Since 1933…

Since 1933…

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

Annual Seed Exchange!

It’s time to start harvesting seeds to share and making your wish lists for seeds you’d like. We are accepting seeds now for the  Annual Seed Exchange! Read all about it here.

Monthly Meetings

With public gatherings still out of the question, we’ve going digital. Please join us  on our regular meeting day and time from the comfort of your home using the computer application Zoom on your desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. Cal Hort Members will automatically receive meeting invitations by email. If you would like to become a member visit our membership page for more information  We posted an article on how to join the meetings using Zoom here. If you have any more questions about  using Zoom, you can contact Council Member Ellen Frank .

Important Note:
Our meetings now start at 6:30 p.m.

Our  popular Plant Forum, your chance to share your horticultural interests, successes and conundrums, is back. Meetings  are starting at 6:30 p.m. with announcements followed by the Plant Forum followed by the featured presentation. Details for participating are on the Plant Forum page


Green Strings Attached:
Challenges for Plant Exploration and Exchange in the 21st Century Legal Landscape

with Chad Husby
Monday, October 19, 6:30 p.m. online via Zoom
Members will receive log in details by email

For most of human history, the horticultural and botanical communities have enjoyed a high degree of freedom in acquisition and exchange of living plant material. This was facilitated by the “common heritage” approach to plant germplasm that largely prevailed until the early 1990s.  However, developments in international property rights and desires of biodiversity-rich nations to avoid exploitation have led to a quite different international approach to plant exchange. Botanic gardens and the horticultural community have struggled to respond to these changes, but much confusion remains.  In this talk, Chad will place the new legal challenges in context and discuss the opportunities that remain to preserve or revive some of the best aspects of the old system of free exchange while addressing the need to adapt to the modern framework.

Upcoming Events

In accordance with current restrictions on gatherings, we are now holding our meetings on Zoom.  We also invite you to join us on Facebook at Friends Who Like California Horticultural Society to share ideas, ask questions, offer answers, and share resources. And above all we want to see your photos—of common everyday plants or rare specimens, flowers, foliage, whole beds, scary or beneficial insects, signs of plant disease, whatever you have.

Supporting Each Other

Plants do not recognize race, economic condition, or social class. Plants can take root in any spot where they can find a sufficient sunlight and moisture. Appreciating and nurturing plants can reduce stress, provide food, and promote community.

Nurturing plants can be for everyone, everywhere.  Spending time around plants—gardening, spending time in a park, hiking through trees, or playing in a meadow—is good for mental health, promoting relaxation and relief from stress and worries. There are physical benefits to sunlight, fresh air, soothing scents. 

Whether you have a full garden, some house plants, or a few herbs on your windowsill, we encourage you to take time to appreciate the surroundings, smells, and textures, along with sharing your interest with others. Send photos and website links, offer horticultural help and advice, talk to young people about gardening, growing food, and the role plants play in our world. We can help shape the future for good. 

In Memoriam

Ernest Wertheim— December 30, 1919 to August 4, 2020
Photo from Garden Center magazine

Ernest Wertheim Dies at age 100

Ernest Wertheim, beloved icon of the green industry and a venerable member of Cal Hort, died on August 4 at the age of 100. In 1940 Ernest, along with partner Jack Kleymeyer, opened the San Francisco-based landscape architecture firm now known as WVK and became best know for designing state-of-the-art garden centers  around the world.  He was widely acknowledged and honored as an industry icon.

In 2014 Ernest published an autobiography, Chasing Spring, co-written with Linda Hamilton, which includes his accounts of fleeing Nazi Germany under fire, arriving in America and serving in the Pacific Theater in WW II as an intelligence officer for General MacArthur, all the while taking note of the horticulture around him. “During my youth, in the Germany of the 1920s, my country was in chaos, defeated by war, and in economic crisis. But all I could see was the crocus, the lavender and golden flower, poking its way above the snow after a long and colorless winter. The sight was exhilarating to my young eyes. How brave the crocus was withstanding the cold to announce springtime had come to Hamburg…”

According to Cal Hort President Bart O’Brien, “Ernest was probably our Society’s longest term actively participating member. He was also a longtime member of the Saratoga Horticultural Foundation Board in its various manifestations up to its present as a source of grants for horticultural research out of U.C. Davis. He was opinionated and exacting, and until recently was still very active at Cal Hort where he would lead the plant discussion part of our meetings. He will be missed by each of us, and particularly by folks that have been members for a long time.”

Ernest’s children have requested that donations in his memory be made to the Horticultural Research Institute (HR). Donations are being gratefully accepted here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s