Lunch & Lecture Series – Sherman Library and Gardens

Lunch & Lecture Series

Sherman Library & Gardens’ Lunch & Lecture Series
Presented by South Coast Plaza
On select days throughout the year, Sherman Gardens, in partnership with 608 Dahlia restaurant, will feature a horticulture speaker combined with a delicious lunch.
Scott LaFleur, Executive Director of Sherman Library & Gardens, and Program Chair for the Los Angeles Men’s Garden Club, has a long list of contacts from botanic gardens, horticulture, landscape design and beyond.  As Program Chair, he has created many outstanding programs for the LA Men’s Garden Club.  Teaming with Chef Jessica Roy at 608 Dahlia, we are offering the in-person Lunch & Lecture Series, presented by South Coast Plaza.
South Coast Plaza - Sherman Library & Gardens Lunch & Lecture Sponsor

Past Lectures

Gardens, Garden Centers and Gardeners - Conserving Nature Together with Ron Vanderhoff

Gardens, Garden Centers and Gardeners – Conserving Nature Together

Friday, April 21, 2023 @ 11:30 am

Ron Vanderhoff, General Manager of Roger’s Gardens, will discuss ways that the garden industry and the gardening community can work together to become stewards of the planet.

Ron is a lifetime horticulturist and botanist in Southern California. In addition to his role as Vice President at Roger’s Gardens, Ron holds leadership roles with groups such as the CA Native Plant Society, CA Invasive Plant Council, CalFlora and others. Ron will share examples from his own horticultural and botanical life and explain the impacts from the gardening choices we make. Ron will simplify such topics as biodiversity, climate change, and invasive species and offer advice so that our garden spaces can have a positive impact on the planet. Prepare to learn about gardens as habitat, organics, California’s water resources, urban forest ecology and other fun, science-based insights. In an urban world, gardens are the window into nature, and as garden leaders our opportunity is to help others peer through that window and to ultimately embrace nature.


Notable Gardens of England with Yvonne Savio | Sherman Library & Gardens

Notable Gardens of England with Yvonne Savio

Thursday, January 12, 2023

England: Chelsea Flower Show, Prince Charles’ Highgrove Organic Sustainable Garden, “Mother” of Cottage Gardening Marjery Fish 

Speaker Yvonne Savio discussed her travels to several notable gardens in England and shared techniques to use in your own Southern California gardens.

Yvonne Savio grew up on a 3/4-acre hillside lot in Pasadena growing year-round fruits and vegetables and flowers with lots of manure and compost and “making do” before it was called recycling or repurposing.  She knows what “harvested at the perfect moment of ripeness” means and enjoys enabling others to enjoy the benefits of “growing your own.”  For 36 years, she worked for the University of California, conferring with statewide vegetable, fruit, and ornamentals specialists; then revitalizing the Los Angeles County Master Gardener Volunteer Program, teaching 1150 Master Gardeners who then served 1.3 million county residents.  In 2015 she initiated her website – – where she blogs every other week or so about what’s actually happening in her Pasadena garden, posts intriguing gardening news articles, and invites everyone to submit gardening events and job opportunities open to the public.

Lunch & Lecture: Garden for Life - Meet Toni Gattone

Meet Toni Gattone – Gardening for Life

Friday, November 11, 2022
Toni Gattone is a speaker and an author with a passion to help gardeners garden for life in comfort and safety.  Toni knows from experience that physical limitations are the reason we need to re-evaluate how and when we garden, and how we can re-work our gardens for lower maintenance and ease.  

Toni shared her tips on how to:

  • Cultivate new ways to garden to save time, money, and above all, energy.
  • Re-envision your garden’s size and accessibility for greater comfort.
  • Re-think your garden to include containers, raised beds and vertical gardens for no-bend gardening.
  • Adapt your favorite garden tools for little or no cost.
  • Discover new ergonomic tools that are easier on your hands, back, hips, and your entire body.
Toni is the author of, The Lifelong Gardener, Garden with Ease & Joy at Any Age.  Her book will be available for sale at the end of her presentation.
Lunch & Lecture: Meet Irina Charny Internationally renowned mosaicist of Sherman's Summer Art Exhibit 'Inspired by Nature'

Irina Charny – Internationally renowned mosaicist of Sherman’s Summer Art Exhibit ‘Inspired by Nature’

As a child growing up in Russia, Irina created collages from pieces of broken glass found in the street, rocks, paper, seashells, and bits of crockery. Through the years she’s tried various media for artistic expression but returned to her origin – mosaics. A self taught mosaicist, Irina will talk about her background and share stories of how her childhood growing up in the Soviet Union informed her love of nature, color, and mosaics, even before she knew they were called mosaics!

“Inspired by Nature” features over 30 original mosaic works. Following Irina’s talk, she’ll lead interested Lunch & Lecture attendees on a walking tour through her original mosaic works on display throughout Sherman Gardens.

