Alameda County Fairgrounds
APRIL 7 – 10, 2022

alameda county fairgrounds

We’re working on the final Seminar & Workshop schedule.

Please check back.



Stephan Ritz will be introduced to the Green Bronx Machine Classroom Curriculum - a wholly immersive, all content - all subject area, scoped and sequenced, project-based learning experience. Be it whole school, single-subject, special, after-school or garden specific program, the GBM curriculum takes the art and science of growing vegetables with a tower garden and creates a state of the art, standards and evidence-based, data-driven program for all. Learn how to implement the program into your present routine to grow high performing schools, confident and comfortable teachers, and healthy, engaged, vegetable loving students.

Educator's Workshop with Stephen RitzLIMITED SEATING
DEADLINE:  APRIL 3rd, 11:59 PM or until sold out.

piet oudolf hortus californica 


We wish to thank Hortus Californica for sponsoring this outstanding movie celebrating a true genius plantsman and designer.

Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf was born in 1944 in Haarlem, Netherlands. Since 1982, he has lived and worked in Hummelo, a tiny village in east Netherlands, where he started a nursery with his wife Anja, to grow perennials. His garden has since become renowned for its radical approach and ideas about planting design. Oudolf also co-founded Future Plants, a company specialising in selecting, growing, breeding and protecting plants for landscaping and public areas. Oudolf`s recent projects include No. 5 Culture Chanel, Paris, France; The High Line, New York NY; Lurie Garden, Millennium Park, Chicago IL; Serpentine Gallery, London, England, and the Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy. Oudolf is also a successful author, having co-written numerous books such as; “Planting: A New Perspective” (2013); “Landscapes in Landscapes” (2011); “Gardening with Grasses” (1998); “Designing with Plants and Planting Design” (1999); “Dream Plants for the Natural Garden” (2000); “Planting the Natural Garden” (2003), and “Planting Design: Gardens in Time and Space” (2005). In his 35-year career, Oudolf has achieved international acclaim, and has recently been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from RIBA for developing radical ideas in Planting Design (2012) and the Prince Bernhard Cultural Foundation Award (2013).


The Discovery Stage, Building A, upstairs in the mezzanine, will be the location for the showing of 5 SEASONS - The Gardens of Piet Oudoulf.

  • Saturday, April 9, 4:15 pm
  • Sunday, April 10, 1:30 pm

The Movie

After completing a feature documentary on New York’s High Line, award-winning filmmaker Thomas Piper met the inspirational designer and plantsman, Piet Oudolf, and the idea for a new project was born. Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf immerses viewers in Oudolf’s work and takes us inside his creative process, from his beautifully abstract sketches, to theories on beauty, to the ecological implications of his ideas. Intimate discussions take place through all fours seasons in Piet’s own gardens at Hummelo, and on visits to his signature public works in New York, Chicago, and the Netherlands, as well as to the far-flung locations that inspire his genius, including desert wildflowers in West Texas and post-industrial forests in Pennsylvania. As a narrative thread, the film also follows Oudolf as he designs and installs a major new garden at Hauser & Wirth Somerset, a gallery and arts center in Southwest England, a garden he considers his best work yet. Piet Oudolf has radically redefined what gardens can be. As Rick Darke, the famous botanist, says to Piet in the film, “your work teaches us to see what we have been unable to see.” Through poetic cinematography and unique access, Five Seasons reveals all that Piet sees, and celebrate all that we as viewers have been unable to see.


Tom Piper

Thomas Piper is an award-winning non-fiction filmmaker, specializing in documenting the contemporary arts. He has directed, photographed and edited over 30 films on subjects including the visual artists Pablo Picasso, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Alex Katz, and Kiki Smith; architects including Frank Lloyd Wright, Peter Eisenman, Jeanne Gang, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Thom Mayne, Jean Nouvel, and Steven Holl; and the writer James Salter. Thomas is Director of Production for the Checkerboard Film Foundation, responsible for directing, shooting, and editing long-format documentaries on individuals who have made important contributions to the contemporary arts.

hortus californicacelebrating the diversity of her people, plants and cultures


We are an organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the rich history of California’s diverse people, plants and cultures, and the complex interdependence they have within her fragile ecosystems.



To build a world class, sustainable organization and botanical garden that shares rare collections of flora and fauna for all to enjoy supports an International Sustainability and Research Center displays unique ecosystems, habitats, and panoramas of California provides opportunities for artistic, educational, and cultural enrichment influences the future through innovative design and environmental conservation conserves historical accounts, and then disseminates that knowledge to future generations invites the world to experience California’s unique and diverse cultural and ecological mosaic.



