We had the good fortune of connecting with Lily Polstein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lily, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Being in the gardens I design and maintain make me the most happy. I enjoy watching each garden evolve over time. Every season brings new color palettes, smells, wildflowers and bugs. Agaves get bigger and the redwood planter boxes age beautifully.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am a Los Angeles native. I grew up in a household where we were fortunate enough to have a vegetable garden, and early on I gained an appreciation for what growing your own food means to our health and the environment. I majored in Urban Studies and Urban Agriculture, was accepted into a pre-graduate Environmental Design program at UC Berkeley and an intensive urban gardening program in San Francisco. I realized that I wanted to apply what I’d learned and contribute to encouraging people to make good choices and lessen their carbon footprint. This was the beginning of Sustainable Landscapes LA.
Sustainable Landscapes LA is a small business, just me and my crew, so I spend most evenings at home catching up on emails, creating proposals, designing and preparing for installations. I’ve learned that practicing patience is the most important quality when running your own business. This mentality also plays a huge role as an urban gardener. You need to prepare yourself for trial and error while still appreciating the process and the beauty of nature.
I like to remind people that beautiful landscapes and bountiful edible gardens can thrive in any space. A good landscaper can find a creative solution for almost any area.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Brunch/Lunch: Dialogue Cafe, Croft Alley, Tartine Bakery, Gjusta, The Window. Dinner: Mizlala, Dune, Damian, Jon & Vinnys, Escuela Taqueria, Sasabune.
Treats: Magpies, Donut Friend, Solar Return, Erewhon.
Shopping: Sunday flea market, local farmers market, General Store, Gjusta Goods, Supervinyl.
Santa Barbara – Start the day at the botanical gardens, spend the afternoon at a secluded beach and order too much food from Super Rica Taqueria.
Ojai – Get Farmer and the Cook burritos and snacks to go and spend the day hiking through the Topatopa Mountains looking for hidden creeks and natural hot springs.
Joshua Tree – Soak up the desert sun at Joshua Tree National Park, visit The Station for local goods and vintage, finish the day at Pappy & Harriets for food and fun tunes.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
To my Grandmother, Sandra. Thank you for passing along your green thumb and teaching me your organic gardening secrets. Tabasco really does keep the rats away.
Other: Follow my seasonal gardening playlists: https://open.spotify.com/user/o3hd9bn96uu1s0f5qi3r0jbpt