530-458-3190 margoc@frontiernet.net

These are last year’s seminars.  Stay tuned as we finalize our speakers.

Garden Center East

Computerized Estimating Workshop
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  

Fine Arts Room

Establishing a Water Budget for an Existing Site
8 a.m. to Noon

Bulletproof Succulents for California Gardens
1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Plants, Pollinators & Pesticides: Can They Work Together?
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Garden Center West

Designing & Maintaining the Water-Wise Garden
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Hot Trends in Edibles
10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Watershed-Friendly Landscaping
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

MWELO Updates & The Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape Program
2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.



Seminar Costs:  Each Class $40 or 3/$100. Student with ID 3/$25

Topic: Computerized Estimating Workshop

CEUS: (2) IA; (4 Business) APLD; (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC; (6) NALP (CLP) (6) ISA

Speaker: Jim Huston, HC Consulting
Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Room: Garden Center East
Help your team learn the secrets of contractors who are growing and prospering in our current chaotic economic market. Take advantage of our special one-day estimating workshop designated to help your installation and service team members improve their estimating methods and financial management.

  • They will receive free copies of MS Excel worksheets that fully analyze a company and point out opportunities for fast improvement including: HC Consulting’s budget program for preparing annual budgets, bid evaluation worksheets for calculating crew rates, service rates etc. and our Bid Board software for tracking all bids and Equipment cost per hour calculator.
  • During the day long class they will: prepare their 2016 budget; learn how to calculate true costs more accurately; learn what to charge for services and products as well as where the break-even point is so the job stays profitable.
  • They will computerize their estimating and job costing with tools that make them more survivable in the current economy.

Attendees need to bring the following with them to the class


  • A laptop computer with MS Excel and a CD drive
  • A calculator (with an extension cord if necessary)
  • Note pad, pens, pencils
  • State unemployment rate*
  • Worker’s compensation insurance (WSI) rates/policy*


  • General liability insurance rates/policy*
  • Medical insurance costs
  • Most recent year-end Profit & Loss (P&L) statement*
  • Current year P&L (if available)*


(Approximate numbers provided by Jim Huston or start-up companies)

Topic: Establishing a Water Budget for an existing site

CEUS: (4) IA; (2) APLD; (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC; (4) NALP (CLT), (2) QWEL, (3.5) ISA

Speaker: Jim Borneman, Vice President-Emeritus of the Education Department, Ewing Irrigation Products.
Time: 8 a.m. to noon
Room: Fine Arts Room
Landscape professionals have suffered through years of drought. Water costs have spiraled, landscapes have suffered, and customers are looking for landscape professionals who understand how to manage water in the landscape using all the technological resources now available. Most irrigation systems utilize old technology and the goal is to better manage these systems without major changes to the hardware.

In this 4 hour workshop attendees will learn how to measure the site landscaped area. They will then learn how to determine irrigation system efficiency with a few simple hydraulic tests. As well as how to evaluate water use using water bills and the changes they could make to improve things.

Topic: Bulletproof Succulents for California Gardens

CEUS: (0.25) IA; (1) APLD, (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC; (1) NALP (CLT)

Speaker: Aaron Ryan, Horticulturalist & General Manager of Succulent Gardens
Time: 1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Room: Fine Arts
With the onslaught of the drought in California during the past four years, landscapers and gardeners alike have had to adjust to a more drought-tolerant plant palette when installing new gardens. One obvious direction has been toward the use of succulent plants. Succulents have become hugely popular in both the landscape installation and design trades. Their vibrant colors, variable shapes and contrasting textures offer landscapers and designers limitless possibilities to work with. However, though succulents possess a remarkable ability to withstand long periods of drought, not all succulents are durable in the landscape. One common misunderstanding is that succulents are all desert plants. In fact, a good percentage of succulent plants are endemic to coastal regions of the world, where the climate is moderate, freezes are infrequent or non-existent, and rainfall is adequate.

It is therefore important for landscapers, designers and gardeners to choose their succulents wisely before installation. By highlighting a few tough, durable succulents, the following presentation aims to illuminate how these specific succulents can be used to great success in the landscape.

Topic: Plants, Pollinators and Pesticides, Can They Work Together?

CEUS: (1) APLD; (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC, (1) ISA

Speaker: Dr. Christine A. Casey PhD., Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, University of California, Davis
Time 2:30 to 3:30 p.m.
Room: Fine Arts Room

Topic: Designing and Maintaining the Water-Wise Garden

CEUS: (1) IA; (1) APLD; (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC; (1) NALP (CLT), (1) QWEL

Speaker: Julia Bell, Creative Director of Succulent Gardens & Owner of Bell & Flourish Landscape Design
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
Room: Garden Center West
Presentation and discussion on sustainable practices to reduce water bills and maintenance costs in residential and commercial landscapes. Building and restoring soil health, proper plant choice, and correct irrigation design are crucial for a successful project. Learn what resources are out there to help you and your team comply with our shrinking water budgets.

Topic: Hot Trends in Edibles

CEUS: (0.25) IA; (1) APLD; (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC; (1) NALP (CLT)

Speaker: Renee Shepherd, Renee’s Garden
Time: 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Room: Garden Center West
Growing vegetables and cooking from the garden is a major focus today for both new millennial gardeners and experienced baby boomers.

Renee will discuss what motivates edible gardeners and how to satisfy their interests as well as explore the kinds of new and heirloom vegetables and herbs that foodies and chefs are focusing on today and how that translates into the “garden to table” and “edible landscaping” movements.

Topic: Watershed-Friendly Landscaping

CEUS: (1.5) IA; (1.5) APLD; (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC; (1.5) NALP (CLT & CLP), (1) QWEL, (1.5) ISA

Speaker: Owen Dell, Owen Dell & Associates
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Room: Garden Center West
The built landscape has become an integral, and often damaging, element of the urban watershed. We treat rainwater as a waste product instead of a valuable resource. This leads us to install drainage systems that efficiently sluice water off site and into public streets where it causes flooding and eventually finds its way into streams, lakes, and oceans to cause pollution and eutrophication. In the meantime, our landscape plants go thirsty and we are forced to purchase inferior and environmentally damaging municipal water to make up for what we threw away. It’s an upside-down approach to what should be a no-brainer: keep the rainwater on the site!

This fascinating workshop will bring participants up to speed on the many ways that gardeners and landscapers can not only mitigate the impact of their work on the watershed, but how they can have a positive effect on both the watershed and their own projects by harvesting water, installing eco-roofs, permeable paving, dry streambeds, bioswales, and more. Whether participants work on residential, commercial or public projects, or just putter in their own gardens, this information will give them valuable skills and resources, improve their work, save them money, and open up new opportunities for themselves and/or for their clients.

Topic: MWELO Updates and the Bay-Friendly Rated Landscape Program

CEUS: (1) IA; (1) APLD; (Sign-In Sheet) CANGC; (1) NALP (CLT & CLP), (1) QWEL, (1) ISA

Speaker: Ann-Marie Benz, ReScape California
Time: 2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.
Room: Garden Center West
In California, about half of the urban water is used for landscape irrigation. Substantial water savings can be gained by proper landscape design, installation and maintenance. In this seminar, you will learn how to navigate WELO and work through products and practices that comply with the major changes in the model ordinance. Looking through the lens of the Bay-Friendly Rated Landscapes program, you will see how it can serve as a tool to not only comply with WELO but to also promote a standard for healthy, beautiful and sustainable landscapes.