Here are some of the many comments by attendees and sponsors of Owen’s talks throughout the U.S. and Canada.


“WOW! You gave an amazing presentation and I learned so much from it. Thank you…for being an inspiration.”

Kerry Ann Mendez, Garden Designer, Author, Speaker, CanWest 2016

“Your presentation was powerful and well received–everything we could hope for in a keynote speaker. Education is our focus, and this year’s Mini-College did a good job  of providing a variety of educational experiences for our members. Thank you again for your contribution to OMGA’s Mini-College as a partner with the OSU Master Gardener Extension program.”

Barbara Davidson, OMGA Mini-College Speaker Coordinator, 2016

“I want to thank you for doing yet another excellent presentation at Insights and sharing your gardening expertise.  It was clear from the number of folks who registered for your session that yours was a hot topic!  Folks were interested in the subject at Gearing up for Gardening, and they were still very interested at Insights.  And you were the perfect person to speak on that subject!”

Lynn T., Coordinator, Insights Into Gardening, Corvallis, Oregon, 2015

“I want to thank you for making the Climate Change Conversation #3:  Seven Steps toward a More Sustainable Household a success yesterday.  It was clear that you put a lot of thought and work into your presentations, and each one was unique, which made for a fun and informative evening.”

 Debra H., Marys Peak Group, Sierra Club, Corvallis, Oregon, 2014

“Once again you have given us an informative, engaging, and entertaining presentation. Each time I attend one of your lectures I walk away feeling lighter because of your humor and better prepared to do whatever it is in my garden that has been your focus. This time, ‘Sidewalk Salads: Front Yard Veggie Gardening’ at Gearing Up for Gardening was no exception. The diversity of considerations was eye-opening, all contributing to a more beautiful and successful garden. Thank you so much for all the work and attention that you give to your lectures.”

Sandy P., Benton County Oregon Master Gardener Association, 2015

“A sincere thank you for the presentation on Sustainable Landscaping last night. I believe you had the audience, including me, spellbound, and it was indeed a learning experience for all! I know it was difficult to condense a 75-minute program to 60 minutes. You did well and it was helpful to have the visual presentation.”

Sharon R., Linn County Master Gardeners Association, Oregon, 2013

“Framed by your exemplary biking in inclement weather on one end, and your informed responses to questions on the other, your Gearing Up for Gardening presentation was great. I especially appreciated not only your knowledge about and pictures of specific plants in the landscape but also the data you brought underlining our need for sustainable gardening practices. It broadens understanding and increases motivation. “Fossil Fuel Free Landscaping: Horticulture for a Different Future” was a perfect topic.

Sandy P., Gearing Up for Gardening Committee, 2012

“It was an honor having you speak at Landscaping Lightly: A Sustainable Landscape Workshop for Homeowners. We had a great turnout and lots of positive feedback following the event. This workshop would not have been possible without you, so thank you! We look forward to working with you in the future and wish you the best until next time.”

Nancy S., Council for Watershed Health, 2012

“Thank you for your seminar on Watershed-Friendly Landscapes.  I found the seminar to be very beneficial.  I am confident that I will be able to bring my knowledge to the design table and present new options for water runoff, not only to my boss, but also to my clients.  I am excited to see the look on my clients face when I discuss these benefits, particularly to the environment, of creating a zero runoff landscape.”

Evan B., Attendee, Landscape Ontario 2009

“Owen is one of the best landscape and garden speakers I have ever heard and I have been going to landscape conferences for 20+ years. He rocks the boat and wakes up his audience to meaningful, timely issues relating to a wide range of landscape and gardening topics. His book, Sustainable Landscaping for Dummies, is for smart people who want to make a difference in the landscape gardening world. DO NOT MISS HIM if he is speaking within 200 miles of your location.”

Ken F., Coordinator, Ecological Farming Conference, 2010

“Thanks ever so much for working with Garrett Speakers International for the…conference in San Diego. I have heard great reports on how well you did. I am so proud and thank you for trusting me sight unseen!…I look forward to working with you in the future.”

Betty Garrett, Garrett Speakers International

“Wow! What can we say except our April speaker, Owen Dell, certainly gave an engaging, shocking, inspirational presentation, one also filled with solutions we can all use. He delivered a powerful message on sustainability, with a sense of humor. For those who did not really know the meaning of the word and all the many ways to apply it to gardening & your way of life – it was clearly defined for us by Owen. Thanks so much Owen!”

Aaron L., President, Malibu Garden Club, 2011

“Thank you very much for coming to Kelowna and for doing two full day workshops for us! You have inspired both the professionals and the home gardeners with many great ideas and connections to super resources… You’ve been great to work with and so accommodating in adapting your lectures to our local needs. I personally have learned so much that will be useful to instigate sustainable changes in the valley through OXA.”

Gwen S., Executive Director, Okanagan Xeriscape Organization, 2011

“The audiences were truly impressed with your sessions and would like to have you back. My favourite feedback quote was ‘you opened my eyes – my head’s been in the sand’…Thanks again for being here and we all look forward to working with you again.”

Ken T., Program Coordinator, Landscape Ontario 2009

“Thank you so much for taking time from your busy schedule to help make the Sustainable Landscaping to Improve Plant Health and the Environment session at the 2006 Turf and Landscape Institute a success. I’m still receiving emails about your excellent presentation.”

