Friday, February 21, 2020

Visiting Dustin Gimbel's garden

When putting together my wish-list for places to visit during our trip to the Los Angeles area last December I figured Dustin Gimbel's garden was a long shot, since it was Christmastime and all. Dustin and I had met previously, when he visited my garden and I've been reading Denise's (A Growing Obsession) droll-worthy posts covering his garden for years (here, here, here). I really wanted to see it in person, as luck would have it, I did...

To make the visit even better I toured this garden with Denise, she hadn't been to Dustin's in awhile and was there when I arrived. Double the fun! And lest you forget what's possible in SoCal yes, Bromeliads and Sansevieria in the ground...some people have all the fun.

The sun was bright and low when I visited. Shadows were everywhere and photography was difficult. However the garden was just as remarkable as I thought it would be.

Agave 'Joe Hoak' above, Agave celsii albicans below.

Agave impressa, I believe.

Wouldn't we all love a container dense with echeveria?

The front garden pathway.

Dustin has an impressive garden resume which includes (among many other things) time spent at Heronswood, you know—back in the day. Dustin does landscape design, but more recently has been exploring the creative possibilities of pottery design. I am proud to own both a Point Pot and one of the early Leggy Log Planters.

That deep front porch...

That small reflecting pond...

Okay now we've made our way to the back garden.

Dustin is busy getting ready for a show at the Sherman Library and Gardens this spring/summer.

Posters were in the works when I was there...

But now the official version has been released. I'm scheming on a way to visit but it's a really really long shot.

You might recognize this tree from yesterday's post.

That Rhipsalis ramulosa was so sexy!

I came home with three pieces of it which are currently rooting in the basement.

The ceramics are Dustin's handiwork, no doubt.

Strobilanthes gossypinus

The painted tree is dead—long dead—in case you were worried.

The wooden piece divides the back garden in two, without being a solid barrier.

This container with its rhipsalis was up so high I had to wonder how he got it up there.

Another reflecting pond.

The backside of the wooden divider.

This wall with it's hexigons was a favorite.

At the back of the garden was a series of shelves with smallish planters, each one unique.

A few more shots of the garden before it's time to depart...

And another reminder that things are very different in this magic land. I've got this same bromeliad, but it's currently doing time as a basement prisoner, waiting for the weather to warm.

Weather Diary, Feb 20: Hi 54, Low 34/ Precip 0

All material © 2009-2020 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.


  1. There's so much to see in that garden! I've always admired that wooden garden room divider and, every time I see it, I'm tempted to go cut holes in the fence dividing my cutting garden from the dry garden on the other side. Thanks for the heads-up about the show at Sherman Gardens - I'm going to put that on my calendar!

    1. Lucky you being able to go to the show. Take lots of pictures!

  2. Oh bromeliad envy! So many cool ideas and areas. Despite the bright conditions your photos make the garden look quite lush. A fun tour.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it, and yes...definitely lush.

  3. What an incredibly creative garden, I finally made the connection to the artist of the Leggy Log pots (most of which have sold out already). Although the large tree is not alive, it continues to have a presence in a more supportive role. If it wasn't there to hang plants on, one would have to build it.

    1. Seriously many ideas every where I looked!

  4. I bet all he has to do is pot up or plant a plant and it just grows. A fun place.

    1. Funny you say that, while we weer chatting he was cutting bromeliads from one spot that was a little "overgrown" and just sticking them into another spot, confident they would grow. I was handed one too!

  5. Artists have the best gardens, I swear. When it comes to color, texture and whimsy, they have it down!

  6. How lucky are you! I'm so glad you got to go. I really enjoyed your tour. And I want some of D's pots!

  7. So much fun to meet up with you here as you roamed his garden for the first time. I'm amazed at how many photos you got! It's the kind of garden that really repays inspection by someone like you who is able to appreciate all the details and work that goes into it.

    1. My camera finger (even when it's my phone) is fast! I'm so glad you made it over.

  8. My favorite may be those vertical stacks of what I am assuming are ceramic rocks by the owner. Wowza. Can't leave most ceramics outside in winter here. Those would be great in the snow.

    1. Here's a dumb question. Even when the ceramics aren't likely to hold a pool of water? I understand that anything that holds water and freezes is going to burst (happens here too) but would rock shapes still be a no-go?

  9. So many interesting features: plants, of course, but also plenty of art that even you might appreciate, i presume.


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