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October 26th, November 2nd & November 9th

Saturday sessions, in-person, from 9am-2pm

 

Delve into the essentials of maintaining a low-water garden with a climate-appropriate plant palette. Each class is structured to provide practical advice, hands-on demonstrations and in-depth discussions that will empower you to care for your own dry garden, adapting to your local climate and soil conditions.

This series is tailored for both enthusiastic beginners and seasoned gardeners looking to specialize in the sustainable practice of cultivating dry gardens, which can be stunning landscapes but also waterwise and low maintenance. Each session includes four separate lectures.

Program Description

In this series, students will build a strong foundation of knowledge about horticultural practices and maintenance in  dry garden landscapes. Topics will include pruning, pest management, soil management, irrigation, propagation, transplanting and seasonal maintenance tasks.

Each session (comprised of four lectures) is from 9am-2pm (with a 30 minute lunch break). Classes will be led by Ruth Bancroft Garden staff from the Garden, Nursery and Landscape Design Services departments including a guest speaker.

The Ruth Bancroft Garden began in the 1970s as a pioneering experiment in using exclusively dry-adapted plants — including cacti, succulents, and other low-water plants — in landscape design. The result was a garden full of dramatic composition  — of form, texture and color — renowned worldwide, that continues to serve as a quintessential model for dry garden design. The Dry Garden Maintenance series utilizes the lessons and unique history of Ruth’s Garden to educate and train today’s homeowners and professional landscapers how to maintain beautiful, healthy and long-lasting gardens in a climate-appropriate, sustainable manner.

Registration Steps

Registration is now open with limited spots. When you register for a session, you are signing up for four lectures.   Each session covers different topics. See details below about each lecture. Take all three sessions for a comprehensive approach or choose the sessions that cover the topics that you’re interested in.

10/26

11/2

11/9

Location

The classes are in-person at the Ruth Bancroft Garden. For this inaugural year, Zoom or recordings will not be available for this series.

Scholarship Opportunity

We are offering a need-based partial scholarship to one student. The application form can be found here.  The online form is due before August 1st, 2024.  All applicants (awarded or not) will be informed by August 15th, 2024.

Program Logistics

10/26 schedule

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11/2 schedule

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11/9 schedule

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Refund Policy

A registration refund request up to one week prior to the start of the program are subject to a 30% cancellation fee.  A refund request less than one week prior to the start of the program is non-refundable. The Garden does not issue credits for future programs or events.

 

Questions about the Dry Garden Maintenance Program?

Contact the Program Director at alice@ruthbancroftgarden.org

Class Details: 

To open each section of the class details, click on the plus sign (“+”).

Dry Garden Botany 101 | 10/26

Date: 10/26 (Sat) @ 9-10am PT

Description: With a specific emphasis on dry garden plants, brush up on all things botany and prepare to embark on the complete series armed with the necessary background. Through this course, you will gain a solid understanding of the scientific classification of plants into various families, along with an overview of plant structures, functions, and remarkable diversity.

Pruning & General Care (Fall) | 10/26

Date: 10/26 (Sat) @ 10:15-11:15am PT

Description: It’s crucial to prepare for cooler and wetter months ahead for your succulents and herbaceous plants. This lecture is designed to equip gardeners of all skill levels with the knowledge and techniques necessary to maintain and enhance the health and aesthetics of a low-water landscape during the fall season.

Sheet mulching, Planting and General Mulching | 10/26

Date: 10/26 (Sat) @ 11:30am-12:30pm PT

Description: Maximize the health and resilience of your garden by learning about sheet mulching and other effective mulching techniques specifically tailored for low-water gardens. Learn how to conserve water, suppress weeds and enhance general soil health with different mulch types as well as timing and frequency of mulch application.

Pest Management | 10/26

Date: 10/26 (Sat) @ 1-2pm PT

Description: Learn about the principles and practices of organic pest control techniques used at the Ruth Bancroft Garden and Nursery.  Students will be introduced to the concept of IPM (integrated pest management) and learn how to identify common pests that are found in dry garden plant palettes.  The instructors will cover a variety of methods of preventing and controlling pests as well as the importance of not relying on synthetic pesticides.

