Shaping New Gardens in a Challenging Environment

Summit 2016 Resource Guide Introduction

California Coastal Range with oak trees near Novato, California. Photo: Saxon Holt/

California Coastal Range with oak trees near Novato, California. Photo: Saxon Holt/

Over a particularly rainy (!!) weekend this past October around 200 horticulturists, designers, working gardeners, and avid plantspeople gathered in Santa Rosa, California to explore new ideas and approaches to creating beautiful resilient landscapes. We called the event Summit 2016: Shaping a New Garden in a Challenging Environment. Our program featured some of our country’s most forward-thinking speakers who discussed the benefits of creating landscapes that take local geography and natural systems into account. (Find out more about Summit 2016 speakers here.)


Photo: Saxon Holt/

Gardens are powerful. Green spaces offset heat island effects, help manage storm water during the rainy season, and provide habitat for wildlife. While this is true of any weedy lot or wild space, gardeners show us how to make these hardworking pieces of nature beautiful. So much so in fact that others will want what we’ve got. And so ideas, solutions, and alternative strategies spread, reach, and grow.

From the very beginning, in planning Summit 2016 our intention was to create and deliver a message that would extend far beyond the scope of that inspirational and exciting, if slightly damp, gathering. To that end, all six Summit speakers helped by participating in a project designed to deliver their ideas to a much larger audience.

Each section of our 3-part resource guide is anchored by a video produced in collaboration with Garden Tribe, producers of online learning content for gardeners, and further explores concepts that were central to our October gathering.

Follow links in the section titles below to discover:

  • Links to related stories from Pacific Horticulture archives and web content
  • Suggested titles for further reading
  • Information about regional organizations where you can get involved on a local level

These resources are by no means exhaustive. Our hope is that you’ll take these ideas, share them with your friends and colleagues, and expand on them in your corner of the world.

Gardening in a Post-Wild World

Designing for Today’s Garden

Respecting Water in the Garden

Major funding for Summit 2016 was provided by:

The Blanche Thebom Trust Fund
Miller Charitable Foundation
The Left Coast Fund

Pacific Horticulture believes in beautiful gardens connected to the world at large. PHS is funded by members and donors who believe in supporting the power of gardens.