Seminar Speaker Biographies

Debra Lee Baldwin

Success with Succulents

Whether your garden occupies an acre or a patio, succulents can serve as easy-care, low water problem-solvers. As Debra introduces these textural, intriguing plants–which come in every size and color–you’ll find inspiration and ideas to express your creativity and beautifully enhance your outdoor living spaces.

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens and Succulents Simplified, idea-rich bestsellers that have significantly impacted garden design in Southern California and beyond. Debra’s books are the first to show how to use these easy-care “plants that drink responsibly” as a living palette, rich in color, variety and texture.

Debra developed her appealing-yet-practical aesthetic during years of scouting and writing for and Sunset magazine and other publications. An in-demand speaker, she continually updates her presentations based on new and intriguing designs by top landscapers and creative homeowners.

Debra has presented at the Huntington, Denver, Berkeley and San Diego botanical gardens; garden clubs and horticultural societies nationwide; and major flower shows in Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco. Her own garden in Escondido, CA has been in Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset and San Diego Home/Garden, among other publications. 

Steve Harbour

Hire the RIGHT Landscape Professional and Save Money

Steven Harbouris a California native with nearly forty years of professional experience as a landscape designer and horticultural expert. He is an APLD Certified Landscape Designer, and has also served as an ISA Certified Arborist and CAN California Certified Nurseryman. His designs have garnered accolades and awards, including two 1stPlaces in Design/Build with the San Diego Contractors Association (CLCA) and a 1stPlace – Best of Show at the San Diego Home and Garden Show.  Steve has authored two books on landscaping, and most recently, 15 of his landscapes were featured in Water-Smart Gardening by Diana Maranhao, published by Cool Springs Press.

Steve will have his books available for sale and signing after his presentation.

Tony Gurnoe

Garden Up with Low Water Hanging Plants

Tony Gurnoe, Director of Horticulture at the San Diego Botanic Garden, oversees and coordinates all collection development, horticultural management, and conservation projects at the garden. Tony’s background is in sustainable horticultural crop production, ecological restorative planting, and ex-situ conservation of California natives, cycads, and threatened subtropical species. His recent experience creating the floating tropical displays for the botanic garden’s new conservatory encouraged a passion to share what he has learned about gardening with epiphytes.

Candace Vanderhoff

Create a Pollinator Sanctuary with Solitary Native Bees

There are 20,000 species of native bees in the world, 97% of these are solitary, do not sting or make honey, but are super pollinators. Come learn how you can invite these gentle bees to your garden with flowers, water and a native bee shelter. Candace Vanderhoff the founder of SoloBee, a local bee shelter manufacturing company will share how she began inviting bees to her San Diego garden and how you can, too.

Greg Rubin

California Native Landscaping


Greg Rubin, CEO of California’s Own Native Landscape Design, Inc. started working with native plants back in 1985, while renovating his parent’s home in Chatsworth, CA. Soon, he was landscaping for friends and family on weekends and holidays. Demand continued to rise, and by 1993, Greg was able to start his successful and unusual landscaping business. Since that time, his company has designed over 400 native landscapes in San Diego County. Greg has been featured in a number of periodicals including the North County Times, Union-Tribune, and magazines such as Sunset, San Diego Home and Garden, San Diego Reader, and California Gardener. Media coverage includes appearances on KGTV, KUSI, and KFMB. He has also been a repeat guest on KPBS radio’s These Days with Tom Fudge. Greg regularly gives presentations on native plants to garden clubs and other organizations throughout San Diego County.

Greg is the author of two books with Lucy Warren, The California Native Landscape: Homeowners’ Design Guide to Restoring its Beauty and Balance, and The Drought-Defying California Garden: 230 Native Plants for a Lush, Low-Water Landscape, both published by Timber Press.  

Nan Sterman

Spice Up Your Life with Home Grown Herbs

California native Nan Sterman is host and co-producer of the award winning public TV show, A Growing Passion, which connects plants, people, and the planet.  Nan is author of the brand new Hot Color, Dry Garden, California Gardener’s Guide vII and Waterwise Plants for the Southwest.  She leads international garden tours (this year to Philadelphia and the Brandywine Valley) and designs gardens for San Diegans who desire beautiful edible, low water, and sustainable gardens. For more information, visit  and

Linda Bresler

Carefree, Colorful California Gardens

Linda Bresler

Linda is the owner of Living Designs by Linda, a landscape design and consulting firm that specializes in colorful, water-wise gardens that look lovely year-round. One of Linda’s landscape designs was chosen as the Grand Prize Winner, 2012 Garden of the Year, by San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles magazine. She is a certified Landscape Contractor.

Jeff Moore

Soft Succulents

Jeff Moore has operated Solana Succulents in Solana Beach since 1992. He gained a bit of notoriety for his undersea succulent gardens at the Del Mar Fair and Spring Home/Garden shows. A well-recognized expert, for the past 5 years he has been publishing beautiful and informative books on succulents. He is currently working on the fourth in the series. Jeff is married with two grown sons.

Jeff is the author of three books: Soft Succulents: Aeoniums, Echeverias, Crassulas, Sedums, Kalanchoes, and Related PlantsUnder the Spell of Succulents: A Sampler of the Diversity of Succulents in CultivationAloes and Agaves in Cultivation.

Tom Del Hotal

Spring and Summer Fruit Tree Care

A horticulturist and nurseryman for over 45 years, Tom is a Certified Arborist, a Certified Pesticide Applicator, holds four advanced certifications from the California Association of Nursery and Garden Centers and has been a member of the California Rare Fruit Growers for over 40 years. His specialty is in fruiting plants for warm winter climates such as Southern California. Tom has owned and operated his part-time business, Fantasia Gardens, from his home in Lemon Grove, CA. for more than 40 years.  His services include fruit tree pruning, consulting, and home and small scale orchard design and management. Tom was a part-time horticulture instructor in the Landscape and Nursery Department at Southwestern College for over 20 years, and currently works full-time in the garden department at the Lemon Grove Home Depot.

Gregg Opgenorth

Palms for San Diego

Gregg lives and gardens in Fallbrook California with his wife, Linda, and 2 golden retrievers. They have been building their garden for 17 years. Their focus has been on palms, succulents, and bamboo–not just having a collection but also incorporating good design. Gregg grew up in Colorado but has lived in California for 30 years.  He has worked in commercial nurseries of all kinds for 47 years. He is currently the Head Grower at East West Trees in Rainbow where they grow 600 varieties from 2” pots up to 48” box specimen trees on 36 acres. Their main products are succulents, cacti, palms, cordylines, varieties from the protea family, and birds of paradise.

Roy Wilburn

Tomatoes –The King of the Spring!

Roy Wilburn, aka Farmer Roy, was a commercial grower of row crops in Baja CA for 20 years and an herb grower in Oceanside CA for three years. For the past 5 years, he has been the Horticulture Manager for Sunshine Care, A Community of Assisted Living Homes in Poway, CA When he is not in the greenhouse and gardens of Sunshine Care, producing organic fruits and vegetables for the residents and families in need in the Poway/Rancho Bernardo area, he is spreading his knowledge to groups and clubs throughout San Diego County so that members may be successful in growing their own produce. Helping school gardens, community gardens and food bank gardens are his passion.
Roy is currently a member of the Farm Bureau and on the Executive Boards of the San Diego Horticultural Society and the San Diego Community Garden Network. He is also Co-President of the Poway Valley Garden Club, Horticulture Chairperson for the Bernardo Gardeners Club and a Master Composter.