PAST TALKS

Our talks are held at the nursery in our demonstration gardens and are always FREE! Join us!

2016 Talks

   
Date Speaker
SATURDAY
January 16
11 am
Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery – Choosing and Growing Delicious Fruit! Hooray for bare root fruit tree season! Learn all the secrets to harvesting fresh fruit in limited spaces throughout the season with backyard orchard culture techniques.  Phil will discuss the multitude of options available to have your very own fruit tree orchard in any size yard.  January is the perfect time to get those fruit trees planted, so bring all your questions and get your orchard off to a great start no matter how big or small.
SATURDAY
January 30
11 am
Become A Rose Expert in Just One Class with Cristin Fusano! Cristin will teach us the theory behind Winter rose pruning, including exactly where to cut and why. She’ll also cover common rose problems that frustrate us all. Follow her easy steps for growing strong, healthy bushes that produce beautiful blooms and vigorous canes each year – and bring your questions!
SATURDAY
February 13
11 am
Gardening 101 with Annie! Want to plant a garden from scratch but don’t know where to start? Every gardener has to start somewhere – and the road to gardening enlightenment can be overwhelming, confusing and intimidating! Prepare to get the straight dope on how to garden like a pro from our own gardener-in-chief – Annie herself!
SATURDAY
February 27
11 am
Join us for a fascinating and fun Fruit Tree Pruning and Grafting Workshop with horticulturist and educator John Valenzuela of Cornucopia Food Forest Gardens!
SATURDAY
March 12
11 am
Botanist, Author and Professor Glenn Keator talks Natives! Come learn about designing with natives from plant expert Glenn Keator! Glenn’s knowledge and deep understanding of how plants grow and relate to one another will inspire you, and we guarantee you will walk away with a new appreciation for these wonderful treasures.
SATURDAY
March 26
11 am

Make room for the Shroom! Come on out for a totally free workshop led by permaculture expert and mushroom maven Theresa Halula. Learn how to safely grow your own super tasty mushrooms in your own backyard in this hands-on, info-packed workshop!

SPRING PARTY! SATURDAY
April 9
11 am
Kate Frey – Bee Friendly Gardens. We are thrilled to have garden designer, writer and sustainability goddess Kate Frey back to the nursery to talk about her new book “The Bee Friendly Garden”. Learn to design your own flower filled oasis that nurtures bees and supports biodiversity!
SPRING PARTY! SUNDAY
April 10
11 am

Mia Monroe, Site Supervisor of Muir Woods at Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Xerces Society volunteer, will share monarch mysteries of metamorphosis, migration and the meta-importance of Milkweed! Learn how to not only bring the magic of monarchs into your lives but also how to help this beautiful butterfly have a better future!

 SATURDAY
April 23
11 am
Join us for a tasty tutorial on the joys and benefits of a pleasing potager – or kitchen garden! Horticulturalist and edibles expert Cristin Fusano will show you how to plan and plant your own year-round kitchen garden and artfully mix vegetables, herbs, berries and dwarf fruit trees together for maximum impact and abundance.
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SATURDAY
May 7
11 am
Come learn everything you need to know to grow the perfect tomato! Brad Gates, intrepid tomato breeder of Wild Boar Farms talks about his magnificent tomatoes! Brad has been breeding tomatoes from heirloom stock in an effort to create the most outrageous tomatoes in the world! Diverse, colorful and flavorful, Alice Waters calls them “tomatoes you will never forget.” 
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SUNDAY
May 8
11 am
Grow Bouquets! Our Gardener-in-Chief, Annie Hayes is all about cut flowers for the table and posies for sharing. In this fun and romantic talk, just in time for Mother’s Day, she’ll share some of her favorite, old-fashioned, fragrant cut flowers and how to grow them with gusto!
SATURDAY
May 21
11 am
Sara Leon Guerrero of U.C Berkeley’s Urban Bee Garden – Come learn about the secret lives of our diverse and fascinating CA native bees! Essential to the well being of our gardens – not to mention planet – you can immediately start attracting native bees by planting their favorite nectar-rich flowers. Come expand your bee vocabulary and learn to recognize some of our local bee friends, as well as what to plant in your home garden to help encourage their numbers.
SATURDAY
June 4
11am
John Greenlee: Ditch the Lawn – Plant A Meadow! An expert in grass ecology, champion of sustainable design and the author of “The American Meadow Garden,” John is passionate about helping homeowners convert their time, water and chemical sucking lawns into shimmering meadows filled with drought tolerant grasses, bulbs and wildflowers. Come hear about the right grasses to plant here by the Bay, no matter the size of your garden!
SATURDAY
June 18
11 am
Smashingly successful succulents with Ernesto Sandoval – Director, UC Davis Botanical Conservatory! The Bay Area is a Mediterranean plant paradise, and Ernesto will be focusing on how best to grow succulents and low-water Mediterranean plants in our own home gardens. He’ll discuss care, amendments and maintenance with his typical charisma and flair! Don’t miss it! 
SATURDAY
July 9
Learn how to kick your lawn to the curb with Sarah Sutton, Landscape Architect and author of the excellent book, “The New American Front Yard: Kiss Your Grass Goodbye” returns to the nursery for the next installment of how to transform your front lawn and yard into a wildlife attracting, water-wise and easy-to-manage paradise. Book signing to follow!
SATURDAY
July 23
11 am
Come hear Brian Kemble, Curator of the beyond fabulous Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, talk about his favorite succulent oddballs! Brian’s work for the Garden has included hybridizing aloes, agaves and South American cacti. He has traveled extensively in Mexico and South Africa studying and photographing plants in their native habitat. Don’t miss this exciting and interesting talk!
SATURDAY
August 6
11 am
COMPOST AND MULCH: NUTURING SOIL HEALTH with Will Bakx of Sonoma Compost Co. Every successful garden relies on a solid foundation of healthy soil. Compost and mulches assist in providing good soil structure, nutrient cycling and water conservation. Come learn how to make your soil better and your plants bloomier!
SATURDAY
August 20
11 am
Professional Garden Photographer Saxon Holt – description to come.
SATURDAY
September 3
11 am 
Sasha Duerr, Author of Natural Color, Vibrant Plant Dye Projects for Home and Wardrobe.
SATURDAY
September 17
11 am 
Backyard bounty Show and Tell with Rosalind Creasy! A true pioneer in the field of edible landscaping, Ros has been gardening at the intersection of ornamental and edible for over 40 years! She’ll share some of the Summer garden’s most delicious offerings – as well as discuss what you should be planting for Fall and Winter crops. We’ll have copies of her essential book “Edible Landscaping” on hand for signing.
FALL PARTY SATURDAY
October 1
11 am
Your Spectacular Spring Garden Starts … NOW! Annie Shows You How! Want to know what we do here at the nursery to get our gardens in tip-top shape for maximum magic come April? Want to know what to plant right now? How about a preview of some of the newest and neatest plants we’ve trialed this year? Be here and behold – Annie is gonna share all that good stuff!
FALL PARTY SUNDAY
October 2
11 am
Your Spectacular Spring Garden Starts … NOW! Annie Shows You How! Want to know what we do here at the nursery to get our gardens in tip-top shape for maximum magic come April? Want to know what to plant right now? How about a preview of some of the newest and neatest plants we’ve trialed this year? Be here and behold – Annie is gonna share all that good stuff!
SATURDAY
October 15
11 am 

