The more I looked at this property, the more I wondered. It's in San Marino, one of the most expensive cities in Los Angeles County, San Marino has a median home price of $2.1 million. This property is on a wide street in a beautiful neighborhood of old (1930's) houses with big trees and big lawns.
Considering the size of the plants, the garden obviously wasn't installed yesterday by Turf Terminators for the lawn-removal rebate:
Amazing cacti and Euphorbias of amazing size, all crammed in together.
Looking harder and thinking longer, it became apparent that the cramming was done in a completely random fashion.
How do they weed? Or are the weeds too intimidated to grow?
The multiple alarm company "armed response" signs made me a little uneasy. The front window was barred, though no one could possibly access it through a forest of cactus, and there was a heavy metal grate over the front door. The metal plus the cacti plus the "armed response" had an unwelcoming vibe...how intentional is that?
The randomness of the plants was almost as if someone had picked up little cacti at a big box store one at a time, and stuck them in over decades. I checked the property history--it last sold in 1993--I expected an earlier date. Guessing by the heft of a Dioon in one corner, and several Echinocereus grusonii, which I did not get a great photo of, I would have thought some of the cacti had been there since the 70's.
How long does it take for a Dioon to get 15' tall and wide?
In one spot, something appeared to have died a few years previous, and random things were stuck in recently--the Agave, the Dyckia at the bottom-leftish of the frame...what is going to happen when the Agave starts offsetting like mad?
There were a few wonderful cristate plants, like this crested...ahh..something. Notocactus magnificus cristata? The plants almost all looked clean and healthy, as if they are regularly hosed off.
This one is commonly available (but not when it's twelve feet tall, as this one was). Myrtillocactus geometrizans??
This---something--must have taken years to grow to this size, at least 2 feet across. A long time collecting obsession...? What is the mind behind this garden? The gardener is the garden.
Oddest was the parkway. I checked San Marino's current parkway policy--it might have just changed because of the drought. Lawn is not mandatory, but non-trees must be less than 24" tall.
This I do not get.
No idea (or concern?), apparently, as to how large these plants will grow, or how much they will offset. Then there's the lawn--how do they mow?
And planted in a row, like...corn?
On the initial drive by, I was expecting sophistication of plant knowledge that closer examination did not re-inforce. Curiouser and curiouser.
Amazing and puzzling at the same time.
And new acquisitions continue...I would have loved to have met the gardener and gleaned some perspective. The gardener is the garden...what is the story of this one?