Rooted in Beauty: Exploring Gardens and Gardening from California to Tecate to Your Backyard - Rancho La Puerta
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Rooted in Beauty: Exploring Gardens and Gardening from California to Tecate to Your Backyard

Week of April 13, 2024

Join California-based garden expert, Nan Sterman, for a week-long series on plants and gardens that are a feast for our eyes and our bellies.

Garden the Mediterranean Way: Cultivate Beauty in a Dry Climate
In this talk, Nan Sterman explores the unique challenges and opportunities of gardening in Northern Baja and most of California, which share a “Mediterranean” climate. Nan delves into the experience of living and gardening where summers are dry and rain falls in the cool months of the year.  She covers topics such as soil and sunshine, rainfall, plant selection, and techniques for creating beautiful, thriving gardens. Nan illustrates her insights with images of beautiful and diverse gardens, all united by the use of a Mediterranean plant palette.

California Dreaming: An Armchair Tour of the State’s Most Celebrated Gardens
Hold onto your gardening hats as we embark on an epic journey through California’s most amazing gardens! We start in the north, at historical Filoli estate to explore the historic orchards and formal gardens including a rare knot garden.

Heading south, we stop at private gardens to see an African-inspired grass labyrinth, a seaside meadow and native plant garden overlooking Carmel River, an historic Greene and Greene landscape, and the vegetable gardens at the home of Renee Shepherd, the creative genius behind Renee’s Garden Seed Company.

Our last stop is the California Botanic Garden in Claremont, California, the state’s largest and oldest native plant botanic garden.

By time we’re done, you’ll be searching airlines flights and planning your very own tour of California’s celebrated gardens.

Cultivate Flavor – Grow Your Own Kitchen Herbs and Spices
Say goodbye to the bland, store-bought spices gathering dust in the hidden corners of your pantry, and instead embrace the explosion of flavors from fresh homegrown herbs and spices. From their pungent punches to grassy notes, resinous richness, and peppery delights, fresh herbs and spices turn an everyday dish into a delicous masterpiece.

The good news is that many herbs and spices thrive year-round in pots on your patio or as permanent plants in your garden. In this captivating talk, Nan Sterman shares the secrets to growing your own garden herbs and spices. Discover how to “spice up” your garden with trees, shrubs, grasses, and more — a feast for your eyes that also tantalizes your taste buds.

Discover the Gorgeous Gardens of Rancho La Puerta
Nan Sterman guides you on an inspired stroll through the scenic gardens of Rancho La Puerta, pointing out exquisite garden compositions, carefully chosen plants, and the immersive design experience. She’ll explore the scenic interplay between the gardens and the surrounding mountains. Additionally, Nan will share valuable insights on applying the Ranch’s gardening approach to your own home garden, bridging the gap between inspiration and practicality.


Nan Sterman is a pioneer in sustainable landscaping. She is a plant expert, garden designer, botanist, and journalist, renowned for her work in low-rainfall climates like California. Nan’s latest book, Hot Color, Dry Garden, guides readers to create waterwise, color-filled gardens. Nan writes for major gardening publications and she speaks to audiences nationwide. She’s also creator of the award-winning Public TV show, A Growing Passion, that connects people, plants, and the planet. Her latest venture, Nan Sterman’s Garden School, supports home gardeners through classes, webinars, and peer communities, all aimed at cultivating thriving, environmentally friendly gardens. Learn more at