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. 

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations up to 1-week prior to a class are subject to a 25% cancellation fee.  Cancellations less than 1-week prior to a class are non-refundable.  The Ruth Bancroft Garden does not issue credits for future classes.

Current Workshops

Members Only- Travels with Brian and Walker

(Southwest Edition)

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

10:30am-12pm (offsite location)

$25 Member Price


Journey through the rugged and beautiful terrains of the Southwest with Brian Kemble (Garden Curator) and Walker Young (Assistant Curator) as they relive their botany expedition and show photos from their adventure. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided. RBG members only and RSVP required as this will be hosted at a private residence.

Not a member? Joining is easy- click here to become a member today.


Author Talk: "Soft Succulents" by Jeff Moore

Saturday, February 17, 2018


Note: This event takes place in the Garden on the same day as Ruth's Celebration of Life. For more info about that event, see below.

$15 Member Price


$20 General Public



Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents, will be at the garden to talk about the wide diversity of succulents and guide you on a journey to look at these botanical beauties in a totally different light. Moore is also the author of, "Under the Spell of Succulents", and "Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation". The new book, "Soft Succulents," will be available for sale and class participants will have the opportunity to get their book signed by Moore.


Ruth's Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 17, 2018

11am-4pm (Open House)

Free, but please click here to RSVP.

Join us as we honor the life and legacy of Ruth Bancroft. Enjoy historic exhibits, presentations, guest speakers, live music, and more.


Problem Solving with Australian Native Plants

Saturday, March 17, 2018

10am - 11am

$15 Member Price

$20 General Admission


Are you at your wits end with ravenous deer and brick-like soil? Put the bottle of Mountain Lion Pee (gross) back on the shelf and join us in exploring some of the many solutions from the ‘Land Down-Under’. Solutions for deer, clay, dry shade, attracting hummingbirds and more will be covered. Join Troy McGregor, former RBG Nursery Manager, now of Gondwana Flora Landscaping ( for a walkabout in Ruth's ‘American Outback’. Sightings of kangaroos, koalas and Hugh Jackman may also be possible*.

*Sightings of kangaroos, koalas and Hugh Jackman not guaranteed or likely.*


DIY Creative Succulent Series: Succulent Terrariums

Saturday, March 17, 2018


$44 Member Price

$49 General Public


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 a demonstration and plenty of hands-on help along the way. All materials included. You'll practically be a terrarium guru by the time you leave!


All About Air Plants

Saturday, April 7, 2018


$20 Member Price


$25 General Admission

Dive into the world of air plants! Tillandsia, which are more commonly known as "air plants", have over 500 varieties and are recognized for their ability to grow outside of soil. They are also revered for their beautiful and often unique shapes. During the talk, we will be discussing several Tillandsia subject areas including: the origin and types of air plants as well as care and design. Nathan Miller, the speaker, is the owner of the Air Plant Hub nursery in Vacaville, California. He works full time distributing and growing various forms of Tillandsia. Nathan has been growing these plants for many years, but left his academic position at UC Davis last year to focus on growing the air plant business full time. He holds a Master of Education degree and enjoys using his background in education to teach others about different Tillandsia subjects. A wide variety of tillandsias from his special collection will be available for purchase at the end of the talk.


Spring Watercolor in the Garden (3 sessions)


April 11, 18, & 25


$70 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.]


Garden Mandala

Saturday, April 21, 2018


$20 Member Price

$25 General Admission

Join Vinaya Gokarn and celebrate the ephemeral art of mandala-making for conscious living. The art of mandala practice creates a relationship between nature our mind, body, heart and soul. This mandala walk and ceremony offers a meditative walk through the serene and beautiful landscape of the garden as we forage for natural gifts such as leaves, twigs, berries, pebbles and flowers to create our very own transient earth art of mandala from the gifts gathered on the walk. You will take home a specially-designed tote bag at the end of the session.


Evening Garden Photography

Saturday, April 21, 2018


$15 Member Price

$20 General Admission


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.


DIY Creative Succulent Series: Serene Succulents

Saturday, April 28, 2018


$35 Member Price

$40 General Admission

Bring a sense of relaxation and repose to your home or garden. Create a serene succulent arrangement with small driftwood pieces, rocks and a ceramic pagoda. Materials will be provided, but if you have a small item that brings you peace, we encourage you to bring it. Led by Concepcion Hennessey of The Happy Succulent, you will learn the essentials of succulent arrangement as well as maintenance and care so you can enjoy ongoing tranquility with your design.


CA Native Blooms (Members Only)

Friday, May 11, 2018


Free for members, but please contact to RSVP

Enjoy a late spring walk in the garden with Ed Ellebracht, RBG docent, who will guide you through the native collection. Learn about how you can incorporate water wise natives into your landscape and maintain a pollinator haven.



How do you register for an event?

At the garden- Stop by the admission kiosk.

Online - Via the individual Paypal link, if present. Ticketing fees may apply.

Phone - (925) 944-9352




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