TBA

October 29
11 am

Feast on a wild harvest! The Bay Area is home to an extraordinarily diverse and tasty variety of wild food plants – come learn what’s in season with Margit Roos-Collins, author of The Flavors of Home: A Guide to Wild Edible Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area. With an emphasis on ethical gathering practices, Margit will share how you can forage and harvest responsibly and sustainably. Book signing to follow!

 

2015 Talks

   
Date Speaker
SATURDAY
January 10
11 am
Become A Rose Expert in Just One Class with Cristin Fusano! Cristin will teach us the theory behind Winter rose pruning, including exactly where to cut and why. She’ll also cover common rose problems that frustrate us all. Follow her easy steps for growing strong, healthy bushes that produce beautiful blooms and vigorous canes each year – and bring your questions!
SATURDAY
January 24
11 am
Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery – Choosing and Growing Delicious Fruit! Hooray for bare root fruit tree season! Learn all the secrets to harvesting fresh fruit in limited spaces throughout the season with backyard orchard culture techniques.  Phil will discuss the multitude of options available to have your very own fruit tree orchard in any size yard.  January is the perfect time to get those fruit trees planted, so bring all your questions and get your orchard off to a great start no matter how big or small.
SATURDAY
February 7
11 am
Easy Harvest Pruning Workshop with Ann Ralph, author of the new book Grow A Little Fruit Tree.  Grow your own apples, figs, plums, cherries, pears, apricots, and peaches in even the smallest backyard! Expert pruner Ann Ralph reveals a simple yet revolutionary secret that keeps an ordinary fruit tree much smaller than normal. These great little trees take up less space, require less care, offer an easy harvest, and make a fruitful addition to any home landscape!
SATURDAY
February 21
11 am
Drought, Water Supply and the Resilient Garden – with Scott Sommerfeld, water conservation representative, landscape architect and irrigation specialist with EBMUD.
 
SATURDAY
March 7
11 am
Edible Weeds and other Sustainable Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area! Join Kevin Feinstein, author of The Bay Area Forager: Your Guide to Edible Wild Plants of the San Francisco Bay Area, for an exploration of local sustainable foraging! See examples of common, nutritious, and often delicious wild edible plants that can be found in the abundance of our local rainy season. Understand how to forage sustainably, even regeneratively, for plants and how to add them to your diet. Edible landscape plants suited for our climate and often found in our area will also be discussed. Super fun and informative!
SATURDAY
March 21
11 am
Botanist, Author and Professor Glenn Keator talks Natives! Come learn about designing with natives from plant expert Glenn Keator! Glenn’s knowledge and deep understanding of how plants grow and relate to one another will inspire you, and we guarantee you will walk away with a new appreciation for these wonderful treasures.
SPRING PARTY! SATURDAY
April 11
11 am

Gardening for Butterflies in the Anthropocene – with Art Shapiro,
professor of Evolution and Ecology at UC Davis. Art will share how butterflies have adapted to the extensive impact humans have made on the California landscape, flora and vegetation. Come learn how butterflies are doing and how they are adapting. Art will identify the plants most likely to attract and sustain butterflies in this area, address the issue of native plants vs. non-native plants (you’ll be surprised!) with special reference to both plant and butterfly seasonality. Sure to be enlightening!
SPRING PARTY! SUNDAY
April 12
11 am
Edible Flowers – with Stefani Bittner, author and owner of Homestead Design Collective. 
 SATURDAY
April 25
11 am
Grow the Perfect Tomato – with Tomato Farmer Anders Olson
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SATURDAY
May 9
11 am
Roses with Cristin Fusano!  
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SUNDAY
May 10

