I knew for the past year or so that the Los Angeles Times would eventually publish an article on the Glatstein family’s Long Beach garden designed by ceramicist Dustin Gimbel a few years back. Even so, the March 31, 2020 appearance of “In turbulent times, a magical art-filled garden offers solace,” by Lisa Boone, managed to catch me off guard. I’d seen these photos by Mitch not long after it was finished, so I knew the layout and incredible detail work by Dustin, but the story of the making of a garden told in hindsight, at a time when we’re in the teeth of a pandemic, can’t help but feel epic and visionary. Boone’s choice to frame the garden against this backdrop was the perfect mechanism for exploring what this garden means to the Glatsteins and why someone would pour their creative energy into designing such a place. In the context of these first months of 2020, a garden naturally assumes the level of importance and can be discussed with the same design enthusiasm as any domestic space, albeit one where kids and ducks roam freely, animated by a revolving cast of wildlife. It’s a long, lush piece with lots of detail and depth, one I know you’ll enjoy. Much has grown in since these pictures, new projects have been undertaken, sheltering in place has been decreed, and the garden absorbs all of it with utter grace. It’s a wonderful piece of writing about a project that gives new life to the words “dream team”; the clients and designer sharing the same dream of what a garden can be and mean for a family in a busy neighborhood, in both happy and anxious times — playful, sculptural, serene, stimulating, filled with interest for the plantsman (Jeremy), and brimming with daily wonders for the kids. Have a look at these old photos by Mitch to find your way around, but be sure to read the article which includes lots of recent photos as well as some “before” photos too.
photos by MB Maher