The Art of Cactus

Untitled (#885), 2003, by Roy DowellCourtesy of Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles.

      The gorgeous cactus and succulent garden of artists Lari Pittman and Roy Dowell in the foothills of Los Angeles was showcased in the current issue of Garden Design magazine. Desert themes are found in some of their artwork. 

Photo by: Ann Summa
“It’s not about placing the plant in a context in this idea of naturalism. Naturalism itself is a form of simulation. The idea of multiple [plantings] is a form of order. The core logic of the garden is repetition.” From Garden Design article.

Photo by: Ann Summa
    Most of the plants came from a nearby nursery called Worldwide Exotics. The article in Garden Design includes tips on growing these types of plants. 
Courtyard, by Lari Pitman
Courtesy Regen Projects, Los Angeles
The couple spent the last dozen years creating this garden on about three-quarters acre. They named it Parque Oaxaca.

Photo by: Ann Summa

Golden Barrel Cactus
Photo by: Ann Summa
A 1925 Nuetra home on the property. The couple build another home down the hill, where they live.
Untitled #7, 2007, by Lari Pittman

“It’s impossible to separate individual influences on this private botanical canvas. They have let loose the design and color possibilities in a carefully crafted frame.” From Garden Design article.

Photo by: Ann Summa

Santa Rita Prickly Pear

Photo by: Ann Summa

To learn more about his garden and its owners, read, “Roy Dowell and Lari Pittman’s Cactus Garden in Los Angeles.” 

7 thoughts on “The Art of Cactus

  1. Thanks for sharing this gem Janine! The spectacular swathe of barrel cactus on the second photo sums up their principle so well, of order and repetition 🙂

  2. "It’s not about placing the plant in a context in this idea of naturalism. "

    I must say having lately seen many photos of agave and cacti in nature, that a large group of a single species scattered over and dominating an area is indeed very natural–we just don't know it is, having not been to isolated remote areas of wild Mexico.

    Lovely post, love the art interspersed with the plant photos.

  3. Photo #2 is one divine, serene patio / deck. I see groupings of 1 or 2 dramatic species quite often in nature, perhaps inspiring modern arrangements like some of this post's photos. And often, they are succulents…sotol, yucca, beargrass, agave, etc. Thanks; great artwork, vignettes, too!

    (and yes, Blogger decided to work for me again, to allow using my own site better & comment on one of my most-favorite blogs, Laguna D.)

  4. I was just being awed by this piece in the magazine today! Thank you so much for posting the pictures larger. Wishing you the happiest of holidays from Rancho Reubidoux, Reuben

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