11 am
Roses with Cristin Fusano! 
SATURDAY
May 23
11 am
Kate Frey – Gardening in Drought. We are thrilled to have garden designer, writer and sustainability goddess Kate Frey back to the nursery to talk about how to make a beautiful waterwise garden in these dry times. Not only will she cover her favorite problem-solving drought tolerant plants, she’ll impart useful irrigation and watering tips and other strategies you can start using right away to make a gorgeous yet responsible low water garden.
SATURDAY
June 6
11am
WAR of the WEEDS! Learn the art of weed control with Bethallyn Black! Bethallyn is an expert in the fine art of weed exclusion and will tell you how you can prepare weed-free planting beds using easy and effective organic controls. She’ll help you identify annual and perennial weeds, Summer and Winter weeds – and share a little about weed history. You’ll find out which plants have been deemed “white man’s footprints”, which ones are edible or toxic and the extra baddies that have made it onto the noxious weed list. Bring your questions and your own weeds for identification after the talk!
SATURDAY
June 20
11 am
Diagnosing and Solving Plant Problems and Diseases with Ann Northrup, plant pathologist and certified arborist. Learn how to identify insect pests, diseases, injuries or improper growing conditions in this super informative session! Focusing primarily on infectious plant diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and viruses, Ann emphasizes that most often what goes wrong with plants in a typical garden or landscape are cultural problems. Come learn how to make your garden a healthy haven!
SATURDAY
July 11
11 am
Sarah Sutton – Kiss Your Grass Goodbye! 
SATURDAY
July 25
11 am
Join Professional Garden Photographer Saxon Holt for this mini-workshop on photographing flowers! Budding photographers are invited to bring their cameras to learn his techniques of the trade – including finding backgrounds that work for macro, combining shapes and flower combinations and shooting in bright light! Incredible fun that you’d normally pay big bucks for!
SATURDAY
August 8
11 am
John Whittlesey – author of The Plant Lovers Guide to Salvias. 
SATURDAY
August 22
11 am
Tora Rocha, Park Supervisor for the Oakland Public Works Department and founder of the Pollinator Posse — a volunteer group that creates “pollination corridors” around the city – will tell us how to plan and plant a pollinator-friendly landscape! 
SATURDAY
September 5
11 am
 
Whether you’re short on space, have compromised soil, or are just looking to experiment, growing food in containers reaps a big harvest and looks great, too. Join Sunset Magazine’s Johanna Silver for a crash course on growing veggies, fruits, and herbs in containers. We’ll discuss different types of containers (including self-watering and lightweight choices), which crops are the best contenders, and everything you need to know to have your container garden thrive.  
FALL PARTY SATURDAY
September 26
11 am
Tomato Tasting with urban tomato farmer Anders Olson!
FALL PARTY
SUNDAY
September 27
11 am
Tomato Tasting with urban tomato farmer Anders Olson!
SATURDAY
October 10
11 am 
Luscious lemons, outrageous oranges and lively limes are yours for the plucking – with great advice from our favorite citrus expert! Join us for an info-packed talk on Saturday, October 10 at 11 am with Ed Laivo of Four Winds Growers, family-owned purveyors of a dizzying array of wonderful dwarf citrus!
SATURDAY
October 17
11 am

Your Spectacular Spring Garden Starts … NOW! Annie Shows You How! Want to know what we do here at the nursery to get our gardens in tip-top shape for maximum magic come April? Want to know what to plant right now? How about a preview of some of the newest and neatest plants we’ve trialed this year? Be here and behold – Annie is gonna share all that good stuff on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 11 am!

SATURDAY
October 24
11 am 
 For Those About to Rock (Garden) – We Salute You!! Passionate plantsman Stew Winchester Explores Rock Gardens! Stew will cover how to build a rockery from the ground up – starting with the most important component: the soil! He’ll also cover a variety of rock gardening styles and the plants who love them — from Mediterranean and Desert to Alpine and Coastal gardens. Bring your curiosity and a notebook – because if you have questions, Stew has answers! 

2014 Talks

   
Date Speaker
SATURDAY
January 18
11 am
Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery – Choosing and Growing Delicious Fruit! Hooray for bare root fruit tree season! Learn all the secrets to harvesting fresh fruit in limited spaces throughout the season with backyard orchard culture techniques.  Phil will discuss the multitude of options available to have your very own fruit tree orchard in any size yard.  January is the perfect time to get those fruit trees planted, so bring all your questions and get your orchard off to a great start no matter how big or small. 
SATURDAY
February 8
11 am
Annie Joseph – Integrated Pest Management. Want to know the least toxic way to manage and get rid of them? Integrated pest management expert Annie Joseph will teach us how we can control garden pests the green way – and have a beautiful pest-resistant garden without the nasty pesticides.
SATURDAY
February 22, 11 am
Gardening 101 with Annie! Want to plant a garden from scratch but don’t know where to start? Every gardener has to start somewhere – and the road to gardening enlightenment can be overwhelming, confusing and intimidating! Prepare to get the straight dope on how to garden like a pro from our own gardener-in-chief – Annie herself!
SATURDAY
March 8
11 am
The Elements of Style with Garden Designer extraordinaire Mary TeSelle! Succulents and roses? Hollyhocks and Aloes? Why not! Mary will discuss three of her favorite design styles: Cottage, Modern and Meadow – then tell you how you can mix them up and make them your own! She knows Annie’s plants like the back of her hand and will give you a knock-out plant palette to pull it all off!
SATURDAY
March 22
11 am
Botanist, Author and Professor Glenn Keator talks Natives! Come learn about designing with natives from plant expert Glenn Keator! Glenn’s knowledge and deep understanding of how plants grow and relate to one another will inspire you, and we guarantee you will walk away with a new appreciation for these wonderful treasures.
SPRING PARTY! SATURDAY
April 12
11 am

