Back in the 1970s, the McPhersons and Vasquezes, neighbors who lived near famed Zuma Beach, turned their near-obsession for orchids into Zuma Canyon Orchids. Perfecting their flowers in their own private lab, using the filtered sunlight of their coastal woodland enclave, they produced lines of globally recognized, award-winning phalaenopsis and dendrobium orchids. Today, anyone can walk into the humungous greenhouse to gawk at the thousands of live plants. Everything is for sale, and included in the price is a solemn lecture on how not to murder an orchid: no direct sun, no temps below 60, no overwatering! And for God's sake, set your orchids near a fan or crosscurrent because they crave moving air. The greenhouse is on upscale Bonsall Drive, past a series of intriguing coastal mansions partially obscured behind design-snob gates. When your family gets here from Chicago or Boston in December, take them. 5949 Bonsall Drive, Malibu. (310) 457-9771,

—N. Jenssen

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