FREEWAYTOPIA with Paul Haddad

Meet Paul Haddad, author of Freewaytopia: How Freeways Shaped Los Angeles

Freewaytopia explores how social, economic, political and cultural demands created the web of freeways whose very form – futuristic, majestic, and progressive – perfectly exemplifies the City of Angels.  From the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which began construction during the Great Depression, to the Century Freeway, completed in 1993, author Paul Haddad provides an entertaining and thought-provoking history of 527 miles of roadways the comprise the Los Angeles freeway system.

Meet Teresa Sabankaya – Author of The Posy Book

Teresa Sabankaya is one of the most innovative floral designers in the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Area and has exhibited her floral art at numerous museums and flower shows including the Bouquets to Art exhibition at the DeYoung Museum in Golden Gate Park, the Monterey Museum of Art, and Filoli Mansion and Gardens, a National Trust Historic Site, where she is a regular instructor.

Her love of, or rather obsession with, the language of flowers spawned her creation of the modern-day posy. The posy is her favorite design in florals; a modern spin on a historic nosegay, these “little garden bouquets that tell a story” have a permanent place in her heart.

Teresa is the author of “The Posy Book” A book signing following her lecture.

Jim Folsom, Director Emeritus at The Huntington
Jim Folsom, Director Emeritus of The Huntington
Jim Folsom, Director Emeritus of The Huntington 
Jim Folsom joined the Huntington staff in 1984 as assistant curator and was named director of the Botanical Gardens in 1987.  Prior to retiring on December 31, 2020, Jim was charged with the stewardship, care and interpretation of more than a dozen thematic gardens that cover 130 acres of the 207-acre grounds.  Jim stepped away from his role as the Marge and Sherm Telleen/Marion and Earle Jorgensen director of the Botanical Gardens at the Huntington Library on December 31, 2020.  
“Jim’s indelible imprint on Huntington is everywhere.  It can be seen in the gardens he has built, the botanical collections he has developed, the relationships he has nurtured with donors and in the passion for the natural world that he has shared enthusiastically through programs for young and old.  We will miss the contributions of the Huntington’s one-of-a-kind Pied Piper of botany,” said Huntington President Karen Lawrence.
Jim has been quoted as saying, “I don’t know what I will do when I grow up,” but we do!   Jim’s Lunch & Lecture talk on Wednesday, October 13th will be about the SoCal Mediterranean climate, what it means globally, and for the local gardener.  Don’t miss this opportunity to meet the Huntington’s one-of-a-kind Pied Piper of botany!
A Garden Can Be Anywhere

Tuesday, May 11 @ 2 pm

Virtual Lecture and Q & A presented by Lauri Kranz, Edible Gardens LA

Edible Gardens LA founder Lauri Kranz will share her wisdom and her new book, ‘A Garden Can Be Anywhere: Creating Bountiful and Beautiful Edible Gardens’ in this virtual lecture and Q&A. Discover secrets for planning, planting, growing, and maintaining luscious edible gardens, no matter the setting or size of the plot. Through gorgeous gardens created for her clients, Lauri will reveal her essential methods for growing abundant organic food. Her practical guide is built around the philosophy that nourishment and beauty are not separate goals. It’s also at the forefront of a gardening revolution, where more and more people are craving a patch of land for growing healthy, organic food from their own gardens. A Garden Can Be Anywhere reveals Lauri’s knack for providing both beauty and bounty in her clients’ outdoor spaces.

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.

The Botanical Collections of the Santa Ana Zoo

Virtual Lecture and Q & A presented by Ethan Fisher, Santa Ana Zoo Director

Wednesday, April 7 @ 2 pm

The 20-acre Santa Ana Zoo opened in 1952 focusing on the animals and plants of Central and South America. In recent years Ethan Fisher and his staff have recognized the untapped potential of the botanical side of the Zoo. In this virtual lecture Ethan will reveal the breadth of their plant collections and talk about his plans to use them as an exciting and important element of the zoo’s future. 

Ethan Fisher became Zoo Director at Santa Ana Zoo in 2018. He has a background in biology, business administration and landscaping, and has extensive business experience working in the Zoo and Aquarium Industry. He joined Santa Ana Zoo as Program Coordinator (5years), became Operations Coordinator & Registrar (11 years), until his promotion to Zoo Director. 

A Visual Treasure Trove:  Sherman Library’s Historic Photograph Collections

March 11, 2021

Virtual Lecture and Q & A presented by Sherman Library Director Paul Wormser

Photographs are unique touchstones to the past.  For more than 50 years Sherman Library has collected photographs that document the Pacific Southwest history.  The Library’s collections include over 40,000 images from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Paul Wormser, Sherman Library Director, will talk about the Library’s photograph collections and share some of these unique images.  He will also demonstrate the use of the new Sherman Library Digital Catalog, which includes many of the library’s most interesting images.