Garth’s Boulder Gardens and Tiny Tipi

When you think of the Joshua Tree area of southern California, what comes to mind is probably stark and sandy. But just a few miles away from the artist hamlet of Pioneertown is a green Eden, tucked into the shade of the desert’s enormous boulders.

Garth is a California desert dweller who has created an Eden near Joshua Tree.

The Boulder Gardens is both the home and community space for “Garth” a world traveler with a lifetime of permaculture under his belt. He has been curating this desert space for over 30 years. His little corner (640 acres) of the state features a cement tipi, an outdoor kitchen and living space, tables piled with crystals, and a sauna inside one of the distinctive boulders. The land also has a year-round spring, ponds, fruit trees and both domestic and wild animals.

The Boulder Gardens include a year-round spring, ponds and fruit trees.

The tipi is Garth’s living and sleeping room, but the desert is his house.

“This is the land of 10,000 stories,” Garth says in a video by Mary Lee Weir. “Every rock, every plant, everything I put in has a story that goes with it.”

Rather than harnessing the desert, Garth works gently with the local flora and fauna to create a hidden oasis in this sun-drenched area. Garth is also happy to share this oasis with outside visitors. Drum circles, meditation, nature contemplation and just enjoying the earth is encouraged here. The Boulder Gardens does not have power or other amenities, but there is an outhouse. Some people can stay in Garth’s Cosmic Castle, a cement house built on top of a boulder.

The sauna is tucked into a boulder next to a swimming pool.

The Cosmic Castle is made of cement and mimics the surrounding rocks.

Currently there is an Indigogo fundraising project set up to help Garth maintain the gardens and continue to host people on his land. With a $10 donation, you will receive a Boulder Gardens postcard where you can pretend you are sitting in a sun-drenched desert garden and not in the middle of winter.

Take a 360 Degree Tour of Boulder Gardens


By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]


Photos by Ming LoPortal to the New Earth and Nich McElroy. Videos by ParanormalTV and Mary Lee Weir.

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Garth Bowles - January 26, 2018 Reply

Thank you for a wonderful story about me and my place. Love from Gods Way Love.

    Christina T Nellemann - January 26, 2018 Reply

    Thank you Garth for providing such an amazing space in the desert.

Kim Stivers - February 5, 2018 Reply

It’s sickening to see how much positive bullshit gets covered about this place. Garth provides refuge for woman abusers and child molesters in exchange for free labor and “company”. He particularly likes having the men around, which is perhaps why not many women see red flags go off when only engaging directly with Garth. But there are and have been many questionable characters and confirmed abusers hiding out at this place. One could claim that Garth is unaware, but he has been informed of who he has on the property and how they might endanger visitors and Garth has chosen to ignore this information. I’m sure this comment will get deleted since it seems impossible to actually warn anyone about this place and the cycle of victimizing just keeps perpetuating itself since people are too chicken shit to do the right thing and TALK ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON!

Kim Stivers - February 5, 2018 Reply

Every article like this just encourages the lambs to go in for the slaughter. This is not a “loving” place even if you had a pleasant experience, other’s have not. It would be best advised that children don’t go here at all. Perhaps you can hide a message with “children are not encouraged to visit due to the many hazards in the desert environment” or something. Be creative and do something to keep people safe.

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