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Meet Our Community: Dustin Gimbel, ceramic artist and garden designer

Let’s get to know each other!

Since we’re not able to meet up in person this year, let’s meet online. Every week we’re introducing a member* of our Fling community here and on Instagram, in their own words. We’re excited to see what everyone’s talking about and sharing with their followers!

(*Any garden blogger, vlogger, podcaster, or Instagrammer who follows our Instagram or is a member of our Facebook group. If you’d like to be considered or recommend someone for a Meet Our Community profile, email us.)

Dustin Gimbel

Dustin’s ceramic sculptures

I’m a landscape designer and a ceramic artist, and in both areas I think of myself as a sculptor. I love the mild and subtle climate of coastal Southern California, where I garden. My Instagram is filled with pictures and videos of my home garden, clients’ landscapes, and my ceramic sculptures.

I tend to get wrapped up or obsessed with something and like to explore it from every angle. At any one time I am fixated on some topic. It can be about a family of plants, ceramic techniques, or cooking. I mean, how many versions of kimchi can one person make?! I used to resist these tendencies, but now I realize it’s just my way of learning.

I love gardening, and I’m usually planting a mix of drought- and heat-hardy shrubs, ornamental grasses, flowering perennials, and lots of juicy succulents. My fave plant at the moment is Casuarina glauca ‘Cousin It’, a plant as odd as the Addams Family. It has grassy, whip-like leaves that mound and spread and mound and spread, forming a bumpy, sculptural, deep-green, textural groundcover. It looks great in a pot or in a raised bed where it will cascade over the side in a pleasing way. ‘Cousin It’ is heat tolerant and well behaved, making it a California-friendly addition to the landscape.

Midcentury-style patio garden designed by Dustin in Long Beach, CA

I love many gardens in the U.S. and internationally, but The Huntington in San Marino, CA, is my favorite. You could spend a whole day walking the gardens. It has something for everyone. For me the highlight of any visit is the cactus gardens. It must have one of the best desert collections in the world and certainly the best in California.

My Los Angeles-based design firm is Second Nature Garden Design. I also have an online shop for my ceramic sculptures and pottery. If you’re in the area, you can see my ceramic art at SCULPTURA BOTANICA, a botanically inspired exhibition of more than 150 sculptures at Sherman Library and Gardens in Newport Beach, California, which runs through September 15, 2020.


Thanks for sharing your work and gardening passions with us, Dustin!

All photographs courtesy of Dustin Gimbel.


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