Pruning & General Care (Winter) | 11/2

Date: 11/2 (Sat) @ 9-10am PT

Description: Winter conditions in a summer-dry climate can be taciturn with fluctuating temperatures and deluges of rain. Learn about proper frost protection and general weeding advice for your succulents and herbaceous plants. This lecture is designed to equip gardeners of all skill levels with the knowledge and techniques necessary to maintain and enhance the health and aesthetics of a low-water landscape during the winter season.

Transplanting Large Succulents | 11/2

Date: 11/2 (Sat) @ 10:15-11:15am PT

Description: Replanting and repotting large succulents, especially cacti, can be intimidating and a challenge.  But plants eventually outgrow their pots and need space to successfully grow.  Learn essential techniques and best practices for successfully transplanting and caring for large succulents.  This lecture will also include a step-by-step demo of safe and efficient cactus removal into a new pot.

Pruning & General Care (Spring) | 11/2

Date: 11/2 (Sat) @ 11:30am-12:30pm PT

Description: Learn about the crucial maintenance tasks that dry gardens require as they awaken from winter. We’ll cover techniques specific to pruning succulents and herbaceous plants to stimulate growth and flowering. This lecture is designed to equip gardeners of all skill levels with the knowledge and techniques necessary to maintain and enhance the health and aesthetics of a low-water landscape during the spring season.

Soil Basics in Dry Gardens | 11/2

Date: 11/2 (Sat) @ 1-2pm PT

Description:Soil is the foundation of healthy plants.  Join us for a lecture to learn about the content of soil, recommendations for the perfect ratio of materials, and the care that your soil needs in order to keep your dry garden plants healthy and happy.  We will also talk about techniques that we’ve employed in recent home garden installations to encourage healthy soil conditions.

Irrigation in Dry Gardens | 11/9

Date: 11/9 (Sat) @ 9-10am PT

Description: Irrigation systems in gardens may seem daunting for some, whether it’s a completely new install or converting a spray system to drip.  An irrigation system appropriate for a dry garden is critical for long-term success with your water-wise plant palette.  In this introductory class, learn how to assess your landscape and install a drip irrigation system that is suitable for dry gardens.

Pruning & General Care (Summer) | 11/9

Date: 11/9 (Sat) @ 10:15-11:15am PT

Description: Summer can be a challenging time of the year in low-water gardens, especially in summer-dry climates. Learn about best practices for maintaining plant health, conserving water, and ensuring the vibrancy of your garden through the peak of growing season. This lecture is designed to equip gardeners of all skill levels with the knowledge and techniques necessary to maintain and enhance the health and aesthetics of a low-water landscape during the summer season.

Proteaceae- Care & Maintenance | 11/9

Date: 11/9 (Sat) @ 11:30am-12:30pm PT

Description: Proteaceae plants are beloved by many for their unusual and abundant floral displays. But they can also be finicky. We’ll talk about best planting practices, pruning recommendations, fertilizer amendments and soil/water requirements for these Australian and South African plants.

Propagation/Transplanting Succulents | 11/9

Date: 11/9 (Sat) @ 1-2pm PT

Description: Proteaceae plants are beloved by many for their unusual and abundant floral displays. But they can also be finicky. We’ll talk about best planting practices, pruning recommendations, fertilizer amendments and soil/water requirements for these Australian and South African plants.

Meet our Instructors & Staff

Cricket Riley

Landscape Design Services Director

Bio

Michael Rada

Nursery Floor Lead & Garden Horticulturist

Bio

Troy McGregor

Owner of Gondwana Flora

Bio

Szymon Szary

Garden Horticulturist

Bio

Kate Nowell

Associate Designer

Bio

Teddy Spencer

Assistant Nursery Manager & Garden Horticulturist

Bio

Jeremiah Harper

Nursery Sales Manager

Bio

Alice Kitajima

Program Director

Bio

Teddy Spencer

Assistant Nursery Manager & Garden Horticulturist

Bio