Believe it or not this residential backyard used to be covered in a wall to wall backyard putt-putt course! I guess some lucky kid must have asked for that instead of a pool back in the 1980’s. Time had not been kind to the putt-putt course and it was getting kind of post apocalyptic looking. So we got out the jackhammers and ripped out all the concrete, except for a long low retaining wall.
We turned the retaining wall into a built in 40′ long bench that acts as seating for the dining area and a transition to the lawn level. It also allows you to hang out and really appreciate the succulent collection close up.
Agave attenuatta, lavender, aeonium and senecio act as a transition between the gravel zone and the lawn.
Outdoor dining are is flexible for hosting small or large groups.
I love how different the chairs are. You don’t want things too matchy-matchy.
We are working on designs for the front yard right now that will pick up on some of the themes in the backyard. Stay tuned.
Jonathan and I spent a cold & rainy New Year’s in Palm Springs this year. Instead of hanging out by the pool, we bundled up and headed out to look at desert plants.
I had heard about the Moorten Botanical Garden for years, but it wasn’t until our last trip out to Palm Springs in October that we found it when we were doing an architectural driving tour with my grandparents. It is only a few blocks west of the Ace Hotel and Pool Club, where we have been hanging out for years.
Started in 1938, many of the 3000 desert plant varieties are large and mature. I think of the Moorten as kind of a scrappy desert cousin to the Huntington rare cactus and succulent garden in Pasadena.
There is a $4 donation requested for entry. They have a nursery when you can buy small cacti and succulents. And they rent out the garden for special events like weddings.
It is staffed by a group of plant loving senior volunteers. I laughingly told Jonathan that I was seeing my future. I predict we retire to Palm Springs someday and that I spend my golden years volunteering at the botanical garden.
Upside down hanging cacti in the cactarium!
Next time you in Palm Springs, save an hour or two to visit the Moorten. And bring home a little cacti to remember your visit!
The Ace Hotel & Swim Club, Palm Springs. We had our “rehearsal dinner” right here by this wall in 2010. The hedge is a Podocarpus a.k.a Hedgezilla.
More Ace Hotel, they have great walls.
There are a lot of tapestry hedges (hedges made up of multiple shrubs/vines) in Echo Park, Los Angeles. This one has multiple kinds of bougainvillea and boxwood.
This ad for High Maintenance (a web series) is hand painted on a wall in Echo Park, CA. If you haven’t seen the series, you should download it ASAP. The main character is a pot dealer in NYC that delivers via bicycle. Each episode is about a different delivery/client. Incredibly well done. It’s one of my new favorites.