Impact Stories

The Sherman Library & Gardens is a place where people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to learn, grow, and connect with nature. The impact that the library and gardens have on the community is evident in the stories shared by people who have visited or volunteered with us.

Read the stories about how the library and gardens have made a difference in people’s lives. From people finding a welcoming space at the library, to seniors finding a new sense of purpose and community through volunteering at the gardens. These stories are a testament to the commitment of Sherman Library and Gardens to enrich the lives of everyone who comes into contact with it.

Bob Beckmann, Docent, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

Bob Beckmann

Docent

“My wife & I moved to Southern California in 1972 from Texas and we would visit Sherman L & G as part of our “beach town” explorations.

After our sons were born, we would take them to the Garden to see the Koi fish, turtles and beautiful plants. 

Our live got busy and our trips to the Garden infrequent, but in 2006 I took the Master Gardener classes and a fellow student recommended SL&G as a great place to volunteer. 

I joined the Sherman Docent Guild and have had many wonderful experiences meeting a variety of people, young and old, and sharing my love of the garden with them.” 

Bob Beckmann

Docent

Bob Beckmann, Docent, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

“My wife & I moved to Southern California in 1972 from Texas and we would visit Sherman L & G as part of our “beach town” explorations.

After our sons were born, we would take them to the Garden to see the Koi fish, turtles and beautiful plants. 

Our live got busy and our trips to the Garden infrequent, but in 2006 I took the Master Gardener classes and a fellow student recommended SL&G as a great place to volunteer. 

I joined the Sherman Docent Guild and have had many wonderful experiences meeting a variety of people, young and old, and sharing my love of the garden with them.” 

Sian Poeschl

Artist

“I had heard about an Early California Impressionist Collection that the Sherman Library & Gardens owned and wanted to see the Anna Hills and Frank Cuprien paintings. I was astounded by my $5.00 entry fee to have unparalleled access to these nationally acclaimed art works. Anna Hills was part of a group of citizens who helped establish Laguna Beach as a City, so as a resident I was excited to see the work. As an artist it was even more meaningful that in establishing the Sherman Library, funds had been invested into the Arts.

I am relatively new to the Sherman Library & Garden’s experience. I would drive past and wonder what was behind the walls. I am glad to be getting to know the organization, the staff and volunteers a little better. It’s a positive, nurturing organization that deserves everyone’s support. It’s a real gem in the crown of Corona del Mar and for the Southern California community to enjoy.

Sherman Library & Gardens reminds me of the tardis in Dr. Who. You are not sure what is behind the doors, but when you walk through them you enter an expansive world of botanicals, art, fantastic food and really great people. It has found a really special place in my heart.”

Sian Poeschl, artist, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

“I had heard about an Early California Impressionist Collection that the Sherman Library & Gardens owned and wanted to see the Anna Hills and Frank Cuprien paintings. I was astounded by my $5.00 entry fee to have unparalleled access to these nationally acclaimed art works. Anna Hills was part of a group of citizens who helped establish Laguna Beach as a City, so as a resident I was excited to see the work. As an artist it was even more meaningful that in establishing the Sherman Library, funds had been invested into the Arts.

I am relatively new to the Sherman Library & Garden’s experience. I would drive past and wonder what was behind the walls. I am glad to be getting to know the organization, the staff and volunteers a little better. It’s a positive, nurturing organization that deserves everyone’s support. It’s a real gem in the crown of Corona del Mar and for the Southern California community to enjoy.

Sherman Library & Gardens reminds me of the tardis in Dr. Who. You are not sure what is behind the doors, but when you walk through them you enter an expansive world of botanicals, art, fantastic food and really great people. It has found a really special place in my heart.”

Sian Poeschl

Artist

Sian Poeschl, artist, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

Your Story Matters

At Sherman Library & Gardens, your story is a cherished part of our community. We invite you to share your unique experiences and connections. Your moments of inspiration, reflections, and personal discoveries within our oasis are what make this place so special. Join us in contributing to our collective narrative and be a part of the lasting legacy at Sherman Library & Gardens

Jan Van der Voort, Docent, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

Jan Van der Voort

Docent

“I had been looking for an opportunity to volunteer after the pandemic and this was a perfect opportunity to get involved and learn a lot in a beautiful setting. I have brought my family and friends to visit – it’s such a little gem on the coast. The beautiful setting is invigorating, but the opportunity to learn and share my enthusiasm with others has really helped me expand my horizons and hobbies. I love the way the hort team blends art with horticulture in very approachable ways – it’s easy to talk about with visitors.”