People for centuries have made this land their home. From the arrival of the first human to the latest immigrant, all have contributed to the shaping of California. From the dawn of time, this immense and ecologically diverse landform called California has been the new home to people from all over the world. California’s many people, plants and cultures share an interdependence with her environment complex and unlike any found in the world. These relationships, and the fascinating stories that embody the history of this precious land, are important for us to share and preserve.

Plants touch virtually every aspect of our lives. With more ecological diversity than any other state, California’s native plant palette is extensive, and vital to thousands of indigenous animal species. Imported plant species and exotics are just as diverse, and have had a profound impact on the growth and advancement of the state’s inhabitants and industry. From their inception, human civilizations have depended upon plants for their progress and prosperity. Our continued study of these natural wonders is vital to our survival, as well as the future health of the planet.

Distinct cultures from six continents have left their footprints on this land. They brought their knowledge, customs, plants, medicine, and personal determination. After settling here, people integrated their foods, languages and traditions throughout every region of the state. Much of these customs were influenced by the plants they brought, or by plants they found once here. Entire civilizations have been built on plants and agriculture, and so it is with the many rich traditions established here that are in need of being shared, chronicled and documented.



An organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the rich history of California’s diverse people, plants and cultures. Their history brought to life through research, storytelling and representational gardens of their native countries a place where California’s spectacular horticultural heritage can be celebrated!

J Schwanke, Flower Expert coming to Nor-Cal Garden Show

Get ready for some Flower Power! The Host of "J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom on Public Television" is taking the stage to show you easy ways to include flowers in your life! J's all about empowering you to make every day MORE Flower Powerful! Lucky audience members will take home J’s flower arrangements!

J has four very lively presentations scheduled on the Floral Pavilion Stage:

Saturday:  11 am - Live it up with Flowers & 2 pm Create Your Own Life in Bloom
Sunday: 11 am - Flower Power - Full!  & 3:30 pm Fun with Flowers & J

J will offer his two Award-winning books, Fun with Flowers and Bloom 365 immediately following his presentation.
SPECIAL PRICE: 2 for $30!
J will be on hand to sign your books!

Fourth generation florist J Schwanke is a flower expert, flower content producer, and professional speaker, known throughout the flower industry and beyond. He is regarded as the most trusted voice in the flower industry. (He was actually born at a flower convention!) His TV show, J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom, and his website,, offers flower fans everywhere ways to learn and experience the fun of flowers and flower arranging, 24/7! J’s passion for flowers is far-reaching and infectious. J is the author of Fun with Flowers - Your Guide to Selecting, Arranging and Enjoying Beautiful Flowers, published in 2014, which received a Living Now Book Award. His latest book, Bloom 365 - The Essential Guide to Arranging Flowers Every Day, features 365 tips, tricks, and techniques for flower arranging and won the Independent Publisher Book Award.


  • Host, creator, and producer of J Schwanke’s Life In Bloom, a lifestyle tv show that is centered around flowers, on public television (PBS) and Create TV stations nationwide
  • ost and creator, internet video series Fun with Flowers and J seen on
  • Frequent guest on P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home, PBS, and P. Allen Smith’s Garden Style, syndicated, television programs
  • Author of Bloom 365 - The Essential Guide to Arranging Flowers Every Day
  • Author of Fun with Flowers - Your Guide to Selecting, Arranging and Enjoying Beautiful Flowers
  • Host and creator of internet video documentary series:
    • The Flowers of Colombia on uBloom, 12 episodes about Colombia’s culture of sustainability in flowers
    • The California Grown Experience on uBloom, 40 episodes featuring flower farmers and distributors
    • The Florida Fresh Foliage and Flower Tour, 8 episodes primarily featuring Florida’s vibrant foliage farms
    • Destination Dallas, 12 episode series on Trend and Color in the holiday and home accessories markets
  • Regular guest contributor to My West Michigan, and predecessor Take 5 and Company, WZZM TV 13
  • Design Expert for Dallas Market Center, the most complete wholesale trade resource in the world
  • Creator of uBloom Trend Synthesis, a trend publication for the flower and home accessories markets
  • Host and creator, internet video series JTV on
  • Product Designer, Gala Bouquet Holder, FloraCraft Corporation
  • Product Designer, Floral Fan Deck, John Henry Company
  • Creative Director for books published by the John Henry Co. (Wedding Flower Style, Flowers for Every Day)
  • 21 years as Public Speaker, Flower Design Consultant, and Flower Industry Spokesperson
  • 13 years as Director of Operations, Greens Greenhouses Flower Shop and Garden Center