His Garden Is a Wonderland: Inside John Mayer’s Cactus Collection
Plus, two more gardens designed by Cactus Store in Los Angeles.
In addition to selling cacti and cactus paraphernalia, the team at the Cactus Store in Los Angeles has designed xeric gardens throughout Southern California. Max Martin, a co-founder of the store, gives us a survey of three stunning projects the team has done—including an exclusive look into John Mayer’s cactus garden, so keep scrolling for a peek into some of L.A.’s finest cacti collections!
John Mayer’s Garden
As promised, a peek at John Mayers garden, so you can see how celebs do cacti. Max builds a dreamy mental image of what creating the musician’s garden was like. “The space he gave us to work with was an old putting green built by the previous owner. We imagined a cartoonishly dense desert landscape rising up out of the turf, as if nature were reclaiming her territory.”
Max goes on to describe the cacti and adornments placed in the garden, “A massive 20-foot Cardon cactus emerging from between two 4,000-pound boulders was added, as well as a 12-foot Organ Pipe cactus, a 15-foot Boojum tree, a 9-foot Cephalocereus senilis. Our head designer sprinkled the garden with Mojave native wildflower seeds, like a chef salting her creation to taste.” he tells us of Marinna Wagner, head designer of Cactus Store who helped bring the vision for the space to life.
“Stayner Architects commissioned us to design a garden for the Miles C. Bates house, a nearly lost 1955 masterpiece that Stayner had undertaken to lovingly restore in Palm Desert.”, Martin tells us of the space nicknames “Wave House”. The project was led by Marinna Wagner, our head designer (frankly, the best designer of botanical spaces we know of)
“80 percent of the plants Marinna selected were local species, half of which were grown by the amazing folks at the Mojave Desert Land Trust, where Marinna spent a number of years working in conservation, restoration, and research.” Max tells us of the pristine house deemed the “Wave” House for its curving roof that mimics the nearby San Jacinto mountains.
“Our concept for the El Centro Hollywood project was to make botanical space a central priority of the architecture, and an amenity for its inhabitants, a departure from the conventional use of landscape design, as a way to fill in unused edges,” Martin tells us of the retail and residential space located in the center of Hollywood.
He adds, “With one full city block in the heart of central Hollywood, El Centro provided us with the space and microclimate conditions necessary to bring in a huge variety of plants native to habitats from around the world.”
Now that we’ve inspired you with three stunning examples of drought-resistant gardens across California, catch up with Cactus Store to find the right prickly partner for your yard.
Read the 2021 Gardening Issue
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