Billy Goodnick’s Back Story

Billy Goodnick

While enjoying a successful career as a musician, Billy Goodnick discovered the world of plants via bonsai and Japanese gardens. His studies in ornamental horticulture led to work in nursery sales, landscape installation and  maintenance, and design.

Frustrated with his limited arsenal (and increasingly frequent visits to his chiropractor), Billy earned a degree in landscape architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, landed a sweet gig as City Landscape Architect for Santa Barbara designing and managing the construction of parks, playgrounds, and developing policies that continue to enhance the public spaces of one of the world’s most beautiful cities.

Not one to sit on his haunches, in 1990, he developed an entertaining and informative adult education class to demystify garden design for homeowners. In recent years, his responsibilities expanded to teaching design to environmental horticulture students at the local community college.

Garden Writer

Winner of 2011 Electronic Media Award

Winner of 2011 Electronic Media Award

Late one night, he inadvertently jump-started his newest career as a writer, starting his Garden Wise Guy blog to share his views of design, life, the universe and everything. One thing led to another and now Billy is a contributing editor and award-winning blogger for Fine Gardening Magazine, authors an on-line column at, and writes his “In the Garden” column at 805 Living Magazine.

In March 2013, his book “Yards: Turn Any Outdoor Space into the Garden of Your Dreams” (St. Lynn’s Press) was published with rave reviews.

Billy was a featured garden writer at throughout 2013, writing design articles filled with yummy photos of luscious landscapes.

Garden Speaker

His love for teaching has grown to include gigs at national flower and garden shows, world class botanic gardens and arboreta, and top-level nurseries. Learn more at

Teaming up with Owen Dell, he wrote and hosted Garden Wise Guys, a popular, hilarious public service sustainable landscaping television show in Santa Barbara.

DrummingHis outspoken, snarky sense of humor includes an off-beat Facebook page, Crimes Against Horticulture: When Bad Taste Meet Power Tools. You have to see it to believe it.

But what’s totally cool is that he still get to play drums, laying down a funky groove with King Bee (only the most fun you can have without disrobing).