A secret garden in Pomona

John Greenlee
Nestled in a Pomona neighborhood behind a metal and bamboo gate is a magical and otherworldly garden built around this bungalow by garden designer John Greenlee and a man called Simple. A symbol of free-spirited California landscape design, the garden was once a magnet for horticulturists and designers experimenting with plants and landscapes. “The garden had a tremendous impact on California gardeners and landscape designers. It demonstrated a freedom of spirit and embraced nature,” says West L.A. garden designer Pamela Berstler. Greenlee, who has rented the property since 1977 when he was a college student, is closing the garden this month. The author of the Encyclopedia of Ornamental Grasses now lives in Northern California and continues to visit L.A. for his design work and to manage his nurseries in Chino and Pomona.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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