Janet H., Environmental Horticulturist, University of California Cooperative Extension

“Owen is a dynamic speaker. He made a powerful presentation to my vocational landscape gardening class at Elmwood several years ago. The inmates were spellbound with his humor, erudition and compassion. You can imagine if he had instant respect from individuals who are at the fringes of our society, you know that he has more than a message.”

John D., Elmwood Correctional Institute, San Jose, CA, 2008

“I was in attendance at the California ReLeaf retreat and was totally amazed and interested in your keynote speech. It was truly thought provoking…Again let me thank you for an enlightening experience.”

J.H., Fallbrook Land Conservancy

“Thanks so much, Owen! Although I haven’t gone through the surveys yet, I heard from Krista that you were a hit once again (but we knew you would be)!”

Karen D., British Columbia Nursery & Landscape Association

“Mr. Dell, Your lecture to the Ventura County Master Gardeners was WONDERFUL! Today as it rained I wondered how to start harvesting my rainwater. A girlfriend called today and asked me to help her pick out plants for her front yard. I will strive to use those which are sustainable by themselves. I learned so much and thoroughly enjoyed your lecture. Hope to attend more after seeing your schedule!”


“Thank you so very much, Owen, for your life’s work and presentation yesterday at Descanso Gardens. I thoroughly enjoyed your talk. It is the most enlightening and encouraging information relating to my landscape that I have found.”

Angie R.

“I just wanted to tell you what a positive and inspiring impression you make when you speak. Last night during the Sustainable Building Advisor Program Introduction Meeting, one of the attendees asked me whether I’d be asking [L. S.] to teach. I explained that I had actually asked you to teach but that you weren’t available this year. A married couple up in front (both were architects) nodded their head when I said your name.

“After the presentation I approached them and asked them if they had the opportunity to work with you before. They said they wished they had. They had seen you at the Alt Build event this year and were fascinated and inspired by your lectures. They ended up attending anything they could where they would have the opportunity to hear you speak again.”

Blair S., AIA, Los Angeles

 “In September I attended a trade seminar called Green Materials and Techniques: Working with the Natural Environment. It was a talk on sustainable garden design by landscape architect Owen Dell of Santa Barbara, California.

“It only took a few minutes to realize that this man was not only passionate about the cause, but was also finding practical means of implementing these new environmental practices.

“The many landscape designers and contractors attending quickly responded to his candor and it wasn’t long before the talk turned into a running question and answer session – one where he seemed to learn as much from us (about local conditions), as we did from him.”

Mike Lascelle, Maple Ridge News, British Columbia, 2009

“Many attendees at your talk stopped to chat with me the day after your presentation – everyone I spoke with was totally inspired by your presentation, and asked me what you were speaking on next year! I made the recommendations to [K.] on the fossil fuel and water harvesting talks the same day of your presentation and also passed along to him the glowing reviews that I received on your behalf. I took a sneak peak at the seminar evaluation forms and they were all very positive! In other words you were a big hit, you ‘radical!!’”

Liz K., Landscape Priorities Manager, Landscape Ontario

“Thank you so much for spending your valuable time and energy putting together and presenting your class, Landscaping for Wildfire Protection! Your work with the [Firescape Demonstration] garden has been tireless and much appreciated. It has been a pleasure learning from and working with such an enthusiastic and conscientious individual. Thanks!”

Libby P., Public Education Officer, Santa Barbara City Fire Department

“Just wanted to say Thank You again. Your spirited talk was…infectious!”

Darin M., University of California, Los Angeles

“I have heard over and over again, from people who have taken the time to email or call me, about what an engaging, amusing and entertaining speaker you are. I agree, and feel that in choosing you for our main speaker, we made one of the first of many good choices for this seminar. Everyone is thrilled…”

Maureen D., California Landscape Contractors Association

“You are such a great person. It was a really special event having you talk to us on Saturday! I may just pop up to your talk at SB Botanic Gardens just to get a little Owen Dell fix! I know I speak for the whole group when I say thank you for a thoroughly wonderful time from all of us!”

Suki S., Program Coordinator, Ventura Master Gardeners

“What a fantastic presentation, thank you so very much.”

Peter S., Instructor, Program Chair, Horticulture Department, Cabrillo College, Aptos, CA, 2008

The following quotes are from program evaluation forms on courses presented by Owen Dell through various organizations. Owen receives consistently glowing reviews from his students and those who attend his lectures. These are just a few samples of hundreds of actual comments from attendees.

“Thanks to Owen Dell who has inspired us throughout the years. Our garden provides us with serenity, joy and privacy. It is a place where the two of us, at any time, can work in a meditative state of mind.”

“Delightful & informative. Delivery and enthusiasm combined with lots of technical knowledge & hands-on experience – TERRIFIC! Well planned and organized; Owen is a clear and entertaining speaker.”

“My questions were answered before we asked them. Our presenter was clear, basic and creative. Great variety of construction solutions”

“Interesting, informative talk. We will make some changes as a result of this talk. Quite an entertaining, humorous speaker.”

“Excellent! Several hints are invaluable”

“Excellent – lots of information, very instructive. Also a very entertaining speaker. I hope he is part of next year’s seminar.”

“Everything this man does is first class”

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