Yes, this is another sequel; and yes, this is my second Six on Saturday post for today. So far, no one has told me that posting twice is against the rules.

These are six more of the many pictures that my colleague, Brent Green, sent to me. They are of his home garden in Mid City Los Angeles, which is much more interesting than my utilitarian sort of garden. I explained the situation in more detail with the first post last week, and briefly mentioned it in the other Six on Saturday post just prior to this one.

The other Six on Saturday for today was posted here:

1. This is the small elevated porch-like patio at the rear of the garden from which the first of the six pictures in the previous post was taken. (This picture was taken from the back porch seen in that picture.) You can see how it, and the low wall to the left, were constructed from the broken concrete of the old driveway. The very edge of the new driveway is barely visible at the left edge of the picture. More on that with the fourth picture.P90406K

2. You can not see the most interesting feature of this picture, which is just to the left of the previous picture. Right there in the middle, completely obscured by vegetation, there is a small garage that was converted to an office with a deck on the roof, where I camp out when I go to Los Angeles. It is like sleeping in a tropical jungle with a view of the ‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign, which by the way, is different from sleeping in a redwood forest.P90406K+

3. Just to the left of the previous picture, the ‘driveway’, which I will explain next, extends from the garage that is now an office to the street out front. In the narrow space between the driveway and fence, this overgrown mess of pink jasmine on top of a ficus hedge behind a thicket of bamboo palms obscures the house next door. All this jasmine is VERY fragrant all day and into evening when the angel’s trumpet gets powerfully fragrant too.P90406K++

4. Now the driveway. The old pavement was removed and recycled into other features. The new pavement replaced it . . . but was never used as a driveway. The gate seen here is wide enough for a car to fit through, but is never opened. A car couldn’t get through all this vegetation anyway. A French door from the dining room opens up onto a wide spot where that weird orange fountain in the middle is. It all became more nice patios space.P90406K+++

5. Coming back around to the back patio from where the first two pictures (of these six) were taken, we can see how thoroughly the garden space is enclosed by vegetation. No outside structures are visible. You would never guess that this garden is about a block from the Santa Monica Freeway, and that it is surrounded by other homes and apartment buildings. Even the utility cables out back are hidden. Fountains obscure ambient noise.P90406K++++

6. Way back in the corner on the right of the previous picture, behind the kentia palm and past the glass door of the master bedroom, we find another blooming azalea, like the specimen in the third of the six pictures posted earlier. For Southern California, this is an impressive specimen. The big staghorn fern above and behind it is really getting monstrous. I have no idea what that weird twisted purple plastic device is. Brent has such bad taste.P90406K+++++

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


35 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Brent’s Garden II

    1. There are only a few things in that garden that would live there. The saucer magnolia is comparable to those in Switzerland. The same cultivar might even live there. However, there are many things that do well in Switzerland that would not be happy in Los Angeles. For example, Brent can not grow apples.

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  1. I know you are being much too hard on Brent when you continue to tease him for his bad photos and his taste. I was so taken, in this group, by the fact that even his seating cushions harmonized with the brugmansia flowers.

    I am not sure if you know Sydney Eddison. She has written several books on gardening and she’s from Connecticut. Her background is as a painter. In her younger years, she wrote a container design book, Gardens to Go. In it, she showed how on her terrace she would paint her wrought iron furniture every year to match her container planting scheme. It was really something!

    We actually lectured today. I was honored to be in such wonderful company.


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    1. The furniture was a gift from those who market it, because they want it to be seen in Brent’s landscape. Brent’s wife might have selected the cushions. Although she mostly stays out of Brent’s way out in the garden, there are a few things that girls are just better at.


    1. You know, that is something that Brent and I have discussed a few times. Neither of us had seen it before we were in college in 1986. It was very popular or a while, but is now rare. Like many species, his blooms before mine.


    1. That was installed without much of a plan. It was a runty #1 (1 gallon) when it went in. It grew like a weed and displaced what was around it. Brent used to coppice it to the ground annually. A few years ago, as it was occupying too much space at ground level, Brent had me prune it up on a few trunks like it is now. Instead of getting coppiced down to the ground, it gets pollarded back to the the main trunks. Instead of being obtrusive at ground level, it can spread out up above and out of the way, and hang the flowers downard.

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    1. It really is. I sort of find it ironic that Brent loves living in Los Angeles so much, but has put so much effort into making his garden look like a tropical jungle that is so far from the City, complete with hedges to obscure the view of what is outside, and fountains to obscure the ambient noise. All the while, I live in the forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains, but try to instill unnaturally straight lines and formality. The only ambient noise that would be obscured by a fountain is that of the creek that flows through.


  2. Brent’s garden is a showcase and I like it very much. Can’t get over the lawn which is so perfect it almost looks artificial. The ‘drive’ made me smile and wonder how many years it is since a car was driven up there.

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    1. It almost looks artificial? I must inform Brent that he failed to convince that it really IS artificial! I so enjoy reminding him of his failures. Just as the garden is intended to demonstrate the performance of some of the plant material that Brent uses in some of his projects, it is also intended to demonstrate some of the infrastructure that also goes into the landscapes. This includes the artificial turf, lighting, patio furniture and a sound system. Those who market such products give it to Brent free of charge, just to get it demonstrated in his home garden, where so many will see it, either in person, or in pictures.


    1. His crew does most of the work. Because it is maintained so regularly, it does not seem to need so much work. Much of the work is renovating and making space for new items that need to be trialed.

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      1. His crew installs most of the landscapes that he designs. Although they do none of the common maintenance, such as mowing and blowing, they have been working on many of their landscapes seasonally for many years, in order to provide some of the specialized maintenance that common gardeners are not qualified to perform.

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  3. Hi Tony, I like Brent’s garden as it appears very lush. What is the climate like? the greenery would suggest lots of rainfall, but I note artificial grass which would suggest not too much rain. Also lots of things in pots, he must spend lots of evenings watering. It is a lovely garden and I like the overcrowded look where plants fight for light and space.

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    1. His garden is in the Mid City district of Los Angels, with is in a desert (or at least chaparral) climate. It needs way too much water once the rain stops, which should be any minute now. Oh, there it went. Anyway, it takes a LOT of water to keep it that green. The lawn is only artificial because Brent trials various artificial turf products. What you see there now will be replaced with another soon. There is a different artificial turf in front. The artificial turf is also nice because real turf grass would not do well with all the shade.


    1. You are welcome. It certainly is not my style of gardening, but there are reasons for it, and the garden certainly is appreciated by those who see it. Brent likes to entertain there.

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    1. It really is excellent. Brent entertains a lot. The upper deck is just more space to fit more of a crowd in. He will not sleep outside though. He does not understand why I do, as if I should prefer to sleep inside.


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