For several years now our very good friend Dustin Gimbel of Second Nature Garden Design has been throwing these great dinners he has dubbed Cross Pollinators. Â My husband and I hosted one last year blogged about by Denise at A Growing Obsession. Â The idea is to get together like-minded garden geeks who may or may not know each other Â to come together for a wonderful evening. Â The first one started off with maybe 12 people. Â Last night’s I think there was more like 35 or 40. Â Good thing Dustin’s garden has grown and evolved and I thought you might like to see it. Â I was tripping over myself to get photos and had serious garden envy. Â If you only knew what the neighborhood looked like just outside the gate…
Since last year Dustin put up a ficus hedge so the house is now completely hidden. Â Now when you walk into the garden from the decidedly urban street in Long Beach it resides on, this is what you are greeted by. Â Whoa!
These are balls made of hyper-tufa he made himself. Â We had a great time one day making hyper-tufa in the garage…not as easy as you’d think (but here’s a link to a YouTube video in case you wanted to try…it’s fun).
Continuing down the path to the backyard, these are old Gainey Pots that Dustin secured to metal poles. Â He is one clever boy. Â They look great dancing above the other foliage.
Dustin (dead center) greeted everyone in his usual warm and wonderful way and had them wear name tags which I very much appreciated. Â It was also a potluck which made it a bit easier on him and good fun for the guests to get to try different things.
I immediately had to start shooting pictures because the light was fading and I was salivating to see all the new things he had done. Â This is a wall he put up a few years back that’s grown to include the corner and also the lovely reflecting pond below and further acts to frame all sorts of views in the garden (as you will see).
On the other side of the wall, Dustin used some balls he bought at Target, made a silicone mold and created all the concrete versions of it as art pieces. Â I also like how he’s leaned old mirrors to reflect other angles of the garden (including me in the left one!)
These are little Hyper-Tufa ball pots he made.
And here is one of my favorite plantings of all time that just gets better and better as the years go on.
Here’s the view back through the wall. Â Isn’t it great how these cut outs frame things?
And here’s my favorite thing ever…the seating area behind that wall. Â The vine isÂ Aristilochia gigantea (I believe) and is one of the most stunning things I’ve ever seen. Â Painting the wall Mauve was genius.
By the garage were the raised beds, and some where back there he also has beehives. Â If you could just see this neighborhood outside these walls! Â Why didn’t I take that picture? Â I know there’s a liquor store on the corner with a drunk guy and a brown paper bag…
Another interesting/odd element to the garden was this giant yellow tree. Â Dustin had wanted to get rid of it as it was taking up valuable real estate in his garden but then got this idea to make it a piece of sculpture.
And as the evening fell to night, that yellow tree really came to life.
All in all, it was one heck of a party and one heck of a garden. Â And this was not meant to make you jealous (though you should be jealous of Dustin’s garden), but hopefully it will inspire you to throw your own Cross Pollinator’s Party. Â I wanna see pictures!