Support The Garden

GOlden Barrel Fund Logo

The Golden Barrel Fund is the annual fund for the Garden, which helps pay for annual operating costs. An annual fund is necessary because maintaining and enhancing a horticultural treasure like The Ruth Bancroft Garden requires funding beyond what we currently raise through plant sales, admissions, and special events. Remember we need your donations to this annual fund as well as the Visitor and Education Center fund. Contact Gretchen Bartzen or Billie Hopper to find out about making your donation a 50/50 split to annual fund and Visitor Center.

The Visitor and Education Center Fund is to help us build our new building.  Find out more here.

Select how you'd like your donation appiled under the designation section when you donate.

We are grateful to the volunteers, members, friends and local institutions who provide generous financial support throughout the year to help RBG continue to flourish. See our Honor Roll of Donors here.


Become a member and help us preserve this national treasure as a unique asset to Walnut Creek and the greater Bay Area.

All membership levels include the following benefits

  • Free admission for cardholder(s) during regular hours (accompanying children up to age 18 and caregivers are free)
  • Reciprocal admissions to participating AHS gardens throughout North America and the Cayman Islands.
  • 10% off plants and most merchandise items
  • 10% discount at select local nurseries (Annie's Annuals, The Dry Garden, and Navlet's)
  • Attendance at various Member's-only events and courses throughout the year

Download our membership form to mail in or buy your membership online by clicking on one of the "Membership" buttons below.

Individual Membership - $40

  • One member card
  • Two single-use guest passes ($20 value)

Family Membership - $70

  • Two member cards
  • Four single-use guest passes ($40 value)

Friends Membership - $100

  • Family Membership benefits, plus:
  • Event certificate for $30

Aloe Garden Sponsor - $250

  • Family Membership benefits, plus:
  • Event certificate for $150

Agave Garden Sponsor - $500

  • Family Membership benefits, plus:
  • Event certificate for $300
  • Private tour of the Garden for four with RBG staff

Ruth's Manzanita Sponsor - $1,000

  • Family Membership benefits, plus:
  • Event certificate for $300
  • Two tickets to the Annual Dinner ($300 value)
  • Private tour of the Garden for four with curator Brian Kemble

Individual Lifetime Membership - $1,000

  • One member card with no expiration
  • Two guest passes every year

Family Lifetime Membership - $1,800

  • Two member cards with no expiration
  • Four guest passes every year
Planned Giving


2016 Legacy Brunch

Saturday, Jan. 30 11:30am - 1pm

Click image at left for details.

A wonderful way to support The Ruth Bancroft Garden is to plan a gift in your estate or will. Estate gifts can be specified to go into our Endowment Fund, creating a lasting source of income to preserve The Garden. Click here for more information.

Garden Gifts

The Ruth Bancroft Garden carries a number of unique items Come by the office to take a look; here’s a sample of merchandise we have available.

all prices are pre-tax

Dish Gardens

Dish Gardens are lovingly made by our Nursery volunteers with plants grown in the Garden. They are available in a range of sizes, from little ones that fit in the palm of your hand to large displays, perfect for those who have potted plants instead of a yard. You can also bring your own pot and have a custom dish garden created with your choice of plants! Click here for more information.

$15 - $100

Ruth BancroftBuy a Ruth Bancroft Garden membership for a friend! Give the gift of free admission (and plant coupons!) and share your love of the Garden. Membership benefits and purchasing information can be found here.

starting at $40

Love the way the Garden looks but can't seem to capture it with your camera? Pick up a flash drive pre-loaded with over 50 gorgeous photos of the garden, taken by RBG staff and volunteers. These flash drives are ready to be plugged into a digital photo frame, so you can be awestruck by the beauty of the garden year-round.

$24 each

Gift CertificateDon't forget Gift Certificates, which can be purchased in any amount, never expire, and can be used for anything sold at the Garden: admission, membership, event tickets, plants, merchandise, and donations!

The Ruth Bancroft Garden carries art and sculptures year-round - not just during our annual sculpture show! The selection rotates, but we always feature great pieces from local artists.


Phil Lange's Swimming Fish sway and twist in the breeze and make a wonderful addition to any garden, big or small. Come by the Garden to check them out!

$250 - $400


Renata Allen's Whimsical Sheep capture the hearts of everyone who sees them. Each colorful lamb has a unique expression that will make you smile. These little guys are popular, so pick one up before they're gone!

$45 and $80 each

Mudgett David Mudgett is known for his expertly welded, industrial yet organic sculptures of steel and stone. We have several of his pieces, including a tall, legged planter that will elevate your prized plant specimens and a selection of outdoor tables that will stand up to the time and weather. Stop by to see what catches your eye!

$500 - $3,400

John Ricca's stunning Garden photography is featured on greeting cards for sale in the office.  These cards are suitable for sending or framing. Larger images may be requested to frame. 

$3.50 each

Garden Maintenance Donation Wish List
There is always a list of things we'd love to have, if only...

Our current Wish List includes some larger items that will really help us do "loads" of the heavier work we do here at the garden!  And save us a bundle in rental fees and personnel hours (not to mention how relieved our backs will be). 

      Pick-up truck - any size, must be in good condition, street legal, and able to pass the smog test

      Bobcat - or similar in good condition

      Mule Utility Vehicle - or similar in good condition

Before selling such items, please consider making a donation to the garden. 

Contact the Garden Manager with questions or to donate.

Without the enthusiasm and dedication of volunteers, The Ruth Bancroft Garden would not be here today.  Volunteers are instrumental in maintaining the garden and supporting the organization.

Volunteering at the Garden is a wonderful way to enjoy this exceptional garden and contribute to its success. Download our Volunteer Application, fill it out, and email it to our volunteer coordinator, or mail it to the Garden. We accept applications year-round.

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Volunteers at the Annual Sculpture Exhibit Work Party in the Nursery

The Ruth Bancroft Garden has a variety of interesting volunteer opportunities.

Garden work


  • Construction (landscaping, irrigation)
  • Gardening (weeding, planting)

Nursery work

(Thursdays and Sundays)

  • Propagation & Repotting
  • Weeding & Nursery Maintenance

Event Assistance
(Events occur on evenings and weekends)

  • Organization & Planning
  • Cashier & Admissions
  • Plant & Membership Sales
  • Traffic Control

Office Assistance
(Tuesdays through Fridays)

  • Front desk (answer phones, greet visitors)
  • Computer work (graphic design, data entry)
  • Outreach (design, distribution, research)
  • Marketing & Mailings


(Weekdays and Weekends)

Welcome visitors to the Garden and help them get oriented for their visit.


(Weekdays and Weekends)

Become a Docent! Our annual training program will prepare you to lead tours in the garden.

Volunteer potting an Agave
Shade House during a sale
Thank you to our Sponsors
The Ruth Bancroft Garden extends our sincerest gratitude to the following 2014 sponsors:
1-800 Radiator
Diablo Magazine
Bank of the West    
Renaissance Club Sport

Pyramid Brewery

Golden Barrel Fund

Visitor and Education Center Campaign


Planned Giving

Garden Gifts

Garden Maintenance Wish List



Honor Roll

2014 Annual report

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.
Ruth Bancroft Garden Inc
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 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 Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust for funding our nursery renovation

The Ruth Bancroft Garden GardenConservancy