Jan Van der Voort

Docent

Jan Van der Voort, Docent, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

“I had been looking for an opportunity to volunteer after the pandemic and this was a perfect opportunity to get involved and learn a lot in a beautiful setting. I have brought my family and friends to visit – it’s such a little gem on the coast. The beautiful setting is invigorating, but the opportunity to learn and share my enthusiasm with others has really helped me expand my horizons and hobbies. I love the way the hort team blends art with horticulture in very approachable ways – it’s easy to talk about with visitors.”

Joshua Alper

Writer

“A search for Niland in the Online Archive of California (OAC) turned up scattered hits from familiar collections such as the Huntington Library, Seaver Center for Western History and USC Regional History Collection. There were also several hits at the Sherman Library, custodian of the Moses Hazeltine Sherman Papers. It turned out to be the gold mine I’d been looking for.

Over a period of several weeks, I traveled to Newport Beach and spent full days at the Sherman Library. On each occasion, the library staff prepared the boxes of correspondence I’d selected from the detailed finding aid; I was able to start as soon as I walked through the door.

I’m delighted to share this recollection of my Sherman Library experience. Simply, I had a great time! The space is comfortable to work in. The library staff is friendly, helpful and took the imitative on several occasions to point me towards resources I’d overlooked. And, they made good suggestions for local restaurants. I hope to return someday.”

Read Joshua’s Full Story Here!

Sherman Library & Gardens Library Welcome Door, a short excerpt of Joshua Alper's story is overlayed on top.

“A search for Niland in the Online Archive of California (OAC) turned up scattered hits from familiar collections such as the Huntington Library, Seaver Center for Western History and USC Regional History Collection. There were also several hits at the Sherman Library, custodian of the Moses Hazeltine Sherman Papers. It turned out to be the gold mine I’d been looking for.

Over a period of several weeks, I traveled to Newport Beach and spent full days at the Sherman Library. On each occasion, the library staff prepared the boxes of correspondence I’d selected from the detailed finding aid; I was able to start as soon as I walked through the door.

I’m delighted to share this recollection of my Sherman Library experience. Simply, I had a great time! The space is comfortable to work in. The library staff is friendly, helpful and took the imitative on several occasions to point me towards resources I’d overlooked. And, they made good suggestions for local restaurants. I hope to return someday.”

Read Joshua’s Full Story Here!

Joshua Alper

Writer

Sherman Library & Gardens Library Welcome Door, a short excerpt of Joshua Alper's story is overlayed on top.
Keith V. Richardson, volunteer, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

Keith V. Richardson

Volunteer

“You won’t believe what effect Sherman has had on my life. Shortly after retirement I was assisting at the Cal Poly Extension Program, as a guest lecturer, but knew there was something missing. My search eventually led me to Sherman Library and Gardens.  Upon registering for volunteer training, I knew that I had found my niche.  I was able to give freely to the community, while learning at the same time.

The library allowed me to maintain my translation skills while discovering the history of California and Baja California. Working alongside the horticulturalists has given me insight on how best to place plants, according to their environment, while learning how to care for them.

The Ambassador and education Programs allow me to interact with the community and provide opportunities for both of us to learn from one another. The various events (I.e. Art and Christmas Faires, Garden Show, etc.) allow me to showcase my talent, in art, while giving the public an opportunity to watch me mosaic or watercolor, with an opportunity to be part of an informal question/answer.

Volunteering has also given me the opportunity to be the go-to person in my own neighborhood.  Neighbors complement me on my own plant selections and placement while asking for assistance in their own gardens and yards!  Neighbors who were previously unknown to me. Before Sherman I couldn’t figure out what was missing in my life.  Since Sherman I learned and developed an artistic talent, I never knew I had, while building a fantastic core group of friends, at the site and new friends in my own neighborhood.

Keith V. Richardson

Volunteer

Keith V. Richardson, volunteer, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

“You won’t believe what effect Sherman has had on my life. Shortly after retirement I was assisting at the Cal Poly Extension Program, as a guest lecturer, but knew there was something missing. My search eventually led me to Sherman Library and Gardens.  Upon registering for volunteer training, I knew that I had found my niche.  I was able to give freely to the community, while learning at the same time.

The library allowed me to maintain my translation skills while discovering the history of California and Baja California. Working alongside the horticulturalists has given me insight on how best to place plants, according to their environment, while learning how to care for them.

The Ambassador and education Programs allow me to interact with the community and provide opportunities for both of us to learn from one another. The various events (I.e. Art and Christmas Faires, Garden Show, etc.) allow me to showcase my talent, in art, while giving the public an opportunity to watch me mosaic or watercolor, with an opportunity to be part of an informal question/answer.

Volunteering has also given me the opportunity to be the go-to person in my own neighborhood.  Neighbors complement me on my own plant selections and placement while asking for assistance in their own gardens and yards!  Neighbors who were previously unknown to me. Before Sherman I couldn’t figure out what was missing in my life.  Since Sherman I learned and developed an artistic talent, I never knew I had, while building a fantastic core group of friends, at the site and new friends in my own neighborhood.

Keith V. Richardson

Volunteer

Keith V. Richardson, volunteer, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

“You won’t believe what effect Sherman has had on my life. Shortly after retirement I was assisting at the Cal Poly Extension Program, as a guest lecturer, but knew there was something missing. My search eventually led me to Sherman Library and Gardens.  Upon registering for volunteer training, I knew that I had found my niche.  I was able to give freely to the community, while learning at the same time.

The library allowed me to maintain my translation skills while discovering the history of California and Baja California. Working alongside the horticulturalists has given me insight on how best to place plants, according to their environment, while learning how to care for them.

The Ambassador and education Programs allow me to interact with the community and provide opportunities for both of us to learn from one another. The various events (I.e. Art and Christmas Faires, Garden Show, etc.) allow me to showcase my talent, in art, while giving the public an opportunity to watch me mosaic or watercolor, with an opportunity to be part of an informal question/answer.

Volunteering has also given me the opportunity to be the go-to person in my own neighborhood.  Neighbors complement me on my own plant selections and placement while asking for assistance in their own gardens and yards!  Neighbors who were previously unknown to me. Before Sherman I couldn’t figure out what was missing in my life.  Since Sherman I learned and developed an artistic talent, I never knew I had, while building a fantastic core group of friends, at the site and new friends in my own neighborhood.

Tim Collins

Grow The Gardens Campaign Committee

“My favorite memory at Sherman Library & Gardens was in 1988. I attended a wedding for a good friend’s daughter and learned what was inside. Prior to that, I had driven past the garden many times but had no clue what a jewel was to be found behind the nondescript walls along PCH. A real oasis.

Since being invited to join the Board, I have tried to share my initial discovery with others who didn’t understand the mission of Sherman Library & Gardens or what a unique regional treasure we have in our town. But the real connection for me and others is our capacity to educate the next generation about horticulture, southwest history in a library setting, and a variety of artistic programs that are unique and found nowhere in Orange County.

The “Grow the Gardens” campaign and project are my chance to give back to the city, my neighbors, and our visitors. More program spaces, improved infrastructure, and a general facility refresh with more sustainable materials and features are what drive my volunteer commitment. A world class plan, driven by a talented local leadership team, is ready for delivery.” 

Tim Collins, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens

“My favorite memory at Sherman Library & Gardens was in 1988. I attended a wedding for a good friend’s daughter and learned what was inside. Prior to that, I had driven past the garden many times but had no clue what a jewel was to be found behind the nondescript walls along PCH. A real oasis.

Since being invited to join the Board, I have tried to share my initial discovery with others who didn’t understand the mission of Sherman Library & Gardens or what a unique regional treasure we have in our town. But the real connection for me and others is our capacity to educate the next generation about horticulture, southwest history in a library setting, and a variety of artistic programs that are unique and found nowhere in Orange County.

The “Grow the Gardens” campaign and project are my chance to give back to the city, my neighbors, and our visitors. More program spaces, improved infrastructure, and a general facility refresh with more sustainable materials and features are what drive my volunteer commitment. A world class plan, driven by a talented local leadership team, is ready for delivery.” 

