Secret garden


Today over at GOOD I wrote about one of the coolest things I’ve seen in LA lately: An awesome community garden that’s sprouted out of an empty lot just off Hollywood Boulevard. It’s a trip to see this mini-oasis so close to the tourists shuffling down the Walk of Fame. But the best part about the story is how I actually got in contact with the garden’s caretakers.

Random garden along Hollywood Blvd!

Funnily enough, I snapped this photo a few years ago (you can see how tiny the plants are) when I was walking through Hollywood. I had always been curious about the garden—who took care of this? was it totally guerrilla-style? how did they water?—but had simply enjoyed the bit of urban greenery for what it was and kept walking.

Right off Hollywood

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, when my friend Jade and I were walking out of the premiere for The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and were completely stopped in our tracks by the incredibly lush growth so close to the smarmy Hollywood clubbers. I told her about how I had been watching the garden for awhile and wanted to do a story on it. “You should leave a note!” Jade said. She convinced me to write a message and tuck it into the snapdragons. Luckily the swag bags from the premiere included a Sharpie and a postcard!

The note I left at the garden

A few days later I got a reply from Karen Schumacher, one of the amazing volunteers who keeps the garden blooming. She actually told me that a lot of people leave them notes in the beds. I met her and her fellow gardener Jessica Crum at the space on a beautiful Sunday morning, and was so delighted to hear their story—including the incredible fact that the garden is located on the exact spot where another famous garden owned by Paul DeLongpre was demolished exactly 100 years ago.


You can read the story to find out more about Paul’s Urban Garden and how you can help it grow. It just goes to show you that if you do see something that piques your interest while walking around LA, you should always stop to investigate. And maybe even leave a note.

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  • Luigi Keaty

    Wow! Is it just a coincidence that they have that garden where the famous one used to be? Anyway, the last photo that you have here got my attention. It shows that this spot was really once a Star. See that flowering plant that grew in the center of that concrete garden floor? 

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