Photography by Jen Britton
The big move from Topanga, where he lived throughout the ’60s, to his current home in Venice, where he has been since 1982, has brought a great shift to his garden.
The full acre in Topanga, with space enough for grapes, asparagus and berries, amongst the usual suspects of a Southern California garden, is a thing of the past.
But undeterred and a few articles and books on vertical gardening later, George was off the path to the grocery store and onto his sidewalk with a shovel. Yes, his sidewalk. It’s difficult to miss this house, as you stroll Venice. Towering trellises create a wall between passersby and the streets, where vines hang, and flowers happily bloom.
“This year I have invited the neighborhood to take what they can use at dinnertime. For the most part people have been reasonable in what they take,” he says. “What I have enjoyed the most is when parents bring their kids to see the garden and learn that their food comes from the ground and not the supermarket. It’s wonderful to see kids when they taste their first fresh cherry tomato or string bean. Some folks come quite a distance to take a few specific variety of chili they need for their salsa.”
He hopes that his garden can serve as inspiration to those who feel as though they “don’t have the space” to grow their own food. With a curbside garden this beautiful, it’s tough not to feel inspired—or, at the very least, impressed (and hungry)!