The Gottlieb Native Garden Open Lecture Series

Please contact Diane Shader Smith to schedule a lecture:

The Gottlieb Native Garden: A California Love Story

More than 30 years ago, Susan Gottlieb, creator of The Gottlieb Native Garden, started on a journey that would ultimately convert her one-acre property in Los Angeles into one of the premier native gardens in the United States. Today, it’s a flourishing ecosystem, containing 200 species of California native plants and trees. As this ecosystem’s architect, Susan has cultivated a miniature biome that’s a National Wildlife Federation Certified Backyard Habitat, a Xerces Society designated Pollinator Habitat, and an active site for scientific research, education, and collaboration among a wide range of environmental groups and universities. In her talk, Susan shares stories and photos from this urban oasis. Here’s an article about the garden featured in the New York Times.

Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life

Mallory Smith, who wrote The Gottlieb Native Garden: A California Love Story, passed away tragically at the age of 25. She was a passionate environmentalist, graduating from Stanford Phi Beta Kappa and working as an environmental writer because her declining health prohibited her from doing field work. Random House posthumously published her memoir, Salt in My Soul: An Unfinished Life, a collection of her journal entries. Mallory’s mother Diane has spoken about her inspiring daughter more than 150 times at the most prestigious venues including Harvard, Stanford, and Yale, and the NY City Public Library among others. Her talk is illustrated by 150+ colorful and engaging slides.

The Gottlieb Native Garden: An Intimate Wildlife Journey

Scott Logan, the Gottlieb Native Garden’s Naturalist, has followed up Susan’s book with his own. It reveals the astonishing range of biodiversity that’s capable of thriving in our backyards when the right plants and habitat are established. As the garden’s naturalist, Scott has identified over 1000 species of animals in the Gottlieb Native Garden – from tiny insects to some of L.A.’s largest mammals. In his talk, Scott uses spectacular photographs to accompany his wonderfully engaging stories. He’s been a featured speaker at the Annenberg Space for Photography, Autry Museum of the American West, Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens as well as at many garden clubs and environmental organizations. Here’s a link to his work in Susan’s garden.

Hummingbirds of The Gottlieb Native Garden

Dr. Eric Strauss, Executive Director of the Center for Urban Resilience at Loyola Marymount University, has written a book about these delightful creatures, often referred to as the gateway animal to nature. In his talk, Dr. Strauss discusses the ecology of hummingbirds in the context of reimagining resilient and green urban neighborhoods. He shows how hummingbirds have adapted to the fragmented and patchy habitats that come from urban development, and how they are flourishing. Since not all hummingbirds are able to exploit this type of habitat, he will also share insights into the challenge of effectively greening our cityscapes. A renowned lecturer, Dr. Strauss highlights the roles that individual homeowners can play in helping to care for this incredible species. Accompanying Dr. Strauss in presentations is Naturalist Lisa Fimiani, who is a former Gottlieb Fellow for the Center continuing in her role as ambassador for their urban garden programs.

California in a Vase: Native Plant Arrangements for Every Season

Linda Prendergast, head of the Native Designs volunteer group at California Botanic Garden, is an experienced florist and brings her extensive knowledge, plus her eye for beauty, to the new book, California in a Vase. Crafted to inspire people to bring the native plants of their region into their gardens, into their homes and into decorative arrangements Linda, in collaboration with Lucinda McDade, California Botanic Garden’s Executive Director, will talk about their work and provide step by step instructions – along with a materials list – for creating a gorgeous seasonal design. Their “in-conversation” talk is illustrated by gorgeous photography.