Laurel Stutsman Design


I found this photo in a 2015 folder on my old photobucket account. The photo was tagged “wildlife-road-malibu2” with no accompanying description. I don’t normally keep unidentified garden photos, but something about it obviously grabbed me in 2015, and it still grabs me today, six years later. Fortunately, a quick search for “wildlife road malibu garden” brought up the website of landscape designer Laurel Stutsman Design.


I don’t know about you, but I’m starved for touring gardens! I want to jump into this photo Mary Poppins style to hear the crunch of the decomposed granite underfoot and feel the brush of leaves against my legs. Considering the churn of Los Angeles real estate, it’s likely this garden doesn’t even exist anymore. Gardens can be as ephemeral as chalk paintings. This one to me radiates warmth and light and speaks to quiet strolls to sort out tricky moods while absorbing subtle textures, sounds and scents. Boisterous parties too. Not all gardens appear to be waiting to be animated by people. To me, this one seems poised for people and pets to enter the frame.

another garden from Laurel’s website
another garden from Laurel’s website

And just remember, if you’re trying to put a name to the low-level funk that obviously is a byproduct of living through a world-wide pandemic, remember we’re not languishing, we’re dormant. (See the wise words of Austin Kleon here.)

And on to May!

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5 Responses to Laurel Stutsman Design

  1. Kris P says:

    Thanks for sharing both these wonderful garden picks and the blog post on languishing vs dormancy. The latter seems right on point from my viewpoint too.

  2. ks says:

    Good shares Denise. I am so ready for garden touring , and Mendocino is on the agenda a weeks from now-unfortunately Digging Dog is still not open for visitors so sadly that’s not in the cards but the botanical garden awaits.

  3. Elaine says:

    I like the relaxed natural vibe her gardens give off. Gardens by their very nature are ephemeral but wish more landscapes would be allowed to endure.

  4. hb says:

    Elegant mix of plants. Me like, too.

    Thoughtful Kleon essay, thanks for the link!

  5. Hi there!
    Thank you for your appreciation of my garden! I just came across this and it made me delighted that my garden gave you pleasure! It is what I think a garden should do.

    Laurel Stutsman

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