Despite what idyllic postcards will lead you to believe, West L.A. is mostly populated by slabs of concrete, endless forests of stucco apartments and grimy strip malls. But there's an oasis of green waiting amid this postwar suburban sprawl. Hashimoto Nursery, in the heart of Sawtelle Japantown, is burgeoning with begonias, hearty succulents and vast varieties of vegetation. A stroll through its expansive campus is a peaceful experience that will make you forget the hellish honking of the nearby 405 freeway. It's also a walk back in time. The four Hashimoto brothers first settled in this Westside Japanese enclave around 1928 and opened their nursery a few years later. When World War II erupted, two of the brothers were sent back to Japan while the others were interned at Manzanar. When they were released, they opened the Hashimoto Brothers Nursery. The shop has been in operation ever since, providing diverse garden supplies with a sense of history.
Credit: Drew Tewksbury