Garden.

RECEPTION in The Ruth Bancroft Garden


SUNDAY 8:30AM-4:30PM*

MORNING: Garden Study Tours in the Ruth Bancroft Garden.
Participants will see the garden through the eyes of important stewards of the garden: Stew Winchester, Troy McGregor, Walker Young, and Brian Kemble.

Special mini-tours of iconic plants of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, highlighting those available for purchase in the nursery.

AFTERNOON: Self-guided Tours of Private East Bay Gardens.
Exclusive access to stunning private gardens in Walnut Creek, Lafayette, Berkeley and Oakland.


Space is limited. Reserve your space by purchasing your tickets now. Ticket includes all activities for both days plus continental breakfasts, boxed lunches, and evening reception on Saturday, October 26, 2019.

$195 for 2-day package – Non-members

$175 for 2-day package – Members of the Ruth Bancroft Garden

Purchase Tickets


See the event flyer or event website for more information and to buy tickets! Eligible for ReScape Qualified Professional CEUs.