The Beautiful Edible Garden – Artfully Incorporating Edibles into Your Garden with Leslie Bennett & Stefani Bittner, co-owners of Star Apple Edible + Fine Gardening. Authors of The Beautiful Edible Garden, Leslie and Stefani share how to not only grow organic fruits and vegetables, but also make your garden a place of year-round beauty that is appealing, enjoyable, and fits your personal style. Book signing to follow talk!
SPRING PARTY! SUNDAY
April 13
11 am
Kate Frey – Gardening in Drought. We are thrilled to have garden designer, writer and sustainability goddess Kate Frey talk about her favorite drought tolerant plants and how you can responsibly create a gorgeous low-water garden.
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SATURDAY
May 10
11 am
Grow Bouquets! Our Gardener-in-Chief, Annie Hayes is all about cut flowers for the table and posies for sharing. In this fun and romantic talk, just in time for Mother’s Day, she’ll share some of her favorite, old-fashioned, fragrant cut flowers and how to grow them with gusto!
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SUNDAY
May 11

11 am
Brad Gates, intrepid tomato breeder of Wild Boar Farms talk about his magnificent tomatoes! Brad has been breeding tomatoes from heirloom stock in an effort to create the most outrageous tomatoes in the world! Diverse, colorful and flavorful, Alice Waters calls them “tomatoes you will never forget.” Nuff said!
SATURDAY
May 24
11 am
Drought Tolerant Veggies with Anders Vidstrand. Want a productive vegetable garden but worried about watering in these dry times? Drought tolerant veggies are the answer! Anders Vidstrand, science technician and professor at Merritt College Landscape Horticulture Dept. and a super knowledgeable edibles expert can help you lower your veggie garden water bill without sacrificing the fruits of your labor!
SATURDAY
June 7
11am
Urban Homestead Design Lab! Free workshop with Author Rachel Kaplan on Saturday, June 7 at 11 am! Not sure how – or where – to start living a more ecological lifestyle? Then join us to learn about the different elements that make up an urban homestead and how to put them together in whatever space you have! Come with your questions! Books will be available for sale after the talk and Rachel will happily sign them.
SATURDAY
June 21
11 am
Smashingly successful Container Gardens with Ernesto Sandoval – Director, UC Davis Botanical Conservatory! You can’t get any more experienced than Ernesto when it comes to container gardening – and he’ll be sharing the essentials about how to make the most of your containers in this fun and super-informative talk. He’ll cover soil texture, the importance of PH, temperature and pot size and more. He’ll also bring samples of the various soil types and media he uses in the conservatory at UC Davis.
SATURDAY
July 5
11 am
Sara Leon Guerrero of U.C Berkeley’s Urban Bee Gardens – Come learn about our diverse and fascinating native bees! Essential to the well being of our gardens – not to mention planet – you can immediately start attracting native bees by planting their favorite nectar-rich flowers. Come expand your bee vocabulary and learn to recognize some of our local bee friends, as well as what to plant in your home garden to help encourage their numbers.
SATURDAY
July 19
11 am
Near and Far, New Designs in the Green Roof World with Karla Dakin. With glorious examples from across the globe, author and designer Karla Dakin highlights divergent trends and daring creativity in green roofs from NYC to Dublin – with special considerations for our own region here by the Bay.
SATURDAY
August 2
11 am
TBA
SATURDAY
August 16
11 am
Dr. Peter Baye – Fuchsias! Come learn everything you need to know about some of the fabulous new mite-resistant Fuchsia species from expert and foremost Fuchsia breeder, Dr. Peter Baye. 
SATURDAY
August 30
11 am
 
Want your kitchen garden to produce all Winter long? Pam Peirce will show you how to have something delicious to harvest every month. Pam puts special emphasis on what to do from midsummer on for a productive vegetable and herb garden, whether it’s large or small, sunny or shady. Discussion includes less common crops, edible weeds and flowers. Pam’s book ”Golden Gate Gardening” is considered the definitive guide to growing vegetables in our climate and it will be available for purchase and signing.
SATURDAY
September 13
11 am
 
