Lunch and Lecture

On Select Fridays of the month Sherman Gardens , in conjunction with Cafe Jardin, features a horticulture speaker combined with a delicious lunch. The Lunch & Lecture series was created to educate guests about the benefits of botanic gardens.  Whether tackling the issues of food access, mental health, environmental education, sustainability, or cultivating creativity, the public needs botanic gardens.  
Sherman Library & Gardens is pleased to welcome South Coast Plaza as Presenting Sponsor of the 2020 Lunch & Lecture Series. 

Advanced Reservations

  • Friends Lunch & Lecture | $30
  • Non-Member Lunch & Lecture | $40
  • Friends Lecture Only | Free
  • Non-Member Lecture Only | $5

Day Of Walk-Ins

  • Friends Lunch & Lecture | $40
  • Non-Member Lunch & Lecture | $50
  • Friends Lecture Only | Free
    (RSVP appreciated)
  • Non-Member Lecture Only | $10

All lunch & lectures are from 11:30am – 1pm. Lecture begins at 12:15 pm.




Friday, February 14

Nature Rx: Improving College Student Mental Health

Life today is full of stressors, and this is especially true for college and university students. To improve students’ mental and physical well-being, Dr. Don Rakow, an associate professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell, recommends a prescription of fresh air.

In a book, coauthored with Gregory T. Eells, Nature Rx: Improving College-Student Mental Health (Cornell University Press, 2019), Don argues that campus programs encouraging students to spend more time outdoors can reduce the stress and anxiety of academic, social, and relationship pressures, particularly for those also dealing with mental health issues, trauma, or substance abuse. In this Lunch & Lecture Series, Don will discuss the value of Nature Rx programs and present a step-by-step formula for constructing and sustaining them on college campuses.


 Dr. Donald A. Rakow is an associate professor in the Section of Horticulture, School of Integrative Plant Science at Cornell University. He served as the Executive Director of Cornell Plantations (now Cornell Botanic Gardens) from 1996 – 2013. He is the co-author with Sharon Lee of Public Garden Management (Wiley & Sons, 2011), and with Ms. Lee and Prof. Meghan Gough of the upcoming Public Gardens and Community Revitalization (Cornell University Press, 2019). Ron conducts research and writes on the human benefits of time in nature and directs the Nature Rx@Cornell program. He is a past recipient of both the Service Award and Award of Merit form the American Public Gardens Association. He and his wife have three grown sons and live in Ithaca, NY.

Friday, March 13

Jungle Junk Critters

After fifty-six years practicing architecture in Corona del Mar, Ron Yeo converted his office into an art studio and began creating whimsical critters from other people’s junk and abandoned beach toys.  People call repurposed art a variety of names: urban art, junk art, found art, but Ron likes to call it “FUN ART!”  Ron will talk about his current exhibit Jungle Junk Critters, a collection of twenty playful sculptures on display in the Tropical Conservatory. 

Friday, April 10

Edible Gardens LA with Lauri Kranz

Lauri Kranz is the founder of Edible Gardens LA, which builds, plants and maintains organic gardens across Los Angeles.  Lauri fell in love with gardening when her son’s school needed volunteers and gardening was on the list.  Now there isn’t a day that goes by that she doesn’t have her hands in the soil and she’s never been happier.  Her client list has grown to include celebrities as well as top restaurants, museums, and anyone interested in growing their own food.  Lauri will share her wisdom and her new book A Garden Can Be Anywhere: Creating Bountiful and Beautiful Edible Gardens.

Friday, May 15

Sculptura Botanica with Dustin Gimbel

Los Angeles based ceramic artist and landscape designer Dustin Gimbel will talk about his botanically themed installation of sculptures on display in the Tropical Conservatory.  Stemming from a lifetime fascination with plants, a career in horticulture and a more recent obsession with ceramics, the exhibition explores botanical forms from the familiar to the obscure.  His pieces of bold, contemporary interpretaions of botanical plants and plant parts promise to delight and engage the senses.  

Friday, June 12

Teresa Sabankaya, author of The Posy Book

Inspired by the Victorian-era language of flowers, Teresa will talk about the posy – a small round bouquet of flowers and herbs that are chosen based on their meanings to convey a message, such as love, happiness, and friendship.  A gifted flower grower, designer, and keeper of floral meanings, Teresa will introduce guests to the history of the language of flowers and share step-by-step instructions for making posies.