Education & Programs
Adult Education Programs

The Garden offers an array of workshops, author events, tours and seminars for the home gardener and horticulture/green industry professional. These programs range from special tours of the Garden to all-day Dry Garden Design Seminars. Find these programs on our Events Page.

Register for an event with whichever method is easiest for you.

Members-Only Education

Members Only Courses

Short lectures for RBG Members

Join your fellow Ruth Bancroft Garden Members for short 20 minute lectures led by RBG staff members. Be inspired and motivated by our short lessons and get your questions answered during the Q&A sessions following the talk.

Lectures will be held outdoors and are free of charge unless otherwise noted. Please register in advance to hold your spot by calling (925) 944-9352 or emailing the education director.


Members Only Troubleshooting Panel
Saturday, July 12, 2014
10:30am – 11:00am - Free

From pests to frost to too much water, there are a lot of things that can make a succulent sick. Learn how to avoid common problems and fix ones that may have already occurred, and please bring your own specific questions! Feel free to bring in examples of your sick plants but keep plants with pests in plastic to prevent the spread of any illnesses.

Space is limited; advanced registration required. Please call the office to reserve your spot.


Members Only Soil Basics
Saturday, August 2, 2014

10:30am - 11:00am - Free

Assistant Curator Walker Young will share our not-so-secret formula for creating happy plants both in the ground and in containers. Discover the importance of good drainage, nutrients, and more.

Space is limited; advanced registration required. Please call the office to reserve your spot.

Children's Tours

The Garden offers a two-hour field trip program that meets the California curriculum standards for the third grade but can be adapted for students of all ages. Students are divided into small groups and rotate through a series of tours that introduce them to local history, pollination, propagation, and water storage in plants. Other highlights include native uses of plants, water conservation strategies, and plant identification.  Each student plants a succulent cutting to take home. Field trips are offered year-round. The cost is $5 per student.

Children's Tours Pictures
Classrooms of all ages are encouraged to schedule field trips to The Garden. We also offer tours for children's groups (i.e. Scout groups). Please call the office at (925)944-9352 to make arrangements for your group.
College Internship Program

Garden Intern'The Garden offers internships to college students in the areas of horticulture, garden maintenance, nursery management, scientific illustration, marketing, development and education. Interns will receive hands-on training and experience in the areas of choice. Interns are needed at all times of the year!

We will work with your college or university so you can earn credit for your internship. To find out which internships are currently available, please contact our Education Director, Sophie Damerel. To apply for a specific position, please send her your resume and cover letter or our Internship Application.

With much appreciation, we recognize the Frances Whyte Horticultural Grants Program and the Bonita Garden Club for their support of our internship program. Their support has made it possible to offer real-world education to promising  young adults in the areas of horticulture and non-profit education and management.

In-Depth Training Program

Our Docent Training program is an opportunity for community members to learn more about drought tolerant gardening and plants, interpretive skills and public speaking, and contribute to The Ruth Bancroft Garden as a docent. Trainees will be learning from renowned local specialists in the fields of succulents, natives, trees, ethno-botany, interpretation, and natural history.

Upon conclusion of the training, docents are certified to lead tours through the garden, and introduce the public to the water conserving plants, geology, and local history. The docents at the Ruth Bancroft Garden play a vital role, interpreting the flora of The Garden to thousands of visitors per year. The benefits of becoming a docent include a free garden membership and ongoing docent enrichment educational opportunities.

Ruth Bancroft Garden Plant Identification Lectures

The highly informative Ruth Bancroft Garden Docent Training Lectures have now been opened up to the public! Join RBG staff for in-depth succulent identification classes and boost your plant smarts. Learn how to distinguish Agaves from Aloes, delve into the depths of the Echeveria plant family, including the popular “hens and chicks” and much more. These classes focus on identifying the plants of The Ruth Bancroft Garden and will highlight special plants within the main plant families, showcasing their unique characteristics. Classes will be approximately twice a month during the winter from 10:00am to 12:00pm.

docenttour1 docenttour2
Docents Leading Tours in the Garden
Need a Garden Speaker?

As an internationally renowned garden with a unique plant collection and interesting history, you may consider one of our dynamic speakers for your upcoming event. Whether you are looking for an in-depth study on Aloes, or a general presentation on The Ruth Bancroft Garden and its community offerings, we have someone who can tailor a presentation to fit your event needs.

Please contact us with questions or to schedule an event.

Water Conservation Tips
Learn more here!


Members-Only Education

Children's Tours

College Internships

Docent Training

Garden Speakers

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 position

The Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation and The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our directional signs.

The California Horticultural Society for funding towards our restoration projects.

The Bonita Garden Club for funding restoration and education projects.

The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy