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Horticultural Expert Ruth Bancroft Passes Away at 109
Bancroft Was Known for Her Love of Drought-tolerant Plants


(Courtesy of Ruth Bancroft Garden) Bancroft was raised in Berkeley, California and in 1939 moved to Walnut Creek with her husband Philip Bancroft Jr. where she started her garden.

Drought-tolerant plant expert and public garden founder Ruth Bancroft passed away in Walnut Creek, Calif. at the age of 109 on Nov. 26.

In 1972, Bancroft started her dry garden, made up of plants needing little water, and opened it to the public in the 90s. She worked in the garden until she was 97.

Bancroft's collection of succulents grew after she bought her first one in the 1950s. The Ruth Bancroft Garden now has over 2,000 cactus, succulents, trees and shrubs.

"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," said the garden's website.

Bancroft is survived by her three children Peter Bancroft, Nina Dickerson and Kathy Dickerson.

A celebration of Bancroft's life will be held at the garden in 2018. The family requests donations to support the garden, in lieu of flowers, which can be made here.

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August 19, 2019, 10:32 am PDT

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