All gardeners live in beautiful places, for they make them so.
An Urban Oasis
Two and a half miles from the glitzy boutiques of famed Rodeo Drive – tucked behind the “Pink Palace,” as the Beverly Hills Hotel is affectionately called – birds, bumblebees, and butterflies forage amid a backyard that feels like a wilderness with amenities. In fact, it is one of the most renowned native gardens in California, lauded by the New York Times as a “haven for animals that most people would not consider appealing guests, including bobcats, gopher snakes, cottontail rabbits, bats, honey bees, and the occasional coyote.”
This flourishing ecosystem belongs to Susan and Dan Gottlieb, friends of flora and fauna and devoted environmental philanthropists. Their garden at home approximates the coat of vegetation California would wear if not for the dramatic ecological changes brought about in the last century by human encroachment. Formerly, non-native, invasive Algerian ivy covered the Gottliebs’ sloping one-acre property, but Dan and Susan have returned their hillsides to the chaparral woodland that it once was. With more than 100 hand-selected plant species and hundreds of animal species, the backyard is a National Wildlife Federation-certified Backyard Wildlife Habitat and a Xerces Society-designated Pollinator Habitat.
The Gottlieb Native Garden is a public resource, educating visitors and providing a platform for environmental groups to work together and ensure that their messages are heard. It is a gift to science, providing a diverse ecosystem and multiple examples of the power of native plants in conservation.