2008 Programs:

Meetings start at 7:15 p.m. in the County Fair Building at The San Francisco Botanical Gardens You can meet the speakers for a walk through Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at 4:00 in front of the Strybing bookstore. If you're not a member, there is a Guest Fee of $5.

January 21, 2008

 “Pollination Ecology”
California native bees looking for urban real estate. Presented by Dr. Gordon Frankie, PhD in the Division of Insect Biology, in the College of Natural Resources at the University of California Berkeley.

February 18, 2008 “Plants & Wildflowers of Central Mexico”
presented by Ron Parsons, noted flower photographer, lecturer, horticulturist and author of many publications, each beautifully   illustrated.  Ron is considered by many to be one of the finest flower  photographers in the United States
March  17, 2008

 March  17, 2008   “The History of Gardening in the United States”
Presented by Jennifer Rose Carey, Director of Landscape Architecture/Horticulture; Temple University, Ambler, PA 19002-3994

In this lecture, Jenny rose Carey, The Director of the Landscape Arboretum at Temple University, Amber, PA, and Garden Historian, will present an overview of   the more than 400 years of known gardening history in the United States of America.  Jenny Rose was born in London, England to a family of gardeners and botanists, and has lived in the United States for twenty years.  She has traveled the country looking at, and photographing gardens, looking at the subject with an outsider’s eye.

This lecture will start with the sketchy details of the pre-colonial gardens, leading on through the early subsistence gardens to gardens designed purely for pleasure not food.  Each era of American History has produced distinctive gardens that are in keeping with the socioeconomic climate of the times.  Some of the early gardens, such as Monticello and Mount Vernon, have influenced gardens across America.  Others show a distinctive regional style that could be found nowhere else.

What are the differences between a Colonial Garden and one that is termed Colonial Revival?  How did Victorian thinking in Europe and America change the gardens that were produced?   How did women at the turn of the last century help to change American gardens drastically?  What is an American garden?  Is there such a thing?  These and many other questions will be discussed.

Using images from the past and present and from across America, including some from the Archives of American Gardens at The Smithsonian, Jenny Rose will help you understand how contemporary garden design is influenced by gardens of the past.

April  21, 2008

“History of the  Japanese Tea Garden” with garden tour by one of the members/great grandson of the creator of the garden Makoto Hagiwara.  Erik S. Hagiwara-Nagata will give a guided tour and lecture on the history of the Japanese Tea Garden, Golden Gate park, San Francisco, the oldest Japanese style garden built in the USA.  There will be featured photographs from the family album of the pre WW11 Tea Garden while the family resided there and a personal talk highlighting the garden’s history  and changes up to present.  One topic of the lecture is the introduction of the Fortune Cookie, which was originated and introduced there.

May  19,  2008

Annual Meeting

June 16, 2008

 “Design with Palms”  Presented by Jason Dewees & Flora Grubb
Flora Grubb is a noted garden designer and the owner of Flora Grubb Gardens, in San Francisco’s Bayview.  Jason Dewees is a palm expert on staff at Flora Grubb gardens who has consulted on palm collections of the Conservatory of Flowers and San Francisco Botanical Garden.

-Palms are only for tropical gardens.
-All palms get too big for small gardens.
-Planting palms in the Bay Area will make it look like Los Angeles.

If you believe these things are true, give us a chance to blow your mind!


Garden designer and nursery owner flora Grubb and Bay Area palm expert Jason Dewees will do their best to convince you that palms belong in our California gardens.  Two centuries after European gardening started on the West Coast, Californians have only begun to explore the many roles palms play in gardens- as durable, architectural foliage; natural vertical elements; animated, acoustically pleasing canopy; informal hedges; food- and- fiber-providing plants; and Mediterranean-style mainstays.  See palms anew with the help of Flora and Jason Dewees’ myth-busting ideas.  And remember, we are talking about San Francisco Bay Area gardens, where Flora and Jason use palms most.

July 21,  2008

 “Begonias with Laurie Bonsell”
Laurie has been growing Begonias and their companions for over 15 years and has been fortunate enough to be a volunteer in the Begonia department at Strybing Greenhouse for over two and a half years.  Working  under the direction of Margaret Paulekas, director of the Begonia department. Laurie assists in propagation, growing and acquisition of new begonias to diversify the collection.

August  18, 2008

 “In search of new species.  A Botanical  Expedition to China and Japan”
Presented by William McNamara, Director of the Quarryhill  Botanical Garden.

September 15, 2008

"New Roof Garden of the Californa Academy of Sciences "
Presented by Dr. Frank Almeda, Chair of the Botany Department, California Academy of Sciences

Dr. Frank Almeda, Chair of the Botany Department and one of the intellectual architects of the NEW California Academy of Sciences will share insights from the design and construction of the 2 1/2 acre garden installed on the roof of the new award winning building. Thousands of biodegradable flats were installed on the roof’s complex surfaces which has two large domes. The new building sets new standards for “green” construction. The Academy is unique in being the only combined Aquarium, Planetarium, and Natural History Museum in the world!!

October 20, 2008

“Plant Gems of the Emerald Corridor” 
Presented by  Dylan Hannon, Curator of Conservatory and Tropical Collections at the Huntington Botanical Garden in Pasadena. 

The talk will focus on plants of Colombia that he encountered in the rainy, verdant mountains between the city of Cali and the Pacific ocean and also at over 10,000 feet on a volcano near the famous colonial city of Popayan.  Of special interest were various aroids, especially anthuriums, and along the way were found a great wealth of flora in groups such as lobeliads, orchids, ferns, melastomes, tropical blueberries and many others. The unparalled biodiversity of Colombia was apparent in every natural area visited and includes more birds than any other nation. 

The country is estimated to contain a staggering 8% of the world’s flora, or about 30,000 species, but still remains relatively poorly known for a variety of reasons.  Botanical investigations in Colombian institutions are robust.  At the same time nurseries, orchid nurseries in particular, are a noteworthy component of the local and national economies. 

Many photos were taken in several growing locations.  Dylan hopes that the audience will enjoy this rare glimpse into a small portion of one of the world’s most exciting plant places.

November 17, 2008


Previous Programs

Programs from 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007