David Brenner, founder of Habitat Horticulture, has been intrigued by plants for as long as he can remember. He is inspired not only by their beauty and diversity, but by the interaction between plants and people called ethno-botany, and especially by the psychological benefits of these fascinating living organisms. David’s passion led him to pursue a degree in Environmental Horticulture Sciences with an emphasis in landscape design and a minor in Psychology from California Polytechnic University at San Luis Obispo. In addition, he had the honor of studying at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. He credits much of his comprehension of botany and horticulture to the experts who led his studies at these fine institutions. Many of the plants David worked with are extremely threatened or almost completely extinct in the wild due to human interaction. The concept of extinction is incredibly difficult for David to accept. Out of this concern for the increasing risk of extinction, he believes that opening just one more person’s heart and mind to the beauty of plants brings us one step closer to saving our natural habitats. David strives to share his love with plants and the natural world through his living designs.
Photo credit: Lynn Kloythanomsup
Mickey brings a keen sense of artistry, formal design training, a professional attitude and a lifelong obsession with plants to Habitat Horticulture. An unquenchable curiosity has fueled his ambition to explore and discover the spectrum of relationships that exist between plants, people and architecture throughout the world. In doing so he has identified the many positive impacts plants make on people and place alike. This has inspired a design philosophy that seeks to promote public health through the thoughtful integration of plants in urban settings.He began his academic experience at the University of California, Berkeley where he studied psychology and public health. While these subjects interested him greatly, his love of plants, architecture, and the arts eventually prevailed, spurring him to redirect his energy into the field of landscape architecture. Mickey is now a proud graduate of the California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo landscape architecture program.
Upon graduation, Mickey received the 2010 Design Excellence Award on behalf of the Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo Landscape Architecture Department. He earned this award for his proven ability to develop creative and effective design solutions on a consistent basis throughout the five year program.
In addition to his academic training, Mickey has an extensive working knowledge of plants, people and places that he has developed through many experiences. Some of these include an internship with CMG Landscape Architecture in San Francisco, operating his own landscape design business and working at the Leaning Pine Arboretum in San Luis Obispo where he was responsible for a large area that included plant species native to California, Chile, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Mickey has traveled throughout Europe and North America and believes many of life’s most valuable lessons are learned while away from the familiar.
Natasha is in charge of communications, public relations, marketing and community outreach. She brings Habitat Horticulture’s visions and projects to life with words and creates new, relevant ways to impact communities through our designs and collaborations. Natasha received her B.A. in political science and Italian from the University of California at Santa Barbara, focusing on international relations, political communication and Italian culture.Primarily interested in communication, innovative design and practices that make our environment a healthier, happier place to live, Natasha specializes in communication strategy and brings considerable professional breadth to the team. With five years of experience in writing and editing; marketing; public relations; education and advocacy, she has worked with individual clients, non-profits, start-ups and corporations. An explorer at heart, she has traveled extensively throughout Europe and has lived in England, Rome, Bologna, Berlin and Cairo, studying abroad at the Universita di Bologna and the Freie Universitaet in Berlin. While teaching English in Berlin after graduation, she also worked at an organic farm planning events and teaching garden education. She is fluent in Italian and German and is learning Spanish. Her interest in communication stems from her desire to connect with people and for us to collectively engage with and appreciate our environment. Natasha may easily be the most personable soul you will encounter; hence, she is our people person.
With a natural affinity for language, an anthropological curiosity and the sharp analysis of a political scientist, she enjoys writing, researching and constantly learning. Natasha may often be found bicycling, practicing yoga, hiking and making miniature plantscapes with found objects.