John McLaren transformed San Francisco and the Peninsula from an arid treeless semi-desert to a park-like environment that we enjoy daily. The gruff Scot was employed by the estates of San Mateo county and later by the City of San Francisco. Sunset Magazine called him a true master gardener and the highest horticultural authority in the West.
Mandatory retirement at age 70 was waived by the San Francisco city council. McLaren continued his work until his death at the age of 96.
Many people take up gardening in their retirement; McLaren gardened on a grand scale throughout his long adult life and was well-paid for that mastery.