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Garden Open Houses

This new event series is designed to give you a behind the scenes, in-person look at member gardens across the country! Join us for these one day Open Houses to take intensive dives into current public garden topics, see unique events and displays firsthand, and to connect with other Association members in your region!

Interested in hosting an Open House at your garden? Email Lauren Garcia Chance to learn more. 


Upcoming Garden Open Houses

Behind the Scenes at South Coast

South Coast Botanic Garden, Palos Verdes Peninsula, CA 

RESCHEDULED: Friday, April 28th, 2023 9:00 am - 5:30pm 

Early Bird Cost: $99/members, $199/non-members

+$25 after Friday, April 21st!

Cancellation Policy: *A 50% cancellation fee will apply until April 21. After April 21, no cancellations or refunds will be processed.  

Register here


9:00-9:30am Breakfast

9:30-10:00am Welcome from South Coast

10:00am-12:00pm Choose one of the following tracks to join:

Horticulture: The Future Looks... Different? Adapting our Collections in a Changing Climate

As climate steps through the looking glass and seasonal changes become less predictable, South Coast Botanic Garden is taking a proactive approach to uncertainty. Come learn about how we are developing and adapting our collections and policy for a future that’s trending hotter and drier in Southern California. As we take a walking tour of our revamped spaces, we will also share challenges and successes planting on a landfill and open the discussion for you to share challenges and solutions in your own unique gardens.

Development Micro Conference

Hear presentations on a topics relvant to development and fundraising! 

How do you sense out of all the offerings? - Learn how we organized complicated deals to aid the corporate giving pitch.

Bench programs can be the worst! – Hear the horror stories and how we turned this time-consuming program into a pipeline for major gifts.

From Zero to Hero – Learn how to build your reputation to attract donors.

Marketing Scavenger Hunt

Head out on a hunt for engagement with the Marketing department aka two people. We’ll take our latest scavenger hunt to help show how the marketing department is breaking out of the silo into a multi-pronged approach. We will also cover social media, conversion tactics and approachable practices. We’ll wrap up with an open discussion about the challenges we all face in this ever-changing world.

12:00pm-1:30pm Lunch 

1:30-3:30pm Choose one of the following tracks to join:

Operations and Exhibitions - Talking Trash: The Secret Life of Operations

Operations is the machine that ensures a positive experience for all. If done right, it is seamless but each cog in wheel makes all the difference. Join us for a behind-the-scenes of running the Ops side and hear trials, tribulations, solutions and success stories.

Exhibits in all their forms are the anchors of South Coast. Come learn about our traveling, temporary, and permanent exhibits and the layers we use to ensure a cohesive guest experience.

Membership and Visitor Services Micro Conference

Join us for a micro conference on membership and visitor services for your garden. Mini presentations will introduce some topics for post pandemic strategies, followed by open discussion where attendees can discuss their experiences and solutions.

-(Un)invitations – Developing a unique acquisition program

-Beat the “trashed” expectations and grow membership revenue

-Learn how a blended staff of visitor services and retail results in garden growth.

-Trash talk with colleagues: what did you throw out, keep, and recycle?

Events/Rentals/Concessions - Lights, Camera . . . Action!

Come hear from our Special Events and Filming Team about how they turn our garden areas into magical spaces for filming and for traditional and non-traditional rentals.  The team will also show the group areas where filming took place for movies and commericals and share tips and insight on how to negotiate for maximum optimizarion.  

Learning & Engagement/Volunteers - It Takes A Village

Coordinators from learning & engagement, volunteer department and community relations will share how they collaborate to provide experiences for ALL and provide meaningful engagement and opportunity. Listen to a frank discussion about the evolution of a society and club-led institution to one that now serves a wider community through intentional and inclusive programming

3:30pm-5:30pm Choice of Walking Tours & Grab a Snack

Join a walking tour, or wander on your own, and check out the Hide and Seek: Art Meets Nature exhibit, featuring sculptures from Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Also, get a sneak peek at SOAR, the tropical butterfly pavilion opening on May 1. 


Past Garden Open Houses
Let’s Bring Diversity Back: Sustainable Landscape Management Alternatives for Healthy Gardens and Landscapes 

Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and Arboretum, Charlotte, NC

Friday, November 4th, 2022 10 am - 4pm