Please Note: Read all the directions carefully below BEFORE you RSVP 'Yes' for this event.
1) I am hosting for both Gay Foodies and Pleasure Palate.
2) When you arrive at the venue, call me at [masked]. Do not text me.
3) The meeting point address is the Fern Dell Nature Center at 2272 Fern Dell Dr
Los Angeles, CA 90027
4) Print out the directions below as a reference to locate Fern Dell.
Directions to Fern Dell: Fern Dell is located on Fern Dell Drive in the Western Canyon area of Griffith Park. From I-5/Golden State Freeway, take Los Feliz Boulevard west 3 miles then turn right onto Fern Dell Drive.
From southbound 101/Hollywood Freeway, take the Vine Street exit and transition to Franklin Avenue. Take Franklin Avenue east to Western Avenue and turn left onto Western Avenue north. Turn left the first traffic signal which is Fern Dell Drive.
From northbound 101/Hollywood Freeway, take the Gower Street exit. Turn right onto Gower Street and take it to Franklin Avenue. Turn right onto Franklin and take it to Western Avenue north. Turn left at the first traffic signal which is Fern Dell Drive.
Street parking is available along Fern Dell Drive. If street spaces are taken, stay on Fern Dell Drive until you reach the Fern Dell parking lot, just after the road begins to narrow.
5) Tickets cost $25 per person to see all 6 private gardens in the tour. They will provide us with a map to all 6 private gardens after you purchase your tickets.
6) I recommend that we carpool to see all 6 private gardens. If you choose to carpool, please give your designated driver at least $5 to compensate for gas and car maintenance.
7) After the tour, if the group is hungry we can have a late lunch/early dinner at a TBD restaurant in the area.
I have been attending the LA Garden Conservancy Open Days for several years in a row now. The last couple of years have been held in the Westside. This time the gardens are more in the Los Feliz area. The houses tend to be mansions with large gardens. These are all privately owned properties, so it might be your only chance in your lifetime to see them in person. Come join me as we explore some beautiful and private gardens in LA!
- Villa Francesca 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
This Los Feliz Hills estate is a part of Hollywood history. The Mediterranean style house was designed by Frank Meline in 1920 for Victor Schertzinger, a composer and film director. The pool house, designed by Mark Daniels, and the 1930s classic swimming pool, designed and constructed by Paddock Engineering Company, set the stage for the formal enclosed Italianate garden. The garden's lush character includes subtropical landscape, terraces, classical touches, and distinct axis with a less formal perimeter. The present owners, an architect and an engineer, have consulted with Landscape Architect Howard Troller, Architect Jim De Long, and Professor of Landscape Architecture Robert Perry to eliminate inconsistent elements and create, unify, and strengthen the original concept for the garden.
- Taggart House Garden 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
A vast and rolling garden surrounds the monolithic Taggart House, the first significant house Lloyd Wright designed and built in 1922. Varieties of succulents, including fleshy Crassula ovata (jade) and numerous rare agave plants combined with wild horse grasses are woven together like a blanket wrapping around this historical cultural monument. A hidden pathway of broken concrete steps down from the house on the hill to reveal a hidden garden oasis, known as "The Dell". The Dell is nestled among the jade, agave, cacti, and various tree species, including two Japanese Acer palmatums, California oaks, a sycamore, and pittosporum trees. Natural springs (once thought to be real fountains of youth) run underneath and through The Dell. At the west end of The Dell you will find a collection of Frank Lloyd Wright's signature cement "textile blocks" organically situated as left behind artifacts (just as the owners found them). These were left by Lloyd while he was overseeing the construction of some of his father Frank's iconic Los Angeles houses. On the other side of the property is a sparkling pool surrounded by fuzzy kalanchoes, more native and rare cacti and succulents. From this outdoor pool and garden spot there are sweeping views of Griffith Park, the Observatory, and downtown Los Angeles.
- Horton Garden 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
My garden surrounds one of the original 1920s Hollywoodland cottages in Beachwood Canyon. When I moved here in February 2005, the front garden was all lawn, with a young sycamore tree and a big old camellia. A tall ficus hedge separated the front from the street. I thought I would live here a short time, perhaps eighteen months, so as a garden designer and a lifelong gardener, I knew that I needed quick yet drastic changes. My landlord generously allowed me to do what I wanted. Out went most of the lawn; in went chain link fences to provide security for my dogs. A decrepit wood fence was painted blue to match the roof tile. Tangled vines were tamed by cutting to the ground then re-trained as they grew back. More vines were added to the north, for screening. To give shape to the new garden and to screen out the driveway, I planted and hedged fast-growing Teucrium fruticosa. Large pots create structure for the paved areas on the side and back of the cottage. My driveway became a nursery and a place to audition plants for clients’ gardens. The house now feels like a pavilion in a garden, and not coincidentally, like home.
- Hatton-Young Garden 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
The owners, Bruce Hatton and Thomas Young, collaborated with Anthony Exter of Anthony Exter Landscape Design (www.anthonyexter.com) to create pool, dining, and lounging gardens where there were none for this Paul R. Williams designed Spanish Colonial Revival house built in 1928. There are several distinct areas with sweeps of Mediterranean plants and vintage urns and fountains: a motor court and driveway, meditation garden, office garden, pool/dining/lounging terrace, and a hillside citrus grove. An additional 1,500 square feet of flat land was engineered into the hillside for the new pool and pergola, which feature columns and masonry borrowed from the architecture, framing the view of downtown Los Angeles. The plant compositions feature a base of specimen olive, dwarf olive, Italian cypress, boxwood, agave, aloe, rosemary, with poet’s jasmine, 'Sombreuil' rose, and citrus for fragrance.
Photo: Anthony Exter Landscape Design
- Contemporary Spanish Revival Garden 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Both the architecture of this 1924 S. Charles Lee Spanish house and the homeowner's appreciation for contemporary aesthetics became the inspiration for this garden design. The rhythmic, repetitive arches of the house are mirrored with cylindrical pots of sticks on fire and are echoed in drifts of Mexican sage, Spanish lavender, lamb's ear, lantana, festuca, and blue chalk sticks—creating a dynamic colorful, textural entry. The side yard, with benches, cylindrical pots of agave and rectangular vegetable planters, became a destination in itself. Step stones surrounded by pebbles create a flow to the backyard where a contemporary rectilinear design is expressed in the glass-tiled pool with rectangular seating islands, custom barbecue and pebble borders adjacent to a small turf area. A dramatic ten-foot-long slate water wall adds a calming sound to this urban retreat. Garden and outdoor elements were designed by Joan Grabel of Park Slope Design.
Photo: Joan Grabel
- A Potted Garden 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Shadowed in the majesty of a 100-plus-year-old gingko, this Old Hollywood garden was rescued from almost complete “concretization” by its current owners Annette and Gustavo Gutierrez. Annette, co-owner of the garden design store Potted, spent ten years reclaiming the yard as an outdoor extension of the couple’s home, a philosophy of the store. Though surprisingly small, the yard boasts six 'living' areas and a swimming pool. Potted succulents abound in every nook and cranny. There is a fern garden under the shade of a two-story avocado tree and the newly 'reimagined' driveway will soon completely privatize the entire property. The house may be over a century old, but the garden is modern and fresh, blending organically with the Craftsman philosophy of its time.