UPCOMING SPEAKERS & EVENTS
Join us for monthly Western Hort programs designed to inform, educate and inspire the dedicated plant lover. Admission is $10 for non-members and FREE for WHS members.
Meetings are held 9 times a year on the second Wednesday of the month and feature a lecture and slide presentation by a guest horticultural specialist. Each program also includes a member-led discussion and demonstration of unusual plants, as well as a plant sale of diverse plant varieties donated by members and local nurseries. All are welcome!
Current meeting location: 7:30pm on Zoom! Instructions emailed prior to meeting.
If you enjoy the talks given at our meetings and want to help the Western Horticultural Society sustain our program, you might like to sponsor one of our speakers! Your donation helps cover the costs of hosting a speaker and we will note your name as sponsor in our newsletter. You can choose the month or speaker of your choice or perhaps you have a speaker you would like to propose? Contact Leslie Dean email@example.com with donations or questions.
September 9, 2020 7:30pm via Zoom
Mix it Up!
Growing Succulents and Perennials Together
With Marlene Simon
Love succulents? But also love herbaceous plants? No worries, many can be grown together in a garden. The textures, colors and structure of succulents can add a lot of dimension and beauty to any garden. Learn which ones work best in garden soil, which ones provide food for pollinators and the best ones for colder winter temperatures. In addition we will cover how to amend your soil for optimum growth and a few tips and tricks on how to successfully propagate succulents.
Marlene started gardening at the age of six when she asked her parents to order bulbs from Parade Magazine. She continued her gardening experience with internships at Sunset magazine in their test garden and as a gardener at the Winchester Mystery House while a student. She is currently living her dream working at the magical UC Davis Botanical Conservatory in Davis, California, where she earned her degree and is the staff horticulturist. She grows and cares for over 4,000 specimens of the world’s most exotic, strangest and rarest plants and flowers. When not at the Conservatory she can be found bi-monthly on Good Day Sacramento where she is known as “The Plant Lady”. Her garden column is in the Sacramento Bee bimonthly. She also has a podcast called Flower Power Garden Hour where she talks with guests on all things about plants and gardening. Follow her @marlenetheplantlady on Facebook/Youtube/Instagram.
October 14, 2020 7:30pm via Zoom
Landscaping for Wildfire Protection
With Barbara Hunt
One afternoon several years ago I heard an odd noise outside my house, looked out my upstairs window and saw a wall of flame in the field below.
Living in the wildland-urban interface, people and homes are at risk from wildfires. While there are no guarantees your home will escape, appropriate landscaping around your home can help protect it. Learn about how wildfires spread, what Defensible Space is and how to create it and which plants resist fire the most. Also what you can do right now and into the future with your landscape that will protect your home as much as possible. It doesn’t take a Camp Fire to destroy homes. The San Jose Fire Department put out that fire in the field below my house. But in July two years ago a neighbor’s house burned to the ground in a 100-acre grass fire.
Barbara Hunt is a Master Gardener and a member of the California Native Plant Society. She is most passionate about California native plants. Barbara loves to hike, and is a Docent and Preserve Steward with the Open Space Authority. In her spare time she fosters rescued German Shepherd Dogs. She first became interested in wildfires when she moved to the foothills and experienced her first fire which burned right up to her back door.
November 11, 2020 7:30pm via Zoom
Restoration of a Summit: Mt. Umunhum
With Lech Naumovich
Mt. Umunhum breathes incredible stories about American and First Nation People history. This talk will bring those elements into a conversation about restoration and site rehabilitation.
Because this is one of the first summit restoration projects in the Bay Area, the planning around this site stretched for years to ensure it was done with the greatest inclusion and appropriateness. This talk will also investigate some of our strategies around plant selection, procurement (growth) and outplanting.
Lech has extensive experience in rare plant surveys, vegetation mapping, restoration ecology and conservation science in the state of California.
