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Join us for monthly Western Hort programs designed to inform, educate and inspire the dedicated plant lover. 

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 photos of unusual plants.

In-person meetings, will be held at the Garden House in Shoup Park, 400 University Ave, Los Altos.

Located near Lincoln Ave.

In-person meetings often include a sale of diverse plant varieties donated by members and local nurseries as well as books, seeds, tools and other horticultural items on occasion.  All are welcome!

Our Upcoming March Meeting will be In-Person in the Garden House at Shoup Park .
400 University Ave., Los Altos.

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 about donations or questions.   

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April 10th, 2024,  7:30pm,

Five Seasons: The Garden of Piet Oudolf

Documentary movie night

Throughout history there have been those individuals whose ideas buck the trend.

Their innovative visions turn our thoughts towards different ways to view the world

and our surroundings. 

Piet Oudolf is one of those people. He is an award-winning landscape designer

from Hummelo, Netherlands, and is a leading figure of the “New Perennial” movement which

uses bold drifts of herbaceous perennials and grasses, chosen at least as much for their structure

as for their flower color.

Oudolf’s naturalistic approach to gardening prioritizes the seasonal life cycle of plants.

Choosing plants for their physical characteristics such as leaves or seed pod shapes gives the garden structure and a foundation much like an architect would do when designing a building.

He explains: “A garden is exciting for me when it looks good throughout the year, not just at one particular time. I want to go outside and for it to be interesting in seasons, in early spring and late autumn.” Using long-lived clump-forming species, Oudolf’s garden designs persist in their planned state years after being planted.

The documentary Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf, delves into his creative process through his sketches, gardens, and intimate discussions between award winning film maker

Thomas Piper. We will visit Oudolf’s personal garden, Hummelo, through four seasons as well as some of his signature public works projects such as the High Line in New York City,

the Millennium Park in Chicago and several others including his new garden installation

at Hauser & Wirth in Somerset, in Southwest England, which he considers his best work yet.

Piet Oudolf, along with his wife Anja, co-founded Future Plants in Hummelo, Netherlands, in 1982. The nursery specializes in breeding, selecting and growing especially worthwhile plants

for landscaping.

His personal garden, known as Hummelo, was renowned for its radical approach and ideas about planting design. It was open to the public for nearly 40 years, closing permanently in 2018.

Oudolf is also a successful author, and has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) for developing radical ideas in planting design

as well as the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Award.

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May 8th, 2024,  7:30pm,

Gardening for Habitat With Native Plants

With Arvind Kumar

Why do we garden? Is it only for beauty and to enhance the curb appeal of houses?

Or does the garden also play a role in the local ecology? More and more people are coming

to realize that our yards can provide sustenance to wildlife, from butterflies to birds and more, without sacrificing aesthetics.

A yard landscaped with well-chosen native plants can not only look good but also provide unparalleled habitat value.

Come to this talk to learn the basics of habitat gardening and which native plants

in our area are particularly suited for attracting birds and butterflies.

A plant list will be available.

A software engineer by training, Arvind Kumar has been growing native plants in his home garden

in San Jose for 22 years.

He coordinates volunteer workdays at the 2-acre Native Garden in Lake Cunningham Park.

He is a board member and former president of California Native Plant Society

(Santa Clara Valley Chapter).

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