Since 1933 . . .

Since 1933 . . .

. . . we’ve been dedicated to bringing together gardeners & garden professionals, through meetings and other events, to share their experiences.

Next Monthly Meeting


The Plants of Lesotho

with Bongani, Botanic Garden Curator, Lesotho Highlands Development Authority
Monday, August 20, 2018 – 7:00pm
SF County Fair Bldg – 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco

Completely landlocked within South Africa, Lesotho has four distinct geographical regions: mountains, foothills, lowlands and the Orange River valley. Mountains cover two-thirds of the surface area, the highest point being 11,424 feet. This varied topography supports a tremendous diversity in the range of plants. Bongani is self-educated, and he figured out how to propagate the difficult Aloe polyphylla. The Munich Botanical Garden has recognized his work, and he has spent much time there working on their collections.

Meeting information



The Mexican Cloud Forests of Oaxaca and Chiapas
with Ted Kipping
Monday, September 17, 2018 – 7:00pm
SF County Fair Bldg – 1199 9th Ave, San Francisco

From the southwest US into Mesoamerica, there are scores of mountain ranges rising so far above the surrounding terrain that they have become “Sky Islands”, places of special and isolated ecosystems cut off from the others except for birds. Many of these mountains have had up to 1600 species of plants found often on no other mountain. Being so close to either the Pacific Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico, these mountains are bathed in humid, maritime air masses. As the heat of the day rapidly drops in the higher elevations, that moisture condenses into heavy fogs. The trees foresting these mountains capture this water which condenses further and falls like rain. This is what sustains these special forests and their amazingly diverse understory plants.
Dr. Dennis Breedlove of the California Academy of Sciences spent nearly thirty years under the fog and stars of southern Mexico. Recognizing the similarity between the cloud forests of Mexico and the dynamic of fog in the San Francisco Bay Area, he was very generous with many plants of horticultural merit, which he gave to SFBG as well as UCBG. Dennis decided to guide a group of keen botanists for two weeks into these mountains. Travel with us free of “Turista”, potholes and mountain bandits to get a vicarious sense of these special places.
Ted Kipping joined the California Horticultural Society in 1968 and became both a Life Member and a council member in 1977. Although he is interested in the whole spectrum of natural history and especially ALL plants, it is the BIG ones which have helped pay off his mortgage through his tree care company Tree Shapers. He has tried to incorporate as many cloud forest plants into his diverse garden as insanely possible.