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2020 Smart Gardening Conference
Saturday, March 14th, 2020

Keynote Speaker
Marlene Simon
"Garden Myth or Rooted in Science"

Marlene Simon is a UC educated and blue collar trained horticulturist from Northern California.


Marlene started gardening at the age of six when she would have her parents order bulbs off the backside of Parade Magazine. She continued her gardening experience with internships at Sunset magazine in their test garden and as a gardener at the Winchester Mystery House while a student. She is currently living her dream working at the magical and magnificent UC Davis Botanical Conservatory in Davis, California where she’s the staff horticulturist. It’s here where Marlene grows and cares for over 4,000 specimens of the world’s most exotic, strangest and rarest plants and flowers. In addition to years of practical experience, Marlene earned her degree in Horticulture at UC Davis. Her classroom is now her backyard sitting on 40 acres where she grows all sorts of plants….this year focusing on strange and unusual edibles. When not at the Conservatory she can be found bi-monthly on Good Day Sacramento where she is known as “The Plant Lady”. Her garden column is in the Sacramento Bee bimonthly. In addition, she has a podcast called Flower Power Garden Hour where she talks with guests on all things plants and gardening. She also lectures frequently on all aspects on gardening, and has appeared on Sunset Magazine Facebook Live discussing carnivorous plants as well as Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family. Follow her @marlenetheplantlady on Facebook/Youtube/Instagram

Smart Gardening Conference Photos

Session Descriptions

We want to make sure you are selecting the classes that will best fit your interest and expectations.

2020 Schedule

Interested in what will be happening when? View the Smart Gardening Conference itinerary here.


Join us at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center
2101 E. Earhart Ave., Stockton, 95206

ag center