October 12 Chapter Meeting 7pm

Title of Talk: Container Gardening with Natives

October 12, 2022 at 7:00 PM

Watch the recording of the presentation here.


In 2020, Derek moved to Sacramento and took his bonsai collection with him, learning so much more about native plant care along the way! The move gave Derek some great opportunities to share his passion with CNPS and the City of Sacramento, having recently completed a half-barrel container garden project in the Old Sacramento Waterfront, which includes over 130 individual native plant specimens throughout the historic boardwalks. This talk will focus on important lessons Derek has learned through various forms of native plant container gardening and how to start gardening natives in a temporary living situation or without a “yard”. In addition to sharing about plant species, he will discuss where he sources plants and growing media, soil mixtures for containers, watering methods and drainage, mycorrhizae and maintaining a healthy root ball, all through a bonsai lens.

Speaker Bios

Derek Bergheimer’s love for native plants was sparked in 2016 during a plant identification class through California State Park Foundation’s volunteer program. At the time, having downsized into a small apartment in Los Angeles, planting his own native garden seemed impossible. Then while visiting a lesser-known corner of the San Diego Safari Park, Derek was inspired by their bonsai display to train miniature forms of native trees in small containers that would fit into a compact garden. An audio engineer by trade, bonsai similarly appealed to Derek as a technical artistry that requires scientific understanding, a vision, and patience. Today, his native bonsai collection contains over 100 trees including Sequoia, Manzanita, Oak, Redwood, Cypress, Madrone, Western Redbud, Palo Verde and Mahogany to name a few.

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