Tim Collins

Grow The Gardens Campaign Committee ​

Tim Collins, smiling at the Sherman Library & Gardens
“I discovered Sherman Library and Gardens 24 years ago when I stopped in to answer a request for volunteers. I fell in love with the garden immediately and it has never lost its magic for me. It is a place of beauty, laughter, surprises, friendships and solace. I love watching visitors fall in love with the garden themselves whether they are admiring the plants, taking a class or just enjoying a quiet moment on a secluded bench. I'm proud to have my name among the long list of volunteers that also give their time and hearts to this special place.” -Ingrid Cebula

Ingrid Cebula

Volunteer

“I discovered Sherman Library and Gardens 24 years ago when I stopped in to answer a request for volunteers.  I fell in love with the garden immediately and it has never lost its magic for me.  It is a place of beauty, laughter, surprises, friendships and solace.  I love watching visitors fall in love with the garden themselves whether they are admiring the plants, taking a class or just enjoying a quiet moment on a secluded bench.  I’m proud to have my name among the long list of volunteers that also give their time and hearts to this special place.”

Ingrid Cebula

Volunteer

“I discovered Sherman Library and Gardens 24 years ago when I stopped in to answer a request for volunteers. I fell in love with the garden immediately and it has never lost its magic for me. It is a place of beauty, laughter, surprises, friendships and solace. I love watching visitors fall in love with the garden themselves whether they are admiring the plants, taking a class or just enjoying a quiet moment on a secluded bench. I'm proud to have my name among the long list of volunteers that also give their time and hearts to this special place.” -Ingrid Cebula

“I discovered Sherman Library and Gardens 24 years ago when I stopped in to answer a request for volunteers.  I fell in love with the garden immediately and it has never lost its magic for me.  It is a place of beauty, laughter, surprises, friendships and solace.  I love watching visitors fall in love with the garden themselves whether they are admiring the plants, taking a class or just enjoying a quiet moment on a secluded bench.  I’m proud to have my name among the long list of volunteers that also give their time and hearts to this special place.”

Bill & Diane Hockinson

Members of Sherman Library & Gardens

“For Diane and I, our most memorable memory at the gardens would be our wedding day, June 16th, 1979. The gardens were beautiful and the library was open for guests to review. The staff was helpful in every way. Returning annually, we have enjoyed the library and the paintings as well as the rare books. The displays in the adobe have been very educational, as we are locals. While we annually visit, we have found time to visit several times a year as we lived in Corona del Mar. The gardens at Christmas, Easter and fall offer us enjoyable visits. As we have lived in Corona del Mar for over 25 years, we visited the library and gardens countless times. We are members of the library and gardens and have brought our three children as guests. As our children are now married with children, we enjoy as grandparents coming to the library and gardens with our four grandchildren. In the future, we look forward to our membership and offering our time to assist in projects where we could help.”

For Diane and I, our most memorable memory at the gardens would be our wedding day, June 16th, 1979. The gardens were beautiful and the library was open for guests to review. The staff was helpful in every way.

Bill & Diane Hockinson

Members of Sherman Library & Gardens

For Diane and I, our most memorable memory at the gardens would be our wedding day, June 16th, 1979. The gardens were beautiful and the library was open for guests to review. The staff was helpful in every way.

“For Diane and I, our most memorable memory at the gardens would be our wedding day, June 16th, 1979. The gardens were beautiful and the library was open for guests to review. The staff was helpful in every way. Returning annually, we have enjoyed the library and the paintings as well as the rare books. The displays in the adobe have been very educational, as we are locals. While we annually visit, we have found time to visit several times a year as we lived in Corona del Mar. The gardens at Christmas, Easter and fall offer us enjoyable visits. As we have lived in Corona del Mar for over 25 years, we visited the library and gardens countless times. We are members of the library and gardens and have brought our three children as guests. As our children are now married with children, we enjoy as grandparents coming to the library and gardens with our four grandchildren. In the future, we look forward to our membership and offering our time to assist in projects where we could help.”

Become a part of the community

Joining our community at Sherman Library & Gardens is a journey of enrichment and connection. Explore our vibrant array of events and programs, designed to captivate and engage. Whether it’s a garden tour, a library lecture, or a special workshop, there’s something for everyone. Become a part of the community and be inspired by the wealth of knowledge, beauty, and camaraderie that awaits you.