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THE SCOUT IN THE GARDEN

A timeless touch

October 05, 2006|David A. Keeps | Times Staff Writer

THOUGH she has French cottage furnishings and folk art stalls at the Wertz Brothers Antique Mart in Santa Monica, Tauni Brustin's Topanga home is where her heart is. Brustin, in the mirror above, has transformed the terraced backyard into an enchanting garden filled with antiques, a complement to her nearby storefront Main St. U.S.A. Under the shade of massive black walnut and oak trees, she displays early 20th century architectural elements, wrought-iron gates, wire dinette sets, wood trellises and cast concrete sculptures. Faux log cement planters ($45) share the space with a brass-and-iron Mexican church candle offering stand ($750) and a one-of-a-kind 1930s concrete sculpture of a mountain lion with glass eyes ($4,500). Open weekends and by appointment. 369 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd.; (310) 455-2894.

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KIDS

It'll live long after playtime is over

When the Plant-Me Pets finally get on your last nerve, simply bury them face first in a pot of dirt. Conceived by Barcelona designer Marti Guixe, the natural latex-rubber bodies will decompose and, given enough water and sunshine, the eyes (which are actually seeds) will sprout into a pumpkin, melon or tomato plant. The pets are $20 each at www.branchhome.com, which also sells desktop greenery in leakproof paper bags, in aluminum tins and in ceramic eggs, not to mention a host of green housewares and furniture.

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REDISCOVERED

Classic flora by the roll

For those who want to bring the outdoors inside with style, there's Lanai. The hand-screened wallpaper features a highly graphic 1960s favorite, the split-leaf philodendron, shown here in black, gray and white but also available in a gold, tan and green palette. Each 45-foot roll ($225) is 27 inches wide, with a pattern that repeats about every 3 feet. It's part of a collection from Circa Furniture, the Hollywood Modern offshoot of Phyllis Morris Originals. Circa is in West Hollywood, (310) 289-6872; www.circafurniture.com.

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FINDS

So cool it's frightening

Hand-carved jack-o'-lanterns and construction paper bats? Save it, Martha. This Halloween, get your shriek on with some frightfully good online catalog offerings. For the yard, www.grandinroad.com carries these staked ghosts, which come three to a pack for $49 (meaning you'll need two packs to assemble the spooky circle shown here). The catalog and online retailer also stocks creeps-inducing trees (from $69), life-size mummies ($119), faux gravestones modeled after ancient British crosses ($49 to $69) and feathered bats, crows, owls and vultures (from $24). At www.gumps.com, the notable treats in the online holiday store include a 4-foot-tall black feather Halloween tree ($135).

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