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.