Workshops & Programs

A special thank you to Contra Costa Water District for sponsoring these workshops! 

Registration instructions here.

Please do not record our educational programs without permission of the instructor.  If permission is received, those recordings may only be used for personal use and reference. 

Members Only Education
Each month, Ruth Bancroft Garden staff teach a short course just for garden members. These courses are usually free, and last approximately 20 minutes. For a full list of upcoming Members Only courses, click here.
Current Workshops

Spring Watercolor in the Garden (3 sessions)watercolor of succulents
Wednesdays, April 5, 12, and 19, 2017

10:00am - 1:00pm

$70 Members Price - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

$80 General Admission

Learn the basic techniques of watercolor in the beautiful spring setting of the Ruth Bancroft Garden with Wendy Soneson. You will learn the four paper uses, three brush techniques, and choosing correct materials in this outdoor class. Beginners and experienced painters are welcome for this 3-part series, as we will be learning a system of color mixing that will be new to all. [Do not bring any materials to first class; a list will be given or students can purchase kit from instructor.]


DIY Creative Succulent Series - Mix 'n Match
Saturday, April 8, 2017

10:30am - 11:30am

To be put on the wait list for this class lease e-mail

Sold Out

Conquer your fear of mixing succulents and perennials together in this spring-inspired DIY dish garden class. Linnea Lion will be leading the workshop on how to compose and maintain your own creation. We will be providing the container, plants and soil.


Author Event: Robin Stockwellbook cover image

Saturday, May 6, 2017

10:30am - 11:30am

$20 Members Price - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

$25 General Admission

Join renowned succulent expert, Robin Stockwell ( , for a tour of the Garden and tips on growing and designing succulents with ease and finesse. Stockwell, founder of Succulent Gardens Nursery in Castroville, CA has been growing succulents since 1972. His scope of expertise with drought-tolerant plants goes beyond landscape plantings and he has created spectacular living murals and other unique installations. He'll be talking about his stunning new publication, Succulents: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing, Designing, and Growing 200 Easy Care Plants, and lead a tour through the Ruth Bancroft Garden to highlight plants featured in his book. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase the book and get it signed by Stockwell.


Beginning Succulent Propagationsempervivum
Friday, May 12, 2017


$20 Members Price - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

$25 General Admission

Would you like to expand your succulent collection with what you already have? Join us for a workshop with Walker Young, Assistant Curator, and learn how to properly take cuttings and propagate with leaves. This class is perfect for the beginner enthusiast and we'll help you conquer your fear of beheading that Echeveria and which succulents you can easily propagate in a home setting.


DIY Creative Succulent Series - Mother's Day Teacupssucculents in teacups

Saturday, May 13, 2017

10:30am - 11:30am or 2:00pm - 3:00pm

$30 Members Price - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

$35 General Admission 10:30am - 11:30am

Class Full

$35 General Admission 2pm - 3pm

Celebrate with your mom and tap into your creative side during our Mother's Day Creative Succulent Series workshop. Garden staff will guide you in creating your own vintage teacup and saucer succulent planter. Take advantage of this workshop to spend time with your mom or make one as a gift for the woman who gave you life. Space is limited, so sign up today!


DIY Creative Succulent Series - Father's Day Plantercactus planter

Saturday, June 10, 2017

10:30am - 11:30am

Two options available: Cactus or Succulent

Cactus $50/Succulent $40 Members Pricing - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

Cactus option $60 General Admission

succulent planter

Succulent option $50 General Admission

For this year's Father's Day, consider gifting Dad an experience at the garden by signing up together for this hands-on container garden class. You'll be planting up succulents or cacti in a custom-made redwood planter box outfitted with vintage license plates. Linnea Lion, who will be leading this Saturday workshop, will also go over design elements and long-term maintenance. RSVP required; make sure to specify option A (cactus) or option B (succulents).


DIY Succulent Series - Succulent Terrariumsucculent terrariums
Saturday, July 8, 2017

10:00am - 11:00am

$44 Members Price - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

$49 General Admission

Are you fascinated by succulents, but haven't had the best luck keeping them alive? Or are you an avid gardener just looking for a new project? Either way, this workshop is for you! Brandi Chalker of Sunshine & Succulents will be leading this creative workshop, where you'll get your hands dirty while learning all about how to design with and care for succulents. Pick from a huge selection of succulents and make your very own glass orb terrarium, with plenty of demonstrations and hands-on help along the way. All materials included. You'll practically be a terrarium guru by the time you leave!


Capturing Evening Light at the Gardenimage of plants

Friday, August 4, 2017

6:00pm - 8:00pm

Members free - please call the office to register.

$25 General Admission

picture of plants at sunset


Take advantage of the golden lighting in the Garden for this special evening photography workshop. Led by John Ricca and Richard Valenti, this will be an amazing opportunity to learn how to utilize depth of field, focus, and exposure to capture the perfect shot. (Check out and for more details about the instructors.) Bring your camera, tripod (if you have one) and camera manual.


Aesthetic Pruningman pruning tree

Saturday, Setember 23, 2017

10:00am - 12:00pm

$30 Members Price - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

$35 General Admission

Join world-renowned aesthetic pruner, Dennis Makishima, for an introductory class on how to prune trees and shrubs that will enhance and express the beauty of the plant’s form. Makishima combines horticultural science, bonsai aesthetics and creative interpretation of plant specimens in his work. The first part will be a sit-down lecture and the second part will be in the garden with a hands-on demonstration. Bring your own garden gloves and pruners.


Fruit Tasting Tourprickly pear fruit
Saturday, October 14, 2017

two tours will be offered

11:00am - 12:30pm and 2:00pm - 3:30pm

$30 Members Price - Members, please call the office to register at member price.

$35 General Admission 11am tour

$35 General Admission 2pm tour


Enjoy tasting a variety of cactus fruits, palm fruits, and other delectable items harvested from the garden. Brian Kemble, curator, will be leading the walk through the garden.


How do you register for an event?

Online - via the individual event link, if present. Available for general admission only. Ticketing fees may apply. If no event link is available, please call the office to register.

Phone - call the office at (925) 944-9352.


Members Only Courses



Mission Statement
The mission of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. is to preserve this exceptional example of garden design and to continue to develop its collection of water-conserving plants for the education and enjoyment of the public.
Grant Funders

The Ruth Bancroft Garden would like to recognize the following grant funders:

The Quest Foundation for funding our Education Coordinator’s positionThe Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation and The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our directional signsThe California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects

The Bonita Garden Clubfor funding restoration and education projects


The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy