The Garden


We are a non-profit, Member supported organization nestled in the suburbs of the East Bay. The Garden itself is the foremost example of garden design with climate-resilient plants. Consequently, it is known as one of the finest dry gardens in the world. The Garden displays an expansive collection of plants that Ruth collected for over 60 years; many of which were in gallon-sized pots or smaller. As a result, every season offers something new in the Garden and visitors find themselves in awe of the boldness, beauty and longevity of Ruth’s hard work!

The Garden’s mission is to preserve, promote, and enhance Ruth Bancroft’s world-class collection of water-conserving plants displayed in her exceptionally designed garden for the education, inspiration, and enjoyment of the public.

What We Offer



Garden Members receive free admission to the Garden during Garden hours and nursery discounts every time they shop. We also offer reciprocal admission to over 345 participating AHS botanical gardens, meaning you can utilize your Ruth Bancroft Garden Membership on the go! You will also get discounts on all educational offerings and garden events.


To learn more about our Membership levels, visit our Membership page.

“I designed it with an idea of having relaxation from walking through it. I did not make straight paths or edges to the paths because I wanted it to look more natural. I myself feel relaxed when I’m there and I hope other people will feel that and get away from some of their pressures.”

– Ruth Bancroft

Oral History

A candid interview with Ruth Bancroft


In 1991 & 1992, Suzanne Riess interviewed Ruth for the Oral History Center of the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, CA. This valuable history offers insight into Ruth’s life, determination, achievements, and the lessons learned while creating the Ruth Bancroft Garden.


Interview Transcript