Most meetings are on the second Monday of the month from 6 to 8:30 PM.
Meetings are free for SDHS members and $15 for non-members. Parking is free.

Upcoming Meetings

    • Mon, August 08, 2016
    • 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Congregation Beth Israel 9001 Towne Centre Drive San Diego, CA 92122

    Bill Toone
    The Roar of the Monarch Butterfly

    Our speaker, Bill Toone, is a wildlife biologist and founder of ECOLIFE Conservation, an organization dedicated to a world in which humans and nature live harmoniously.

    The monarch butterfly is the most recognizable butterfly in the world.  Learn more about the relationship between plants and butterflies and follow along on the  remarkable long distance, multi-generational migration of the monarch butterfly. Bill shares insights into one of Nature's poorly understood and critically threatened miracles.  Within a short generation of its discovery this migration is now in danger extinction.  There are many elements associated with the decline of the monarch butterfly but only one of them kills thousands of people and hundreds of thousands to millions of butterflies on an annual basis in Mexico.  Wrapped into the monarchs life history is an ancient oyamel fir forest, a watershed resource for the largest city in the world and the home to amazing people of Tarascan descent.  The future of millions upon millions of lives are tied into one fabric that is unraveling at a frightening pace.  Join us to learn about the journey and what each of us can do to preserve these valuable resources for future generations.

    About the Speaker

    Starting his career as a wildlife biologist with the San Diego Zoo, Bill studied the endangered California condor and the causes of its decline. That work grew into a conservation program of world renown; and Bill soon found himself featured in newspapers and magazines, he appeared on the Tonight Show, and filmed wildlife documentaries in the Costa Rican rainforests with Olivia Newton-John. Bill has performed conservation work in some of the most remote regions of the world. From Honduras and Paraguay to Cameroon and Papua New Guinea, he not only witnessed incredible wildlife spectacles, but also came in close contact with some of most poor, and poorly understood, populations of people. ECOLIFE Conservation is based on the premise that people and their environments are inextricably joined – that one cannot work to save endangered species, or endangered places, without working as well to protect and improve the lives of the people who live near them. Bill and ECOLIFE build stoves in remote villages that improve the lives of families and reduce tree cutting for fuel. They install water-harvesting systems, and create programs to help people feed themselves healthy food, rather than plants and animals poached from the forests. Bill continues to work and study in such places as Mexico, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

    Note new meeting location:

    Congregation Beth Israel
    9001 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego

    Doors open at 5:30 PM.  Light refreshments will be served before the meeting.  Shop our vendors, renew your membership, check out the plant forum table or mingle.

    We encourage you to bring plant cuttings for the Plant Forum table, in keeping with this month's topic, especially plants that are hosts to butterflies.

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, September 12, 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Congregation Beth Israel 9001 Towne Centre Drive San Diego, CA 92122

    Jeff Moore
    Aloes and Agaves 

    Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents speaks about his latest book Aloes and Agaves in Cultivation.

    Jeff will walk us thorough aloes and agaves in cultivation in California, from common to rare, with cultivation tips. Jeff has  been an aloe collector for over 25 years and has witnessed their increasing popularity and availability - there are many species and hybrids available now that we're almost unheard of here 20 years ago. He's also become a great fan of agaves, even more so after putting this book together. There is a similar appeal with both types, and most aloe folks also like agaves and vice versa.

    Jeff Moore has owned and operated Solana Succulents in Solana Beach for the past 24 years. Jeff has created many award-winning gardens at the annual San Diego County Fair and Home Shows. Jeff gained notoriety for his 'undersea' themed succulent gardens.

    Jeff will be selling and signing his books at the meeting.

