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10 -12

2015 National Meeting and Post-meeting Tour

Circle Oak Ranch - Sonoma County, CA

conifers, form and foliage, foliage gardening
Circle Oak Ranch will be one of the gardens on the tour


Our 2015 national meeting, In the Shadow of the Giants, will be held Sept 10-12 in Sonoma County, CA, and the post-meeting tour from Sept 13-15 in Mendocino, CA. Our hotel for the meeting will be the DoubleTree in Rohnert Park. We’ll be visiting two estate-sized private gardens, Circle Oak Ranch and Hog Hill, where we will see choice cultivars (both of the gardens have been featured in Fine Gardening and other national publications) and as we will travel through Sonoma County we will see majestic stands of Sequoia sempervirens, the tallest trees in the world.

Our keynote speaker will be Professor Stephen Sillett of Humboldt State University, one of the world’s leading authorities on the ecology of the redwood canopy. You can read about him in Richard Preston’s book, ‘The Wild Trees‘.  We will lunch one day beneath old-growth redwoods in Armstrong Woods State Reserve and the next day on the shores of San Francisco Bay. Three Sonoma County wineries will provide complementary tastings at Circle Oak Ranch where we will also enjoy pruning demonstrations and bonsai displays. We will visit two of our ACS Reference Gardens, Quarryhill Botanical Garden and San Francisco Botanical Garden, where we’ll be hosted by senior staff and board members and treated to behind the scenes tours.

We’re doing something a little different this year and holding all of our dinners at the Circle Oak Ranch, rather than at our hotel. This allows us to serve more interesting menus at a much lower cost. For example, we’ll enjoy a Mediterranean Buffet, a Fiesta Mexicana with a build-your-own-taco bar and a Cowboy Barbecue, cooked and served by different caterers.

The team in charge of the auction is already gearing up to procure the very best and rarest specimens from the Pacific Northwest Growers. We’re going to provide shipping services for those of you that can’t carry your treasures home with you.

At all of our stops we will be in the shadow of the giants, the magnificent coast redwood, Sequoia sempervirens.

The post-meeting tour goes to Mendocino, CA, where we will visit three fabulous private gardens, a Pygmy Forest, Handley Cellars and the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens. Attendees will have the option to zipline through the redwood canopy at Sonoma Canopy Tours (no special athletic ability or strength necessary, just a desire to fly through the treetops and see conifers from a different perspective!) and visit Western Hills Garden. Our hotel for this part of the program will be the Little River Inn. We will continue to post the most up-to-date information here on this site. If you have questions about the logistics or the program, email Sara Malone at or call 707-486-0444. Questions about registration may be directed to our National Office Manager, Steve Courtney, at or 763-657-7251.

We look forward to seeing you in Sonoma in September!

2015 National Meeting Schedule

2015 Post-Meeting Tour Schedule

Note that there is a shuttle available between both San Francisco and Oakland Airports and the DoubleTree Rohnert Park, Sonoma Airport Express. No reservations are necessary but check their website for fares, schedule and to buy tickets in advance.




  1. donnwalter commented

    My wife and I are interested in this year’s National Meeting and probably the Post-meeting Tour. Do I understand that registration fees for the main meeting is $390 per person (before 4/1), and $750 per person for the Post-meeting tour?
    I do not completely understand what is covered in these registration cost? Are all meals included? Is the hotel, and transportation to and from the hotel to the event(s) included.
    We have never been to a national meeting so would like to know as much as possible before committing sums of money.
    Thank you.

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  2. Sara Malone commented

    Donn – Yes you are correct about the registration fee amounts. The registration fee covers the meals, transportation to/from the hotel and the venues and any garden fees (admissions to gardens, parking, rentals, etc). The hotel and transportation to and from the hotel/airport are not covered. The meetings are not designed to be big money-makers for the Society; the registration fee is determined by adding up the actual costs and adding a contingency in case prices go up or we incur unforeseen costs. The post-meeting tour is traditionally a more expensive event, with fancier locations, food, etc. In this case, a big part of the post-meeting tour cost are the buses, because we have to use 30-person buses in Mendocino – those ocean-side windy roads don’t accommodate full-sized buses very well! Transportation to/from either San Francisco or Oakland airports and the DoubleTree hotel is by bus and is $34/person each way. The Society’s biggest source of revenue relating to the meetings is the plant auction; if you have never been to a national meeting, you will find the auction very exciting – even for those who don’t bid, there is quite a bit of theatre! I’d be happy to chat by phone if that would be helpful – send me an email directly to if so and we’ll fix a time. We hope that you are able to make it!

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