Photography by Jen Britton
Ever heard of ice cream bean? Thought so. Marlena, a graduate of the Los Angeles Common Ground Garden Program as a Master Gardener, and a supporter of the California Rare Fruit Growers, has been planting, bit by bit, to create what is now a remarkable garden: an oasis, providing an element of privacy as well as clean, fragrant air.
If the style of her garden feels reminiscent of something one would see outside of our country, this is not an accident. After studying for undergraduate work in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain, Marlena gave her travel bug free rein, bringing her to such destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Ecuador, Peru, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Indonesia, St. Martin, Granada, Trinidad, Truk and, yes, Alaska, in the Eskimo village of Gambell.
A beautiful woman, with a wealth of stories to share, and creator of an absolutely idyllic environment to tell them in—Marlena and her garden are pure magic.