I have a confession to make. Sometimes, mainly late at night, I watch some really dumb T.V. shows. They are mainly those reality ones on the Bravo network that involve finding homes, eating weird food, and yes, even housewives. So now you know. But if I hadn’t been watching the new Million Dollar Decorators show last week, I never would have heard about Inner Gardens, and found a great source for divine, over-the-top garden decor, such as this confessional. 
On the show, which I have to say is entertaining in showing how uber wealthy people are often bored, lonely and crazy, one of the star “tastemakers,” Nathan Turner, brought a longtime client to Inner Gardens in their quest to outfit her new, bohemian-style veranda

I perked up when they mentioned his client, named Melissa, lived in my hometown, Laguna Beach. I doubt I’ve ever run into this woman in line at Ralphs or filling my VW at the local Arco, but her groovy boho redo did inspire me to check out that Inner Gardens store! So yesterday, my friend, Jill, and I drove up to Culver City (L.A.) for a visit.
 (These drilled-stone planters, about 6 to 10 inches tall, started at $125 each.)

I have to say, it was well worth the gas money! Usually these places are only open to “the trade,” so just walking around and gaping at the gorgeous antiques and other landscaping accents was a ball! 

There’s a reason people featured on shows like Million Dollar Decorators shop here! It’s crazy expensive! But the ideas are free–such as sticking a Staghorn Fern like this one into a giant pot instead of mounting it on a wall!

When I’m poking around places like this, I can’t help think about ways I could make or find my own similar stuff, either DIY or at flea markets, etc.

As good as that sounds, and works, there are times when you just have to splurge on that one accent piece that will pull your entire yard together or spark conversation among your friends for years. (This guy is at least 10 feet tall.) This is where credit cards or birthdays can come in handy.

Can’t you just imagine how a Hobbit-like planter like this could anchor a lovely cottage garden or patio?

They didn’t have a lot of modern decor, but their assortment of planters was beyond comprehension. The store actually claims on their web site to be the largest garden store for these types of antiques in the country. I can believe it.

How about an entire tree trunk? I noticed that moss would go well with about half the items in this place.

And of course, they were all over the succulents rage.

It’s hard to believe this would hold up well outside, since it’s made from cardboard. 
Maybe under an overhang or protected porch. The way the light filtered through them was beautiful.

Lots of burled wood pieces. 

If that confessional doesn’t it do it for you, how about a small aircraft?

If you don’t want a hanging airplane, they had many giant chandeliers. In general, the scale of the objects here matched the scale of the homes of the people who shop here. If I did ever have a large garden, one of the first things I would love to include would be a mirror like this!
The nice manager told us Halle Berry swooped in quite a lot, as well as Matthey McConaughey. I don’t really care that much about celebrity sightings, but that gives you a sense of who actually takes home this stuff. 

Now he can tell customers that Janine and Jill popped in, too!
 (How could a place like this not have a cool cat skulking around!)

I am still awed that you can buy a large chunk of history like this garden fence. 

They had tons of Faux Bois, which are objects crafted out of concrete to imitate wood. Ferrocement Faux Bois was most popular in France in the 19th century, and is highly collectible. To give you an idea of the prices, I think this amazing lamp was about 5K (And I’m not sure if this is authentic or a repro.)

Wouldn’t you love one, or two, of these large, fanciful concrete planters to pack with your favorite succulents?
This is so huge you can hardly imagine it for residential use, but if have that perfect spot…
I forgot to mention that Inner Gardens has two locations, this one in Culver City and the other in West Hollywood.

This store was in an industrial neighborhood, and included items inside a giant warehouse, as well as outside plants for sale in the hills in back.

See, you could find your own cool, beat-up chairs like these at your local flea market–and save yourself thousands!!

Same with this rusty bouncer chair, although it might be harder to find that dreamy Faux Bois trunk seat or those fabulous concrete planters!!

This is their succulent section.
 (Creepy Harry Potter concrete dude could be yours, I’m sure, for the right price!)

Loved this draping succulent.

And this flowering one. (If you want to know more about this lovely plant, check out this post at A Growing Obsession blog.)
I never even thought of wishing for my own wishing well.

Jill ended up buying one of these lovely, unusual hydrangeas. Click here to see her garden
I like things that are weathered, but this seemed a little extreme.

More Faux Bois. I could develop a thing for this stuff.

I know you may have had your fill by now of Inner Gardens, but we spotted these items on a locked back patio on our way out. How about that metal patio umbrella or those mushrooms? Good thing I’m not materialistic!
 Seriously, very grateful just to enjoy all these treasures! If you are in the area, I bet you would, too!
   

8 Responses to Have You Found Your Inner Garden?

  1. Carola says:

    Nice store! They have a lot of interesting object.
    The flowering suculent is a kalanchoe, I dont know the name of the draping one, but is so cute!
    I love the bouncer chair, here you cant found that model, I dream with that kind of chair.
    Faux bois sculptures are lovely!
    Tx u for the trip :)

    kiss

    Carola

  2. ks says:

    What a great place,ideas galore.

  3. Fabiana says:

    Wow! This is a great resource! And you took some great pictures. I'll have to try to get up there one of these days. The patina and color of that confessional is to die for. Sounds like a fun day!

    Love those million dollar decorators!

    ciao from up the coast ;)

  4. Cat says:

    I love your field trips! I wonder if Jill's take home hydrangea is an Oak Leaf Hydrangea? It looks really similar to the bloom on my Oak Leaf…

  5. Rebecca Sweet says:

    I LOVE Faux Bois! Thanks for taking us on yet another fabulous field trip. And that metal umbrella hiding in the last photo – to die for!

  6. Mark and Gaz says:

    I'd have plenty of fun in this shop! Amazing selection of garden accessories.

    While everything there won't be to everyone's taste, the selection is wide enough to cater to plenty of customers. So much to choose from, and yet you can buy pieces and maintain your individuality and complement your own unique style.

  7. Denise says:

    I was face to face with some expensive faux bois the other day and was glad to be able to admit I don't really care for it at all. This place is incredible! Thanks for the tip, and so glad you waded through late night tv to find it and not me! Those cardboard creations are amazing. I think my mantle needs one.

  8. Hoover Boo says:

    Pretty cool, except for the concrete Bambi with his nose hacked off. Creepy, yes.

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