The rich history of Pacific Horticulture Society has long been captured in the pages of its journal. Below is a selection of articles that tell the story of how Pacific Horticulture grew to be a trusted resource read by gardeners, designers, and horticulturists on the West Coast and around the globe. 

Journal of the California Horticultural Society, April 1945; California Horticultural Journal, April 1968.

Our Sponsoring Societies

“…Pacific Horticulture is published by the Pacific Horticultural Foundation. This non-profit foundation was established in 1968, sponsored initially by three horticultural societies in the Bay Area, with groups in Southern California and the Pacific Northwest joining at a later date.” 
–Chris Tebbutt, October 2001


Explore the digital archives of Pacific Horticulture, 1977-2019


A Brief History of Pacific Horticulture… in Their Own Words

“When, in the 1940s, Sydney Mitchell produced the first issue of the Journal of the California Horticultural Society, he also took the first step on a path that led in 1976 to the introduction of Pacific Horticulture.”
–George Waters & Nora Harlow, The Pacific Horticulture Book of Western Gardening, 1990


(standing) Laurence Hyman, Margedant Hayakawa, and George Waters, and (seated) Owen Pearce examining the blue-line proof of the first issue of Pacific Horticulture, December, 1975. Photograph by Olive Rice Waters

The Days of Compost and Conservation

“Once again, severe weather took Western gardening in hand when, in the mid-to-late ’70s, several years of low rainfall led to a shortage of water and restrictions on its use. In greater numbers, gardeners learned the value of plants adapted to dry environments, adopted trickle irrigation systems, and became earnest composters and mulchers. The Fall 1977 issue of Pacific Horticulture, therefore, was devoted to a symposium on the drought…”
–George Waters, July 2001


George and Olive Waters in June 1997 at a Friends Garden Party celebrating his retirement as editor of Pacific Horticulture. Photograph by William R Moore

Sunday in the Garden with W. George Waters (1925-2018)

“Over the course of his twenty-one years as editor, George molded Pacific Horticulture into both the voice of and inspiration for the West Coast gardener. He built a body of literature by some of the finest horticulture writers on the West Coast. Each explored the opportunities and limitations for gardening in some version of the summer-dry mediterranean climate unique to the West Coast.”
–Richard G. Turner Jr., editor emeritus of Pacific Horticulture


Pacific Horticulture Society today

In 2018 an organizational transformation was initiated in response to the impact of the digital revolution on the publishing industry and a steady decline in subscribers over the last ten years. Pacific Horticulture Society took a hard look at its identity as a magazine in the context of today’s digital media, and concluded that in order to survive we had to change. In summer 2019 the last print edition of Pacific Horticulture magazine was published for the foreseeable future, a bittersweet end to Pacific Horticulture Society’s esteemed fifty-year heritage as a quarterly print journal.

Pacific Horticulture Society will continue to publish new digital content, delivering current and reliable horticultural information for free, empowering people to transform the world through resilient gardening. 

Left to right: Pacific Horticulture editors, Richard G. Turner, Jr., Lorene Edwards Forkner, and George Waters, in 2016.