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, October 10, 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Congregation Beth Israel 9001 Towne Centre Drive San Diego, CA 92122

    Brian Kemble
    Curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden

    Brian Kemble, curator of the Ruth Bancroft Garden, will tell us about this famous garden in Walnut Creek California. Dry-gardening pioneer Ruth Bancroft grew a private landscape so remarkable, it spurred the founding of the Garden Conservancy. Since then, Bancroft’s masterpiece has become one of America’s most acclaimed public gardens. What makes this waterwise haven so noteworthy—and so relevant for today’s home gardener? At its heart, the Ruth Bancroft Garden is a testament to fearless planting. A lover of succulents, Ruth Bancroft is a curious, experimental plant collector. It is this drive that shaped the garden into a wondrous model of xeriscaping. Succulents, wildflowers, roses, cacti, and trees come together in a collage of colors, textures, and shapes. As low-water realities dominate an increasing number of gardens, Bancroft’s example shows us how dry can be not only bold, but breathtaking.

    Before Brian's talk, Johanna Silver, Garden Editor at Sunset, will tell us about the latest and greatest of Sunset's Test Garden. After 70 years in the same Menlo Park campus, Sunset Magazine relocated to Oakland, with a brand new garden—4 times the size of our old one—in Sonoma. Learn how we divided the space into five distinct garden rooms, including some of the most exciting new plants on the market.

    Brian Kemble has been involved with The Ruth Bancroft Garden since 1980. He is highly regarded in the horticultural world and lectures in this country and in South Africa on the agave family, aloes, bromeliads, the history of The Ruth Bancroft Garden and other horticultural topics. Kemble has a B.A. in Philosophy from Antioch College. His work has been in the area of horticulture since 1976, including garden design and installation, tree trimming and garden maintenance. Brian's work for The Garden has included hybridizing of aloes, agaves, and some South American cacti. Brian has traveled extensively in Mexico and South Africa, studying and photographing plants in their native habitats.

    Johanna Silver is a San Francisco–based writer, editor, and garden designer. She is the garden editor at Sunset, where she also manages the editorial test garden. Johanna is a regular contributor to Sunset magazines, books, and videos. Her writing earned her a James Beard Award in 2009 for her contributions to the One-Block Diet blog and an ASME award for General Excellence in 2014. Her website is

    Before and after the meeting Johanna will be selling and signing her book about the Ruth Bancroft Garden, The Bold Dry Garden.

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, November 14, 2016
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Congregation Beth Israel 9001 Towne Centre Drive San Diego, CA 92122

    Lucy Warren and Greg Rubin
    The Drought-Defying California Garden

    We welcome Greg Rubin and Lucy Warren, co-authors of the recently released book.  Check back for more details on about their presentation.

    Greg Rubin is owner of California’s Own Native Landscape DesignAlthough his formal education and background is in engineering, his fascination with California native plants started when he renovated his parents’ home in Chatsworth, CA in 1985.  Soon he was landscaping for friends and family on weekends and holidays. In 1993 he began his successful landscape business and the design of over 600 native landscapes in San Diego County.

    Lucy Warren, who has an extensive background in marketing research and her own consulting firm, has been long fascinated with plants and horticulture. She is a UCCE Master Gardener and an experienced garden writer who authored a column on edible plants for the San Diego Union-Tribune and served as editor of California Garden magazine. She is the assistant coordinator for the the Spring Home/Garden Show and is a former board member of the San Diego Horticultural Society and the Pacific Horticulture Society. 

    • Their books will be available for sale and signing at the meeting.
    • Bring your native plants and flowers to share with members on the Plant Display table.  Native plant experts will be available to answer questions.

    Doors open at 6 PM.  Shop our vendors, renew your membership, check out the plant forum table or mingle.

