December 25, 2009 |
Steve Bowdoin can't hide presents under the teddy-bear cholla cactuses, at least not without getting pricked. He can't hang bulbs on the golden barrels or top the agave plants with stars. The 32-foot-tall saguaro cactus nicknamed "Grandpa" is magnificent, but it can't anchor a family room on Christmas morning. That's OK. Unlike the pines and Douglas firs bedecking most casinos and malls here -- including a 109-foot wonder that's among the nation's tallest -- Bowdoin's holiday display actually embraces the arid Mojave: three acres with 300 species of desert plants wrapped in half a million twinkling lights.
September 14, 2009 |
A simple scan of songwriter-artist-video director-designer Allee Willis' home is visual rhapsody. A plastic Mr. T piggy bank circa 1983 with painted-on yellow bling is perched on a shelf in the rec room. A pink magazine rack of spun spaghetti metal, made to look like a poodle, is positioned between a pair of shaggy pink couches covered in plastic. On a side table is a squished beer bottle disguised as an ashtray, which renders the colloquialism "Sock it to me" in psychedelic blue. A bottle of Farrah Fawcett creme rinse and conditioner by FabergÃ© is nearby.
HOME & GARDEN
June 1, 2006 |
IN a world of numbing moderation, there is, luckily, Al Richter. The Glendora homeowner believes that if a thing is worth doing, it's worth overdoing. "If I like something, I really go overboard," admits the tall, seventysomething, still-rugged retired business owner. It's not hard to figure out one of Richter's extreme tendencies as he strides over to a giant tangle of lime-green limbs rippling and swimming for the sky.
April 16, 2006 |
All of Lotusland--the private-now-public garden in Montecito that was the personal canvas of longtime owner Ganna Walska--is a gallery of artistic statements, and now Salvador Dali has his corner. The surreal look of 300 varieties of cactus rising from a sea of slate in this undulating acre prompted landscape designer Eric Nagelmann to pronounce his finished work Dali in the Desert.
July 7, 1999 |
It's a tough call whether Lotusland is a garden, a museum or a flight of fancy. Filled with a forest of dragon trees that bleed red sap, Indian lotus plants with leaves as big as elephant ears, and a world-class collection of primitive plants that date from the days of the dinosaurs, it's probably all three.
HOME & GARDEN
March 15, 1997 |
When Martin Colver suggested installing a cactus garden in an unused area of his parent's Costa Mesa backyard, his father, Frank, was uncertain. Planting the cactus would mean removing a 25-year-old pomegranate tree. Once his son installed the garden, however, Colver's reservations quickly disappeared. "The resulting garden is really worthwhile," said Frank Colver. "Until my son put the cactus garden in, we rarely used that space. Now we sit out there more than any other area of the yard.