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Exploring the Moorten Botanical Garden – Palm Springs

Re-post from 2015

Jonathan and I spent a cold & rainy New Year’s in Palm Springs this year. Instead of hanging out by the pool, we bundled up and headed out to look at desert plants.

I had heard about the Moorten Botanical Garden for years, but it wasn’t until our last trip out to Palm Springs in October that we found it when we were doing an architectural driving tour with my grandparents. It is only a few blocks west of the Ace Hotel and Pool Club, where we have been hanging out for years.

IMG_1519Started in 1938, many of the 3000 desert plant varieties are large and mature. I think of the Moorten as kind of a scrappy desert cousin to the Huntington rare cactus and succulent garden in Pasadena.


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There is a $4 donation requested for entry. They have a nursery when you can buy small cacti and succulents. And they rent out the garden for special events like weddings.


IMG_1484It is staffed by a group of plant loving senior volunteers. I laughingly told Jonathan that I was seeing my future. I predict we retire to Palm Springs someday and that I spend my golden years volunteering at the botanical garden.


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Upside down hanging cacti in the cactarium!

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Next time you in Palm Springs, save an hour or two to visit the Moorten. And bring home a little cacti to remember your visit!

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April 16, 2017
See more: in California, landscape & garden, on the road, plant stars

Hammock Circle of Love | Spirit Wind

I’m very excited to introduce you to my new favorite spot in the world.

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If you haven’t guessed already, it’s the hammock circle at Spirit Wind. I’m been Instagramming about it since we finished building it on the 4th of July. Jonathan and I designed it. It’s basically the center of the universe.


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As one of our guests said, “It’s supreme!”. We built it for star gazing. But it’s great during the day, too. The wind gently rocks you while you soak in the panoramic view of the house, mountains, boulders and Joshua trees.



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At night you feel body less and like you are floating through space. It’s the perfect spot for watching meteor showers. It’s just completely magical. Photo: @niritgur


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You can also get a great view of the architecture. The facade of building based on ratios in atonal ancient musical scales. Photo: @nextleveljay


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All your stress and problems just blow away. Bunnies hop by. Birds soar. It’s the perfect spot for deep life altering conversations and pondering the universe. Watching the sunset.


 
UPDATE: Luna Shadows filmed part of her video for her new song Cherries at Spirit Wind (and Noah Purifoy). Check out our hammock circle in action!


Follow @spiritwindjoshuatree for more magical hammock photos
Or come to Joshua Tree and enjoy it yourself!

September 15, 2016
See more: buildings & places, design, diary, in California, Joshua Tree, landscape & garden, on the road

Welcome to Spirit Wind, Joshua Tree!

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 1.52.04 PMWhen it rains, a waterfall comes off this corner of the house and lands in a dry creek full of rock.

Exciting, life changing news! Jonathan & I just bought a house in Joshua Tree, California. The property is called Spirit Wind (named by the second owners). It was designed by architect George Zelenz and was completed in 2009. It’s on the edge of the National Park and a few miles from the west gate. It’s a really special, magical place. We have over 100 Joshua trees on the property, thousands of cacti and stunning 360 views. It really looks like it could be on Mars or another planet!


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The house is clad with Hardy Board and core-10 steel.

We are still kind of in shock that this place is ours. It was a long complicated escrow because there were a number of things that had never been finished on the house, that had to be resolved before our mortgage broker, Natalie Salins from Movement Mortgage could get it approved. The house needs a bit of renovations and finishing touches. For example it was was missing a bunch of railings on 2nd and 3rd floor. There was a spiral staircase with NO railing. I climbed up it a couple of times because I was really curious to see the view from the roof, but it was pretty precarious.

The plan is to eventually move out there full time, but that might be 10 years away or more. In the meanwhile we going to split our time between Los Angeles and Joshua Tree. It is about a 2-1/2 hour drive between our house in Echo Park and Joshua Tree. We are looking forward to making lots of memories out there!


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View from the front door… I’m planning to plant a grid of Barrel cactus out here.

I’ll post more photos of the Spirit Wind renovation soon!


March 8, 2016
See more: buildings & places, diary, in California, Joshua Tree, landscape & garden, Los Angeles Real Estate, on the road, real estate

Looking Back: My Favorite 10 Blog Posts of 2015

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As the year comes to an end, it’s nice to look back. It has been a cray-cray year for me and I haven’t had the chance to sit back and reflect as much as I would like. Honestly, I have been kind of beating myself up that I haven’t made more time to blog this year. But looking back through all my posts I realize that I have written a lot (between all my blogs). I picked these 10 blog posts, not because they got the most likes or view, but because I liked them and thought they might be the most helpful to you.

For me, 2015 was a transitional year. I lost some friends and two grandparents. There were a number of family and friends that were very sick or dealing with difficult situations. I’m grateful that things are settling down. 2015 felt like the end of one era and 2016 will be the beginning of another. I’m really ready for this new year. Let’s make it great.

XOXO

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PERSONAL STORIES

Way Way up in the Ancient Bristlecone National Forest

Exploring the Moorten Botanical Gardens, Palm Springs

Hungry for Plants at Flora Grubb Gardens, San Francisco

LOS ANGELES NEIGHBORHOODS

Highland Park (Figueroa St. corridor), Los Angeles 90042

Angelino Heights, Echo Park, 90026

Boyle Heights Neighborhood, Los Angeles 90033, 90063, 90023

Elysian Valley (AKA Frogtown), Los Angeles Neighborhood 90039

LANDSCAPE

12 Awesome Outdoor Couches – 2015

Turf Free Backyard, Pasadena

8 Easy Ways to Improve your Curb Appeal

December 31, 2015
See more: design, diary, in California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Real Estate, on the road