ISSUE 32  |  South of the Border

Inside the Secret Gardens of Venice, California

August 07, 2012 3:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

In Southern California, some of the best gardens are off limits—except for one day of the year. Here's a glimpse behind the gates in Venice:

Photographs by Mimi Giboin, for Gardenista.

Above: A dry garden on this year's annual Venice Garden Tour, which showed visitors the private courtyards and backyards and gardens in two neighborhoods: the Gregory Ain tract in Mar Vista and the blocks east of Lincoln Boulevard.

Above: Tillandsias—also known as air plants—in a sunny courtyard.

Above: Succulents, including a variety of drought tolerant succulents, thrive in a dry, sunny spot.

Above: Potted succulents, pelargoniums, and herbs in a courtyard where a permeable gravel base aids drainage.

Above: A permeable path, edged with drought tolerant perennials.

Above: Low-growing groundcover roses in galvanized metal troughs.

Above: The rough texture of a concrete planter complements the vaguely swollen look of succulents, which hoard water in their leaves.