He serves on the California Native Plant Society Conservation Committee, has served as a conference session chair for restoration four times, serves on the steering committee for the Conservation Lands Network (versions 1 & 2), and is an appointed commissioner of the Alameda County Fish and Game Commission. He regularly teaches technical courses on restoration ecology and manages restoration projects throughout the Bay Area. He is the co-author of Annotated Checklist of the Flora of the East Bay, a CNPS/ Jepson Herbarium publication. He is the founder of Golden Hour Restoration Institute, and works as a conservation photographer in his spare time.
December 9, 2020 7:30pm via Zoom
The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley
With Robin Chapman
The land south of San Francisco, now home to Silicon Valley, was once the largest commercial orchard the world had ever seen. From just after the Civil War until 1972, agriculture dominated the economy of the Santa Clara Valley and was an international powerhouse. Here, small, family-owned orchards produced prunes, apricots and other stone fruits to enrich the tables of millions of Americans and improve the diets of people around the world.
Yet none of these fruits are native to California. How did they come here? Why did they vanish? That is the story of 'The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley'.
Robin Chapman is a journalist native to Los Altos, California.
She worked at KRON-TV in San Francisco and several other stations in the West before heading to Washington D.C. There she covered the White House and other big stories for the ABC-TV station.
In 2009 Robin returned to her hometown to care for her parents, and in the years since has published California Apricots: The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley and Historic Bay Area Visionaries, both from the History Press. She is working on a book based on a collection of her columns for the Los Altos Town Crier on Bay Area history.
January 13, 2021 7:30pm via Zoom
Houseplants: The Hottest Horticultural Trend
With Riz Reyes
Houseplants have surged in popularity over the last few years as urban populations grow, fostering a strong desire to reconnect with nature in the home. Beginners see the trends and aim to follow, while experienced gardeners reconnect with early passions and fond memories of windowsill plantings.
Join plantsman and horticulturist Riz Reyes for a close and personal story of discovering tropical wonders from around the world. Learn from his mistakes and successes in growing, collecting and caring for the most popular and sought-after houseplants on the market today.
An early curiosity about fruits and flowers in his native Philippines, and an obsession for rare and unusual plants at a very early age has resulted in a thriving horticultural career that involves gardening, teaching, designing and cut-flower growing.
Riz Reyes is based near Seattle, WA and is the owner of RHR Horticulture. He has his Bachelors in Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry from the University of Washington. He is currently the gardens manager for McMenamin's Anderson School, a part of a hospitality and microbrewery chain located in Bothell, WA. Riz is a recipient of the Emerging Horticultural Professional Award from the American Horticultural Society.
February 10, 2021 7:30pm via Zoom
You CAN Garden For Life!
With Toni Gattone
This informative and inspirational ‘how-to’ seminar delivers dozens of tips, tools, and techniques enabling gardeners of all ages and abilities to adapt and be resilient when your body doesn’t work the way it used to, so you can garden for life in comfort and safety, with ease and joy.
Take home tips:
• Cultivate new ways to garden to save time, money, and above all, energy.
• Re-envision your garden’s size and accessibility for greater comfort and ease.
• Re-think your garden to include containers, raised beds and vertical gardens
for no-bend gardening.
• Replace uneven flagstone paths with solid surface hardscapes for greater safety.
• Adapt your favorite garden tools for little or no cost.
• Discover new ergonomic tools to make gardening easier on your hands,
back, hips, and your entire body.
After college, Toni taught school then had a career delivering presentation skills to corporate executives. She joined the National Speakers Association and served on their local board of directors.
In 1990, her entrepreneurial spirit bloomed when she created her sales company in the gift and garden industry.
In 2011, Toni became a Master Gardener and began teaching as a way of giving back to her community.
Today Toni Gattone is a speaker with a passion to help gardeners of all ages and abilities to garden for life. Toni knows from experience that physical limitations are the reason we need to re-evaluate how and when we garden, and how we can rework our gardens for greater comfort and safety.
Toni speaks to audiences at garden clubs, national flower and garden shows, Master Gardener symposiums, women and senior groups.
Now an author, Toni’s book, The Lifelong Gardener, Garden with Ease & Joy at Any Age, was published by Timber Press in August 2019 and is resonating with so many gardeners that it's now in its second printing.