California native Nan Sterman is host, co-producer, and co-writer of A Growing Passion, a television show that celebrates all the ways that San Diego “grows,” from farms and nurseries to backyards and schoolyards, to native habitats and more.
Nan is a garden designer, author, botanist, and award-winning garden communicator. She is dedicated to the transformation of planted landscapes from overly thirsty and resource intensive to climate appropriate and sustainable. Her efforts combine age-old techniques with modern technologies.
Nan has worked towards this goal since the 1970s when she was involved in the first wave of the sustainability movement. Her initial training was at the Integral Urban House, a demonstration retrofit Victorian home in Berkeley, California. She went on to earn a botany degree from Duke University, a Masters in biology from UC Santa Barbara, and a Masters in instructional design from San Diego State University.
Nan parlayed her early experiences in sustainability to address modern day issues. She is author of California Gardener’s Guide vol II, the only book about low water, Mediterranean climate gardens written specifically for California home gardeners. In 2010, she added Waterwise Plants for the Southwest to her publication list. Her next book, Hot Colors, Dry Garden, illustrates how colorful low water gardens can be. Watch for Hot Colors, Dry Garden in Fall 2014 from Timber Press.
Nan Sterman’s articles appear in the, Sunset, Better Homes and Gardens, Los Angeles Times, Organic Gardening and other major publications. She has a monthly water-wise garden column in the San Diego Union Tribune and is the gardening expert for San Diego public radio’s Midday Edition talk show.
Nan speaks, teaches, and writes about low water, sustainable and edible gardening, all of which she designs for client’s homes and school gardens. She seeks out plants, methods, and technologies that ensure client gardens are as water-efficient, low maintenance, and beautiful as possible.
Before delving into the professional gardening world, Nan created curricula, training programs, and educational materials for Fortune 500 companies, zoos, aquaria, and not-for-profit organizations. Her ability to take complex information and create effective educational programs is one of her greatest strengths, and a major source of her successes.
Nan lives in lives in Encinitas, California, where she serves as an advisor to the Water Conservation Garden at Cuyamaca College, the San Diego County Water Authority and sits on the Invasive Plant Committee for the City of Encinitas. She co-founded a 5,000 square foot school garden and founded the annual Encinitas Garden Festival & Tour. Nan is a board member of the Garden Writer’s Association and a founding board member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, San Diego District.