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Walnut Creek Magazine

Walnut Creek's Beloved Ruth Bancroft Dies at age 109

Nov 27, 2017 04:51PM ● By Pam Kessler

On behalf of The Ruth Bancroft Garden and the Bancroft family, we are saddened to announce the passing of our beloved founder, Ruth Bancroft. Ruth, who was 109 years of age, died at home surrounded by family, and by the amazing private and public gardens she created and tended over 76 years of her lifetime.

Mrs. Bancroft gained international recognition for her pioneering work in horticulture, demonstrating that a dry garden in the heart of a busy urban, inland corridor could be lush, diverse, and striking in design. Her garden was the inspiration for the founding of The Garden Conservancy in 1989, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving private gardens for public use. The Ruth Bancroft Garden was its first preservation project in 1992.

 The Bancroft Family and The Ruth Bancroft Garden will host a celebration of Ruth’s life in the Garden when weather permits in early 2018. Friends of Ruth and the family, supporters of the Garden, and admirers will all be invited to attend. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in honor of Mrs. Bancroft be directed to benefit the mission of The Ruth Bancroft Garden, Inc. at 1552 Bancroft Road, Walnut Creek, 94598 or sent to the Garden via the website:




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