Join us for monthly Western Hort programs designed to inform, educate and inspire the dedicated plant lover. Meetings are currently available via Zoom and links are sent monthly to all members who provide email contact information. Meetings are a benefit of  WHS membership. We also currently have a sharing agreement for meetings with the California Horticultural Society. Our members will receive links to the their monthly Zoom meetings and we will send them links to ours.

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.

Future in-person meetings, when feasible, 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 November Meeting is In-Person

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 9, 2022,  7:30pm, In-Person

at the Garden House in Shoup Park, 400 University Ave, Los Altos.

Located near Lincoln Ave.

Beautiful California Biodiversity:

The Biodiversity Crisis and What We Can Do About It

With Lynne Trulio

This speaker is funded by our Louisa Beck Guest Lectures


We share the Earth with millions of other species. But, our planet is experiencing a biodiversity crisis in which a significant portion of these species are in danger of extinction in the coming decades. While the Earth has undergone mass extinctions in the past—such as when a meteor strike doomed the dinosaurs—the current mass extinction event is caused by humans. This loss of species is a tragedy for the Earth’s ecology and non-human inhabitants, but will also have significant impacts

on human societies. In this talk, we will discuss the causes of the current biodiversity crisis, with a focus on California biodiversity. We will discuss what species are most endangered, what we can do to try to limit the loss of species, and efforts in our region to preserve our local biodiversity, especially endangered plants, invertebrates and animal species. 


Dr. Trulio has been a professor of Environmental Studies at San Jose State University since 1991

and the department chair for the past 15 years and the Associate Dean of the College of Social Sciences for the past 2 years.

Dr. Trulio was the Lead Scientist for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project

from 2003-2008 and 2016-2018, directing the Project's science program. From 1999-2001,

she was an American Association for the Advancement of Science Environmental

and Engineering Fellow, conducting work as a visiting scientist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC.

She received her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California, Davis, and her undergraduate degree in Biology from Goucher College in Towson, MD. 

Photo Jul 02, 2022, Kristin Jakob by Steve Coleman.jpg

December 14, 2022,  7:30pm, In-Person

at the Garden House in Shoup Park, 400 University Ave, Los Altos.

Located near Lincoln Ave.

A Botanical Art Journey

With Kristin Jakob

Kristin will give an overview of the rich history of botanical art and illustration.

She will describe the evolution of her own art, which was inspired by the work of earlier masters

in the field.

She will bring examples for display and sale.

Kristin started to draw plants at the age of twelve, inspired by the native species of California, which remain her favorite subjects. 

She received an M.A. from the Royal College of Art in London in 1981. Her award-winning art has graced educational posters,numerous journals, several books, and commercial packaging. 

She also self-publishes a line of greeting cards and fine art prints. In 2013, Kristin was awarded a Milley for creative achievement inthe visual arts by the Mill Valley Arts Commission.

In 2018 she was the invited Featured Artist at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival.

Kirsten also does garden consultation and was recently made a Fellow

of the California Native Plant Society.

SweetHead shot.jpg

January 11, 2023,  7:30pm,

Zoom only

Refresh Your Garden Design:

Simple Strategies to Wake a Weary Garden

With Rebecca Sweet

Have you ever been to a garden and you’re not quite sure why, but it reaches out and grabs your soul? Whether it’s a brightly colored perennial garden, a green and serene English garden

or a minimalist contemporary garden, the effect is the same – you’re emotionally transported to a different place. As you walk through this garden your pace slows as you catch yourself marveling at the smallest details.

What is it about this garden and how can you create this feeling in your own? What you’re experiencing is harmony at work, and believe it or not you can have this experience

in your own garden.

Based off of her new book, Refresh Your Garden Design, Rebecca will share her secrets to reviving your garden in ways that are inspiring, informative, and easy to put into practice.

Rebecca Sweet is a landscape designer, author, and lifelong gardener based

in Northern California. Rebecca’s gardens have been featured in Sunset, Fine Gardening,

Woman’s Day and American Gardener and she has been a guest on the critically 

acclaimed PBS series Growing a Greener World.

She is the author of Refresh Your Garden Design with Color, Texture & Form

and the co-author of Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small & Large Spaces. Learn more about Rebecca’s designs, books and upcoming events at www.harmonyinthegarden.com

February 8, 2023,  7:30pm,

Of Heartbreak and Flowers: the Domoto family and their horticultural legacy in US

With Eric Hsu

How many of you have relished a Japanese persimmon in autumn and enjoyed a camellia blossom in winter? Neither would have existed on our shores if not for the presence of Japanese immigrants who sought better opportunities here.

By necessity, the Japanese Americans took up farming and growing plants when other professions were closed to them. England and France may claim dynastic families, the Veitch and the Lemoine, in horticulture, but US can boast worthy rivals. One rival would have been the Domoto family whose nurseries in the Bay Area exerted tremendous influence in California’s burgeoning agricultural and horticultural scene.

From its inception in 1885 until its bankruptcy in 1936, the Domoto Brothers Nursery was the largest nursery of its kind spanning 40 acres and 230,000 square feet of greenhouses.

Its large staff drawn from waves of Japanese immigration grew, prepared and shipped orders of all sizes to estates, parks, farms, and other nurseries. Some of these staff left to start their businesses which catapulted California’s status as the golden state of horticulture.

The Domoto Nursery, a second iteration started by the former California Horticultural Society president Toichi Domoto, continued the tradition of selecting and breeding ornamental plants, many of which are still cultivated in Bay Area gardens. 

A native of New York, Eric Hsu was inspired to pursue plants as a passion and a profession after becoming involved in his Taiwanese grandparents’ vegetable garden. His childhood was marked by visits to garden centers, specialty nurseries, and public gardens.

Eric’s love of plants has taken him overseas to United Kingdom (his favorite public garden is RBG Edinburgh) and Tasmania, Australia where he worked and did graduate research in botany.

His current interest in Asian American history in horticulture stems from his longstanding concern about overlooked voices, especially of minorities, and the need to keep the stories alive and relevant. Eric currently works as the Plant Information Coordinator at Chanticleer near Philadelphia, PA.

Photo by  Rob Cardillo