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People & Places

Best Psychedelic L. Frank Baum Overdose Los Angeles 2011 

Garden of Oz

Somewhere off of Beachwood Canyon, way up high, there's a hidden garden that I heard of, once in a lullaby. And though its exact location is a closely held secret, I set off to find it, my only clue the refrain of a half-remembered song from childhood — "Follow the Hollywood Sign. Follow the Hollywood Sign." So I drive up, up Beachwood Drive, left onto Ledgewood, up to where the clouds seem far behind me. Then, on the right, a glimmer amid overgrown foliage: the Garden of Oz. I park. It's a low wall, fantastically decorated with all manner of ancient Matchbox cars and Hot Wheels — a miniature freeway set in mortar. In the wall, an iron gate; beyond the gate, a yellow brick–paved pathway pierces a hallucinatory riot of plants and flowers festooned over benches, fountains, nooks and planters, all covered in wildly glazed ceramic mosaics and tiles hand-painted in every color of the rainbow. Garden of Oz, 3106 Ledgewood Drive, Hlywd.

—Bill Raden

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