Meetings are on the second Monday of the month from 6 to 8:30 PM in the Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Meetings are free for SDHS members and $15 for non-members. Parking is free.

Upcoming Meetings

    • Mon, April 13, 2015
    • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    • The Natural History Museum in Balboa Park
    • 35

    Jon Rebman

    Special meeting at the Natural History Museum

    Botanical History and Current Plant Research of the San Diego Society of Natural History

    We've reserved the Natural History Museum in Balboa Park (theNAT) for the Society's exclusive use for this very special meeting. Members and guests will be able to tour the theNAT’s exhibits including the newest exhibit, Coast to Cactus in Southern California after the presentation by Jon Rebman, theNAT’s Curator of the Botany since 1996 and our 2011 Horticulturalist of the Year. The presentation will address the historical efforts of botanists associated with the Society, and also current research projects including recent binational, multidisciplinary expeditions into Baja California and the publication of many new plant species from our region. 

    For more than 140 years, the San Diego Society of Natural History has been studying and collecting plants in the southern California and Baja California region. With dedicated curators such as Daniel Cleveland (the “clevelandii” of Salvia, Mimulus, Penstemon, Dodecatheon fame), Frank Gander (the “ganderi” of Lepechinia, Quercus, Cylindropuntia, Cryptantha, Packera, Rubus), and Reid Moran (the “moranii” of Agave, Arctostaphylos, Astragalus, Bajacalia, Dudleya, Eriogonum, Galium, and Morangaya along with a new “Moranothamnus” soon to be published), the institution has served as an important botanical resource in our region since the 1870s. During this time, the Society has amassed an extremely strong regional herbarium collection of more than 250,000 plant specimens that are actively used for ongoing botanical research & publication. To supplement the scientific endeavors of the botanists and provide plant resources for the public, the Society also has an amazing library of botanical books, journals, and paintings including a complete run of Curtis’s Botanical Magazine dating back to 1793; early herbals dating to 1517; Flora Londinensis 1777, with hand-colored illustrations; and 1,094 original watercolors of native California plants from 1908-1918 by A. R. Valentien.

    Jon has a Ph.D. in Botany (plant taxonomy), M.S. in Biology (floristics) and B.S. in Biology. He is a plant taxonomist and conducts extensive floristic research in Baja California and in San Diego and Imperial Counties. He has over 15 years of experience in the floristics of San Diego and Imperial Counties and 21 years experience studying the plants of the Baja California peninsula. He leads various field classes and botanical expeditions each year and is actively naming new plant species from our region. He also does general floristic research and he co-published the most recent edition of the Checklist of the Vascular Plants of San Diego County. He has over 22 years of field experience with surveying and documenting plants including rare and endangered species.


    Meeting Schedule:

    6:00 - 6:30 Check-in and seating

    6:30 - 7:30 Presentation

    7:30 - 9:00 Tour theNAT Exhibits


    • Registration is limited to 300 people.  
    • Members are $10 
    • Non-members are $15
    • Mon, May 11, 2015
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

    Phil Bergman

    Palms for San Diego 

    Phil is owner of the Jungle Music Nursery.

    Check back for more information.  Program subject to change. 

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, June 08, 2015
    • 5:30 PM - 7:45 PM
    • Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

    Horticulturalist of the Year

    Night at the Fair 

    Join us at the San Diego County Fair Flower and Garden Show stage to honor SDHS 2015 Horticulturist of the Year,

    Society members have exclusive access to the San Diego County Fair Flower Garden Show exhibits to enjoy the display gardens created by some of our finest local garden professionals. 

    Check back for more information. Program subject to change.

    The presentation starts at 6:00

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, July 13, 2015
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

    Martin Grantham

    Rush to Restios: Choices for San Diego Gardens

    Martin Grantham, SFSU botanist who formerly curated the restios collection at UC Santa Cruz, has visited their South African growing grounds and test grows some 100 different species.

    Check back for more information.  Program subject to change. 

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, August 10, 2015
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

    UC Berkeley Bee Lab

    California Bees & Blooms

    California is home to over sixteen hundred species of undomesticated bees—most of them native—that populate and pollinate our gardens, fields, and urban green spaces. In this absorbing guidebook, some of the state’s preeminent bee and botany experts introduce us to this diverse population. California Bees and Blooms holds a magnifying glass up to the twenty-two most common genera (and six species of cuckoo bees), describing each one’s distinctive behaviors, social structures, flight season, preferred flowers, and enemies. Enhancing these descriptions are photographs of bees so finely detailed they capture pollen scattered across gauzy wings and iridescent exoskeletons. 

    Drawing from years of research at the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab, California Bees and Blooms presents an authoritative look at these creatures, emphasizing their vital relationship with flowers. In addition to opening our eyes to the beautiful array of wild bees in our midst, this book provides information on fifty-three bee-friendly plants and how to grow them. Just a few square feet of poppies, sage, and phacelia are enough to sustain a healthy population of wild bees, transforming an urban or suburban garden into a world that hums and buzzes with life.

    Check back for more information.  Program subject to change. 

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, September 14, 2015
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

    Rebecca Sweet 

    Refresh Your Garden Design - Simple Strategies to Wake a Weary Garden

    Rebecca Sweet is a Los Altos, California garden designer and author of Refresh Your Garden Design

    Rebecca's Website:

    Check back for more information.  Program subject to change. 

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, October 12, 2015
    • 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
    • Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

    Nan Sterman

    Hot Colors, Dry Garden

    Nan launches her latest book Hot Colors, Dry Garden and tells us about adding bright colors to our gardens.

    Check back for more information.  Program subject to change. 

    The presentation starts at 6:45

    Members free 
    Guests $15
    Parking free for everyone

    • Mon, November 09, 2015
    • 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    • Surfside Race Place at the Del Mar Fairgrounds

    Holiday Marketplace


    Mingle and Shop at the SDHS Holiday Marketplace with exhibits by SDHS sponsors, business members, horticultural vendors, botanic gardens, and other non-profits.  Shop for plants, garden related merchandise, gift memberships and horticultural services from leading businesses and vendors.


    Sign up for a $30 for 30 minute garden consultation!
    The Association of Professional Landscape Designers, will be hosting half-hour landscape design consultations. Advance reservations required. Sign up here for $30 for 30!

    Educational mini-demos with Horticultural Superstars

    More Reasons to Attend

    • Authors' corner with local authors selling and signing their books
    • Get your holiday shopping done early
    • Consultations with local garden design professionals
    • Free giveways and discounts
    • Learn about horticulture related non-profits and business in the San Diego area

    • Members FREE 
    • Guests FREE with preregistration guest pass or $5 at the door.  Guest registrations accepted starting October 1st. 
    • Parking FREE for everyone

Past Meetings

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

Promote the enjoyment, art, knowledge and public awareness of horticulture in the San Diego area, while providing the opportunity for education and research


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