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

Past Meetings

Mon, July 11, 2016 July - Horticultural Evening at the San Diego Zoo
Mon, June 13, 2016 June - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 09, 2016 May - Bromeliads in the Wild
Mon, April 11, 2016 April - Perspective, Forty Years Among the Natives
Mon, March 14, 2016 March - Botanical Collection at the San Diego Zoo
Mon, February 08, 2016 February - Think Outside the Box: Thirty Design and Horticultural Techniques
Mon, January 11, 2016 January - Contemporary, Expressive and Sustainable Southwestern Gardens
Mon, December 14, 2015 December - Waterwise Lessons from theGarden
Mon, November 09, 2015 November - Designer Panel: Small is Beautiful
Mon, October 12, 2015 October - Hot Colors, Dry Garden
Mon, September 14, 2015 September - Refresh Your Garden Design
Mon, August 10, 2015 August - The Ecology of California Garden Bees
Mon, July 13, 2015 July - Rush to Restios
Mon, June 08, 2015 June - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 11, 2015 May - Palms for San Diego
Mon, April 13, 2015 April - Jon Rebman
Mon, March 09, 2015 March- Eucalyptus: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Mon, February 09, 2015 February- Plants with Benefits
Mon, January 12, 2015 January - Under the Spell of Succulents
Mon, December 08, 2014 December - Centennial Celebrations: Remembering and Commemorating the 1915 Panama-California Exposition
Mon, November 10, 2014 November - Holiday Marketplace
Mon, October 13, 2014 October - Lawn Gone: Landscape Designer Panel
Mon, September 08, 2014 September - Randy Baldwin of San Marcos Growers
Mon, August 11, 2014 August Meeting - Creating Paradise Wherever You Live
Mon, July 14, 2014 July Meeting - Scent-sational Plumeria
Mon, June 09, 2014 June Meeting - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 12, 2014 May Meeting - Stuck on You! Indoor and Outdoor Projects with Succulents
Mon, April 14, 2014 April Meeting - Oaks of San Diego County
Mon, March 10, 2014 March Meeting - Tried and True or Brand New: Citrus in Today’s Gardens
Mon, February 10, 2014 February Meeting - The Wild World of Succulents
Mon, January 13, 2014 January Meeting - Native Plants of Chile
Mon, December 09, 2013 December Meeting - The Drunken Botanist
Mon, November 11, 2013 November Meeting - Holiday Marketplace
Mon, October 14, 2013 October Meeting - Trends in Contemporary Landscape Design
Mon, September 09, 2013 September Meeting - Right Plant for the Right Place
Mon, August 12, 2013 August Meeting - Drip is Hip
Mon, July 08, 2013 July Meeting - Succulents Simplified
Mon, June 24, 2013 June Meeting - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 13, 2013 May Meeting - Seriously Funny - The Business of Plants
Mon, April 08, 2013 April Meeting - Writing the Book on Natives
Mon, March 11, 2013 March Meeting - Growing on Air: Amazing Tillandsias
Mon, February 11, 2013 February Meeting - The Future of Roses in Today's Gardens
Mon, January 14, 2013 January Meeting - Exotic Bulbs for Southern California
Mon, December 10, 2012 December Meeting - Bring me Slow Flowers
Mon, November 12, 2012 November Meeting - The Edible Front Yard - Special Meeting!
Mon, October 08, 2012 October Meeting - A Californian's Guide to the Trees among Us
Mon, September 10, 2012 September Meeting - Welcome to Club Med
Mon, August 13, 2012 August Meeting - The Revolutionary Yardscape
Mon, July 09, 2012 July Meeting - Not Just for Show
Mon, June 11, 2012 June Meeting - Night at the Fair
Mon, May 14, 2012 May Meeting - Small is the New Big
Mon, April 09, 2012 April Meeting - Fitting CA Native Plants in CA-style Gardens
Mon, March 12, 2012 March Meeting - From Seed to Skillet
Mon, February 13, 2012 February Meeting - Trees of Ill Repute
Mon, January 09, 2012 January Meeting - A Rollicking Trip into the World of Cactus and Succulents
 Our Mission  To inspire and educate the people of San Diego County to grow and enjoy plants, and to create beautiful, environmentally responsible gardens and landscapes.

Our Vision  To champion regionally appropriate horticulture in San Diego County.


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