Tuesday, 22 February 2011

LA LA LAND

You'd be forgiven for thinking that LA is no sort of place for a gardener.  Hundreds of roads twisting like spaghetti and smog that covers the air is paramount to poor planting.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

I wasn't immediately taken with the city, it's a bit bonkers on first arrival - reliant on cars - there are few people walking the streets and the roads are wide.  People also drive very slowly, but I think this has more to do with the fact Marijuana is legal if you have any 'medical ailments', and I imagine that Valium and sedatives are the other drugs of choice (which I think I prefer to the Lager and Cocaine culture in London)

Medical Marijuana




You soon realise that the streets of LA are lined with beautiful Palm Trees and every car park or service station has areas devoted to Succulents and Cacti. 


Palm Tree lined street



Palm trees surrounding The Beverley Hills Hotel



Palm Trees peeking from the rooftop pool


Russella on Palm tree lined Rodeo Drive


(This is getting a bit 'look at my holiday snaps' isn't is...)

Succulents in a car park


Cacti at a Service Station



Cacti in the Silverlake Area of LA (which is the 'Shoreditch' of LA)




You also notice that many stores are covered in Ivy or other climbing plants

Marc Jacobs Shopfront on Melrose


Not sure what shop this is (but it looks good)


More Palm Trees outside Dolce and Gabbana on Rodeo (and me looking glamorous)


More Green Shops

Below is Chateaux Marmont which is a glorious hotel/restaurant/bar located in West Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard.  Much of LA looks a little like Disneyland - houses often look like castles or fairground rides - there's appears to be a strong European influence, with a bizarre twist.  
Chateaux Marmont is surrounded by trees and foliage (as you can see) and is set up away from Sunset Boulevard.  Doubtless this is because of the number of notable celebrities that frequent the hotel (when I was having a cuppa there, Ridley Scott was in attendance).



This is another house and garden in the Disneyland castle style - located in Beverley hills.

 

Bonkers

It does make me smile.  

Even the graveyards are happy places to visit because of the planting and cleanliness - you feel as though life is being celebrated.

Here's Marilyn Monroes Grave (covered in lipstick)...



The building Marilyn is laid to rest in has, again,  been built around the palm trees.




A novel grave flower holder -

A Painting of Plants




One place you really get a feel for the planting in LA is high up on the Hollywood Hills at the Griffith Observatory.  From the Observatory you can see all across LA and before you notice any smog (which LA is renowned for) you see lots and lots of green, then you see the sun, then you see the sea, then you see the 'Hollywood' sign and then you fall in love with LA instantly.

View from The Griffith Observatory



 Hollywood Sign




 LA Love







Did you know that... LA should really have an electric railway system in place but General Motors allegedly bought up all the electric trains (as it did in many cities throughout America) so as to replace them with buses and cars (which GM would manufacture and make loads of money from doing so).  Also - this is the background story in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' (the baddy wants control of Toontown so he can build lots of roads and dismantle the Trolleys).











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