THE BEST Drought Tolerant Natives for Bay Area Gardens! Natives expert, horticulturalist and all-around super nice guy Bart O’Brien will be here to share his favorite hardworking, gardenworthy, low water natives for your Bay Area garden! Bart’s encyclopedic knowledge and enthusiasm will give you tips on the best plants and how to combine them for maximum pizazz!
FALL PARTYSATURDAY
September 27
11 am
Jam Tasting with Oakland’s own Blue Chair Fruit Company! Come taste the fruit rainbow with a beautiful assortment of seasonally-inspired and locally sourced jams and marmalades. Get your questions answered by BCF’s experienced staff, too!
FALL PARTY
SUNDAY
September 28
11 am
Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms – TOMATO-TASTING! Brad returns – bringing bringing dozens of varieties to taste, including heirloom favorites and a huge selection of his personal inventions! He’ll be selling tomatoes, too, so bring a bag and save yourself a trip to the farmer’s market! We had tons of fun last year – see the SLIDESHOW!
SATURDAY
October 11
11 am
 
Tellur Fenner – Medicinal Plants of the Bay Area. California is home to a diverse array of edible and medicinal plants long valued for their nutritional/therapeutic effects. Come explore many of the more common (and lesser known) edible/medicinal plants found growing in the Central Coast region with Tellur Fenner of Blue Wind Botanical Medicine Clinic & Education Center! Tellur will focus on historical as well as modern use and will cover a wide range of topics, including plant I.D, plant family characteristics, ethical harvesting/processing and preparation methods, edible/medicinal/utilitarian uses, regional ethnobotany, botanical safety issues, California natural history, and more!
SATURDAY
October 19
11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm
NATIVE BEES NEED YOU! Native bee crusader Dr. Gordon Frankie and his team of researchers at U.C Berkeley’s Urban Bee Lab have released a fabulous new book – “California Bees & Blooms:  A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists” and will visit the nursery on Sunday, Oct. 19 to give a series of talks at 11 am, 12 pm and 1 pm on native bee biology, ecology and their role in urban, agricultural and wild ecosystems. They’ll be selling and signing their beautiful book, too!
SATURDAY
October 25
11 am
 
Ed Laivo of Four Winds Growers – Citrus Talk! Do not let delicious citrus elude you! Join us for an info-packed session on how to get the best flavor and yield from your backyard orchard! Ed will share his wealth of knowledge, offer do’s and don’ts and answer all of your burning questions about selecting, planting, growing and caring for garden citrus – so bring your questions! 

2013 Talks

Date Speaker
SATURDAY
January 12
11 am
Phil Pursel of Dave Wilson Nursery – Choosing and Growing Delicious Fruit! Hooray for bare root fruit tree season! Learn all the secrets to harvesting fresh fruit in limited spaces throughout the season with backyard orchard culture techniques.  Phil will discuss the multitude of options available to have your very own fruit tree orchard in any size yard.  January is the perfect time to get those fruit trees planted, so bring all your questions and get your orchard off to a great start no matter how big or small.
SATURDAY
January 26
11 am
Ed Laivo of Four Winds Growers – Citrus Talk and TASTING! Do not let delicious citrus elude you! Join us for an info-packed session on how to get the best flavor and yield from your backyard orchard! Ed will share his wealth of knowledge, offer do’s and don’ts and answer all of your burning questions about selecting, planting, growing and caring for garden citrus – so bring your questions! BONUS: Citrus TASTING to follow the talk!
SATURDAY
February 9
11 am
Tellur Fenner – Medicinal Plants of the Bay Area. California is home to a diverse array of edible and medicinal plants long valued for their nutritional/therapeutic effects. Come explore many of the more common (and lesser known) edible/medicinal plants found growing in the Central Coast region with Tellur Fenner of Blue Wind Botanical Medicine Clinic & Education Center! Tellur will focus on historical as well as modern use and will cover a wide range of topics, including plant I.D, plant family characteristics, ethical harvesting/processing and preparation methods, edible/medicinal/utilitarian uses, regional ethnobotany, botanical safety issues, California natural history, and more!
SATURDAY
February 23
11 am
Lindsey Dailey of Homesteading Marin – Food Forests. A food forest is a low-maintenance gardening system that incorporates perennial food-producing plants like berries, nuts and tubers between and under the canopy of trees. Come learn how to grow your own food forest, including how to select plants that attract beneficial insects and build healthy soil. Before you know it, your little forest will become a self-organized system that provides its own pollination, pest management, and soil health!
SATURDAY
March 9
11 am
Idell Weydemeyer – BERRIES! One of our most popular speakers is honoring us with a visit to talk about one of the subjects dearest to her heart – Growing Delicious Berries! Idell is the Bay Area’s queen of rare fruit and she’ll clue us in on the many different varieties and choices best suited to our gardens. She’ll cover familiar bush fruit like raspberries, ollalieberries and boysenberries – as well as less familiar but equally delicious varieties (Currants! Wild huckleberries! Barberries!). For the more adventurous, come find out about sub-tropical berries like Cherry of the Rio Grand, lemon and strawberry Guavas and even tree berries – Autumn Olives and Mulberries.
SATURDAY
March 23
11 am
Rosalind Creasy – 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Edibles! A true pioneer in the field of edible landscaping, Ros has been gardening at the intersection of ornamental and the edible for over 40 years! Like a breath of fresh air, she is here to enlighten us about some of the most common misconceptions and misinformation about growing edibles – and set us on the straight road to a beautiful, bountiful and successful edible paradise! She’ll also sign copies of her most popular books, “Rosalind Creasy’s Recipes from the Garden” and  “Edible Landscaping.”
SPRING PARTY! SATURDAY
April 13
11 am
Stew Winchester – California Natives! Come learn about native plant expert Stew Winchester’s favorite CA natives for the garden, and how to combine them for maximum thrills! Stew talks about plants like no one we’ve ever met. He will enthrall you with his knowledge and deep understanding of how plants grow and relate to one another, and we guarantee you will walk away with a new appreciation for these wonderful treasures.
SPRING PARTY! SUNDAY
April 14
11 am
TBA
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SATURDAY
May 11
11 am
Sara Leon Guerrero of U.C Berkeley’s Urban Bee Gardens – Come learn about our diverse and fascinating native bees! Essential to the well being of our gardens – not to mention planet – you can immediately start attracting native bees by planting their favorite nectar-rich flowers. Come expand your bee vocabulary and learn to recognize some of our local bee friends, as well as what to plant in your home garden to help encourage their numbers.
MOTHER’S DAY PARTY SUNDAY
May 12

