Board Members

Donald Baldocchi, Colma, CA 

Donald Baldocchi is the owner of Pacific Nurseries in Colma, CA. He studied at UC Davis, graduating with a BS in Environmental Horticulture and has training in and practices Holistic Resource Management on his family’s property. He is active in the local rodeo as well as other outdoor sports


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Ellen Zagory, Davis, CA 

Ellen Zagory is a professional horticulturist specializing in beautiful, heat tolerant, reduced-irrigation plantings that thrive in landscapes in the Central Valley of California. Most recently she has been exploring her passion for pollinator gardening and how it can contribute to biological diversity in urban and suburban California landscapes. 

Recently retired from the UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden, she loves plant identification, the outdoors, wildflowers, travel, and sharing her knowledge through education programs about horticulture and more sustainable landscapes. Also, she’s always happy to speak Latin when discussing a plant!


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Allison Pennell, Portland, OR 

Allison “Ali” Pennell is the current Development Director for the Oregon Garden Foundation, located in Silverton, Oregon. She has worked in many facets of the horticulture industry from propagation, retail sales, and as a landscape designer and event planner. She’s an Oregon State University graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies. After college Allison spent a decade in Seattle, Washington where she became fascinated with zonal denial, often successfully overwintering marginal trees and shrubs in Puget Sound’s unique maritime climate. During this time she completed a certificate program in Scientific Illustration at the University of Washington. Her professional passion is sharing the intrinsic and ecological value of horticulture with the public, gardening for climate resiliency, and maintaining her lifelong “Certified Plant Nerd” status. She currently gardens outside of Portland, Oregon with her three children.


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Richard Hayden, Los Angeles, CA 

Richard Hayden lives in Los Angeles and works for the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County where he is the Special Assistant to the President and Project Liaison engaged in the reimagining of the La Brea Tar Pits Museum and 11 acre landscape. He served as  the Garden Director for the Elizabeth F. Gamble Garden, a 2.5 acre public garden in Palo Alto, California from 2017 to 2019. He began his career in public horticulture as the Head Gardener for the Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of LAC after enjoying  a 25 year career as a Los Angeles based landscape designer.  He is strong proponent and communicator of resilient, organic garden practices including soil health, wildlife habitat, climate appropriate plants and water conservation. He has a BA in Theatre and Film from the University of Michigan, and a certificate in Horticulture and Garden Design from UCLA. Richard is also an ISA certified arborist. (Photo: Nadine Priestley)


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Laura Wilson, San Jose, CA 

Laura Wilson is a garden advocate, organizer and communicator with a professional background in horticulture and advertising design. She co-founded Hudson Valley Garden Association, a non-profit organization whose mission was to stimulate passion for gardening and to support and promote local garden resources through educational events and media outreach. Laura was the West Coast Regional Coordinator for the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days Program in 2016. She volunteers on the Garden Committee at the Steindorf STEAM School (where she dreams of building a garden campus) and sits on the Board of the Western Horticultural Society.


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Princess Norman, San Diego, CA 

Diane goes by her middle name, Princess (a namesake of her grandmother), and lives in Ramona, CA., a rural area in the foothills of San Diego County. She has been a board member of the San Diego Horticultural Society and has a strong history of involvement with the UCCE San Diego Master Gardener Program and The Water Conservation Garden (Cuyamaca). Her love of gardening began as a child in Hawaii and grew as she embraced the local native California landscape in her own garden which features an underlying design by Greg Rubin, author of The California Native Landscape. Princess is an avid traveler on PHS tours, which provide her with inspiration and wonder revealed in magnificent gardens and landscapes, and through the friendships made with fellow garden lovers.


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Saxon Holt, Marin County, CA,  

Saxon Holt is a professional garden photographer and Fellow of the Garden Writers Association. He owns PhotoBotanic.com a self-publishing site for garden photography and Summer-Dry.com an online resource for gardeners in summer-dry regions. As a photojournalist, Saxon seeks out sustainable agricultural and horticultural best practices and focuses on ways we can harmonize with nature.  He lives and gardens in an Oak-Madrone woodland in Marin County.


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