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MONTHLY MEETING: Dry Gardens: High Style for Low Water Gardens

Our Monday, September 9 meeting will be a special one, marking the 25th anniversary of the San Diego Horticultural Society. The event will include a reception, marketplace, and presentation by Daniel Nolan, an authority on dry gardens and author of Dry Gardens: High Style for Low Water Gardens, recently published by Rizzoli Press. He will share his techniques for transforming landscapes of any size into a modern dry garden. Nolan is known for creating sophisticated combinations of the familiar and the foreign.

His gardens have been described as both expressive and refined. He has worked on projects ranging from living walls for homes and restaurants, to transformations of residential gardens, to the planting design for the Powell Street Parklet. Nolan’s work has also appeared in Martha Stewart Living, Elle Décor, Condé Nast Traveler, Sunset, and San Francisco Magazine. His work now appears in some of the Bay Area's most beautiful homes and properties.

California’s climate can pose challenges when it comes to creating lush landscapes, but Nolan has discovered ways to use creative designs to develop beautiful dry gardens. In Dry Gardens, Nolan uses 25 public and private gardens to illustrate a variety gardening techniques. In September, he will share with us the strategies he used to create these and other modern landscapes.

Nolan grew up in Pennsylvania. His love of art lead him to Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After five years he moved to South Carolina to pursue his other passion, gardens, and begin his own landscape design business. There, Nolan combined the Mediterranean plant palette he came to know and love in California with the more formal look of the historic gardens he grew up near in Pennsylvania’s Brandywine Valley. In 2009, he joined Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco. He credits his almost 10 years there as his masterclass in plant identification and selection, allowing him the opportunity to work with talented architects, designers and clients.

Join us on September 9 to be inspired to look at your own California garden in a new way. The meeting starts at 5:00 PM with a vendor fair to celebrate our 25th Anniversary, at Congregation Beth Israel, 9001 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego. Parking is free and everyone is welcome. Admission is free for SDHS members and $15 for non-members. For more information, call (619) 296-9215 or visit

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