11 am
Renee Shepard of Renee’s Garden – A world renowned seedswoman, Renee will share her knowledge and enthusiasm for starting and caring for cottage garden heirlooms and the yummiest gourmet veggies – all from seed!
SATURDAY
May 25
11 am
Betsy Clebsch – Spring Blooming Native Salvias We’re thrilled to have Betsy, author of The New Book of Salvias at the nursery to talk about all the ins and outs of growing glorious native Salvias with success. Bees & hummingbirds love our native beauties! Check out the twelve different types we carry at the nursery here.
SATURDAY
June 8
11am
Mary Te Selle – Shade Gardens Who says shade gardens have to be boring? Certainly not Mary of Quite Contrary Garden Design – one of our favorite and most knowledgeable designers around town.
SATURDAY
June 22
11 am

CANCELLED!!

Bethallyn Black – Backyard Chickens Have you thought about integrating hens into your sustainable backyard? Hens provide fertilizer, weed control, insect control and can turn a compost pile for you! Not to mention eggs, wonderful, delicious eggs! In this class, Bethallyn will cover designing and building predator proof pens, chicken tractors, raising chicks, rescue flocks, breed differences, hens and other pets and local ordinances. With over 40 years of experience as an organic gardener, she teaches horticulture at Diablo Valley College and shares her urban farm with a passel of working hens.

SATURDAY
July 13
11 am
Bring nature home by creating a sanctuary for pollinators and other beneficial creatures! Nancy Bauer, author of the beautiful new book “The California Wildlife Habitat Garden” will show us how to increase the wildlife value of our gardens with inexpensive and easy-to-follow recommendations for providing food, cover, and water for hummingbirds, bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects – including caterpillar food plants for common Bay Area butterflies. She’ll offer plant palette suggestions and other handy tips for getting the most bang for the buzz! Book signing and FREE plant raffle to follow!
SATURDAY
July 27
11 am
Gardeners looking to take their organic gardening to the next level, come on down! Christoper Shein, author of The Vegetable Gardener’s Guide to Permaculture: Creating an Edible Ecosystem will show gardeners of every skill level – and with any size space – how to live in harmony with both nature and neighbors to produce and share an abundant food supply with minimal effort. A veteran Permaculture instructor at Merritt College, Chris highlights everything you need to know to start living off the land lightly, including how to create rich, healthy, and low-cost soil; blend a functional food garden and decorative landscape; share the bounty with others; and much more!
SATURDAY
August 10
11 am
Stew Winchester on Rock Gardens
SATURDAY
August 24
11 am
Martin Grantham – South African Plants. Fall is the best time to plant the wonderful and diverse Winter rainfall plants of the Western Cape of South Africa! Come learn about how to select and grow these incredible beauties – from Restios to woody Irids, with our go-to, all-plants-South-African expert Martin Grantham!
 
FALL PARTY
SATURDAY
September 28
11 am
Roses and shrubs and fruit trees – oh my! Come find out how to prune like a pro with Certified Arborist Ellyn Shea at our Fabulous Fall Planting Party on Saturday, September 28 at 11! She’ll cover basic tree biology and growth, best Fall pruning practices, plus proper use and care of pruning tools. Bring your own favorite pair of hand pruners and get some hands on-practice under her expert tutelage.
FALL PARTY
SUNDAY
September 29
11 am
TBA
 

