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 and California Horticultural Society 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:   7:00pm on Zoom!       Register on Eventbrite for meeting link

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 lesliekdean@sonic.net about donations or questions.   

 November 11, 2020 7:15pm 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

California Apricots:

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.


PO Box 166,  

Mountain View, CA 94042


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