Ruth Bancroft Garden Honors Curator’s 40 Years Of Service

WALNUT CREEK, CA — Forty years into his dream job, Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery curator Brian Kemble is never entirely alone in his head as he goes about planting, hybridizing, photographing, documenting and building databases. He is still channeling, on a daily basis, the lovely, cactus-crazed lady who inspired, then hired him, back in 1980.

Kemble, 75, is the designated keeper of the flame lit by the late Ruth Bancroft, who over the course of decades turned her 3.5-acre plot of land in Walnut Creek into a world-renowned showcase for the variety, hardiness and beauty of ornamental, drought-tolerant plants.

A couple of weeks ago, Kemble’s colleagues at the garden surprised him by drilling a plaque in his honor into a large boulder on the premises. He can’t tell you what it says, exactly, because he hasn’t actually read it yet. But he was both thrilled and, yet again, a bit flummoxed by the reminder.

“It made me feel very glad that my efforts in the garden were appreciated,” he said. “And it also brought back to me the great burden that I feel, having had Ruth turn over the planting of the garden to me and my responsibility for making sure that her vision is adhered to, and the garden is in a good direction for the future.”

Gretchen Bartzen, executive director of the garden, notes that it became a nonprofit open to the public in 1992 as the first project of The Garden Conservancy, a national organization to preserve private gardens for public use that was inspired by Bancroft herself, who died in 2017 at the age of 109.

Photo courtesy of Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery, via Bay City News

Bartzen cites two factors that render the garden unique: “It was, as far as we know, one of the very first examples of an entirely drought-tolerant garden in the United States,” she said. “And also, her garden design was unusual at the time. She was one of the first people to ‘paint’ with plants – in other words, creating layers of textures – and she tried to imitate nature as much as possible.”

Painting with plants – really?

Kemble, now the resident “artist,” can take up that theme and run with it.

“That has to do with Ruth’s composing when she planted,” he insisted. “She would first put in the largest element, the big plants, the focal points. And then she would flesh in between them with patches of plants, and she could see it work like a mosaic, having a pool of orange over here and a pool of blue over there.

“One of the wonderful things about succulents,” he continued, “is the plants themselves often have multiple colors, not just when they’re in bloom, but the rosette that is orange or pink or blue, or what have you. And so they’re rending themselves, painting with plants.”

Kemble, a San Francisco resident, was both honoree and a presenter at Ruth Bancroft Garden’s annual fundraising

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Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nusery Honors Curator’s 40 Years Of Service

Forty years into his dream job, Ruth Bancroft Garden & Nursery curator Brian Kemble is never entirely alone in his head as he goes about planting, hybridizing, photographing, documenting and building databases. He is still channeling, on a daily basis, the lovely, cactus-crazed lady who inspired, then hired him, back in 1980.

Kemble, 75, is the designated keeper of the flame lit by the late Ruth Bancroft, who over the course of decades turned her 3.5-acre plot of land in Walnut Creek into a world-renowned showcase for the variety, hardiness and beauty of ornamental, drought-tolerant plants.

A couple of weeks ago, Kemble’s colleagues at the garden surprised him by drilling a plaque in his honor into a large boulder on the premises. He can’t tell you what it says, exactly, because he hasn’t actually read it yet. But he was both thrilled and, yet again, a bit flummoxed by the reminder.

“It made me feel very glad that my efforts in the garden were appreciated,” he said. “And it also brought back to me the great burden that I feel, having had Ruth turn over the planting of the garden to me and my responsibility for making sure that her vision is adhered to, and the garden is in a good direction for the future.”

Gretchen Bartzen, executive director of the garden, notes that it became a nonprofit open to the public in 1992 as the first project of The Garden Conservancy, a national organization to preserve private gardens for public use that was inspired by Bancroft herself, who died in 2017 at the age of 109.

Bartzen cites two factors that render the garden unique: “It was, as far as we know, one of the very first examples of an entirely drought-tolerant garden in the United States,” she said. “And also, her garden design was unusual at the time. She was one of the first people to ‘paint’ with plants – in other words, creating layers of textures – and she tried to imitate nature as much as possible.”


Painting with plants – really?

Kemble, now the resident “artist,” can take up that theme and run with it.

“That has to do with Ruth’s composing when she planted,” he insisted. “She would first put in the largest element, the big plants, the focal points. And then she would flesh in between them with patches of plants, and she could see it work like a mosaic, having a pool of orange over here and a pool of blue over there.

“One of the wonderful things about succulents,” he continued, “is the plants themselves often have multiple colors, not just when they’re in bloom, but the rosette that is orange or pink or blue, or what have you. And so they’re rending themselves, painting with plants.”

Kemble, a San Francisco resident, was both honoree and a presenter at Ruth Bancroft Garden’s annual fundraising gala, held virtually on Sept. 19. An art lover and an accomplished photographer whose camera skills developed in

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Bancroft Park’s self-cleaning restrooms a finalist in bathroom competition | Colorado Springs News

The TikTok-famous, $300,000 self-cleaning public restrooms in Old Colorado City’s Bancroft Park are once again gaining attention after placing as a finalist in America’s Best Restroom contest.

Among 10 finalists, The Bancroft Park bathrooms includes ADA-compliant options, lights that indicate stall availability and hand-wave activated appliances. Plus, park maintenance is alerted by an app when supplies are running low. But above all, the bathrooms are automatically self-cleaned after every 30 uses.


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Not only are the restrooms tidy, the doors open with the push of a button. But be ready — once you enter you have 10 minutes to do your business before the door starts a final countdown and automatically opens.

Other finalists in the competition include restrooms across the country at hotels, airports, and restaurants. 


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“As the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the importance of clean restrooms to the forefront, we’re proud to spotlight these unique and well-maintained restrooms that provide comfortable spaces for guests,” Sean Mulcahey, marketing manger of Cintas, the competition’s organizer, said.

The competition’s winner, which will be decided by a public vote at www.bestrestroom.com/us, will receive a Cintas UltraClean restroom service and $2,500 in cleaning services from Cintas.


Colorado Springs installing new meters downtown where parking had been free

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Bancroft Park becomes finalist in bathroom competition | Colorado Springs News

The TikTok-famous, $300,000 self-cleaning public restrooms in Old Colorado City’s Bancroft Park are once again gaining attention after placing as a finalist in America’s Best Restroom contest.

Among 10 finalists, The Bancroft Park bathrooms includes ADA-compliant options, lights that indicate stall availability and hand-wave activated appliances. Plus, park maintenance is alerted by an app when supplies are running low. But above all, the bathrooms are automatically self-cleaned after every 30 uses.


Money Museum in Colorado Springs reopens after nearly six months amid coronavirus concerns

Not only are the restrooms tidy, the doors open with the push of a button. But be ready — once you enter you have 10 minutes to do your business before the door starts a final countdown and automatically opens.

Other finalists in the competition include restrooms across the country at hotels, airports, and restaurants. 


Colorado haunted houses say there’s no need to be scared off this Halloween

“As the COVID-19 pandemic has brought the importance of clean restrooms to the forefront, we’re proud to spotlight these unique and well-maintained restrooms that provide comfortable spaces for guests,” Sean Mulcahey, marketing manger of Cintas, the competition’s organizer, said.

The competition’s winner, which will be decided by a public vote at www.bestrestroom.com/us, will receive a Cintas UltraClean restroom service and $2,500 in cleaning services from Cintas.


Colorado Springs installing new meters downtown where parking had been free

Source Article

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