2012 Talks

SATURDAY
January 14
11 am
Phil Pursel from Dave Wilson Nursery – Choosing and Growing Delicious Fruit! Hooray for bare root fruit tree season! Learn all the secrets to harvesting fresh fruit in limited spaces throughout the season with backyard orchard culture techniques.  Phil will discuss the multitude of options available to have your very own fruit tree orchard in any size yard.  January is the perfect time to get those fruit trees planted, so bring all your questions and get your orchard off to a great start no matter how big or small.
SATURDAY
January 28th
11 am
Idell Weydemeyer – Chilean Guava? Jujubes? Cherimoya? There are many varieties of unusual fruit perfectly adapted to the Bay Area! We are so happy to welcome the ever-so-knowledgeable and lovely Idell Weydemeyer back to the nursery to drop some knowledge on those of us interested in adding unusual fruit to our gardens. Idell is a walking library of rare fruit information and her 3/4 acre home garden in El Sobrante houses an amazing array of fantastic fruits. Her depth of knowledge on edibles, from the unusual to the commonplace is outstanding! Idell will cover how to grow great fruit – including her favorite varieties, general care and feeding, as well as tips for common pests and diseases.
Saturday
February 11th
11 AM
Rachel Kaplan – Urban Homesteading Design Lab Eager to start homesteading in your urban or suburban lot? Wondering how to fit anything into the small space you have? How to begin? This workshop is an opportunity to learn about the different elements that make up an urban homestead and how to put them together in whatever space you have. Ask questions about the limitations and opportunities of both your land and your lifestyle, and start putting the design elements together. This workshop will offer some basics in permaculture design, as well as some common sense how-to projects for the urban homestead. Come with your questions and ideas and expect to experiment with a variety of homesteading options.
SATURDAY
February 25th
11 am
Annie Joseph – Integrative Pest Management. Learn how to control garden pests the green way! Annie will tell us how to differentiate the good guys from the bad guys and how to encourage the good bugs to stick around, enhancing the habitat and enriching the ecology of your home front!
SATURDAY
March 10th
11 am
Stew Winchester – California Natives Come learn about California native plant expert Stew Winchester’s favorite California native plants for the garden, and how to combine them for maximum thrills! Stew talks about plants like no one we’ve ever met. He will enthrall you with his knowledge and deep understanding of how plants grow and relate to one another, and we guarantee you will walk away with a new appreciation for these wonderful treasures.
Saturday 
April 14th
11 am
SPRING PARTY
Sunday 
April 15th
11 am
SPRING PARTY
SATURDAY
April 28th
11 am
Brad Gates, intrepid tomato breeder of Wild Boar Farms talk about his magnificent tomatoes! Brad has been breeding tomatoes from heirloom stock in an effort to create the most outrageous tomatoes in the world! Diverse, colorful and flavorful, Alice Waters calls them “tomatoes you will never forget.” Nuff said!
SATURDAY 
May 26th
11 am
CANCELLED! We are hoping to reschedule soon.Betsy Clebsch – Spring Blooming Native Salvias We’re thrilled to have Betsy, author of The New Book of Salvias at the nursery to talk about all the ins and outs of growing glorious native Salvias with success. Bees & hummingbirds love our native beauties! Check out the twelve different types we carry at the nursery here.
SATURDAY
June 9th
11 am
Bethallyn Black – Backyard Chickens Have you thought about integrating hens into your sustainable backyard? Hens provide fertilizer, weed control, insect control and can turn a compost pile for you! Not to mention eggs, wonderful, delicious eggs! In this class, Bethallyn will cover designing and building predator proof pens, chicken tractors, raising chicks, rescue flocks, breed differences, hens and other pets and local ordinances. With over 40 years of experience as an organic gardener, she teaches horticulture at Diablo Valley College and shares her urban farm with a passel of working hens.
SATURDAY
June 23rd
11 am
John “Cedar” Seegar of Four Winds Growers – Citrus-ology
SATURDAY
July 14th
11 am
Robin Stockwell – Succulent Gardens Father of the vertical succulent garden and owner of magnificent Succulent Gardens, Robin has been working with succulents for over 30 years. Come learn from the master just how easy it is to grow succulents almost anywhere. Giant vertical panels, wreaths, containers, massive landscape plantings, he’s perfected it all. You’ll walk away with tons of ideas to create your own stunning combinations.
SATURDAY
July 28th
11 am
Annie Hayes – How To Grow a Bloomiferous Fall Garden! Does your garden fall down in the Fall? Lift it back up with a mid-Summer planting! Our own Annie Hayes will give you the deets on simple, fast preparation for an awesome Fall garden and show you her favorite and best plants to put in right now for August thru October bloom. PLUS, as always, she’ll sneak in some totally cool, rarely available plants in the nursery now that you should totally know about.
SATURDAY
August 11th
11 am
Whitney Cohen and John Fisher, co-authors of The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids will present a super fun and idea packed talk on how to raise a garden alongside your kids with 101 engaging garden activities that gets the whole family in on the action. Theme gardens, recipes for cooking and preserving your bounty and simple, practical gardening advice are sure to pump new life into neglected garden spaces!
SATURDAY
August 25th
11 am
TOMATO-TASTING! Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms returns – bringing bringing dozens of varieties to taste, including heirloom favorites and a huge selection of his personal inventions! He’ll be selling tomatoes, too, so bring a bag and save yourself a trip to the farmer’s market! We had tons of fun last year – see the SLIDESHOW!
SATURDAY
September 8th
11 am
John Greenlee: Ditch the Lawn – Plant A Meadow! An expert in grass ecology, champion of sustainable design and the author of “The American Meadow Garden,” John is passionate about helping homeowners convert their time, water and chemical sucking lawns into shimmering meadows filled with drought tolerant grasses, bulbs and wildflowers. Come hear about the right grasses to plant here by the Bay, no matter the size of your garden!
SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 29 – FALL PARTY! Beekeeping Workshop and Honey Tasting with Ed Zawada of Gerard’z Honeybees! Come learn the basics of beekeeping and how to build a honeycomb foundation and hive at our Fabulous Fall Planting Party on Saturday, September 29 at 11 am! Observe a live bee colony (housed in see-through hives), as our expert beekeeper explains the process of honey production, pollen storage and wax building. A great opportunity for aspiring beekeepers – bring your questions!
SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 30- FALL PARTY! Roses and shrubs and fruit trees – oh my! Come find out how to prune like a pro with Certified Arborist Ellyn Shea at our Fabulous Fall Planting Party on Sunday, September 30 at 11! She’ll cover basic tree biology and growth, best Fall pruning practices, plus proper use and care of pruning tools. Bring your own favorite pair of hand pruners and get some hands on-practice under her expert tutelage.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 14
11 AM 
WEEDS! Bethallyn Black.
Date Speaker
SATURDAY
January 15
11 am
Idell Weydemeyer – Choosing and Growing Delicious Fruit! Idell will share her treasure trove of information on deciduous and evergreen fruit trees, as well as what specific varieties will grow and produce well in our Bay Area climate.
SATURDAY
February 12
11 am
Annie Joseph – Integrative Pest Management. Learn how to control garden pests the green way! Annie will tell us how to differentiate the good guys from the bad guys and how to encourage the good bugs to stick around, enhancing the habitat and enriching the ecology of your home front!
SATURDAY
February 26
11 am
Chris McLaughlin – Composting at Home. Come learn how to make a worm bin in minutes! Anyone with a spare half an hour and some organic material lying around can get started with composting at home, no expensive supplies required! Chris will show you how. Bring your questions!
SATURDAY
March 12
11 am
Come hear about the process of designing a sustainable native garden with Rebecca Schoenenberger of California Nativescapes. Bring your questions about garden design and plant selection!
SPRING PARTY! SATURDAY
April 9
11 am
We are thrilled to have garden designer, writer and sustainability goddess Kate Frey talk about her favorite pollinator plants and how you can create a paradise of life in your own garden! Kate is the designer behind the *incredible* Melissa Garden honeybee sanctuary in Healdsburg, CA and a Chelsea Garden Show gold medalist,not to mention all-around fabulous person!
SPRING PARTY! SUNDAY
April 10
11 am
We love us some wicked plants almost as much as we love author Amy Stewart, author of Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother and Other Botanical Atrocities (Algonquin Books, May 2009)! Amy speaks on Sunday at our Big, FAB Spring Party about some of Mother Nature’s most appalling creations – plants that kill, maim, intoxicate, and otherwise offend. It’s sure to be a blast – don’t miss it!
SATURDAY
April 23
11 am
Brad Gates, intrepid tomato breeder of Wild Boar Farms talk about his magnificent tomatoes! Brad has been breeding tomatoes from heirloom stock in an effort to create the most outrageous tomatoes in the world! Diverse, colorful and flavorful, Alice Waters calls them “tomatoes you will never forget.” Nuff said!
*SUNDAY*
May 22
11am
Want your kitchen garden to produce all year long? Pam Peirce will show you how to have something delicious to harvest every month. Pam puts special emphasis on what to do from midsummer on for a productive vegetable and herb garden, whether it’s large or small, sunny or shady. Discussion includes less common crops, edible weeds and flowers. Pam’s book “Golden Gate Gardening” is considered the definitive guide to growing vegetables in our climate & she’s also the author of Wildly Successful Plants: Northern CA. Both books will be available for purchase and signing.
SATURDAY
June 11
11 am
Susan Morrison and Rebecca Sweet, authors of Garden Up! Smart Vertical Gardening for Small and Large Spaces, demystify living wall systems and demonstrate layering techniques for the tightest of spaces. Whether you’re interested in edibles, ornamentals or a little of both, vertical spaces is an easy way to take your garden to the next level!
SATURDAY
June 25
11 am
Growing fruits and vegetables is all the rage, but let’s not forget that we also want glorious, sexy gardens as well as homegrown, organic food! Ivette Soler, the author of the bestselling “The Edible Front Yard” will show us how to select the most ornamental edibles and combine them to create a garden that will stop traffic if planted in your front yard, or stop hearts if planted in your back yard. Join us for this entertaining, informative afternoon and take your edible gardens to the next level!!
SATURDAY
July 9
11 am
Come hear Brian Kemble, Curator of the beyond fabulous Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek, talk about Succulent Oddballs! Brian’s work for the Garden has included hybridizing aloes, agaves and some South American cacti. He has traveled extensively in Mexico and South Africa studying and photographing plants in their native habitat. Don’t miss this exciting and interesting talk!
SATURDAY
August 6
11 am
TOMATO-TASTING! Brad Gates of Wild Boar Farms returns – bringing bringing dozens of varieties to taste, including heirloom favorites and a huge selection of his personal inventions! He’ll be selling tomatoes, too, so bring a bag and save yourself a trip to the farmer’s market! We had tons of fun last year – see the SLIDESHOW!
SATURDAY
August 20
11 am
ROOTS: What Every Gardener Should Know. Take a look at your garden from the plants’ perspective! Chris Finch of the East Bay Municipal Utility District will give you a tour of the secret gardens under our soil. She’ll tell us about how roots travel, how they communicate and how their partnership with mycorrhiza has been helping you all along. Fascinating!
SATURDAY
September 3
11 am
Laura Allen of Greywater Action will show you how to cut your water use in half while growing a beautiful garden. This enlightening demo will focus on simple, easy to implement low-tech options. Laura will go over the simple Commandments of Greywater Reuse, which household products to avoid, rainwater catchment and more!
SATURDAY
September 17
11 am
Bart O’Brien, co-author of “Reimagining the California Lawn: Water-conserving Plants, Practices and Designs,” will share his extensive knowledge about how you can replace your lawn with a beautiful waterwise landscape! Whether you plan to save water, save time, or save money, this talk will help you get there by providing design alternatives and plant choices. The book is out in April 2011 and we’ll have it for sale at the nursery.

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